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How to Control Fan Speed on PC

how to control fan speed

All computers, whether laptop or PC, have built-in fans to keep your system from overheating. They normally run faster when you boot up and then quiet down when startup completes. They also run faster if you’re putting demands on your system’s resources — like having tons of tabs open in Chrome. Still, there are several reasons why you’d need to adjust your fan speeds faster or slower. Luckily, you can do so through third party software, BIOS, or your control panel without too much trouble.

Ways to Control Fan Speed on Windows Computers

If you want to control the fan speed on Windows 10 and 11, be careful. If your PC or laptop overheats, you might permanently damage the hardware. There are several troubleshooting tactics to control your CPU fan speed. With Windows 10 and 11, these will be very similar so they should work for either version. 

Adjusting power settings method through the control panel

By adjusting your laptop or PC’s power settings, you can lower the workload placed on your system. This means the fan doesn’t have to work as hard to keep everything cool, which improves performance. Here are the steps:

  1. Go to Control Panel
  2. Go to Power Options
  3. Choose a power plan that reduces the system performance or optimizes battery life. This may be enough to even things out and get things functioning normally again

Clean your Computer’s Fan

Depending on the type of computer you have, it’s possible you can open it up and access the fan yourself. You’ll need to be very careful not to disturb any other components and if you’re not comfortable you can find a professional to do so for you. If you’re feeling brave, however, use compressed air or a soft cloth to eliminate debris, dust, or even animal hair, as the case may be. Eliminating debris improves fan function.

How to control fan speed via third-party software

In order to control fan speed, you can also download a third-party app. The app depends on your hardware and Windows version.

There are all kinds of third-party apps out there that can help control your fan speed. We’ve narrowed down the most popular and most helpful options, but feel free to do your own research and pick what you think is best.

  1. SpeedFan
  2. HWiNFo

Control fan speed on Windows 10 with SpeedFan

  1. Install SpeedFan and run it.
  2. On the app’s main window, click the ‘Configure’

speed fan configure menu

  1. A new window will open. Go to the Fans
  2. Wait for the app to find and list your fans.
  3. Select the fan you want to control.

speedfan fan controllers

4. Use the response curve to control the fan speed.

What is the response curve?

Fans turn on when your system heats up. The response curve maps heat with fan speed. The hotter the system runs, the faster the fans will run. Many of the software options will have response curves represented.

Control fan speed on Windows 10 and 11 with HWiNFo

Follow these steps to control the fan speed using HWiNFo. Note, it is also compatible with Windows 11:

  1. Run the app and click Sensors on the main window.
  2. Confirm the pop-up message.
  3. A new window will open listing the various sensors on your system. At the bottom there is a fan button. Click it.
  4. A new window will open listing up to three fans. Select one of the active fans.
  5. Click ‘Set manual to manually set the speed for the fan.HWiNFo warning
  6.  HWiNFO doesn’t map the speed to the temperature of your PC so be extra careful with it. Find a way to monitor the temperature of your CPU and GPU so that it doesn’t heat up.

Using First Party Software to Control Fan Speed

You can use a fan control tool but you’ll need to be sure you’re using the correct software. First-party software is created by the manufacturer of your PC, or your PC’s motherboard, if you have a custom built computer. You’ll need to find the model of your PC and the name of the manufacturer. Here are some steps to follow for using first party software to adjust fan speed:

  1. Find your system manufacturer and system model number by accessing your “System Information”
  2. Once you know your model information, go to the support page of your particular model, find the downloads section
  3. Look for the system utility
  4. You may find the fan control within other systems, such as overclocking utility or system control. You’ll need to download whichever has the fan control with it. 
  5. Once you’ve installed the utility, look for fan speed control. Likely it will be accessible through more general tabs, such as settings. It shouldn’t be difficult to find, though every system can be different so do some exploring
  6. From there, choose your fan control setting. Most list these settings as a percentage, 100 meaning the highest possible setting for your fan and the opposite being zero. The higher the settings the cooler your PC but the noisier your fan will be 

Using BIOS or UEFI to control Fan Speed

BIOS (Basic Input/Output System), is a program motherboards use to manage data between the computer’s OS (operating system) and attached devices, such as the keyboard, mouse, and printer. There’s a lot more to it, but for our purposes we’ll discuss how BIOS helps control fan speed. UEFI (unified extensible firmware interface) is very similar to BIOS but is found in newer computer models. It does mostly the same things, it’s just more advanced. For this article, we’ll be using the term BIOS but UEFI could easily be substituted. 

Most BIOS allow you to see and adjust the speed of your CPU fan. Here’s how:

  1. Turn off your computer
  2. Turn your computer back on and then press whatever shortcut key launches the BIOS settings. Depending on the model of your system, the key might be different. Most, however, are F2, F10, F12, Delete, or ESC. You should be able to look up the exact key if you know your model information. You’ll need to press it repeatedly
  3. Find the menu that shows the settings for the fan. Every PC is different. It could be under Overclocking, Advanced, Hardware Monitor, PC Health, Fan Control, etc.
    BIOS hardware monitor
  4. Find something along the lines of “CPU Fan Speed Control,” toggle this to enabled if it isn’t already
  5. Select your desired fan speed, which is often expressed in a percentage, meaning 100 percent is maximum speed
    BIOS fan control menu
  6. Note: there are other fans in your system besides the CPU, such as a GPU (graphics processing unit) fan, etc.  
  7. Save your changes before leaving BIOS

Warning: Anytime you’re messing with BIOS, know what you’re doing. It’s easy to do something wrong and cause a huge headache for yourself. 

Conclusion

Whatever your fan problems, there are lots of methods to try to get it functioning again. Fortunately, they’re all pretty simple, so you’ll probably be back up and running in no time. 

10 Comments

  1. Hello! thanks for this tutorial. My issue is that when i open fan control setting and check on advance nothing shows up neither in fan control or fans and cpu rpm value is not showing. Can you help?

  2. I am afraid that with my MSI GT70 laptop both Speedfan and HWIN don’t give you the option to control the fan. Speedfan doesn’t even detect it and HWIN sees it and its speed but the fan control button is not there.

    Just so you know.
    I checked BIOS and no options exist there either.

    So, still looking.

  3. SpeedFan never showed the fans once I clicked the CONFIGURE button, no matter how long I waited.

    The version of HWiNFo I downloaded doesn’t look anything like the screen shots you show above, and has no FAN button on the pop-up window once SENSORS is clicked.

    I have an Alienware Aurora R12, Windows 10 Home 64 bit, Processor 11th Gen Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-11400F @ 2.60GHz, 2592 Mhz, 6 Core(s), 12 Logical Processor(s), Acer S201HL (1600×900@60Hz) 2047MB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER (Dell), 16 GB of DDR4 (don’t know if it’s dual channel or not – I think it is, but I can’t find that information).

    I have at least 4 fans, 2 in for the case, 1 on CPU, 1 on GPU.

    I would appreciate any help. Thank you.

  4. Not seeing a fan option in HWiNFo – everything else is the same as the screen shot, but no fan? I’m on Win 10 latest build.

  5. Lenovo Z710. Fan 2 seems to have died. Want to try to take control of it. Your apps loaded correctly but neither one was able to grab onto the fan services. No control for the fans. Bummer.

  6. Can your software automatically control fan speeds to maintain user specified temperature limits?

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