Why Is My Mac Fan So Loud & How to Fix It?

If you’re a MacBook Pro owner, you’ve likely heard your fan running extremely loud at some point. And while it could be distracting, there are some quick and easy ways to fix it.

Why is my Mac fan so loud?” Your Macbook making fan noise when it gets too hot, usually while using resource-intensive programs. Inadequate ventilation, a dirty vent, a virus, and more can lead to a loud fan. You can fix it by closing unused programs, cleaning your vent, and updating it.

I’m a Mac power user and a 2019 MacBook Pro owner. I know exactly how frustrating a loud Mac fan can be, so I put together this guide to help you fix it. Keep reading to learn why and all the methods to fix it.

Why Is My Mac Fan So Loud?

Your Mac’s fan is designed to keep itself cool. But sometimes, it can get a little too noisy for comfort. Here are a few possible explanations if you’re wondering why is my Macbook fan so loud.

Check CPU Usage

The first thing you should do when your Mac’s fan is running loudly is to check your CPU usage. To do this, open Activity Monitor and go to the CPU tab. Here, you will see a list of all the processes that are currently running on your computer, as well as how much of the CPU they are using.

If one or more processes use a lot of CPU, it can cause your fan to run loudly to keep your computer from overheating. In most cases, you can solve this problem by quitting the offending process (or processes).

Check if Your Mac is Overheating

If your Mac is getting too hot, it will try to cool itself down by running the fan more frequently and at a higher speed. This can cause the fan to be quite loud. It may get too hot due to inadequate ventilation, using it in a warm room, or if you are running process-intensive tasks.

You can check your intel-based Mac’s temperature by typing the following command in Terminal:

sudo powermetrics –samplers smc |grep -i “CPU die temperature”

Then, enter your password to see the CPU temperature.

check your Mac temperature

For M1 and M2 Macs, you will have to use a third-party app like Monity to check the temperature.

Inadequate Air Circulation

If your Mac lacks air circulation, the fan will have to work harder to keep it cool, making it quite loud. Make sure that nothing is blocking the vents on your Mac and that it’s in a well-ventilated area.

Running Process-Intensive Tasks

If you’re running resource-intensive tasks like video editing or gaming, your Mac will generate more heat, and the fan will have to work harder to keep it cool. This is perfectly normal and nothing to be concerned about.

Dirty Fan

Another possible reason your Mac fan is running loudly is that it’s dirty. Dust and other debris can build up over time, making it harder for the fan to do its job. To clean your Mac’s fan, you will need to take it to an Apple Store or authorized service provider.

Ambient Temperature Outside of Operating Range

If the temperature in the room where your Mac is located is too hot or too cold, it can cause the fan to run loudly. Apple recommends that you keep your Mac in a temperature range of 50° to 95° F (10° to 35° C).

Dirty Air Vents

If the air vents on your Mac are dirty, it can also make the fan run loudly.  

Check Your Mac For Viruses and Malware

If your Mac is infected with a virus or malware, it can also cause the fan to run loudly. This is because the computer is running extra background processes. Be sure to run a virus scan with an anti-malware program to see if this is the case.

SMC Hasn’t Been Reset in a Long Time

The System Management Controller (SMC) is responsible for managing different hardware components on your Mac, including the fan. If it hasn’t been reset in a while, it can cause the fan to run loudly.

Faulty Hardware

In rare cases, a faulty component in your Mac can cause the fan to run loudly. If you’ve tried all of the above solutions and your Mac fan is still running loudly, it’s best to take it to an Apple Store or authorized service provider for further diagnosis.

How to Fix Loud Fan Noise on Mac

Once you’ve determined the cause of why is my Mac fan so loud, you can take steps to fix it. Here are some options to try to silence the fan on your Mac.

Force Quit Apps That Are Causing High CPU Usage

If an app is causing your Mac to run slowly and the fan to kick into high gear, you can try force-quitting it. To do this, open Activity Monitor and click on the CPU column to sort the list of apps by usage.

choose the app to quit on Mac

Then, select the app that uses a lot of CPU and click the Quit button at the top of the window. You can also select an app and press Command+Q on your keyboard to quit it.

Make Sure Airflow is not Blocked Around the Chasis

As we mentioned before, it’s important to make sure that your Mac has adequate airflow. If the vents are blocked, or the computer is in a warm room, the fan will have to work harder to keep it cool, making it quite loud.

Be sure to check the vents on your Mac and make sure that nothing is blocking them. If possible, you should also try to keep your Mac in a cool, well-ventilated area.

Ensure That the Vents are Clear

If the vents on your Mac are clogged with dust or other debris, it can make the fan run loudly. To clean the vents, you can use a can of compressed air to blow the dust-out. You can also use a vacuum cleaner with the brush attachment to reach some of the harder-to-reach areas.

Similarly, if another object blocks your Mac’s fan, like a wall or shelf, that reduces airflow, makes it overheat, and causes the fan to ramp up loudly.

Check Your Room Temperature

As we mentioned before, the temperature of the room where your Mac is located can affect how loud the fan is. If it’s too hot, it can make the fan work harder and be quite noisy.

Apple recommends that you keep your Mac in a temperature range of 50° to 95° F (10° to 35° C). If possible, try to find a cooler spot for your computer or use a fan to cool down the area around it.

