Owning a laptop means that you want it to work correctly, right?
Of course, who would want anything else than that?
But no matter how spectacular your laptop is, problems can appear from time to time.
Especially if the laptop is starting to get old; the hardware can start to get buggy.
The fan built into any laptop is a frequent problem maker and if not working correctly; it can cause the laptop to heat up and thus under-perform.
In this article, we’ll take a quick look into the importance of a fan and how you can check if it’s working right.
Importance of Fan in a Laptop
It’s quite apparent what a fan does in a PC or Laptop. It’s used to cool down the device, of course.
Pretty much any fan does this job. But why is it important to cool down your laptop?
An important reason behind it is to keep your laptop working at its peak performance. A device that heats up quickly and remains in that state won’t perform pleasingly. As a result, all types of programs could slow down and even crash while running.
An even bigger problem regarding this is that a damaged fan can destroy other components of your laptop as well.
This is true because certain parts can’t resist to a certain heat level. If you don’t resolve the heating, your entire laptop can break down.
The point is: the fan is a vital element in any laptop and needs to be well working
But how can you know if something’s off with it? That’s what we’ll discuss further:
Checking the Fan
Method 1: The simplest method to test your fan is to listen. Yes, just listen to the laptop when you have it booted up. Most laptops have a standard noise when they’re working.
But when the fan is starting, an additional noise starts, that you can hear easily. Make sure to move in a very quiet room and get your ear towards the laptop’s bottom and just behind the keyboard.
Listen to the above audio clip, this is how a laptop fan sounds; in case you’re not able to differentiate between different sounds.
Though do note that for most modern laptops the fan isn’t spinning all the time. It starts only when you do something requiring more processing power (Image Editing on Photoshop), or maybe you play a more demanding game that’s stressing your GPU; else editing a video.
In any of these situations, the laptop can heat up very quickly, thus determining the fan to start functioning.
Hence, don’t get worried if your fan doesn’t start as soon as you start the laptop; to save power and work efficiently laptop manufacturers set the laptop fan to start only when under stress.
To put your laptop in a bit of stress; you can open Chrome and start any 4K video or a 1080p video with 60fps; in case you own a budget or older laptop, which will put your laptop under stress.
But what if your laptop’s fan is not one that makes any (or much) noise in the first place? Things could get tricky in this case.
Method 2: Another easy method is to locate where the fan blows air out from the computer.
Your laptop’s exhaust will either be on the left side or behind the laptop. If not; then definitely it’s on the bottom.
Once found (and you still can’t hear the fan working when it should), just put a little piece of paper or something else very light beside the vent holes.
If they move by themselves, then the fan is working, since the blown-out air will move the pieces.
Though most modern laptops have a slim profile and hence the exhaust fan size too is small, which might not blow out enough air to move the pieces.
Other than that; if your laptop exhaust vent is on the bottom; then it would get difficult to perform this action.
Yet these 2 methods are the most simple and easy ways to check if your laptop’s fan is working or not. However, there is one more process you could try, if none of the previous ones work for above mentioned reasons.
Testing through Software
The third and final process is to download free software called SpeedFan.
It is a free program and can be downloaded via its original site or from other multi software sites too. What is the point of this software?
It was developed to help PC and laptop users to test their device safely and quickly for any possible issues. It mainly looks like this, below, when you have it installed and ready:
The first screen that when you open the software, you can see the readings it received from the laptop at hand. It can detect the type of GPU and CPU your laptop is using.
This is a good aspect because many GPUs have dedicated fans built on top of them. This software can test the fan used by your specific GPU. It’s even possible to configure it for particular needs.
The primary and most crucial property this program comes with is the chance to check the temperature of pretty much every main component in your laptop.
Just like before, on the main page, you can see the actual temperature for your hard drive, GPU and CPU.
If you have a CPU with multiple cores (quite likely), it will display the temperature for every single core in use.
If you take a look at the temperature for every component, and it seems to be too high, you probably have an issue with the fan.
But to be sure, you should also check another output you’ll receive from SpeedFan.
It can test the laptop’s main fan directly. More precisely, it will tell you the speed with which your fan operates. This way, you’ll know exactly if something is wrong with your fan.
Luckily, this is also available for any other fan you might have installed, as the GPU fan for example.
If the speed is too low when you’re using the laptop extensively, and you even feel it accumulate heat, the fan is not working as it was designed to.
To deal with this; you should first try to clean your laptop fan, if the problem still persists; then it’s better to get the fan replaced with a newer one.
Alternatively, if the fan is working fine, but still your laptop overheats; then you should try this method that is ideal for gaming laptops.
SpeedFan is among the best and most efficient programs used to detect problems in a laptop/PC. Because it’s free to use, you can download it at any time. Keep this in mind: even if at the moment your laptop seems to work fine, something could come up in the future.
This is why it’s best to have SpeedFan installed, just for any situation. The fan is a vital element in any laptop, but using SpeedFan, you can detect problems with lots of other components as well.
In this article, we have touched on some of the primary methods you can try out to test your laptop’s fan.
The first 2 methods mentioned above, work in most cases.
Even so, if you want a more professional ‘opinion,’ I also mentioned software that is capable to test your fan.
Now you know why the fan in any laptop is a vital part. You should really keep it working correctly.
This way, you’ll have a well-performing device without the need to buy a new one too early.