My laptop's fan is too constant and loud. What can I do?

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Silencing a Noisy Fan to solve the issue:

Buying a Laptop Cooler:

Laptops are getting complex with each passing day, and along with that, the processes they perform are getting extensive. For the ones who want most from their laptops without having to worry too much about the processes in the background, it is a good idea to buy a laptop cooler. This comes in different variants, but essentially, they come with two fans to lower the CPU temperature. A laptop cooler can be procured with ease from any vendor and should be essential in tackling the “Fan Noise too loud” issue.

What are Runtime Broker and the role it plays in this issue?

The core feature from Windows 8 was designed by Microsoft, and it is a safe process that assists the Windows through the Metro apps permissions. Runtime Broker won’t run as long as there are no Metro apps running. However, with the upgrade to Windows 10, this process comes alongside too, and for now, it’s been causing a great disturbance for most users through the “Fan Noise too Loud” issue.

What is the fix for the

What is the fix for the “Fan Noise too Loud” issue while dealing with Runtime Broker?

You can start by ensuring that the Runtime Broker has been consuming a majority chunk of your CPU processes, thus causing the issue of the computer to overheat. You are required to head to the Task Manager and check the processes tab in order to find out if it has been consuming the CPU space. If it has been indeed occupying the space, you have to follow the given options to disable Runtime Broker. This involves tweaking your registry. Therefore, if you are not sure of your capability to do it alone, we recommend professional help.

Here are the following steps:

  • To open “Run” and press the combination of Windows+ R key would bring it up. Then you should type “Regedit” to gain access to the Registry Editor.
  • You are then required to find the following registry: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE>SYSTEM>CurrentControlSet>Services>Time Broker
  • The next step involves modifying the String value labeled “Start” and you should change the value data to 4 and exit from the registry. You would then have to reboot in order to make sure that the changes have been applied. This should solve the issue of computers overheat.

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How Loud Are Gaming Laptops?

The loudest component in gaming laptops is the fan. How loud a gaming laptop gets will depend on the design and size of its fans (thickness of the blades) as well as how fast they spin. 

On idle, the noise level of gaming laptops ranges between 30-35 decibels (dB) and on load it ranges between 40-45 dB. With the fans spinning at maximum speed the noise level can reach 50-55 dB or higher. Noise levels that are 50 dB and beyond are considered too loud. 

To put it into perspective, the noise level of a refrigerator is about 50 dB while that of a vacuum cleaner is around 70 dB. You can check out some common environmental noise levels here for comparison.

Change Fan Settings in the BIOS

The majority of PC fans out there connect directly to the motherboard, which by extension means that your motherboard controls them. And you know how to control your motherboard? The BIOS, of course! Most modern motherboards offer fairly comprehensive fan control, though how exactly to do this will vary by brand. Still, the same basic principles apply, so for reference I’ll show you how to control your fans using my ASUS Z-97 Gamer mobo.

As your PC is booting, repeatedly press the “Delete” key (or whichever key you have set to go into your BIOS) to enter your BIOS.

From your BIOS screen, go to “Manual Fan Tuning” where your fans should be listed. Here you can set various power/noise profiles, which you can select, and instantly hear whether they make your fans quieter. Bear in mind that a silent profile doesn’t need to come at a cost of higher temperatures – it just means that the default speed of the fan at low temperatures will be lower. It will still speed up when temperatures in your case get higher. Keep your ear close to your PC so you can learn which fan in the BIOS corresponds to which fan in your chassis.

You’ll also notice that you can switch each fan between PWN (Pulse Width Modulation) and DC (Direct Control) options. PWN fans usually have four-pin connectors, and can save energy (and cut down on noise) by functioning at lower RPMs/speeds. Generally, if you want to set a quieter noise profile, go for PWN when possible.

When you’re done, hit “Save & Exit” to reboot your PC with the new settings.

Clean Out the Dust

Dust is one of those unfortunate inevitabilities when it comes to PCs. Just like blue screens and dead hard drives, you’re going to encounter it at some point. Excess dust means excess heat, which means fans spinning faster to keep things cool—and if you smoke or have pets in the house, the problem can get quite severe.

