How to Check if Laptop Fan is Working Properly? (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 

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. 

Lisa Antonio
Lisa enjoys technology & has built many laptops and enjoys tinkering with technology!