When does a laptop fan turn on?

If you notice that your laptop’s fans just turned on and are making a loud noise. This indicates that they are running at a high speed. Should you be concerned about this? Are laptop fans normally on? Let’s find out.

Your laptop fans may always be turned on and running at a low speed or Not. But it’s normal for a laptop fan to spin faster when performing CPU-intensive tasks, such as playing games, browsing, or using any demanding software.

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How often should a laptop Fan run?

This depends upon your laptop specs and the task you’re performing. However, if you have a powerful laptop. Fans on high-end laptops spin more often than those of low-end laptops due to their powerful specs, touchscreens, thin and compact designs, and aluminum bodies.

  • Fans spin more often on laptops with aluminum bodies than carbon-based laptops. Aluminum material absorbs heat more than carbon plastic but the material is lighter and the latest laptops are made of aluminum material.
  • Fans on thin laptops can also spin more often due to poor ventilation, while older laptops are heavier and have enough room for air to flow, so their fans don’t spin quite as much.
  • Fans run more often on laptops with powerful specs that produce more heat compared to low-end laptops. Low specs produce less heat, so they are less likely to generate heat.
  • Laptops with touchscreen and high-end displays put a load on the CPU. As a result, the CPU overheats and fans start spinning. Due to the display taking up enough resources, even when you aren’t running something heavy, you can still hear the fans running fast on your laptop.

When is it normal for a fan to run?

Overheating causes laptop fans to spin faster, so it’s normal for them to run. Fans are supposed to maintain the temperature by throwing the warm air out. Bars on a laptop bodywork as air ventilation.

A laptop can overheat when performing CPU-intensive tasks.

While playing games:

It is possible for laptop fans to be triggered by playing games. And it’s normal as games are one of the most CPU-intensive tasks for a laptop. The possibility of overheating is higher when a laptop is running a game since almost all components (Graphics, Processing, RAM, hard drive, display) are involved. 

While editing Photos and videos:

Tasks like Photo editing and video put a load on the CPU. Resulting in overheating and can be a trigger for fans to start. So, it’s also normal if your laptop fans spin faster in this case.

While browsing

It looks like browsing is a normal activity. But it’s quite CPU-intensive and can make a laptop overheat. Using multiple tabs in a browser loads the CPU, resulting in high clock speeds and heat production. Therefore, if your laptop’s fans run when browsing. Worry not. It’s normal for laptops.

While multitasking

Opening multiple apps in the background adds load to the CPU. This can make a laptop overheat, which is normal.

When it’s not normal for a laptop fan to run?

While charging

Fans should not start running when you plug in the charger. There is a possibility that the battery or charger is faulty in this case. Make sure to address both to resolve the overheating issue.

Check the power supply. If you’re using an AC adapter, make sure it’s fully plugged in and working. If you’re using battery power, try restarting your laptop and see if the fan starts running again.

When turning on a laptop

If fans are running and making loud noise when turning a laptop on. This indicates problems with internal hardware. Possibly the vents on the laptop are clogged and making it difficult for heat to pass through without spinning fans. In some cases, a laptop does not turn on due to this. Indicating problems with either a fault graphic or RAM.

Check the task manager. Sometimes faulty software can interfere with laptop performance and can cause overheating. Try disabling any third-party applications or updating your computer’s operating system to the latest version.

While doing nothing

When your laptop overheats while you’re not doing anything heavy like gaming or using any demanding software. There may be a problem with corrupt software which is running in the background and putting a load on your CPU. This is not normal and needs to be addressed.

Clean the vents by using a hairdresser, if it does not work. Then Check the hardware by yourself or take your laptop to a technician to fix the problems with internal components.

Is it normal for a fan to spin while it’s cold?

In a cold temperature, even when the upper body of a laptop doesn’t feel hot, fans continue to spin and it’s normal (mostly). Such that the surrounding environment has a relatively small impact on a laptop’s internal environment. Technically, CPUs produce heat when power is released, so the fans balance the inside temperature.


There are two possible reasons.

The first is the settings of your computer. Particularly the bios settings. In the bios settings is the option to disable or enable the fan always running. This option as it states chooses whether the laptop fan should be running all the time or run when necessary. Running when necessary means that the fan will only begin to work when temperatures in the CPU rise. It will run until the temperature goes back to normal then stop again. It may sometimes keep running slowly before stopping. It depends also on the apps you are running.

The second reason as I have already brushed through is that you are running apps that heat up your laptop. For as long as these apps are open your laptop will heat up and the fan will keep on running.