So grab a screwdriver, open up your desktop or laptop, and give it a good once-over with an air duster (or an electric duster, if things are really bad). If your fan is making a clicking or other abnormal noise, this is also a good time to make sure the blades aren’t hitting a stray power cable, or something of that nature. Finally, if you have a desktop, consider putting some filters on your intake fans to prevent dust buildup in the future.

What Does a Loud Laptop Fan Mean?

Here’s what you should know about fan noise.

The fan, probably the loudest laptop component within your computer, performs a vital function of cooling your laptop, specifically the CPU (central processing unit).

All computers emit heat due to the electricity they consume and then transmit it around their circuitry, all in compacted space.  

So some noise is okay, but if for one reason or another (which we’ll discuss in more detail later), your laptop fan needs to dissipate more heat, the fan spins faster, causing unusually loud noises. 

If the noise gets too loud and distracting that you can barely hear yourself think, you should be concerned as this can negatively impact your laptop.

Overheating can result in your laptop shutting down now and then; something called a thermal check.

This shutting down happens when the laptop fan reaches a pre-set temperature, a built-in protective feature in all computers.

How to Stop Your Laptop Fan from Being So Loud?

As mentioned earlier, there’s a genuine reason for concern when you hear loud noises emanating from your laptop.

The good news, it’s often a situation you can easily remedy with the following:

#1 Kill Background Processes

Here’s the truth: Often noisy fans are a result of demands placed on the hardware.

So check if there are any background processes running that are causing your laptop to run hotter and disable these processes to eliminate the demand. 

Also, remove programs you’re not using. How? 

If you’re a Mac user, use the Activity Monitor. You can launch the Activity Monitor by searching for it on Spotlight by pressing Cmd + Space or using the Launchpad icon on your Dock, opening the Other folder, and then clicking on the Activity Monitor icon.

If you’re a Windows user, launch the Task Manager by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc, the “three-finger salute,” or Ctrl + Alt + Del if you’re a Windows 10 user.  

For Linux users, there are options available for managing rogue background processes in Linux.

It’s wise to prevent too many processes from starting when your computer boots. 

Again, for Mac users, remove anything unnecessary by going to System Preferences > Users > Startup and deleting it. For Windows 10, edit the startup folder.

#2 Clean Your Fan

If you’re sure the noise has nothing to do with the hard drive, then your fan is probably dirty.

Clogged up fan vents are preventing airflow, causing your laptop to heat up and make noises.

If you’re worried about voiding your warranty by opening up your laptop, or you’re just not comfortable doing so, the good news is, you can clean your laptop fan without opening it.

First, make sure you’re somewhere you don’t mind getting dusty. Then get a can of compressed air, point it at the laptop’s cooling vents, and blast some air at them.

If you’re comfortable with laptop repair and disassembly, use a cloth to wipe the laptop’s inside vents and any other open area that has accumulated dust. Also, try replacing the thermal paste on the heat sink.

Do that only if you know what you do—entirely at your own risk.

#3 Cool Your Laptop

You’ll need to cool your laptop if it’s unable to cool sufficiently. And for Pete’s sake, no, that doesn’t mean you can wrap it in a plastic bag and shove it in the refrigerator; that’s a bad idea. 

Use a cooling pad (cooler). They’re specially designed for this purpose. And don’t worry, because gone are the days when laptop coolers were metal plates with fans in the base to maximize airflow. 

They’re now cool accessories consisting of LEDs with adjustable wind speeds, temperature sensors, and in-built USB hubs.

Coolers reduce the operating temperature and are a great accessory, especially if you put your laptop under load for extended periods playing demanding 3D games.  

And the best part is, you can opt for a clip-on fan cooler. These suck out hot air from your laptop, reducing the operating temperature.

Conclusion

Hopefully with this guide you’ll gain more control over the noise of your fans, and prevent them gusting around when they don’t have to be. My suggestion is to always start by cleaning the inside of your PC, then playing around with the fan speed presets in the BIOS, before moving to Speedfan if you’re feeling confident.

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