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Why is My CPU Fan Spinning so Fast? Your Handy Fix Guide!

Is your CPU cooler fan constantly spinning at full speed even when you aren’t running demanding applications? Annoyed by the nonstop whirring and worried about potential damage?

Before you panic and think you need an expensive repair, there are several straightforward DIY troubleshooting steps you can try to diagnose and resolve this issue.

Read on to learn what might be making your CPU cooler fan go into overdrive and how to fix it with some basic maintenance and adjustments—no technical expertise required.

Misconfiguration in BIOS Settings

Accessing BIOS

A common reason for a CPU fan spinning fast is an incorrectly set fan curve in the BIOS. The BIOS, essentially the control center for your computer’s hardware, may have the fan curve configured to ramp up speed at a lower temperature than necessary.

To fix this, enter the BIOS and adjust the fan curve settings. It’s important to note that the BIOS layout varies with different motherboard brands.

If you’re unfamiliar with navigating your BIOS, it’s advisable to watch some YouTube tutorials specific to your motherboard model before making adjustments. This step can help ensure a smooth and accurate configuration process.

Demanding Applications Running in the Background

Another culprit behind a fast-spinning CPU fan could be resource-heavy applications running unnoticed. These tasks can put a lot of pressure on your CPU.

Sometimes, even hidden malware can overwork the system.

To pinpoint these demanding tasks, the Task Manager in Windows is your go-to tool. You can access the Task Manager by either pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc simultaneously or by right-clicking on the Taskbar and selecting Task Manager.

Task Manager on Taskbar

Once Task Manager is open, you’ll see all active processes and their CPU usage. (If you’re not seeing active processes, please click on more details).

Task Manager (More details)

Press on the CPU section to sort them from the highest to the lowest usage, and look for processes that are unusually high and consider closing them if they’re not essential.

Task Manager CPU usage

This action can lower your CPU’s workload, leading to a reduction in fan speed.

You may also like: How to Fix a CPU Cooler Making a Buzzing Noise

Dust Build-Up and Cooling Issues

Dust buildup on CPU cooler

Dust accumulation inside a PC is an often overlooked issue that can lead to overheating.

Over time, dust gathers on internal components, including the CPU and its cooling fan, hindering proper airflow. This reduced airflow means the CPU heats up more quickly, causing the fan to run high to cool it down.

Additionally, PC cases with inadequate ventilation can exacerbate this problem, especially in warmer climates where ambient temperatures are already high.

Ineffective Thermal Paste

Applying thermal paste

When addressing cooling problems, most people tend to recommend either enhancing your case’s airflow or getting a better CPU cooler While these suggestions hold significance, let’s not overlook the importance of thermal paste.

Thermal paste plays an important role in your computer’s cooling system, acting as a conductor that transfers heat from the CPU to its cooler. Over time, this paste will degrade, losing its effectiveness.

If you’ve checked for software issues, cleared out dust, and ensured good airflow but your CPU fan is still racing, it might be time to reapply thermal paste.

A fresh application of thermal paste can restore the efficient heat transfer from your CPU to its cooler, helping to regulate temperature and fan speed more effectively.

PS: We recommend replacing your thermal paste every 5 years, or so. Therefore, if you’ve recently done it, you can skip this part, unless you suspect that you have applied it incorrectly.

Your CPU Cooler Can’t Keep Up!

AMD stock cooler with RGB lighting

What if you’ve tackled all the previous steps, yet your CPU cooler fan still spins out of control? It might be time to consider the fan itself. Not all fans are created equal; they vary in their air movement capacity, measured in Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM).

A higher CFM means more air movement, potentially leading to better cooling. If your CPU cooler isn’t up for the task, replacing just the fan, if possible, is a cost-effective solution.

However, if your CPU cooler doesn’t allow for a separate fan replacement, upgrading the entire CPU cooler might be necessary. This change can make a significant difference in cooling efficiency, ultimately leading to a quieter and more effective cooling system.

Before we jump to the conclusion, I also want you to read our article about the different symptoms of a dying CPU cooler. It will give you a clear idea about your next step.


We hope this article has steered you towards identifying and resolving the issue behind your CPU cooler’s fan spinning fast.

If our suggestions have helped you pinpoint and fix the issue, we’d love to hear about it! Please feel free to share in the comments what was causing your CPU fan to race and the steps you took to address 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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