A laptop that makes a loud grinding, buzzing, or rattling noise can be rather unsettling since it can indicate a serious hardware issue.
Even if there is nothing wrong with the laptop fan or any other hardware component, the loudness of a laptop is annoying and frustrating.
In this detailed guide, you will learn how to troubleshoot your laptop thoroughly and get rid of the rattling and buzzing noise from your noisy laptop fan.
Why is your laptop fan making a grinding noise?
Is your laptop fan failing? Is there something that is blocking it from spinning correctly, which is causing this annoying grinding noise?
Keep on reading as we discuss the most common factors affecting the laptop fan and causing it to produce this sound.
Dirt blockage in the fan
Your laptop fan may not be able to work correctly due to a buildup of dirt, dust, and all kinds of debris that accumulate over time.
Many laptop users believe that a blockage that would disrupt the spinning mechanism of the fan has to be larger than accumulated dirt and debris.
Keep in mind that the laptop fan is relatively small, and the clog inside the fan gets bigger daily – especially if it isn’t cleaned regularly.
A loose component is causing the fan to make a grinding noise
Your laptop fan case may not have been positioned or closed correctly, causing the fan to grind against the surface or another hardware component.
What’s more, if the components aren’t properly connected and assembled, they could interfere with the spinning mechanism and cause the buzzing sound you’re hearing.
Loose screws and similar tiny elements often end up in the laptop fan, blocking its spinning mechanism and causing a rather loud noise inside the laptop.
There are too many resource-heavy programs
The grinding laptop fan sound usually comes from a defect, clog, or mechanical issue. However, there could be some system issues causing it, especially if your laptop is overworked and overheated.
Overheating or even laptop freezing can often happen if you’re currently running too many resource-heavy programs simultaneously- whether in the foreground or the background.
Malware and viruses
Yet another system issue that could cause the laptop fan to act up is a virus or malware infection. The dangerous malware in your laptop’s system and infected files often consume significant storage space and processor capacity.
An infected system will often lead to overheating, causing the laptop fan to struggle to keep the optimal temperature – hence the grinding noise you hear.
High fan speed
In this case, the fan speed is set too high for your particular laptop model, and it needs to be adjusted accordingly to prevent the fan from overheating or getting overworked.
There is no airflow
The ventilation system of your laptop could be blocked, especially if you’re keeping the laptop on surfaces that promote overheating – such as a blanket or a couch.
The vents must remain free of blockages, so remove anything blocking the airflow in and out of the ventilation grills.
The laptop fan is defective
The grinding sound of your laptop fan could mean the fan is due for a replacement. It could be defective, broken, or simply malfunctioning.
The laptop fan may be worn-out and damaged if you’ve had your laptop for quite some time.
How to stop a laptop fan from rattling?
Depending on the leading cause of the grinding sound, there are different ways to silence the laptop fan.
The grinding noise isn’t only highly annoying but could also indicate an even bigger internal issue in your laptop, so you want to take this problem seriously.
1. Clean the fan
The first step in fixing your laptop fan would be opening the laptop case so you can easily access the fan. Inspect the fan and ensure it is free of rust and defects.
In case you notice rust and other signs of decay, you will probably have to get a replacement, but this is something that should be done by a professional.
If your laptop is still under warranty, you could get a brand new laptop, which is something to look into.
However, if the fan is free of defects, clean it thoroughly. You want to ensure that the vents and the rotor blades are entirely free of accumulated dust and gunk.
You can clean the laptop fan using a lint-free cloth and an old toothbrush which will allow you to scrub the persistent dirt off the fan components.
2. Look for any loose components
As you’re cleaning the fan, it is also recommended to look for any loose components inside it – especially tiny elements such as loose screws.
The thudding noise you keep hearing could come from any damaged or loose component in the fan or inside the laptop itself.
3. Check the CPU temperature
To check the CPU temperature in your BIOS, launch the Start menu, then go to System Settings and select Update&Security. In this menu, navigate to Recovery, then choose Restart Now.
A blue window should open up, and you should see a Choose an Option menu where you select Troubleshoot and then navigate to Advanced Options.
Click on Restart to launch the BIOS menu after the reboot, then choose Status, PC Health, or H/W monitor (these will be labeled differently depending on the model).
Ensure the CPU temperature isn’t set above 80°C when the system is active. In the user manual, you should be able to find the recommended temperature for your laptop model.
4. Remove or stop the resource-heavy programs
The easiest way to deal with resource-heavy apps and programs is to uninstall the ones you’re not using, as they represent a significant burden for the laptop system.
Another possibility is that you’ve opened too many tabs on your browser, which may cause the laptop to freeze.
Right-click on the taskbar to launch the Task Manager and see all the programs that are currently active. Navigate to the CPU section to know the percentage of the usage level and see which programs are problematic.
Click End Task next to these programs to stop them, and if you wish to uninstall them instead, go to Start menu>Control Panel>Programs>Programs and Features and click Uninstall next to the programs you want to eliminate.
5. Run an antivirus scan
For this step, you will need an antivirus program if you don’t already have one installed on your laptop.
Run a scan to detect any malware on your laptop. The antivirus software will allow you to delete or repair the affected files.
6. Change the fan speed
In the user manual that came with your laptop, you should be able to find the info regarding the optimal fan speed for your laptop.
Launching the BIOS menu can quickly check if the fan speed is too high for your model (as we’ve explained above in the CPU temperature section). Navigate to Monitor, Status, or PC Health (depending on the model).
Select Fan Speed Control, then find the RPM settings and adjust the speed of your laptop fan if necessary.
7. Don’t block the airflow
What could be causing your laptop to overheat and your laptop fan to rattle is the placement. If something is blocking the air vents, the fan won’t be able to function correctly.
Using a laptop stand or a cooling mat is recommended to keep your laptop at an optimal temperature.