How to Check if Laptop Fan is Working Properly? (Ultimate Guide)

The first indication of whether a laptop fan’s working or not is overheating. You may see that your laptop isn’t performing as it used to – that there are glitches and undue sounds. There could be other problems, but first, we’re going to rule out the fans issue in three ways:

  • Noticing any changes in the sound of the fans 
  • Feeling if the vents are letting any air 
  • Using third-party software 
  • Windows Diagnostics 
  • Watching for Errors
  • Checking Temperatures

After knowing about all of these points now it’s time to learn about how to check if your laptop fan is working or not. 

6 Ways to Check If Your Laptop Fan Is Working Or Not

Here we come up with the 6 best ways that you can follow to check the laptop fan is working or not.

1. Listening To The Fans 

A whirring fan makes noise. You know that bit, don’t you? Consider the last time you watched a movie with a helicopter and how much noise it made. Well, your laptop fan won’t do that, but you’ll still hear a faint whirring sound. 

  • Turn on your laptop and wait for a few moments before you put your ear to the side where the fans are located. 
  • Don’t worry if the fans do not start immediately because they are only required when the laptop starts heating up. 
  • If you don’t hear them even after starting the machine, run a heavy program and after a few seconds, try hearing the sound. That heavy program could be a high-res game, a 4K video editing software, or anything that puts your laptop to its limits. 

If you hear the fans, then rest assured, they are working. However, notice the quality of the sound. 

  • Is the sound cracking?
  • Do you hear a lopsided fan noise?
  • Do you feel as if something is stuck and making a weird sound?

Ask yourself these questions because the sound of a laptop fan is always smooth and uniform. Any irregularity in that should mean that you need to get it checked or tuned up. 

2. Feeling The Air With Your Hands 

I want you to feel the fans physically first before going to do any drastic measures. This includes feeling the air coming out of the vents with your bare hands. 

  • After you’ve turned on your laptop and run a heavy program, put out your hand in front of the vents. 
  • You should feel a faint warm air. 
  • If not, then hold a think piece of paper or cloth in front of the vents just to be sure that it’s not faint enough. You should see the paper or the cloth move slightly. 
  • No luck? Follow step 3. 

3. Using Third-Party Software 

The first two methods were mainly physical. This one involves using software known to dig deeper into your laptop’s hardware and bringing out all the information. The software may be paid or free. However, they do work and remove any technicality from your way. So, if you feel a technological challenge, you may want to opt for the software.

I recommend using HWMonitor, SpeedFan, and RealTemp for Windows and iStart Menu for Macs.  

Using the software is entirely easy as you only have to follow certain steps to see the information listed right before your eyes. As I said, this method is far superior. 

But if you don’t want to use any of these, there’s also a Windows-based method. 

4. Press F12 At the Startup 

  • Turn off your laptop and disconnect all the devices. 
  • Turn it on again but press F12 repeatedly at the start. 
  • You will be taken into the diagnostics of Windows. There you could check the speed of your fans and get an idea of whether they’re working or not. 

Remember that you can still access Windows Diagnostics from the Start menu but to run this, Windows will ask you to restart your machine. 

5. Look for Errors That Indicate Fan Problems 

How to Check if Laptop Fan is Working

Whenever your laptop’s going through something and you don’t know what, always look for the signs. For example, when the fans are not working and your system is overheating, you could see a potential Blue Screen of Death. 

Or, even if the fans are working, there could be an issue with the heat sink or any other part of the cooling system. The system may even heat when the thermal chemical that sits between the CPU and the heat sink or cooling system is damaged. 

6. Keep Checking the Temperatures 

Even if the fans are working, but the temperatures are still soaring, that could mean a potential motor problem. You do know that there are many components involved in a cooling system. How to check the temperature? Download any hardware monitoring system to do that. If the temperatures are above 130 degrees even when you aren’t doing anything, then that should notify you about whether the fans are broken or something in the whole system. 

How to Deal With Overheating Issues Before Taking Laptop to Support?

Before you decide on taking your laptop to support, you want to troubleshoot the overheating problem by following these steps:

1. Clean the Vents 

  • Turn off your computer. 
  • Disconnect your devices and unplug the machine. 
  • Remove the battery gently. 
  • Take a can of compressed air and hold it at about 90-degrees a bit far from the vents and blow out any dust accumulated. 
  • Reinsert the battery and turn the laptop on. See if the overheating problem has been resolved. 
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2. Update Your Drivers 

  • Search for Device Manager in the search bar and open the app. 
  • Locate the drivers that control fans and update them. 
  • You can alternatively go to your manufacturer’s website to look for relevant drivers from their list. 

3. Put Your Laptop in Balanced Power Mode

  • Right-click on the battery icon of your laptop.
  • Select the Power Options. 
  • In the next window, choose the Balanced option. This option will bring the performance down to the point where the CPU or GPU are not used to their max.

4. Run Your Manufacturer’s Power Controlling App

  • Google the name of your manufacturer and if there’s any power controlling app launched specifically, download it. 
  • You could also start with Windows Store. For example, for Dell laptops, download Dell Power Manager. They have thermal management in that app where you could select Thermal Setting from Optimized to Cool and then Quiet. 

How can I tell if my laptop fan is bad?

If you feel like your laptop cooling system isn’t up to the mark or you hear a weird noise, it might be time to take a quick glance under the hood and give your ventilation fans a nice routine cleanup.

How can I check if my fan is working?

The general rule of thumb is usually your laptop fans not moving at all which may indicate that there might be some sort of malfunction at hand.

How long do laptop fans last?

Laptop fan’s lifespans are around 60000 hours to 70000 hours, however, it all boils down to the fact of how frequently and roughly you use your laptop. Moreover, routine maintenance might also play a major role in prolonging your laptop ventilation lifespan.

How to Check Laptop fan is Working or Not – Conclusion 

How to Check if Laptop Fan is Working or not

Checking whether your laptop fans are working or not makes sense when it is overheating. First, look if the temperatures reach 130 degrees or above during stable use. 

If so, the fans may be broken or there could be something wrong with a component of the cooling system. Check your fans by following the methods I mentioned above and troubleshoot heating further before going to the support of your manufacturer. 

In the end, we hope that now you are well aware of how to check if your laptop fan is working or not.