CPU fan not spinning is a widespread problem faced by many users. Restarting your computer is the first thing you should do if your CPU fan stops spinning. Your computer will overheat if your CPU fan is not spinning. The CPU fan prevents heat from your motherboard and processor from causing severe damage.

A fan is one of the many components inside the CPU. It is a device that belongs to the hardware category in your computer. The purpose of the fan is to circulate air inside your CPU. It brings in cold air from the outside and blows out the hot air.

Windows and processor manufacturing companies have defense systems that will alert you in time as a FAN ERROR to stop this overheating or potential fire. In the worst-case scenario, there won’t be any displays. Several factors can cause the CPU fan to stop working.


Key Takeaways

  • Some computer users may not realize the significance of the CPU fan. Therefore, their CPU suffers extensive damage, which is sometimes irreparable.
  • Regularly benchmarking your CPU’s temperature and fan speed can help determine whether you need a new cooler or a different case to improve airflow.
  • The majority of PC enthusiasts maintain a relatively clean and organized workstation. Therefore, there is no dust clogging up their computer’s components and fans. The computer’s internal temperature stays within a healthy range and causes no issues.
  • It would be best if you clean your computer weekly or monthly. Take care not to damage any of your computer’s parts because any contact with them, even accidental, might result in irreversible damage.

How To Diagnose If The CPU Fan Isn’t Spinning?

Your motherboard has different terminals to which the fans are attached, to run. These are called fan headers. You can plug in your fan in another fan header to see if it’s spinning. If it spins, then there might be a problem with your motherboard.

Another way is by using a different fan. A fan from a good manufacturing company would be highly preferred. If it does spin, then your fan may be the problem.

Moreover, your computer system diagnosis tool can come in very handy. All you have to do is follow the simple steps provided below.

  • Shut your computer down
  • Click on the power button
  • Click on f12 as soon as the screen appears
  • You will now have access to system boot options
  • What you’ll have in front of you is the PSA+ window. It will display all the devices that it detected on your PC. A diagnosis of all those devices will be carried out
  • After the checking is done you’ll be asked: “if you want to continue a memory test”. Proceed to choose
  • Now, begin the 32-bit – click on the custom test
  • Pick your fan as the device to run the test on. As soon as the test is finished you’ll be informed of the results
  • If the fan is not working you will be displayed an error message saying Fan-The [Processor Fan] failed to answer correctly,

This will indicate that you need to buy a completely new fan

Checking Power Supply Unit (PSU)

If the CPU fan is not spinning, Testing your PSU with the steps below can help you determine whether there is a problem with the Power Supply Unit (PSU) preventing your fan from receiving adequate power to function.

  1. First, ensure that the external power supply is not faulty; the wall sockets receive current. Try a different power cable.
  2. Also, ensure that the PSU’s internals is in place. It primarily connects to the motherboard and GPUs. A burning odor comes from the PC.
  3. Power outage for devices other than the CPU fan, such as mice, keyboards, etc. If more than one device is not receiving power, then it is probably PSU’s fault.
  4. There is no display, or it is showing a complete blue screen, or the CPU will not boot at any cost. If that’s the case, then PSU is failing. 
  5. If your PC keeps turning on and off on its own, then there is a fault in PSU, and your PC is at high risk of overheating.
  6. A strange voice coming out of the back of your CPU is also one of the indicators of a failing PSU.

The final test to perform if you’re still unsure about your power supply unit’s issue is

  1. Unplug your current PSU. But don’t disassemble connections. 
  2. Check if it is working by plugging another PSU externally.
  3. If the PC starts working properly on the other PSU, it is now confirmed that it is the fault of your PSU.

 After it is confirmed that the fault is in the PSU, you have to replace it with a new PSU to save your devices.

What Happens When CPU Fan Isn’t Spinning

When your CPU fan stops spinning you might notice a few things. You can consider these as indications that your CPU fan is having issues. To be fully sure if this is the problem, you may look out for any of these signs mentioned below.

  • There isn’t any display. You may notice a completely blank screen or if you’re displayed with BSOD (blue screen of death). There might be absolutely nothing to show by the computer. You may consider this as an issue with the CPU fan.

