This site contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, We earn a commission from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you.
White noise isn’t usually a bother until the MacBook fans start whirring while you’re trying to work. The MacBook fan can be very loud after a macOS update, when you play games, all of a sudden, or for no reason. Now, how do you determine what’s kicking your fans into action? In this guide, I’ll help you identify the reasons behind mac fan noise and what you can do to get it back to normal.
Why MacBook Fan Is So Loud? [Quick Answer]
The loud fan noise in your MacBook generally indicates the system is generating excessive heat due to running heavy applications, blocked air vents, software issues, hardware problems, or unseen background processes.
Overheating prompts the fan to work harder to cool down the system, thus creating more noise. If the noise persists despite minimizing system load and ensuring vents are clean, it could be due to issues with your software or hardware, necessitating professional diagnosis or repair.
4 Reasons And Solutions To Fix A Loud MacBook Fan
When the MacBook’s fan starts working harder than usual, it can create an annoyingly loud noise, distracting you and those around you. If the fan on your MacBook is running loudly, make sure the cooling system is free of dust and set the computer somewhere with adequate air ventilation and a firm, flat surface. If it doesn’t work, your MacBook may have hardware problems, so you’d have to get it checked at the service center.
Below, I have mentioned 4 possible causes and their fixes.
Possible Cause 1: Poor Venting/Circulation
One of the most common reasons for a loud fan in your MacBook is the lack of proper airflow around it. When you use your laptop, it produces heat due to the electrical process required to run it. The fans inside are designed to cool it down, but they can become overworked when there’s no normal airflow around the laptop.
If you work with your MacBook flat on your lap or desk, you’re obstructing any air from circulating underneath your laptop, which forces the fans to work twice as hard to cool the component. It can result in a loud fan noise and cause your laptop to heat up more quickly.
How To Fix
- If your MacBook is overheating, taking a short break and propping it up to cool down for a few minutes can provide a temporary solution.
- You should also invest in a quality laptop stand to lift your MacBook to improve air circulation. You can also consider using a cooling pad to help dissipate heat.
- For an older MacBook model from 2015 or earlier, cleaning the vents and ensuring no dust buildup can make a significant difference. If you have newer MacBook models from 2017 and onwards, it’s best to avoid opening the case and try other solutions in this guide.
Possible Cause 2: Running Heavy Apps
The MacBook Pro’s fans are designed to cool the internal electronic components. But these fans can kick into high gear to meet the demand if you’re running resource-intensive apps, like Adobe Creative Suite, photo or video editing software, or graphics-intensive games. Web browsing and other simple tasks are unlikely to cause this issue.
Note: Gaming on a MacBook Pro is a whole other debate, and you may consider investing in a dedicated gaming laptop if that’s a primary use case for you.
How To Fix
If you frequently use your MacBook Pro for heavy applications, keep an eye on your fan usage and take steps to keep your device cool. Some tips to reduce the load on your computer are as follows:
- Only run apps you need and don’t leave unnecessary programs idle in the background.
- Turn down frame rates or processing speeds as needed.
- Ensure you’re already taking all possible steps to optimize your Mac’s fan, such as using it in a temperature-controlled room rather than outside on an already hot air day.
- If you regularly experience loud fans due to workload, upgrade your MacBook by adding more RAM or get a new MacBook specifically for video editing so it can keep up with your demands.
Possible Cause 3: Hidden CPU Drains
If you have recently updated your system, modified settings, or added new software, your computer’s fans may be running loudly due to background tasks consuming your CPU’s resources.
How To Fix
To check if your MacBook is experiencing high fan noise due to a program using high CPU power, follow these steps:
- Click the Spotlight icon in your screen’s top right corner.
- Type Activity Monitor in the search bar and click the app from the results.
- Once the Activity Monitor is open, navigate to the %CPU tab and look for the programs using extremely large percentages of available power.
- If you find a program using high CPU power, it might be the reason for your MacBook’s loud fan noise.
- By closing a program consuming high CPU power, you can fix the loud fan issue on Mac. To do that, click a program and tap the little X in the top menu.
Note: If an app is consuming high CPU power instead of a background task, you should check #2 instead.
Some programs are set to launch when you start up your Mac, and they cause high CPU usage. To disable startup items, follow these steps:
- Go to System Settings > General > Login Items.
- Select a program you don’t need to start automatically andt tap the little – to remove it from the list.
Pro Tip: Save every task before force-quitting them from the Activity Monitor.
Possible Cause 4: MacBook Fan Needs Repair
When dust and dirt particles accumulate on your MacBook’s fan and surrounding components, they can hinder the fan’s efficiency, causing your MacBook to heat up more quickly than usual. It is because the fan must work harder to keep the internal components cool, leading to the familiar whirring sound many MacBook users experience.
How To Fix
If you suspect your MacBook’s fan is clogged with dust or debris, you should take steps to clean it. Here are the ways to do this:
- Use Compressed Air: The easiest method is to use a can of compressed air. Hold the can at a safe distance from your MacBook and gently blow air through the vents on the back of the laptop. Avoid applying too much pressure, as this could cause damage to the delicate components inside. Never use a vacuum, as the static can damage the electronic components.
- Open Your MacBook: If the compressed air doesn’t work, consider opening the body of your MacBook to clean the fans from the inside. However, use this method only if you have an old MacBook and you are an expert. Next, find your model of MacBook on iFixit to get instructions on how to open the body for your particular Mac. Then, gently use the compressed air to blow particles out of your Mac. Do not under any circumstance use a vacuum, as the static can ruin electronic components.
- Replace Fans: You may need to replace the fan for better performance. You can get a left and right side CPU cooling fan from Amazon and use iFixit to locate the right guide for your MacBook model.
- Get Professional Help: If nothing else works, take your MacBook to an Apple Genius Bar for professional service and cleaning.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is my MacBook fan so loud?
Your mac fan so loud because it’s working hard to cool down your device. However, there are several reasons why the fan may be working harder than usual, including dust buildup, running resource-intensive applications, or a malfunctioning fan.
How do I know if my MacBook fan is working properly?
You can check the fan’s operation by listening for any unusual sounds or feeling for airflow from the vents. Additionally, you can use software to monitor the fan’s speed and temperature readings.
What are some quick fixes for a loud MacBook fan?
There are several quick fixes for a loud MacBook fan that you can try, including resetting the System Management Controller (SMC) and closing resource-intensive applications placing a heavy load on your system. Cleaning the fan and vents of any dust buildup can also improve airflow and reduce fan noise. Lastly, keeping your operating system and software up to date can help optimize system performance and reduce the workload on your MacBook’s fan.
Can a loud MacBook fan cause any damage to my device?
A loud fan itself will not damage your MacBook, but it could be a symptom of an underlying issue that needs to be addressed to prevent damage to your device’s components. Additionally, if your MacBook is consistently overheating, it could lead to long-term damage to your battery, processor, or other components.
Thank you for following along with our guide to fixing the loud fan issue on your MacBook. We understand how frustrating it can be to have a noisy computer, but we hope our tips have helped you resolve the issue.
If you’ve tried all our solutions and your MacBook’s fan is still loud, it’s best to have it examined by a professional at an Apple Service center. If your MacBook is new or still under an AppleCare warranty any repairs or replacements will likely be covered.
We always welcome feedback from our readers and would love to hear about any methods you’ve used to fix fan noise on your MacBook Pro or MacBook Air. Please feel free to comment below and let us know how our tips worked for you.About Lorena