The fan installed inside a laptop (or any other computer system for that matter) is one of the most critical components. It does not play any role in the working of the computer or the processing of graphics but its failure can lead to a complete system failure due to overheating. So it is important to know how to check if the laptop fan is working.
The main component of your laptop is the motherboard. It is an electrical board with millions of circuits and tens of components on it. The circuits are constantly conducting electricity and any working computer generates a lot of heat while it is running.
The fans (it can be singular in low-powered machines) are installed to let out the heat building up inside the laptop and cool the components down to keep them in working condition. If the fan were to suddenly stop working, sensitive circuits on the motherboard and other components can get damaged and at times even completely fried.
So how to check if the laptop fan is working?
Methods For Laptop Fan Checking
It is as simple as it could get. Fans are installed inside your system and are usually not visible, especially on laptops. But there is an absolutely easy way to locate them. You will see that on your laptop there is always a grid or mesh type installed, usually at the sides. Some laptops also have them extended to the lower side of the body.
It is behind this grill or mesh that your cooling fan is installed. It makes sense right? You definitely need an outlet to let the heat dissipate.
All you have to do is turn the laptop on and put your face close to the vent. Most new laptops have relatively silent fans but you can still hear them and feel the air coming out. If you work in a relatively colder environment, the fan may be really slow in the beginning and you may not be able to feel the air.
All you have to do is improvise a bit. You can put a little piece of paper in front of the vent and see how it goes. However, this is just a rudimentary test and can only tell you whether your fan is on or not.
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For a little detailed inspection, you might want to know how efficiently your fan is performing. In this case, you can’t just listen to it or feel the air come out.
Thankfully you do not need any extra electrical or mechanical tools to do that either. There is software available online which can be easily downloaded and run on almost any computer.
What this software does is simulate a task that is heavy in its requirement of processing power like graphics rendering etc. It pushes the components of your system to their limits.
Consequently, max heat is produced by your system. The software has algorithms to run tests on your computer in this extreme condition. They usually check the max temperature at which your system is sustainable and also detect any heat-related errors if they are developed.
This is the technical way of checking whether your fan has enough power and speed to counter any heat produced by your system. If the software detects any heat-based errors in your system, chances are you need to replace your fan.
As computer systems, especially laptops are designed keeping in view the max output that they can generate and the system should be able to sustain itself while operating at max capacity. And if it cannot, there may be a problem with the cooling system (the fan.)
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If you do not want a detailed test of any heat based error in your laptop, you don’t even have to download the software. If you click f12 on start up you can open up your system settings. The diagnostics also have a test on fan speeds in most systems.
All you have to do is run it and it will tell you whether your fan is achieving the desired RPMs and maintaining the optimum speeds to keep your laptop cool enough.
So there can be a few factors that might lead to overheating of the laptop. The first few factors are related to the external environment and some to the system.
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You have to make sure that the vents of your laptop are not blocked. This can happen if you work outdoors or in dusty environments. So even if your fan is working perfectly fine, if the vents, which are outlets of heat, are blocked, your system might overheat.
But before cleaning them out make sure your laptop is not connected to its charger and the battery is removed as well. Try your best to use dry methods to clean them out like a small air blower or a can of pressurized air.
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Surface beneath Laptop
Sometimes the surface that you are using your laptop on may be blocking the ventilation of the generated heat. This can happen if you use your laptop on your bed or any cushion or couch. The surface beneath the laptop should be flat to support smooth airflow.
If you are habitual of using your laptop on such surfaces you might end up damaging your system. It is better to have some sort of platform beneath the laptop which is smooth and solid, and does not block airflow.
This can sometimes become a problem if you have automatic updates blocked or are dealing with a poor internet connection. The remedy is easy. If your fan is not working properly go to the support assist feature of Windows. All you have to do is type support assist in the start bar.
Check for any updates that may be required to your drivers. You just have to click on “drivers and downloads” and then click on “run now.” Windows will automatically tell you all drivers that need to be updated.
This is not a permanent solution, if you have to resort to this then you should take your laptop to the company store to get checked. But, to prevent any harm from happening, as a temporary solution, you can switch your battery settings to balanced or low power.
Just click on the battery icon on your taskbar and open the battery settings. Select a lower-performance battery setting and most importantly, get your laptop checked the first chance you get.
Power Manager Applications
Some companies, for instance Dell, have developed managing applications. These are just like task managers but you can greatly customise the power output of your laptop using these applications. Consequently, reduce the thermal output being generated by your laptop.
Even though the cooling fan of the laptop is not contributing directly to the speed of your processor, or the graphics processing of your graphics unit, but it is still a vital component.
The heat generated by the system is all but natural, however, it needs to be dissipated efficiently if you want your system to be operating on optimum settings. For that, keep your laptop vents clean, always operate it from a smooth surface.
If you want to be a little extra sure or you work in extra hot environments, you can always buy a platform with an extra fan installed to keep the temperature down.