How To Fix A Noisy MacBook Air Fan: 7 Steps

How to fix a noisy MacBook Air fan? This is one of the most frequent questions I get. Many people keep asking me how to deal with a noisy MacBook fan. This can be not very pleasant and distracting for sure. If you take your MacBook Air and start working on it, you realize that the fan is loud.

The MacBook Air is equipped with a cooling fan to prevent overheating. The fan makes noise when the system is overheating due to blocked vents, insufficient cooling, and when the CPU and RAM are under heavy use.

Since I’ve been dealing with this problem quite a lot lately, I decided to write this post and provide some tips on how you can fix a noisy MacBook Air fan without having to pay more than necessary for this service or simply hiring a technician.

Why is my MacBook Air fan making so much noise?

Your MacBook Air may need to cool down a bit; it may be harmless. But if it happens a lot, it can be due to several reasons:

1. Overheating

First, you’re probably overheating. As we all know, overheating can cause components to break down and damage your computer. If you’ve been doing a lot of heavy computing or running many applications simultaneously, it’s normal for the computer to get hotter.

If your fan suddenly starts making noise after being quiet for some time, take a close look at the system and see what’s causing the heat. Try to close the high CPU programs and leave your computer to cool down naturally or shut down for some time.

If your Mac is still hot, you should contact Apple Support. Ignoring the problem can cause permanent component damage and make your MacBook unusable.

2. Running high CPU demanding applications

The fan is making noise because the CPU is running in high demand. When running programs that require a lot of computation, image editing software, or other intensive applications, your CPU will have to run at its maximum capacity to complete its tasks. 

Some video games also use up all available processing power on your computer to produce smooth graphics with no lag time between frames.

Other programs can still cause problems if they constantly run on your computer for long periods without breaks between tasks.

3. Vents clogged

MacBook Air owners have long complained about their laptop’s tendency to get hot and loud. The MacBook Air has vents on the side and bottom of the laptop, which push out hot air. 

If these vents are clogged with dust or other debris, the fan will kick into overdrive to cool down your processor. The fan will run loudly until the computer cools down to a safe temperature.

If you haven’t cleaned out your laptop in a while, there’s probably a layer of dust sitting inside it, which can cover the internal fan and block airflow from the outside vents. 

Before cleaning out your MacBook Air, you should shut it down completely so that it isn’t running while you’re spraying compressed air into it.

How to fix a noisy MacBook Air fan?

Fans are crucial to the performance of your Mac. We can do things to keep fans running smoothly and up to date.

1. Clean out any dust from the fans

You can try to clean your MacBook fans. The most common way is to blow compressed air into the vents (the ones on the bottom and the sides). If that doesn’t help, you can use a soft brush or a cotton swab to remove any debris from the vents.

You should also check the fans with an app like iStat Menus. It will show you how fast they’re spinning. You can then adjust settings in macOS to make them spin slower, or you can change some of the apps you’re running so that those that are too intensive are closed down.

2. Free space on your hard drive

If your hard drive is almost full, your Mac will run slower and hotter than usual. There could also be a lot of junk files clogging up the works, but updating your OS or manually deleting unneeded files will free up some space and should fix the problem.

Macs come with a built-in tool called Optimized Storage that makes it easy to clear out old junk files, archive files you don’t use often, and automatically remove TV shows you’ve already watched from iTunes. If that doesn’t do the trick, try installing CleanMyMac X, which does an excellent job of finding and removing unnecessary files.

3. Improve air circulation

When using your laptop computer, make sure not to keep it in bed or on any other soft surface, such as a blanket or pillow; this will block air circulation and overheat the computer system. 

Instead, place your laptop computer on a stand or flat surface-like table that allows good airflow.

4. Avoid using apps that lower CPU performance

The most common reason that causes a noisy fan in Macbook is a third-party app that uses too much processor power and RAM. This forces your system to work harder and make your fans spin faster. To fix this issue, you should avoid using lower CPU performance apps. 

If you find an app that uses too many resources, try uninstalling it or using another alternative app instead.

5. Check Activity Monitor

Activity Monitor shows all the processes that run in the background. These might be hogging resources and running your fans at full speed.

To access Activity Monitor, click on the Spotlight search icon in the top right corner of your screen (or press Command + Spacebar) and type in “Activity Monitor.” Then hit Enter to bring up Activity Monitor.

If any apps or processes are taking up a lot of processing power, they may be causing your fans to run at full speed. You can quit them by selecting them in Activity Monitor and clicking on the X button at the top left corner of the window.

