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Why Is My MacBook Fan So Loud: 8 Best Fixes

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Last updated: September 6, 2023

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Have you ever been in a quiet room, trying to concentrate on a task, when suddenly you hear a loud noise from your MacBook? It’s likely the sound of the fan spinning at high speed, trying to cool down your laptop.

This sound can hinder your productive environment as it is not the chirping of birds and if your Mac fans constantly run into high gear, that indicates a serious issue. In this guide, I’ll explore why your MacBook fan may be so loud and share easy ways to fix it.

Before We Begin

A loud MacBook fan is a sign that your MacBook has a lot of pressure of dust, work, or overheating. MacKeeper can help free up space using safe cleanup and memory cleaner to diagnose why is my MacBook fan so loud. Download and install it now to get rid of this annoying noise. 

Why Is My MacBook Fan So Loud: 4 Common Reasons

Knowing  the underlying causes of the loud fan noise on your MacBook can help you take steps to prevent or mitigate the issue. If you leave these issues unaddressed, they can cause serious damage to your Mac’s hardware.

Here are some reasons why your Mac’s fan runs into high gear:

  • 🌡️ Overheating: Your Mac’s fan works to keep the internal components cool. If the temperature of the internal components exceeds a certain limit, the fan will run at a higher speed to cool them down. Heavy usage, running too many applications, or poor ventilation can overheat your Mac.
  • 🧹 Dust Accumulation: Dust can accumulate inside your Mac, particularly around the fan and other internal components. This can obstruct airflow, causing the fan to work harder to cool the components.
  • 🦠 Malware: You can install malware on your Mac by downloading software from untrusted sources or clicking suspicious links. Then, it keeps running in the background, consuming system resources and causing the fan to work harder.
  • 🌀 Faulty Fan: Sometimes, the loud fan noise may be due to a faulty fan. If your Mac is still under warranty, you can take it to an Apple Store or authorized service provider to have it repaired or replaced.

How to Fix a Loud MacBook Fan

Diagnosing the issue and identifying the root cause of a noisy Mac fan is essential to prevent further damage to the MacBook. There are several methods for diagnosing MacBook fan issues that I have discussed below.

1. Check for Heavy CPU Usage Apps Using Activity Monitor

Activity Monitor is a built-in utility on a MacBook that allows you to monitor the performance of your computer, including CPU usage. By checking the CPU usage in Activity Monitor, you can identify any processes causing your MacBook’s fan to work harder, leading to loud noise. 

Here are the steps to check for high CPU usage on Mac using Activity Monitor:

  1. Open the Utilities folder and double-click the Activity Monitor app. Alternatively, use Spotlight to search for Activity Monitor and open the app.
launch activity monitor from utilities
  1. Once Activity Monitor is open, click the CPU tab to see the list of processes and their CPU usage. The list is sorted by the highest percentage of CPU usage at the top.
click the cpu tab in activity monitor
  1. Look for any process using a high percentage of CPU. You can identify the process by its name, listed under the Process Name column. You can also see how much CPU each process uses, listed under the % CPU column.
click the cpu tab to view each application s percentage of cpu usage
  1. If you find a process that uses a lot of CPU, close the application or quit the process to reduce the load on your CPU. To close an application, click its name in the list and tap the X button in the top bar.
select the app you dont need or the ones causing conflicts and quit them by clicking the small x in the top bar
  1. Then, click the Quit button on the pop-up menu.
click quit on the pop up

2. Check for Dust Accumulation

Dust can accumulate on your MacBook fan blades, air vents, and other internal components, obstructing airflow. This causes your MacBook’s fan to work harder and spin faster to keep your system components cool.

Regularly cleaning your MacBook’s fan and other internal components can improve airflow and reduce the strain on the fan, preventing overheating and reducing fan noise. Follow these steps to check for dust accumulation and clean your MacBook fan:

Only use this method if you’re an expert as it can lead to more hardware issues if not done correctly and can void device warranty.

