Graphics card fans are crucial in keeping your graphics card cool and preventing overheating. However, these fans sometimes may not spin, leading to potential overheating issues and decreased performance. Understanding the reasons why your graphics card fans may not be spinning is essential for maintaining the health and longevity of your graphics card. To troubleshoot and resolve the issue, it’s important to know the possible causes.

Key Takeaways

  • Graphics card fans keep the graphics card cool and prevent overheating. If the fans don’t spin, it can lead to potential issues and decreased performance.
  • Troubleshooting steps include checking for loose or faulty connections, cleaning dust and debris, checking fan controller settings, replacing the fans, and monitoring the temperature of the graphics card.
  • Maintaining and cleaning your graphics card fans on a regular basis can help your graphics card run cooler and last longer.

Reasons For Graphics Card Fans Not Spinning

Now, let’s explore why graphics card fans are not spinning

Loose Or Faulty Fan Cable Connections

Loose or faulty fan cable connections can be a possible reason for the issue. The fan cable connects the fan to the graphics card, and if it’s not properly connected or is damaged. It can prevent the fan from spinning.

This can happen due to accidental tugging on the cable during installation or maintenance or simply from wear and tear over time.

Also Read: This Effect Requires GPU Acceleration

Fan Motor Failure

When the fan motor fails, the fan blades may not be able to spin or may spin very slowly, leading to inadequate cooling of the graphics card. This can cause the graphics card to overheat, leading to reduced performance or even permanent damage if left unresolved.

This can occur due to wear and tear over time, manufacturing defects, or other mechanical issues.

Dust And Debris Build-Up On The Fan

When the fan blades become covered with dust and debris, they become heavier, which can cause them to spin slower or not at all. The fan may also make more noise or vibrate excessively, indicating that the fan blades are out of balance.

Sometimes, the fan blades may become stuck altogether, preventing the fan from spinning. This can lead to overheating of the graphics card, reduced performance, or even permanent damage if left unresolved

Power Supply Issues

A graphics card requires a specific amount of power to operate properly. If the power supply is insufficient or faulty, it can cause the fans to not spin or spin at a reduced speed.

In some cases, the power supply may not provide enough power to the graphics card due to its wattage rating or the number of power connectors it has. It’s important to ensure the power supply has the correct wattage rating and the necessary power connectors to power the graphics card properly. You can read our guide on how to check insufficient power supply to learn more about this. 

Overheating Issues

This is one of the most significant causes of graphics card fans not spinning. Graphics cards generate a lot of heat during operation, and the fans are designed to remove this heat by blowing air across the heatsink.

Case Fan Not Spinning
GPU Temperature measured by EVGA Software

When the graphics card’s temperature exceeds a certain threshold, the fans are programmed to increase their speed to dissipate more heat. However, if the fans fail or cannot keep up with the heat generated by the graphics card, it can cause overheating, and the fans may stop working. 

Malfunctioning Fan Controller

The fan controller is an essential component of the graphics card that helps regulate the fans’ speed based on the card’s temperature. If the fan controller malfunctions, it can result in the fans not spinning at all. That can lead to the graphics card overheating and eventual irreparable damage.

Also Check: Best GPU Overclocking Software

In some cases, the fan controller may be faulty due to a hardware failure, such as a damaged controller chip or a broken fan connector. In other cases, the fan controller issue may be due to outdated drivers or firmware.

Physical Damage

Physical damage to the graphics card or its fans can cause them to stop spinning. This can occur due to mishandling, accidental drops, or improper installation. The fans are typically made of plastic and can be easily damaged if they are bumped, hit, or knocked over.

Similarly, the graphics card itself can become damaged if it is dropped or if too much pressure is applied during installation. Physical damage can cause the fans to stop spinning or spin improperly.

For example, if a fan blade is broken or bent, it may not be able to spin properly, resulting in reduced cooling performance. In some cases, physical damage to the fans or graphics card may be visible, such as cracks.

Faulty GPU Fan
Broken GPU Fan

Troubleshoot Graphics Card Fan Issues

Let’s discuss several troubleshooting steps you can take to address the problem.

Checking For Loose Or Faulty Connections

Checking for loose or faulty connections is important in troubleshooting graphics card fan issues. It can help identify any issues with the wiring that may be causing the fans not to spin or spin improperly.

To check for loose or faulty connections, turn off your computer and unplug it from the power source. Locate the graphics card by opening the computer casing. Carefully remove the graphics card from its slot and check the connections to ensure they are secure and not damaged.

If you find that the connections are loose or damaged, try reseating the graphics card and the cables or replacing the damaged cables entirely.

Cleaning Dust And Debris

It also is an important step in troubleshooting fan issues. Your computer must be turned off and disconnected from the power source to be cleaned. Locate the graphics card by opening the computer casing.

Carefully remove the graphics card from its slot and gently use a soft-bristled brush or compressed air to remove any dust or debris from the fan blades. During cleaning, do not harm the fan blades or other parts.

