How to Clean Your Laptop Fan

From the main processor to the graphics chip, laptops have many components that can overheat as they are operating. To keep all of these pieces cool and running efficiently, there are usually one or two fans running in the background.

Over time, though, these fans can collect a lot of dust and dirt from the environment. When the dust collects or becomes packed together, there won’t be enough room for airflow and the fan won’t be able to cool the system down effectively.

When this happens, your laptop can overheat and sustain costly damage.

What Are Some Signs I Need to Clean My Laptop Fan?

Laptop fans should generally be cleaned once or twice a year, although this can vary depending on how dusty the environment is. Usually, you can tell the fan needs to be cleaned by how it sounds — when the fan is clogged, it runs much more loudly than normal. Another sign of potential overheating is when the fan or the system feels hot to the touch.

How to Clean Your CPU Fan: Tips and Tricks

If you start experiencing signs that your computer might be overheating, here are a few troubleshooting tips and tricks to try:

1. Check What’s Running on Your Computer

The fan can sometimes be overworked if multiple apps are running and drawing a lot of power. Checking what’s running on your computer is a great first place to start. First, open up your Task Manager by using the Ctrl-Shift-Esc keys. Then, you’ll be able to see how much of your computer’s resources are being used either on the “Process” tab or under “More Details.”

2. Try Compressed Air

If everything looks good when you troubleshoot your system, the next step is to try compressed air. This method is the best way to clean your laptop fan without taking it apart. When using compressed air, make sure your laptop is turned off and the battery is out before you start cleaning.

Then, keeping the pressure low, start blowing the dust and dirt out by aiming the can at the fan and blowing it at different angles. Try to focus the air in the direction of the air vent without getting too close.

3. Open the System and Deep Clean the Fan

Of course, cleaning the laptop fan without opening the system is the safest method of removing any dust and dirt. Sometimes, however, you might need to open up the computer’s case for a deeper clean. To do this, turn off your computer and remove the battery. Find the air vent and remove the access panel to reveal the fan.

Gently brush the fan or use compressed air from a distance. Then, be sure to put all of the parts back together the exact same way.

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