  1. Shut down your MacBook and unplug it from any power source.
nevigate to shutdown
  1. Use a Phillips head screwdriver to remove the bottom panel of your MacBook. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for removing the panel and take appropriate safety precautions.
  2. Once the panel is removed, locate the fan and other internal components.
  3. Look for any visible dust or debris accumulated on the fan blades, heat sink, or other components.
dusty macbook fan and other internal components
Source: iFixit
  1. Use compressed air or a soft-bristled brush to clean the fan and other components gently.
  2. If using compressed air, hold the can upright and spray in short bursts to avoid damaging the internal components.
  3. If using a brush, gently remove dust from the fan and other components.
  4. Once you have finished cleaning, replace the bottom panel of your MacBook and turn it back on.

Be careful not to use excessive force or apply too much pressure while cleaning your MacBook fan, as it can damage the delicate components. Also, don’t use liquids or cleaning solutions to clean the fan, as this can cause corrosion.

3. Scan for Malware Using MacKeeper

Malware can cause your MacBook’s fan to work harder by running in the background and consuming system resources. Using an antivirus application to scan your Mac for malware can help fix this issue

You can use MacKeeper’s Antivirus to scan your Mac for viruses and malware in a single click. Here’s how you can run a malware scan on your Mac using MacKeeper:

  1. Download and install MacKeeper.
  1. Launch MacKeeper and click the Antivirus tab in the left sidebar.
click antivirus under the security section 6
  1. Select the features you want to use to secure your Mac. For example, you can enable real-time antivirus protection.
click enable to allow real time protection
  1. Once you have configured your security settings, MacKeeper will continue to protect your Mac in the background, scanning for threats and blocking malicious activity.
  2. You can also run an instant virus scan by clicking the Start Scan button.
click start scan in mackeeper antivirus 6
  1. If the scan finds any viruses, click the Fix Items button.
  2. If there are no issues in your system, click Restart to run the scan again or close the program.
click restart to finish the process 6

4. Reset the SMC

The System Management Controller (SMC) is a microcontroller chip on your MacBook’s logic board that controls various functions, including power management, battery management, thermal management, and fan control.

If the fan has an issue, resetting the SMC can sometimes resolve the problem. Here’s how you can reset the SMC on your Mac:

  1. Click the Apple menu and select Shut Down to turn off your Mac.
click apple icon and select shut down
  1.  Unplug the power cable from your Mac computer.
  2. Press and hold the power button on your Mac for at least 10 seconds.
macbook air touch id
  1. After holding it for 10 seconds, release it.
  2. Reconnect the power cable to your Mac computer.
  3. Press the power button on your Mac to turn it back on.

After resetting the SMC, your MacBook’s fan settings will be restored to their default settings. It can sometimes resolve issues with the fan and improve its performance.

5. Maintain the Temperature

Maintaining a consistent and optimal temperature can reduce the strain on your MacBook’s fan and prevent it from running loudly. When the internal components of your MacBook get too hot, the fan kicks in to cool them down.

Here are some tips to maintain the temperature of your MacBook and prevent the fan from running too loudly:

  1. 🖥️ Keep Your MacBook on a Hard, Flat Surface: When you use your Mac on a soft surface like a bed or sofa, it can block the airflow and cause it to overheat. Instead, place your MacBook on a hard, flat surface for good ventilation.
  2. 🚫 Close Unnecessary Applications: Running too many applications simultaneously can cause your MacBook’s CPU to work harder, generating more heat and causing the fan to run more loudly. Close any applications you are not currently using to reduce the load on the CPU.
  3. 🌬️ Use an external fan or cooling pad: An external fan or cooling pad can help to increase the airflow around your MacBook and keep it cooler. Many options are available, ranging from simple fan stands to more advanced cooling pads with built-in fans.

6. Run Apple Diagnostics 

Running Apple Diagnostics can check the hardware of your MacBook for any potential issues causing your fan to work harder than usual. It checks your MacBook’s hardware components, such as the memory, logic board, processor, and fan, to ensure they function correctly.