6. Run Apple Diagnostics

If your Macbook is noisy, it is time to run Apple Diagnostics. Follow the steps to run apple diagnostics.

Step 1: Shut down your MacBook

Close all open apps and save any changes you’ve made to documents and files. Then choose Shut Down from the Apple menu in the top left corner of the screen. Make sure to disconnect external devices such as keyboard, mouse, etc.

Step 2: Turn on your MacBook and immediately press and hold the D key.

You need to press and hold the D key until you see a screen appear with a progress bar underneath the Apple logo. This will take a few minutes.

Step 3: Continue with Apple Diagnostics when prompted.

When the progress bar finishes loading, click Continue on the next screen. This will begin a series of tests to check hardware components, including memory, hard drive, graphics, logic board, etc. Any problems found are listed at the end of this process, along with information about how to fix them. Once done, click Restart or Shutdown to complete the diagnostics process.

7. Reset SMC

The SMC (System Management Controller) is a chip that controls things like the fan, battery level, keyboard backlights, and some other internal workings of your Mac.

Step 1: Shut down your MacBook Air.

Step 2: Plug the power cord in.

Step 3: Press Shift + Control + Option on the left side of the built-in keyboard and press the power button simultaneously. Hold these keys and the power button for 10 seconds.

Step 4: Release all keys and the power button simultaneously. Now press the power button to turn back on your computer. If this doesn’t work, it’s time to get your Mac serviced.

How to clean a MacBook Air fan?

This can be a complicated process, but with patience, you can improve the life of your MacBook. For this, you will need:

  • P5 Pentalobe Screwdriver – Most Macs are built with P5 screws, so you’ll need this specific one.
  • Compressed or canned air
  • cotton swabs or swabs
  • Suction cups and guitar pick

Steps to clean a MacBook fan

  1. Flip your Mac over so that the bottom is facing up. You’ll find 10 screws on the outside, around the sides. Unscrew them with the P5 screwdriver.
  2. Carefully remove the screws and set them aside. Get a good grip on the back and start removing from the base. For a 2016 or newer model, this is where the suction cup and guitar pick come in handy. Use the suction cup to lift the bottom edge and use the pick to open the hidden clip below.
  3. Find your Mac fan. You can have more than one, so check that you get them all. Use compressed air to blow and clean the dust from the fan. Cotton swabs should help remove especially stubborn dust.
  4. Reassemble. Once you’re sure, everything is clean, attach the bottom to the base and screw it back on. Be careful not to round off (insulate) the screws.

How to Check MacBook Temperature

There are a few ways to check the temperature of your Mac:

1. Physical temperature

If your Mac feels unusually hot to the touch, or if its fans start working overtime for no apparent reason, this could be a sign of a glitch or serious problem, and you should have it repaired.

2. Applications

You can download two apps: Temperature Gauge Pro (TG Pro) or iStat pro. The first one costs around $20, but it will give you an accurate reading and tips on lowering the internal temperature.

If you don’t feel like spending $20, you can download iStat Pro, a free app with basic temperature reports. The important thing here is to make sure that the temperature is not too high; your Mac can comfortably work at 90 degrees, even if it seems too high.

FAQs

How often should I clean the fan on my MacBook Pro?

If you work in a particularly dusty environment, you should clean your fans every 4-6 months. If it’s not particularly dusty, you can do maintenance every year.

Is it bad if my MacBook gets hot?

Computers will get hot if used a lot; as the components work faster and faster, they expel thermal contamination. It’s normal for a Mac to get a little warm, but you should have it checked if the temperature feels hotter much more often.

How do I cool down my MacBook?

Place it on flat surfaces like a table or desk, open the windows to regulate airflow, and use your air conditioner to lower the temperature in the room. If you use it outdoors, keep it in shaded areas.

When should I contact Apple support?

If your Mac shuts down unexpectedly or overheats regularly, it’s probably time to contact Apple. If your Mac is over 5 years old and the fans struggle with basic tasks, it might be time to invest in a new one.

Conclusion

To sum things up, it is possible to fix a noisy MacBook Air fan by yourself. However, you will need some time and patience to do so and the right tools. 

If you don’t feel very confident in doing it on your own, don’t hesitate to contact the support service of your Macbook Air manufacturer to avoid damaging your device.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you find this information helpful.

For any doubts, “contact us through the comments sections, and I’ll be happy to answer any questions.

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