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CPU Fan Error – How To Fix?

CPUs generate a lot of heat when they are operational. Even when your CPU is not under heavy load, it requires continuous heat dissipation. For that, there are dedicated CPU fans that are always running to dissipate heat from the processor. If the fans stop working, you will find your CPU temperature continuously rising at a steady rate.

If the temperature rises above the design limit, the computer will crash or reboot without any notification. Thus, you will even find many dedicated 3rd party CPU cooling systems designed to keep the temperature levels at bay.

However, a lot of users frequently face CPU fan errors which indicates a problem with the fans or the controlling system of CPU fans. Today, we will be looking at CPU fan error and try to find out what it is and why it occurs on a computer. We will also offer a handful of solutions in case you are also facing the problem so that you can get rid of it as soon as possible.

What Is CPU Fan Error?

As the name suggests, CPU fan error generally occurs when there is a problem with your CPU fans. It is almost impossible to use a computer if the CPU fans are not working properly. Even launching basic applications like discord or Google Chrome will utilize CPU at a rate that will cause a rise in its temperature above the design limit.

As you might have experienced earlier, this causes an instant system crash and reboots the computer. Even if your computer does not reboot, it will freeze at a certain point and you will have to manually force reboot the system to get it working again. This will definitely cause a loss of data. Frequent system reboots can also generate bad sectors on your hard drive and will eventually corrupt the drive with unrecoverable data loss.

Reasons Behind CPU Fan Errors?

There can be multiple reasons behind a CPU fan failing to operate at an optimum level. Even if the fan is not completely turned off, you will face slow fan speed which will eventually lead to the same problems later on. In most cases, the error is caused by physical damage to the CPU fan. It includes damage to the fan blades which reduces the airflow, or damaged cables which causes improper power supply.

Other than that, there are a few other reasons behind CPU fan error. A lot of users have faced this issue because of incorrect BIOS settings or problems with built-in fan control software in the case of laptops. The sudden rise in temperature can also be justified by residue dust and dirt inside the system which severely hampers the heat exchange rate. If your computer does not have enough empty space around it, it causes blockage in airflow which can create problems with CPU fans.

How To Fix CPU Fan Error?

If you are also facing CPU fan error, worry not. Most of the time, the problem can be resolved by following a few of the solutions that we are mentioning in this guide. We can assure you that you will be able to get rid of the CPU fan error by the time you reach the end of the guide. However, make sure you pay close attention to each and every step mentioned with the solutions to get rid of the problem permanently.

1. Change Computer’s Location

The very first thing that you should try is moving the location of the cabinet. Incorrect installation location will most certainly result in improper airflow which will result in increased CPU temperature. If you live in a warmer region, you need to make sure that your computer is not directly under sunlight as it will also contribute to temperature rise.

In such cases, the CPU temperature will eventually rise above the design limit even if the CPU fans are working perfectly. You should try to make some space over your desk and move the cabinet on top to offer an ample amount of airflow. The overall room temperature also plays an important role in this scenario.

If you are facing this problem on a laptop, you should consider investing in a decent cooling pad that works wonders for a laptop. It offers external fans that increase the airflow in your system and manage to bring down the average temperature levels of your CPU.

2. Check Overclocking Parameters

A lot of heavy users, especially gamers, overclock their CPUs to get the best performance in demanding game titles. One of the most common back draws of overclocking your CPU is higher temperature levels caused by increased power usage as well as faster clock speeds. If you are also facing the CPU fan error right after overclocking your CPU, you will have to use the CPU at default settings.

If your motherboard and CPU support overclocking, you will probably find the overclocking status in the BIOS. Simply hold down the DEL key while booting your system and check the overclocking parameters from the BIOS settings. For AMD processors, you can download AMD Ryzen Master utility software and check the status.

If you still wish to overclock your CPU for ultimate performance, you will have to install an AIO instead of using the default CPU cooler. You can also invest in a custom water cooling loop if you want even better-overclocking performance for your CPU.

3. Take Care of Residue Dust

If you don’t clean your computer cabinet often, there are chances of a lot of residue dust settling over the CPU fan. As we mentioned earlier, the dust hampers the airflow and causes the fans to underperform even when they are running at maximum speed.

However, cleaning your desktop cabinet is a pretty easy task. The best method is to use a powerful vacuum cleaner to suck all the residue dust in a single blow. Even if you do not have a vacuum cleaner, you can use an air blower to clean the dust. The pressurized air from the blower can easily displace the dust from your cooler and CPU fan which might resolve your issue.

