Is Your Laptop Suddenly Too Loud? 3 Quick Tips To Fix It

Your laptop starts to make weird and loud noises out of the blue and you start getting worried. While there’s a genuine reason to be concerned about loud noises coming out of your laptop, it can easily be remedied by doing some steps.

The top three factors that cause loud, weird noises on your laptop are dirty laptop exhaust fans, a warm or hot workspace, and open programs on your computer that take up huge resources.

In this article, you’ll learn a few handy tips to ensure your laptop runs quietly at all times. These steps could be a one-time thing or a part of routine computer maintenance, so it’s very important that you know what to do if you notice your laptop making loud or strange noises:

In this article, you’ll learn a few handy tips to ensure your laptop runs quietly at all times. These steps could be a one-time thing or a part of routine computer maintenance, so it’s very important that you know what to do if you notice your laptop making loud or strange noises:

  1. Clean your laptop fans

  2. Ensure a well-ventilated workspace

  3. Monitor your computer for power-hungry programs

We’ve outlined three things that you need to know and check in the event that your laptop suddenly makes loud or strange noises. The usual culprit here is dirty exhaust fans since they are the typical moving parts in your laptop that contribute to computer noise, but there are other things to look out for.

These things may involve a warm or hot workspace or even programs that take up so much CPU and memory usage that tends to push the exhaust fans to run at full speed.

1. Your laptop fans are dirty – make sure to clean them

For most laptop users, regular upkeep of the exhaust fans is often overlooked. A clean laptop exhaust fan is crucial in maintaining well-cooled laptop components, particularly the CPU, memory, and GPU, which in effect helps keep your laptop running in tip-top shape.

A well-maintained laptop fan will continue to cool your laptop at low fan speeds, preventing laptop noise.

If you haven’t cleaned your laptop fans since day 1, it could be the source of weird noises from your laptop since it always has to run at high speeds to compensate for blocked air vents.

Now is the best time to clean it by yourself – it’s easy and foolproof, and a very basic thing to do as part of routine laptop maintenance. Here’s how:

Step 1: Locate the air vents on your laptop. Usually these are found on either side of your laptop, or beneath the display hinge.

(Note: some laptops, particularly ultraportables, don’t have fans but still have air vents to help with passive air circulation. If this is the case, refer to your laptop manufacturer for troubleshooting steps on laptop noise.)

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Step 2: Grab a can of compressed air – also called canned air – with a long applicator attachment to help with precise cleaning.

Before you apply compressed air to your laptop, consult your laptop manual or refer to your laptop manufacturer, and always make sure that your laptop is turned off (not in sleep mode).

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Step 3: With your can of compressed air and your laptop vents in view, point the applicator tip of the compressed air can towards the laptop air vents and start spraying in short bursts.

Always keep the can upright while doing so.

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Step 4: Repeat Step 3 for all other air vents in your laptop. Once done, turn on your computer as usual – you’ll start to notice that your laptop runs cooler and there’s far less fan noise.

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It’s recommended to clean your laptop fans regularly as part of routine maintenance. If you have already tried cleaning out your laptop fans and still hear weird noises, your fan’s rotating mechanisms may be worn out and needs to be replaced by an entirely new fan.

This is normal for older laptops, as the ball bearings get loose over time. If this is the case, you need to reach out to your laptop manufacturer for assistance.

Some folks do replace their own laptop parts, but we won’t recommend this as you may void the warranty of your laptop, especially if it’s still covered by it.

2. You’re working on a warm or hot room – ensure a well-ventilated workspace

Laptops are designed with limited ventilation, and their relatively thin chassis requires precise cooling through the built-in fans.

If you work in a room that’s warmer than the laptop’s intended working temperature, you may notice the fans start to kick in because they had to work harder in order to keep your computer running cool.

If you work in a warm place and run intensive applications at the same time, your laptop fans will always run at full speed, causing that loud fan noise.

It’s actually easy to remedy – simply move to a cooler location for better ventilation, or ensure that your current workspace is properly ventilated before you run a power-hungry application on your portable computer.

3. Some programs on your computer hog your CPU and memory – monitor your laptop for power-hungry programs

If you’re very certain that your laptop fans are clean and you’re using your laptop in a well-ventilated location, you may check if there are programs in the background that hog your laptop’s processor and memory resources.

In this case, closing down or terminating these programs and processes will definitely keep your laptop fans from spinning at full speed and causing further noise.

In Windows laptops, the Task Manager gives you comprehensive options to view currently running programs and processes. In Mac laptops, you can do the same via the Activity Monitor. Here’s how:

Using Task Manager on Windows laptops to manage high-usage programs

Step 1: Open the Task Manager. There are various ways to do it: one is via the Ctrl+Shift+Esc keyboard shortcut; another way is by right-clicking the Windows taskbar and clicking “Task Manager” from the list of options.

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Step 2: Click the Processes tab, located on the upper portion of the Task Manager window. If you don’t see it right away, click “More details” on the bottom part of the main Task Manager window.

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Step 3: Clicking the Processes tab will bring up a list of all running processes (tasks) on your Windows laptop. You’ll see several columns such as CPU, Memory, Disk, Network, and GPU. To arrange which open tasks have the highest processor usage, click the CPU column.

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Step 4: Here’s the interesting part: you should see the list of programs arranged in the descending order of which ones use the CPU the most.

Usually programs that are hogging the entire CPU resource (usage close to or at 100%) are responsible for running the laptop fans at full speed, hence the noise.

To end these tasks and lower down your CPU usage and laptop fan noise, right click on the task and select End Task.

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Some computer tasks require almost 100% CPU usage as part of normal operation, such as rendering videos using a video editing program or running complex code simulations for a programming task.

However, if you’re simply watching a video on the Internet or typing a text document and start noticing loud noise from the laptop fans, you need to look into the programs you’re using via the Task Manager.

In some cases, you may need to repair the affected program or application to prevent it from using up your laptop hardware resources such as the CPU and memory the next time you use it.

Using Activity Monitor on Mac laptops to manage high-usage programs

Step 1: Open Activity Monitor by going to Finder > main disk drive (usually Macintosh HD) > Applications > Utilities > Activity Monitor. Another way to bring up Activity Monitor is via the Launchpad – simply type “activity monitor” and hit Return.

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Step 2: Click the CPU tab and you should see the list of all running tasks on your Mac laptop. To see which tasks use the highest CPU resource first, click the “% CPU” column.

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Step 3: Similar to Task Manager on Windows, you can check which tasks use your processor the most. To end the affected task and lower down your CPU usage and fan noise, double click on the task name and click Quit. Do this for all other tasks as you may see fit.

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These three tips are essential in keeping your laptop noise at bay and preventing further hardware issues down the line. The next time you notice your laptop making loud or strange noises, all it takes is a simple check on your laptop fans, your workspace temperature, and your running programs and tasks.

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