How to control laptop fan speed?

How to control laptop fan speed?

Sometimes it becomes necessary to control your laptop fan speed. When it’s running too loud or your machine is getting too hot, you may need to do it. However, you don’t get this feature in all models. 

Some laptops have it while some don’t. If your computer allows you to control the laptop fan speed, you will need third-party software for windows. But first, you need to be sure your laptop fan speed needs to be changed.

When to change your laptop fan speed?

Changing laptop speed is not something I usually recommend. The cpu’s cooling fan does a very good job on its own. But sometimes you may need to decrease the fan speed or increase it. You need to be absolutely sure that the speed of your laptop fan needs to change drop-down software-controlled. If it’s not necessary, leave it like that.

The laptop fan speed adjusts automatically depending on the tasks you are doing. If you don’t overload your machine, you should be fine. For example, if you try editing a 4k 60 fps video on a 4th gen core i3 and 4 gigs of ram machine, it will start stuttering and heat up significantly. Because this setting wasn’t designed for this type of activity. You may need to change your laptop’s fan speed for better processor power management.

Check with your manufacturer to know how much your laptop may heat up. Each brand and model’s laptop may have different heat signatures. Learn what is a normal temperature for your machine. 

If your laptop gets too hot, you may need to increase the fan speed. On the other hand, if the fans run too fast, it may wear off faster and produce even more heat in the future.

So, if you are sure your laptop fan’s speed needs to be controlled manually, I’ll walk you through the process here. Note: the process will be different for Macs and Windows computers.

How to control laptop fan speed (for Windows)

Did you know you could control fan speed of your laptop? It’s actually pretty simple. We’re going to tell you how you can manually control the cpu fan speed of your laptop. You can use a laptop fan control software or you can use the internal settings of your system to change it manually. We will cover both of these methods to help you control fan speeds of your computer.

Method 1: Using a third-party app

This is the simplest method of controlling the fan speed. There may be some third-party apps for controlling your laptop fan speed. The one we recommend is SpeedFan. This software helps to control pc fan speed. If your laptop motherboard supports it, you can easily use it. It’s completely free to use.

You can check whether or not your motherboard supports this software, from here.

Step 1: Download and install SpeedFan

First, go to SpeedFan’s website and download the software. Make sure internet security apps like Norton Antivirus are turned off. It may interfere with the installation process. Any app that blocks out third-party installations will disrupt the installation. You may need to give some permissions.

After you have finished downloading, run the setup, review the agreements and install the software.

Step 2: Run SpeedFan

You’ll find the software in the start menu after it’s been installed. Open it and give the permissions it asks for. After opening the app, you will start seeing some information about your computer on the screen. 

If you have a CPU usage bar, the fans and their speed should be visible now just under it. If you don’t see any fans or their speeds are ‘0 rpm’, it means your motherboard is not compatible with this software.

Step 3: Configuring the settings

Click on the configure button from the top right part of the app window.

The app should look like this. You will see your CPU usage, GPU fan speed and different temperatures. After that, go to the advanced section. Pick your CPU from a drop down menu from the chip section. Some entries will start with ‘IT’ and end with ‘ISA’.

You are looking for some properties starting with PWM mode. If you don’t see your computer in the menu, look for ones with PWM mode in other options. If there is no entry with PWM modes, you cannot change your laptop fan speed with this software.

Step 4: Set the PWM modes to software controlled

Each computer has a system cooling policy. The default option is SMART Guardian. It refers to a chip-based control system. When this option is set for the PWM modes, the CPU will control the fan speed by itself depending on the tasks you are doing. It will not allow you to control the fan speed manually.

In order to software control the fan speed, click on the 1st PWM entry and choose software controlled from the drop-down menu at the bottom. You need to repeat this process for all of the PWM entries. Click ok to save the changes.

Step 5: Find out which PWM controls which fan

You’ll be able to see the fan speed on the left side of the tab. All of the PWMs will also be listed below the box with their own percentage values. Open a text file or a document and note some information down.

Note down the percentage of the first PWM. Now, set the PWM to 0%. Within a few seconds, the relevant temperature will start rising and turn red. Note down which component was affected because of this change.

Now, restore the original percentage. Keep repeating this process for all PWM entries. By the end of this process, you will have learned the default values for each of the PWM.

Step 6: Decreasing/increasing the fan speed

This is the last step. You should start making small adjustments to the PWM percentage and see the effect. Don’t let your system get overheated. If you turn the fan up or down too much, it will affect your laptop’s performance.