4. Check CPU Cooler

If you are still facing the problem, it might be time to inspect your CPU cooler. In most cases, the default CPU coolers are good enough for basic usage and gaming. But, if the cooler is not performing at optimum levels, you will end up with the CPU fan error. The CPU cooler mainly consists of a single fan if you are using a default cooler. In the case of a 3rd party cooler, it will also have dedicated metal pipes and fins to increase the heat exchange rate.

You will have to thoroughly inspect the CPU cooler in such a case and make sure that it is performing correctly. Yet another important parameter, in this case, is the thermal paste. The thermal paste is applied between the cooler and the CPU so that the cooler can perform efficiently. If the thermal paste is dried, you will have to clean your CPU and re-apply the thermal paste manually.

5. Check CPU Cooler Direction

If you have manually installed a 3rd party CPU cooler, you should check if it is installed correctly. On the cooler fan, you will find an arrow that indicates the airflow direction. You will have to make sure that the CPU fan is pushing the hot air out of the cabinet. While you are at it, also make sure that the cabinet fans are installed correctly and working as either exhaust fans or intake fans based on their location.

The CPU cooler fan or fans also need to be connected to the motherboard for precise control. Your motherboard automatically controls the fan speed according to CPU temperature levels. Thus, make sure that the CPU cooler fans are connected to the motherboard. You will also get manual control over the fans via dedicated software once the fans are connected to the motherboard.

6. Consider An Alternate CPU Fan Header

Sometimes, a certain fan header on your motherboard can also be the culprit behind CPU fan error. If the header is not working, your fan will not get any power at all, thus resulting in an inactive fan. And as the header is not working, the motherboard will not detect the fan at all. Therefore, you won’t be able to detect the problem from any kind of controlling software.

To resolve this, simply try to connect the fan to a different fan header on your motherboard. If you have multiple cabinet fans connected to the motherboard, you can try unplugging some units to make sure if the problem is occurring because of the header. If you cannot connect the fan to the motherboard anymore, you can buy a 3rd party fan controller for your computer. These units are powered by the PSU and offer external fan controls via a remote or software.

7. Check BIOS Settings

If all of the above solutions have failed to resolve the CPU fan error in your case, the problem must lie in your BIOS settings.

Here’s how you can check the fan status from BIOS:

  • Turn off your computer.
  • Now, restart your system. While your system is booting up, keep pressing the “DEL” key to enter BIOS. The shortcut key might be different depending on your motherboard manufacturer.
  • Once you are in the BIOS, head over to the “Advanced Settings” and look for the “Hardware monitor” section.
  • Here, you will find all related settings to the hardware installed on your computer.
  • In the “Hardware Monitor” section, select the “CPU Fan” option. This section is dedicated to CPU Fan settings.
  • In the “CPU Fan” section, enable the “Active Heat Sink” and “Fan Duct with Fan” options.
  • If the “Passive Heat Sink” and “Fan Duct without Fan” options are enabled, turn them off.
  • Press F10 and save your settings. Your system will reboot normally now.

8. Replace CPU Cooler

Lastly, we will recommend getting a replacement for your CPU fan. In most cases, default CPU coolers are unable to keep up with heavy usage and the included fans give out pretty quickly. Therefore, we will strongly recommend getting a high-end 3rd party CPU cooler to ensure the best performance for your CPU. If you are overclocking, you will have to invest even more in an AIO or custom liquid cooling loop based on your requirements.

As for the installation of the CPU cooler, you will find all necessary information present within the package. And for the thermal paste, it will either be pre-applied to the heatsink, or you will find a small packet of thermal paste included with the cooler. If you are unsure about thermal paste application or CPU cooler installation, you should consider going to a professional to get the job done.


CPU fan error is generally a sign of unstable CPU performance due to high-temperature levels. If the CPU fans aren’t working as they are supposed to, you will find your CPU underperforming by a lot. Also, it results in frequent system freeze, stutters, and system reboots if the temperature levels are not under control.

In our guide, we have offered you a variety of solutions to take care of the CPU fan error. If you follow each of our solutions carefully, you can take care of the CPU fan error by yourself. In case none of the above-mentioned solutions have worked out for you, you can reach us via the comment section so that we can discuss the problem further.

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