How to Check if Your Laptop Fan is Working

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A prime example of the high-quality design of modern laptops is how effortless they make things seem. The key to superior design is that users do not notice how effectively a system is working, but when a component goes awry, disaster can soon follow. Your laptop fan might seem like a minor component until it stops working, in which case your machine could sustain significant damage in no time.

Innovations in laptop manufacturing have made fans very low profile. Unlike older models, cutting-edge laptops often use silent fans with no whirring or noise. While that can certainly be convenient, it also means that you might not realize when it stops working. That’s why it’s essential to check your fan periodically, especially if you notice that your laptop is getting hotter than it usually does.

The primary purpose of a laptop fan is to cool down your machine because its natural processes generate a fair bit of heat which can melt its internal components or potentially even cause a fire. Here are a few ways to test your laptop fan out to ensure that it’s doing its job.

Method #1 – Check for Physical Signs

While newer laptop fans are not nearly as loud as older ones, they still make some noise. Laptop manufacturers have dampened the sound considerably, but if you listen closely, you might be able to hear something. Some laptops are very good at silencing this noise, though, but you would still feel cool air coming out of the vents. You might also notice very slight vibrations, which indicate that the fan is operating normally.

If you can hear your fan running, try to ensure the sound is consistent. Clunky or rough noises aren’t normal, and they suggest that some debris might have entered your laptop. You should disassemble your computer and clean the fan if it doesn’t sound smooth enough.

Related Article: Laptop’s Fan Making Noise? Here’s How to Turn It Off!

The air from the vents is usually quite subtle, so you might not notice it unless you’re in a completely silent and still room. To check if there’s air escaping, take a piece of tissue paper (the thinner, the better) and place it next to the vents. If you don’t have a fan or air conditioner on and the tissue paper starts to flutter, your fan is pushing air out of the ducts, which means it’s functioning correctly.

Another physical sign that you can look out for is heat. Laptops heat up as you use them, but never to the point where they’re uncomfortable to touch. At most, your laptop’s base should get somewhat warm. Anything beyond that is a sign that your fan might be off or that it’s malfunctioning.

Method #2 – Pay Attention to Indicators

A laptop fan is a critical component in any computer system. Hence, your laptop might give you specific indicators that suggest a problem with the fan. Software and hardware work together to keep everything running optimally, so a problem with one of them would cause noticeable in the other. Paying attention to these indicators if they arise while you’re using your laptop can give you some hints about the state of your fan.

The lack of cooling can cause several problems while your laptop is on. Frequent and sudden shutdowns are a significant example of this. Your computer has certain checks and balances in place to prevent fires and other eventualities caused by overheating. Hence, your computer might shut itself down if the temperature exceeds a certain point to prevent further damage.

Overheating also makes your computer a lot slower than usual. If you notice that happening, check the base plate to see if it’s too hot. These two things coincide, and they can help you figure out what’s wrong with your machine. While slower performance and sudden shutdowns can be caused by other problems, too, if they start happening spontaneously, it’s likely that your fan is at the root of it all. Other causes are structural, so if you haven’t already noticed them, chances are that they’re not the issue here.

Related Article: How to Fix Overheating Laptop Without Taking it Apart?

Method #3 – Use Software

Waiting for your fan to stop working before checking on it can be risky. Your laptop might have already sustained damage by the time you realize it, so this is a costly mistake for you to make. That’s why it would be better to use software to preempt such scenarios.

Speedfan is a great option that can keep you updated on your computer’s functionality. It’s free software that you can customize according to your specifications, so you can pinpoint the problem before it’s too late. That can save you a fair bit of money in repair costs, and you can keep your current laptop operational for a more extended period.

One way to check on your fan through this application is to look at the temperature of your system. Sometimes it can be difficult to tell if your laptop is overheating, but this app can give you an accurate temperature reading that’s much more reliable.

You could also try various paid applications, but they’re usually no better than Speedfan at displaying your computer’s current status. Either way, fan checking software is a must-have for your laptop.

FAQ

How can I check if my laptop fan is working?

There are a number of tests that you can perform. Pressing your ear to the base and listening for a slight whirring noise is one option. Also, if your laptop is hotter than usual that might indicate a problem with your fan.

How Do I Turn My Laptop Fan On?

Windows 11 gives you the option to enable or disable your fan in Power Settings. If your fan isn’t working despite being enabled, that suggests a hardware issue. You might need to replace your laptop fan if that’s the case.

Does My Laptop Fan Run Constantly?

It depends on what you’re doing. Normally, your fan will start to run when you’re performing tasks that require heavy processing power. It will continue to run while you perform these tasks because they tend to generate the most heat, but it only operates when necessary.

Can I Use My Laptop Without a Fan?

You can technically use your laptop even if your fan isn’t working, but it runs the risk of overheating. Avoid complex tasks and try to shut it down if you feel it getting too hot.

Conclusion

The heat generated by laptops can be highly destructive, which is why laptop fans are some of the most critical components inside your machine. It can be easy to forget about the fan, but you will notice significantly decreased performance if it stops working normally. Keeping tabs on your laptop fan is a crucial aspect of laptop maintenance, and if you can’t physically sense that it’s operational, you must take a deeper look. Time is of the essence when it comes to fan malfunctions because an absence of cooling mechanisms can rapidly degrade your laptop and result in significant damage

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