    BSOD might indicate that CPU fan is not spinning
    Blue screen of death (BSOD).
  • There is no boot. Usually when the PC is turned on you hear a beep sound of the fan turning on and a boot logo appears on the screen. If either of these does not happen, you may take a look at your fan and see if it is the cause of the problem.
  • The PC is heating up. If your fan is not spinning and circulating the air within the CPU, then your components may heat up. If the PC gets to a very high temperature and the fans still can’t be heard running, this may be because they have some underlying issue with them.
  • Pc may shut down. If your computer abruptly turns off in the middle of use, this may indicate that your Fans are not spinning.
  • The fan itself doesn’t turn on. One of the most obvious signs. If you sense any problem, you can check up on the fan yourself. If you do not see the fan powered on after turning the PC on and even after it has been used for a while, then this is a sign that there is a fault in the fan.

Reasons Why Your CPU Fan Might Stop Spinning

a CPU fan may stop spinning for several reasons. Here is one of the most common reasons why your Fan may stop spinning:

Dust in Fan 

If your CPU fan is not spinning, the first thing you want to check before diving into technical reasons is to check whether the fan blades have dust on them that is stopping them from spinning. To prevent this, remove your CPU cover and check if it has dust. If that is the case, blow it using an air blower or blow the dust. Then clean it using a cloth piece. Also, check that your CPU fan is plugged into one of the ports labeled CPU_FAN or SYS_FAN ports on the motherboard. After that, restart your PC.

cleaning cpu fan
Cleaning CPU fan with a brush

Physical damage to the fan

A lot of users face problems like bearings being jammed. To verify this problem, spin the fan blades with your hand and see if there is trouble. You can try oiling and lubricating the bearing with machine oil. A few drops of machine oil should be poured along the fan’s axis.

Otherwise, you will need to buy a new fan. It is also possible that the blades are broken, or some other wires stop the edges from spinning. Remove all such cables from the fan and clean them properly. This will solve your ” CPU fan is not spinning” problem.

Broken CPU Fan
Broken CPU Fan

Wire Connections of CPU Fan

Then make sure that there is no fault in the fan. Try unplugging it from one connector and connecting it to the other connector on the motherboard. With your CPU fan, you will see a three or four-pin connector with the wires coming out of the fan Place this connector in one of the ports labeled as CPU_FAN or SYS_FAN ports on the motherboard.

If there are multiple ports on your motherboard for a CPU fan, then try connecting to one of these ports. If it works in one of these connectors, place it in that. Otherwise, there is a fault in the fan.

Fault in Motherboard

Next is a motherboard issue if your fan is powered by a direct 3-5V or 12V DC source. Your motherboard needs to be changed to solve this issue. If you know how to use a micrometer, you can test your motherboard to see if it is functioning. You should get a reading of 3-5V. If not, your motherboard most certainly has a problem. You should also check your power supply unit in case that is the case. You can also check out this to find out the best motherboard.

Motherboard Installation
Motherboard Installation

What To Do If CPU Fan Stops Spinning?

Your CPU components may be in a lot of danger if your CPU fans are not working. They are not capable of handling too much heat. Therefore, it’s better if you look out for a solution to this problem. Fret not! Because we have a few guides that may help you in fixing your fan problem.

Method 1: Restart Your PC

 CPU fans do not have an additional force that keeps them spinning. If anything comes between them for example, dirt or a finger, while spinning, they might stop. Therefore, to make the fans spin you must restart your PC.

After doing so, you may check if your fan is spinning or not. All you have to do is press the ‘Start’ button situated at the bottom left of your screen. Then click on the power sign. You will be given 3 options. Press on ‘Restart

This is the how PC is restarted.

Method 2: Putting Oil On Bearings

If you do not lubricate your bearings occasionally, there will come a time they won’t spin so smoothly. Eventually, due to no oiling, the bearings will become rusty and wear out. They will stop spinning. Therefore, you must add oil or any suitable lubricant to your fan’s bearings. This will extend the lifespan of your fan as well.

Method 3: Clean Your Fans

Cleaning fans of your PC is one of the most essential tasks. It helps in protecting your PC from any internal damage and makes it run smoothly. The fans catch dust from time to time, therefore, you must clean your fans occasionally.

One of the easiest ways to do this is by using compressed air. The compressed air blast will easily remove the dust covering your fans. If you are looking for more detailed instructions, you can follow our guide on how to clean pc fans.

Compressed air to clean dust and make CPU fans spin
Compressed air to clean the dust on the fans.

Method 4: Resetting BIOS To Default Settings

The BIOS is responsible when it comes to providing your fan the power to run. If you reset the BIOS to its default setting, any misconfigurations that were keeping the fan from functioning will be gone. To reset the BIOS all you have to do is the steps below.