Dusty GPU Fan
A Dusty GPU Fan – Image Credits [Reddit]
Once you have removed the dust and debris, reseat the graphics card and turn your computer back on to see if the fan is spinning properly. Further troubleshooting techniques might need to be tried if the fan is still not spinning. We have a detailed guide on how to clean your PC without compressed air, which can help you greatly. 

Check Fan Controller Settings

Graphics cards often have fan controllers that regulate fan speed and control cooling based on temperature. These fan controllers can be accessed and adjusted through graphics card control software.

If your graphics card fan is not spinning, the fan controller settings may be incorrect, preventing the fan from turning on when needed.

Here are some steps you can follow to check and adjust fan controller settings:

  1. Launch the graphics card control software: Open the software that comes with your graphics cards, such as NVIDIA Control Panel or AMD Radeon Settings.
  2. Locate the fan control settings: Look for an option in the software that allows you to control the fan speed or fan curve. This option may be in a separate “Overclocking” or “Performance” tab.
  3. Check the fan control settings: Make sure that the fan control settings are configured correctly. Check that the fan speed is set to “Auto” or “Automatic” and that the fan curve is set to respond to temperature changes.
  4. Adjust the fan control settings: If they are not configured correctly, adjust them to the appropriate values. You can experiment with raising the fan’s speed or lowering the temperature at which it functions.
  5. Test the fan: Once you have adjusted the fan control settings, test the fan by monitoring the graphics card temperature. See if the fan spins when the temperature exceeds the stable threshold.

Note that some graphics cards may not have fan control settings or limited options for adjusting fan speed and temperature thresholds. It might be required in such circumstances to replace the fan or to seek professional assistance.

Also Read: How To Underclock Your GPU?

Testing Fan Motor Functionality

This step can help identify whether the fan is faulty or has an issue with the fan controller or other components. To test the fan motor functionality, you can use a third-party software or utility to control the fan speed and monitor its performance manually.

Software programs like MSI Afterburner, EVGA Precision, and AMD Radeon Software are available. This software allows you to adjust fan speeds and monitor temperatures manually. You can use these programs to set the fan speed to maximum and observe whether the fan is spinning properly.

If the fan is not spinning or is spinning erratically, it may be faulty and require replacement. If the fan is spinning properly, the issue may be with the controller or other components.

Monitoring Graphics Card Temperatures

Monitoring graphics card temperature is essential in troubleshooting graphics card fans not spinning issues. The fan might be unable to cool down your graphics card if running too hot efficiently. This leads to reduced performance or even complete fan failure.

By monitoring the temperature of your graphics card, you can identify whether the fan is working properly. Also, the other issues affect your graphics card’s performance.

Several software programs are available that allow you to monitor your graphics card temperature in real-time. We also have a detailed guide on how to lower GPU temperature

Tweaking GPU Fan curve
GPU Fan Temperature Curve

Test The Fan On Another System

This step should be considered the last option because it requires access to another system with a compatible graphics card. However, keep in mind that if you think you might damage the graphics card, you should take it to a professional for this. 

Here’s how you can test the fan on another system:

  1. Remove the fan from your graphics card: Disconnect the fan cable from your graphics card and remove the fan from its housing. Make sure to first read about how to remove GPU from the motherboard, as you will first need to take it out. 
  2. Identify a compatible system: Find another system with a compatible graphics card. Ideally, the other system should have the same make and model of the graphics card as yours, as this will ensure that the fan is compatible.
  3. Install the fan on the other system: Install the fan onto the other system’s graphics card as you removed it from yours. Ensure the fan is properly seated and the cable is securely connected.
  4. Test the fan: Power on the other system and monitor the graphics card temperature to see if the fan starts spinning when needed. If the fan works properly on the other system, it may be a sign that the issue is with your graphics card rather than the fan itself.

Testing the fan on another system can help isolate the problem and determine whether the issue is with the graphics card or the fan. However, it is important to note that this step may not always be feasible or practical. It should be done as a final resort after attempting other troubleshooting steps.

As we conclude our guide on graphics card fans not spinning, it’s important to remember that graphics card fan issues can be frustrating. However, they can usually be resolved with the right troubleshooting steps. You can take many different approaches to get your fan spinning again.

However, in some cases, fan issues may indicate deeper problems with your graphics card or other hardware components. It might be time to seek assistance from a qualified technician or the manufacturer if you’ve tried all the troubleshooting methods but still have problems with your fans.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any alternative cooling solutions for graphics cards besides fans?

There are alternative cooling solutions for graphics cards besides fans, such as liquid or passive cooling. Better cooling performance may be achieved with these options, but they may cost more and require more maintenance.

Can overclocking a graphics card affect the functionality of the fans, and how?

Overclocking a graphics card can affect the functionality of the fans. When a graphics card is overclocked, it generates more heat, which can cause the fans to work harder and wear out faster over time.

Can I replace the fans on my graphics card if they stop working?

Yes, replacing the fans on your graphics card is possible if they stop working. However, ensuring the replacement fans are compatible with your graphics card and properly installed is important.


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What started out as a love for PC gaming turned into an enthusiasm for PC tech and hardware. Ali is a high school graduate who aspires to be a dentist. On the side, Ali likes to keep up with the latest in PC tech, and write about it.