How To Fix GPU Fan Not Spinning? (Potential Causes And Fixes)

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You just built your new computer, and guess what a nightmare hits you, your GPU fan not spinning. Well, this can be a little scary because after spending a fortune on it, you surely don’t want it to be causing trouble. Well, don’t worry, you are in the right place to know each and everything about this problem.

Usually, it is no biggie! You might have missed some step while building your system. Therefore, you just have to do some little tweaks to make your GPU fans spin again.

Reasons Why Your GPU Fans Aren’t Working

First things first, it is important to know the cause of any problem before fixing it. Similarly, you need to find out the reason why your GPU fans aren’t spinning, so that you can solve it accordingly.

Here are a few causes that might be the reason:

  • Passive Cooling Mode – Trust us, when we say this, usually graphic cards don’t spin until they reach a specific temperature. Most of the cards come with a passive cooling mode, that means they can cut down on system noise. However, if your card has this mode, you might want to try Solution 6 given below.
  • Forgot To Plug Wires or Connectors (or they are loose) – It is completely normal for a builder to forget to plug a few things when building a system. Therefore, this may be the reason for your GPU fan, not working.

Solution 1: Clean The Fan

Sometimes, it is no major problem that is causing the problem. All it takes is some dust and debris to block the fan from functioning. These fans aren’t some extraordinary fans, and they are low on power. Therefore only some dust can get in the way.

Image of How to clean the GPU

So here is what you can do, pull out your GPU card and remove the dust with your blow or a dust cloth. Once you are satisfied that there is no dust, you can reinstall the card back in your system. Yes, that’s it!

If you have to do the cleaning repeatedly, we suggest investing in a canister of compressed air. For some more cleaning, you can use this canister to dust off any particles. Furthermore, you can also remove fans to dust the blades and clean the heatsink as well if you have any attached to your GPU.

Solution 2: Check PCIe Power Connectors

This solution has proven to work best for people who have just installed their GPU only to happen to know that it is not working. There are fair chances that you maybe forgot to plug your PCIe Power connector or two.

So, check few things such as if the connector is intact with power supply, pins are properly pushed into the units, and the GPU is connected to PCI-e slot on motherboard properly.

Image of gpu Power Connectors

In addition to that, you should also check if your system’s power supply unit is able to provide sufficient wattage power to the GPU. If the unit is not giving enough power, this problem will occur no matter what. Therefore, it is necessary to do some research before buying a GPU card and fan.

Solution 3: Check GPU Fan Wire Or Connector

One of the most common faults which cause the GPU fans from spinning is the fault in the wiring. If the GPU components are not properly wired to the motherboard, there’s a high chance that the lack of proper wiring is causing the GPU fans to stop.

In such cases, you can either consult a technician or take a look at the wires of the GPU yourself. Also, check if the PCIe cables from the Power Supply Unit (PSU) are properly pushed into the connections provided by the GPU. If not, the power supply won’t be taking the load from the GPU, ultimately causing the fans to stop working.

However, some modern GPU units don’t have power connectors. If you own such a unit, this solution might not be the fix for you. But, you can always check if other wirings are fit in place or not.

Solution 4: Oil The Bearings

Conventional fans and GPU fans have one thing in common. They both become weary after usage. GPU fan bearings, after some time, can lose their ability to spin, and you might already know how to fix this!

Image of showing how to Oil The GPU Fan Bearings

Few drops of oil can make your fan working again. All you have to do is remove your fan’s sticker and open the cap of the fan to pour a few drops of oil (it is okay to use a sewing machine oil).

Do make sure you are not overdoing it, as the spilling of oil can cause some critical problems in your system. Also, don’t add any cooking oil that you see lying around in your home. These oils tend to leave some excess residue that can further hinder your fan from functioning properly.

Solution 5: Passive Cooling Mode

Passive cooling mode refers to when system components operate at a slower speed than their usual operation speeds. Since they’re not operating at normal levels, their temperature doesn’t rise that with a spike, and their power consumption is kept at a bare minimum.

If GPUs are considered to be under the passive cooling mode, their fans are kept idle, and they don’t operate or run that fast. Although this might be normal for the computer, you might think of it as a GPU fan issue. It is not; it can be dealt with from computer settings.

Passive cooling mode for gpu

Passive cooling can be a good opportunity to prolong the guarantee of your GPU performing. Since the core parts don’t over-perform, there’s less risk of the parts losing control or burning overtime. Also, the noise from the GPU is reduced since the fans don’t work at excessive rates.

If you wish to disable this (if turned on by default), you can refer to your GPU’s settings. Most GPUs have different settings for the feature, and some don’t have it at all – depends on the vendor.

Solution 6: Idle

Most computers that use GPU’s today have advanced algorithms installed to determine when a GPU actually needs to run and when it doesn’t. Keeping that in mind, most GPU fans don’t run if your computer doesn’t need that additional processing.

So, if you’re browsing the web or just doing something simple, the GPU fans spinning is a fairly common incident. In such cases, you can run a GPU-intensive game or an application to see if your graphics card is working fine or not.

The Bottom Line

Hopefully, your issue was resolved with the fixes we’ve discussed in this article. If your issue is listed above, but the solution doesn’t work, maybe it’s a different underlying issue.

Most hardware components are quite difficult to understand and require technicians to check the parts and see whether they’re working or not.

If you’re handling with components and can take a quick look around, you might figure out the issue yourself. Bottom line, GPU fans are often not working due to humaneous mistakes and not because of hardware problems. See if the wiring is at fault; if not, then proceed to other fronts.

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Luke Treasure