Method 2: Control laptop fan speed using the BIOS

Third-party software will not work for all laptops. So you can get the job done using the BIOS method. It’s a fail-safe method. Let’s go into the details now.

Step 1: Boot up your system in BIOS/UEFI mode

If you have a really old laptop, this may not work for you either. You should be able to do that depending on the laptop and motherboard models. Most laptops will have this option. You need to change the advanced power settings of your system in order to prepare your machine for changing the cpu fan speed.

This guide is for Windows 10. If you have an older OS, the process may be different for you. I definitely recommend upgrading to Windows 10 at least if you haven’t already.

  • First, save any works you have open and then go to the settings.
  • You can search it from the search panel or the windows key in your Windows laptop (shown in the figure) or you can press the windows+i button from your keyboard to open the settings.
  • Then click on Recovery from left panel from the Update & Security settings.
  • After that, choose Restart now under the Advanced startup option.
  • Click on Troubleshoot and then choose Advanced options.
  • Then, choose UEFI Firmware settings and click Restart. Now, your system will boot up in the UEFI mode.

Step 2: Choose the fan related menu

The location of this menu vary across different systems. You may need to go to the Advanced tab first. Look for menus related to fans, fan speed, cooling, temperature etc. 

Step 3: Choose the desired fan speed setting

Different manufacturers have different options. You may need to adjust the fan speed depending on the situation. If your fan is too loud or start operating too often, you may need to change increase the temperature at which the fan starts rolling. Beware, don’t raise it too high. If you do, your laptop may get too hot and affect performance and longevity of your device.

Step 4: Save the settings and exit

Once you are done with the changes, a dialog box will appear like the one below. Choose yes to save the configuration and exit. When your laptop restarts, it will be using the new fan speed settings.

How to change laptop fan speed (for Mac users)

Macs usually do a great job at controlling fan speeds. The most recent Macs are known for adjusting the fan speed automatically. The fans will speed up when needed and slow down if your machine is idle.

It won’t notify or anything. They will turn off once the tasks are done. Even though Macs do a great job in optimizing the fan speed automatically, you might want to change the fan speed sometimes. Let’s find out why.

How does auto adjustment work in the Macs?

When you have a bunch of apps open at the same time, your Mac’s CPU will start running faster. The machine starts getting hotter. That’s where the fans come in. They start running faster to cool down the heat. Too much heat will damage your processor.

The noise is the only thing that may bother you. Many users want to adjust fan speed of their Macs for this reason. You can use an Apple recommended software for controlling the fan speed. It’s called CleanMyMacX. The app is super cool! It will run a quick scan and terminate the unnecessary processes for you so your computer can run faster.

If you can ignore the noise, you can increase the fan speed a bit as well. It will allow you to get better performance from your machine. Now, let’s talk about how you can adjust your Mac’s fan speed.

How to access and change Mac’s fan settings

Before you start, read this. You shouldn’t adjust your Mac’s fan speed just because it got louder. I don’t recommend making changes. You should do it only if you are sure the fans need speed adjustment. Don’t make drastic changes though or you might cause some serious damage to your computer.

First, install Macs Fan Control to access your computer’s fan settings. The app lets you control the fan speed easily. After downloading and installing the app, run it.

It will show you the speed of the fan/fans. This app is way easier to use than any Windows applications. The app shows minimum-current-max running speed of each of the fans. The current speed of your fans will be highlighted in bold. For example, look at the figure. The left side fan runs at a minimum of 1250 RPM, is currently running at 1344 RPM and the max speed is 6336 RPM.

If your CPU temperature is less than 80 degrees, you don’t have to worry about changing the fan speed. If it gets hotter than that, you should increase the fan speed a bit. If your computer is at a low speed (about 45-50 degrees) and the fans are running at full speed, you need to change that too. Here’s how to do it.

  • Click on the custom option under the control settings. Now, you have to increase or decrease the fan speed. When you are done, click ok.
  • You can also choose a sensor-based value for the fan speeds. Ideally, you should set the temperature at somewhere around 80 degrees. Then, adjust the speed of your fans at that temperature.

So now you may hear your Mac fans get louder or quieter, depending on what you chose. When your computer cools down, restore the default settings. This is a temporary thing. You shouldn’t be running the fans at high speed all the time. They will wear down quickly that way. 

Adjusting the fan speed is not something you should do too often either. If your Mac/laptop has some serious heating issues and you don’t feel comfortable doing it, take it to an expert.

Laptop fan is an important component, ensure proper maintenance of laptop fan to get a prolonged laptop life.