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How to Check if Your CPU Cooler is Working: Simple Guide

Just installed a new CPU cooler and wondering if it’s up and running? Determining whether your cooler is operational can be straightforward and doesn’t require expert knowledge.

In this article, we’ll walk you through a few simple steps to check if your CPU cooler is working.

Let’s get started and ensure that your CPU cooler is not just installed, but actively working to keep your CPU cool.

Checking CPU Temperatures

The best and most straightforward approach to determine if your CPU cooler is working is by monitoring the CPU temperature.

There are several tools that you can use such as HWMonitor, HWiNFO64, or Core Temp. These tools provide you with your CPU’s current, minimum, and maximum temperatures, alongside other data like fan speeds.

HWMonitor CPU temperatures

Keep an eye on these temperature ranges: If your CPU is between 30°C to 50°C when idle and stays between 60°C to 70°C during demanding activities like gaming, your cooler is working.

However, if idle temperatures are high, maybe hitting 90°C to 100°C, it’s a warning sign that your cooler might not be functioning.

Visual Inspection

Checking if CPU cooler is spinning

A quick visual check can reveal a lot about your CPU cooler’s condition. For air coolers, check if the fan spins when your PC is powered on. No movement at all might suggest the cooler is not working (but not always).

In the case of All-In-One (AIO) liquid coolers, look at the pump unit. It should exhibit a subtle vibration or a faint humming sound, indicating it’s active.

PS: The reason why I said “but not always” is because sometimes, the CPU cooler fans might not be spinning due to 0 RPM mode. Therefore, relying solely on visual inspection may not always provide accurate results. For more information, you can refer to our article “Why is My CPU Fan Not Spinning?

Feeling the AIO Tubes

Feeling AIO coolers' tubes

Lastly, for AIO cooler owners, you can check if your cooler is working by feeling the tubes that connect the pump and the radiator.

Simply gently touch both tubes with your fingers. One tube should be warmer than the other.

The warmer tube transports hot liquid from the CPU to the radiator, while the cooler tube carries cool liquid from the radiator to the CPU. This indicates that the liquid is circulating, and the cooler is operational.


We hope this guide has helped you confidently determine whether your CPU cooler is working.

As always, we’d love to hear from you! Drop a comment below sharing your experience. Was your CPU cooler working as expected, or did you encounter any issues? If it wasn’t working, let us know what steps you took to fix it.

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Hi, I’m Abdelkader, a gamer and the founder of Gamer Around. I’ve been into gaming for the past 20 years and I love to share my passion and experience with you. Throughout these years, I managed to build a decent amount of knowledge and experience in PC hardware, but I’m always learning and improving.

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