How to Check if Your Laptop’s Fan is Working or Not?

If you’re a student or an office person experiencing frequent issues with your laptop like restarting without warning or showing a Blue Screen of Death now and then, then it is likely that you’ve got yourself a buggy cooling fan. Laptop fans are an essential component that makes up the hardware of the system. Naturally, anyone would want their laptop running at the best speed and performance. 

However, like any other electronic device, no matter how efficient a laptop is, it is still prone to a handful of errors and faults that can disrupt its smooth performance and cause it to break down. One such fault is that of a damaged cooling fan.

Why are Cooling Fans a Necessity?

At its peak performance and with a lot of workload on the processor, the system overheats. To ensure the smooth running of operations, there must be a way to drive this heat out of the laptop, away from the components that are heating up, and cool them down with cooler air. A laptop cooling fan works much like an exhaust fan, taking heat away from the overheated area and breathing fresh, cool air in to replace it. 

In the absence of said ventilation of the hardware inside the laptop, the components would overheat and cause a dilemma. Therefore, manufacturers install a fan inside the laptop to keep it working satisfactorily without breaking down from time to time. This fan drives out hot air through tiny vents located on the left side or the bottom of the laptop. To ensure that this installed fan is functioning properly, there are a few methods you can partake to be sure of it. All these steps work for the best Chromebooks as well (except for method 3).

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Method 1: Listen Closely

The first and foremost physical method of checking whether your laptop fan is working is by making use of your sense of hearing. The cooling fan makes a soft whirring sound while it is working. So, lending a close ear to the back of your laptop, in a quiet place, and hearing a whirring sound may tell you that the fan is working aptly.

However, some laptops have an in-built feature where the processor decides when to turn the fan on depending on the workload. The fan turns itself on when the processor is undergoing a heavy task such as playing a high-quality 4K video, editing a picture on photoshop, or gaming. So listening to your laptop for the sound of its fan as soon as you start it may give you a false alarm. An ideal way to carry this test out is to listen for the sound after playing a high-quality video or carrying out some heavy tasks like video editing that triggers the fan into starting up.

Just a caution: If you hear screeching noises coming from the bottom of your laptop, that’s a sign your cooling fan might be broken.

Method 2: Feeling the Hot Air

Another way to physically and manually check for any problems with the laptop’s cooling fan is by feeling the hot air thrown out by it from the vents on the left side of the laptop, or in some cases at the bottom. 

This method makes use of your sense of sight and touch. Simply keep small pieces of paper near the vents and if you see them blowing, then the indication is that the fan is working currently. You can also check by keeping a hand near the vent to feel the hot air blowing on your hand. That should prove that the fan is working just fine. To cool your system, connect a laptop cooling pad. These cooling pads are available in various sizes and prices.

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Although this method is effective, it might be a fail for PCs that are slim and sleek, and thus have a very small fan, to begin with. In that case, you will not be able to feel the very light air coming out of the laptop so you can switch to method 3. 

Method 3: Software Check

Even if both the above methods work, it is still safe to run a digital scan via a software named SpeedFan. It is a free application for the efficient functioning of your laptop. Keep in mind that this method will not work on Chromebooks due to a different OS.

By running a speed test of the fan with this app, you can check the temperature of the overall system. 

If it is above average (50-95 degrees Fahrenheit), then you’ve got yourself a problem. In this case, you should immediately get your cooling fan checked and replaced. This is a professional approach to checking for your fan’s functionality. This app not only shows you your fan’s speed but also helps track down all issues associated with your PC. Hence, in our expert opinion, it is a must-have. 


This article revolves mainly around the ways you can check if your laptop’s fan is working correctly. The role a small cooling fan plays in a laptop’s smooth operation is as described, humongous. 

Therefore, signs for its non-functionality should be checked customarily and addressed promptly. These methods to check for the fan’s failure are effective ones and will help you save a lot of money once recognized.

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