How Can I Stop the Noise From My Computer’s Fan?

July 10, 2009

in computer hardware,computer-related health

by David Hakala

A noisy computer fan is a constant irritation. Whether it’s a desktop or portable computer, the best thing you can hear from your machine is silence. Here are some things you can do to reduce or eliminate fan noise.

First, the easiest and most obvious thing: move the fan away from your ears. If your desktop computer is on your desktop, consider putting it on the floor under the desk. The vibrations of a fan often set up sympathetic vibrations in pencil cups, paper clip trays, and other desktop items. A fan can even cause a buzzing in the wood of your desktop. Move the computer if you can.

If your computer case is designed to sit horizontally rather than vertically (the classic “tower” configuration) there are plastic stands that will hold such a case on its side securely. Turning the machine 90 degrees won’t damage your hard drive; it will spin just fine on the vertical plane.

To dampen noise, the computer should rest on a sound-absorbing surface. Carpet is ideal. If you have bare floors, buy a scrap of carpet or some other soft sound-absorbent material.

Take a screwdriver and tighten up all the screws inside and outside of your computer’s case. Often the vibrations of a fan are echoed in loose screws and parts.

Polymer gaskets placed between the fan and the surface to which it’s mounted can dampen noise. Measure the screws that hold down the fan and look for gaskets at a hardware store.

Consider replacing the noisy factory-installed fan with a quieter, more efficient aftermarket fan and heat sink. Look for a unit that has a thermostat and an external temperature monitoring probe. You can position this probe near your hard drive or CPU and switch the fan on or off as needed. It will save power as well as give you some peace and quiet.

Foam acoustic insulation on the inside walls of your computer case can help a bit. But remember there are plenty of vents and holes cut in computer cases through which noise can leak. Don’t spend a fortune on this solution

David Hakala has perpetrated technology tutorials since 1988 in addition to committing tech journalism, documentation, Web sites, marketing collateral, and profitable prose in general. His complete rap sheet can be seen at


Rey 09.03.09 at 9:11 pm

The carpet thing worked for me! Thanks!!!

Wally 10.19.09 at 5:43 am

Also clean the fluff off the fan blades every now and again,..crap on the blades makes it run slower due to aerodynamics and laminar flow being disrupted, also makes it noisy.

himanshu 07.26.10 at 11:15 am

thanks for the work

gordon 01.17.11 at 3:11 pm

Fucking Stupid, Just get a new computer instead of listening to the dirty ass loud noise, fuck sakes.

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