Here are the steps to run Apple Diagnostics on your Mac:

  1. Disconnect all external devices except the keyboard, mouse, and display.
  2. Click the Apple menu and select Shut Down.
click apple icon and select shut down
  1. Hold the power button until the Apple logo appears on the screen.
macbook air touch id
  1. After the Apple logo appears, release the power button and immediately press and hold the D key on your keyboard.
macbook air touch id d keys 1
  1. Apple Diagnostics will start automatically and prompt you to select your language. Use the arrow keys to select your preferred language and press Enter.
  2. Once the hardware test is complete, Apple Diagnostics will display the results on the screen.
apple diagnostics result 1
  1. If you cannot resolve the issue independently, or if the hardware test indicates a hardware failure, contact Apple Support for assistance.

7. Clean Your Mac Storage

When your Mac’s storage is running low, it can cause the system to work harder and the fan to run louder. Freeing up space can reduce the load on the system and potentially resolve the issue of the fan running loudly.

Manually checking and deleting files can take a lot of time. To save time, you can use MacKeeper’s Safe Cleanup option that lets you review and clear storage in a few clicks. 

Here are the steps to free up space on your Mac using MacKeeper:

  1. Download and install MacKeeper.
  1. Launch MacKeeper and go to the Safe Cleanup tab.
click safe cleanup under the cleaning section 5
  1. Click Start Scan and wait for the results.
click start scan in safe cleanup 5
  1. Review the items you want to remove. Select them individually or click Check All.
select junk files to remove or click check all 4
  1. Next, click Clean Junk Files.
tap clean junk files 4
  1. You’ll get a Cleaning Completed notification on your screen. Click Rescan to repeat the process.
click rescan in safe cleanup 3

What Else Can MacKeeper Do?

Besides optimizing the storage space on your Mac, MacKeeper can run a malware scan, remove duplicates, and manage login items. Check out my MacKeeper review to find out more about its features.

8. Replace MacBook Fans

If you have tried all the software-based solutions for your MacBook’s loud fan and the issue persists, it could be a hardware issue. You can take your MacBook to an authorized Apple service provider or an Apple Store to check for hardware issues.

At the service center, the technician will perform a diagnostic test to determine the cause of the loud fan noise. The diagnostic test will check for hardware issues, including problems with the fan or other internal components.

If a hardware issue is found, the technician will recommend the necessary repairs or replacement of the faulty component. The cost of repairs will depend on the nature and severity of the issue, as well as the warranty status of your MacBook.

If your MacBook is still under warranty, the repairs will likely be covered, but if not, you may have to pay for the repairs out of pocket.

Fix a Noisy MacBook Fan

Having a loud fan on your MacBook can be frustrating and worrisome, but there are several steps you can take to diagnose and resolve the issue. Here are three unique tips for the future:

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What causes a MacBook fan to be so loud?

    A MacBook fan can be loud for several reasons, including high CPU usage, increased ambient temperature, dust and debris buildup, and hardware issues. A loud MacBook fan can cause damage to your computer if left unchecked. High temperatures can lead to system instability, crashes, and even hardware damage.

  2. Is it normal for a MacBook fan to be loud? 

    It is normal for a MacBook fan to be loud when running intensive applications or when the computer is exposed to high temperatures. However, if the fan is constantly loud, it may indicate an underlying issue.

  3. Should I use a fan control application to lower the fan speed on my MacBook? 

    You can use a fan control application to lower the fan speed on your MacBook, but always be cautious when using such applications. You should not set the fan speed too low or fast as it may potentially damage the internal components.

Hashir Ibrahim

Author

I'm Hashir, a tech journalist with a decade of experience. My work has been featured in some of the top tech publications like MakeUseOf and MakeTechEasier. I have a bachelor's degree in IT, a master's in cybersecurity, and extensive knowledge of Apple hardware, specifically MacBooks. As the senior writer at MacBook Journal, I write in depth guides that help you solve any issues you have with your mac and unbiased reviews that help you make the right buying decisions.

Ojash

Reviewer

Hi there! I'm Ojash, a tech journalist with over a decade of experience in the industry. I've had the privilege of contributing to some of the world's largest tech publications, making my mark as a respected Mac expert. My passion lies in exploring, using, and writing about MacBooks, and I enjoy sharing my expertise to help others make informed decisions and get the most out of their MacBook experience. Join me as we delve into the fascinating world of MacBooks together!

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