Restart Your Mac

A simple restart can often fix minor software issues that may be causing loud fan in Macbook Pro. To restart your Mac, click on the Apple logo in the top-left corner of your screen and select Restart.

Reset PRAM and NVRAM

PRAM (Parameter RAM) and NVRAM (Non-Volatile RAM) are types of memory that store information about your Mac, such as the volume level, default startup disk, and screen resolution.

If these settings become corrupted, it can cause issues like a loud fan. To reset PRAM and NVRAM, follow these steps:

  • Shut down your Mac.
  • Press and hold your keyboard’s Option, Command, P, and R keys.
  • Turn on your Mac.
  • Keep holding the keys until you hear the startup sound for a second time.
  • Release the keys.

Reset the SMC of Your Mac

Macbook Air fan really loud? Give it a try to reset the SMC.

To reset the SMC on an Intel-based Mac, follow these steps:

  1. Shut down your computer.
  2. Unplug the power cord and wait 15 seconds.
  3. Plug the power cord back in and wait 5 seconds.
  4. Press the power button to turn on your computer.

If you have an M1 or M2 Mac, follow these steps instead:

  1. Shut down your computer.
  2. Press and hold the power button for 10 seconds to force a shutdown.
  3. Press the power button again to turn on your computer.

Update Your Mac

If you’re running an outdated version of macOS, it can cause various issues, including a loud fan. To update your Mac, click the Apple logo in the top left of your screen and select “About this Mac.” Then click “Software Update…” in the small window that opens.

choose Software Update to fix loud fan noise on Mac

If any updates are available, click on the Update button next to each one to install it.

Use Apple Diagnostics to Test Your Mac’s Fans

If you’re still having issues with a loud fan, there may be a hardware issue. To test your Mac’s fans, you can use Apple Diagnostics.

To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Shut down your computer.
  2. Press and hold the D key on your keyboard while pressing the power button to turn on your computer.
  3. Keep holding the D key until you see the diagnostics screen appear.
  4. Select your language and click the arrow to continue.
  5. Wait for the diagnostics process to finish.

If any issues are found, they’ll be displayed on the screen. You can then take your Mac to an Apple Store or authorized service provider to have it repaired.

Manually Control and Monitor the Cooling System

If you want more control over your Mac’s cooling system, there are a few third-party apps that you can use.

SmcFanControl is one of the most popular options, and it lets you manually control the speed of your Mac’s fans. It also shows you the temperature of various components in your computer so that you can monitor them.

Another option is Macs Fan Control, which gives you even more control over your Mac’s fans and lets you create custom profiles. It also has a handy menu bar item so you can quickly check the temperature of various components in your computer.

Finally, there’s CoolBook, which not only lets you control the speed of your Mac’s fans but also lets you underclock and overclock your computer’s processor.

Use Only Apple-authorized Power Adapters

Using a non-Apple power adapter can cause all sorts of problems, including a loud fan.

If you’re using a third-party power adapter, make sure it’s an Apple-authorized one. You can check this by looking for the “Designed by Apple in California” text on the adapter.

If you’re unsure if your adapter is authorized, you can contact Apple support or take your Mac to an Apple Store or authorized service provider.

Keep your Mac optimized.

To keep your Mac running smoothly, it’s essential to clean it of junk files and other unnecessary clutter regularly.

Several different apps can do this for you, but one of the best is CleanMyMac X. It can quickly scan your entire system and remove any junk files that it finds, freeing up space on your hard drive in the process.

It has many other features, such as an uninstaller, malware removal tool, etc.

You can download a free trial of CleanMyMac X here.

Use a Cooling Dock

If your Macbook fan runs loudly often, you could use a cooling dock to keep its temperature low and prevent it from kicking into the fast (and loud) RPM level.

I personally use the Cooler Master NotePal X3 dock to keep my Mac cool. It has a fan itself, but I can barely hear it even at the max speed. Plus, my MacBook Pro’s fan never gets loud anymore.

Replace the Internal Fan

Sometimes, the only way to fix a loud fan is to replace it. If you’ve tried all of the above solutions and your Mac fan is still running loudly, it’s best to take it to an Apple Store or authorized service provider for further diagnosis.

FAQs

Here are the top questions we get about loud fans on Macs.

  • 1. What can cause a loud fan on a Mac?

There are several potential causes, including incorrect fan settings, dusty internals, and hardware issues.

  • 2. How do I fix a loud fan on my Mac?

You can try a few things, including resetting your SMC, using a fan control app, and cleaning your Mac of junk files. If none of these solutions work, you may need to take your Mac to an Apple Store or authorized service provider for further diagnosis.

  • 3. Is it bad if my Mac’s fan is constantly running?

No, it’s not necessarily bad if your Mac fan is always running. However, it could indicate that your Mac is overheating or a problem with the fan itself. If you’re concerned, take your Mac to an Apple Store or authorized service provider for further diagnosis.

Final Thoughts

If your Macbook making fan noise, there are a few things you can try to fix the problem. First, reset your SMC and then use a fan control app to set your fan’s speed manually. If that doesn’t work, ensure it has good airflow, clean vents, and the most recent version of iOS.

Finally, if all else fails, use a laptop cooling dock or take your Mac to an Apple Store or authorized service provider for further diagnosis.

Which steps did you use to make your Mac’s fan quieter?

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