  1. Shut your PC down.
  2. Press the power button
  3. Quickly press on F2 (You can also try pressing on F8, DEL or F10 if F2 does not work)
  4. Enter the BIOS setup Resetting BIOS to default settings.
  5. Press on F9
  6. Check your fan and see if it’s spinning

    bios resetting
    how to reset BIOS Setting

If this method does not work. You can press the power button for more than 30 seconds after you have removed all of the power lines, Your CMOS battery, and the battery itself.

Method 5: Changing Your PSU (Power Supply Unit)

Power Supply
Power Supply – Image Captured By Us Via Cooler NVME Supply Article.

If you are a laptop owner, then changing the motherboard will also change the PSU. In laptops, PSUs are integrated into the motherboard.  However, desktop PCs have PSUs mounted separately inside the CPU.

Therefore, it is important to check if the PSU is supplying the right amount of voltage that’s required by the fans. The voltage should be either 5V or 12V. You can check this with a multimeter. The components would not work if the supply of voltage is different than what’s required.

The wrong voltage supply can easily damage your components. If you do not have a multi-meter then other ways to detect the fault in PSU are beeping sounds. You can also detect PSU problems by checking If there are components besides your fan that are not running or if it goes off abruptly after your turn it on.

Method 6: Replacing Your Motherboard

Motherboard
Here is what the motherboard looks like – Image Captured By Us via GIGABYTE X670e Article.

The way to check if the motherboard is the problem is to connect a fan to it that’s working fine. If it doesn’t work after you connect it to your motherboard, then your motherboard is the problem. If you are already good at electrical work, then you may check the output of the voltage.

For laptop fans, it must be from 3v to 5v and for CPU fans it must be 12v. If the voltage output is unable to meet the minimum requirements, then it would indicate that your computer is unable to support your fans.

Hence, you will have to replace your motherboard. You must make sure that the motherboard you choose to buy is supported by and corresponds with your PSU. If not, then you may have to buy a lot more components along with it and that may be heavy on your pocket.

Method 7: Removing Wires Between Fan Blades

Check to see if there’s any wiring that may be in the way of blades and keeping the fans from spinning. Carefully remove the wires from coming in the way. Make sure not to disconnect them. You can take your fan out.

Attach those wires in a safe place without disconnecting them using tape. Re-attach your fan back in its place.

Method 8: Buying A New Fan

Make sure to check your motherboard and your PSU. If you fail to find any issue with them, then, unfortunately, your fan might be the problem. You will have to buy a new one.

Tips

Changing place of CPU

It is conceivable that your system will overheat if you reside in a hot climate. Try moving your computer to an airy area or a room with an air conditioner to prevent this overheating. Never leave a computer outside in the sun. Consequently, your fan won’t function properly and is likely to develop problems.

Avoid Excessive use

Excessive use can also lead to overheating, which will probably affect your computer fan. Additionally, it can cause a circuit to fail or even set your computer on fire. It is also advisable to turn off your computer after use and don’t leave it in sleep mode whenever possible.

Conclusion

To conclude, it is now pretty easy for you to identify the problem that’s occurring. You can easily figure out why your CPU fans are not spinning. You can also easily solve these problems with the methods we have provided you.

It is very important to keep a check on all your CPU components, in this case, fans. If you fail to do so, you can put your PC in a lot of danger. You can risk losing all your data. You might lose your PC drivers.

If your PC gets overheated, then all of your internal hardware can become damaged. Therefore, you must ensure that the ventilation system inside your CPU is working at all times.

I’m hoping that if you follow these instructions, you’ll be able to escape. You can always visit our website to find new Articles related to tech.

Common Questions

How do I adjust the fan speed?  

Press the BIOS key repeatedly to launch BIOS automatically. Afterward, also refer to the reset bios section above. Look for Hardware or Cooling settings. Here, you can select your fan’s desired RPM (Rotation Per Minute).

What is the lifespan of CPU fans?

CPU fans’ lifespan depends on several factors. One of the most common ones is whether they are cheap or expensive. The cheap ones can last up to 3-5 years. However, expensive ones can last up to 5-10 years. Maintenance also plays a big role.  

What heat range is safe for my CPU?  

This entirely depends on the use of the PC. However, a temperature between 40-65C is safe for general use.  

Is it possible to use my PC without a fan?

It is possible to use your PC without fans. However, using it for a prolonged period and with heavy usage requiring software can lead to overheating. This might damage your PC.

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Abdemanaf has been a creative writer since 2011. He first dwelled in the tech world in early 2015 and has since compared many product offerings by different companies. Abdemanaf started working for Tech4Gamers in February 2022 as a blog and comparison writer.