Annoyed with the loud whirring fan noise produced by your MacBook?
When it comes to aesthetics and beauty, the MacBook does not lack any bit of it. It comes with a very slim and slick design that packs powerful hardware that handles your day to day tasks without a hiccup.
However, packing powerful hardware on such small casing can cause issues particularly with cooling. Recently, there have been reports from Macbook users regarding the weird noise their MacBook is making.
While the noise is normal especially if you are running intensive programs since the fans are working to keep your hardware cool, it is quite alarming if the fans continue to run at high frequencies even at idle.
If you observed that your MacBook’s fans keep on running at high speed even on idle, then you might have issues with your device. Now, there are a couple of reasons as to why your fans continue to run at higher speeds like applications running in the background, airflow problems, or a glitch or bug on your operating system.
Today, we are going to show you a couple of solutions that you can do on your MacBook to try and fix the issue with the fan noise.
Let’s dive right in.
- 1. Check Your Applications and Tabs.
- 2. Maintain a Good Airflow.
- 3. Check for an Update.
- 4. Disable Hardware Acceleration.
- 5. Use the Right Side Ports for Charging.
- 6. Use gfxCardStatus.
- 7. Create Your Own Fan Profile.
- 8. Set a Custom Display Resolution.
- 9. Run Hardware Diagnostics and Contact Apple.
1. Check Your Applications and Tabs.
The first thing that you can do to address the loud fan noise on your MacBook is to look for applications that continue to use a lot of system resources even at idle. Some of your applications might still use 50-60% of your processor while running in the background, which triggers the fans to spin faster than it should while on idle.
To check for applications running in the background, follow the steps below:
- First, click the Finder located on your dock to open a Finder window.
- On the Finder’s sidebar, click on Applications.
- After that, click on Utilities.
- Now, open the Activity Monitor.
- Lastly, click on the CPU tab to see which applications continue to use your resources even on idle. Click on the process that uses your system resources the most and hit the Force Quit button to stop it from running on your system.
Once done, restart your MacBook and try to observe if the fans would continue to run faster than it should normally.
2. Maintain a Good Airflow.
The MacBook is well designed not only for aesthetics but also for cooling. There are a couple of air vents on the side and bottom of the MacBook, which helps the fans in sucking cold air into your device and releasing hot air out of your MacBook.
Possibly, these air vents are clogged with dirt and dust build-up due to use for months or years. What you can do is to bring it to the nearest service center on your location and have them clean the air vents and the fans of your MacBook.
Also, when using your MacBook, make sure that the air vents are not being blocked and avoid placing it on surfaces like carpets that restricts the airflow on your MacBook.
3. Check for an Update.
Based on what we’ve found out, the issue with your MacBook’s fan noise is related to a faulty AMD graphics driver which for some reason keeps the fans at 100% usage even on idle. The issue occurs when you plug in an external display on the MacBook or when you run it at 1440p 60Hz resolution.
While you can just avoid using an external display or running a resolution of 1440p, it is still something to worry about knowing that your MacBook has a problem or you might need to use these features in the future.
In this case, a software update is the only way to solve this issue. Apple might already be aware of this issue on the MacBook and can roll out an update anytime to address the issue.
To check for an update on your MacBook, follow the steps below to guide you through the process:
- On your Mac, click on the Apple logo at the top of your screen and select System Preferences.
- Inside System Preferences, click on Software Update.
- Lastly, click on the Update Now button if available.
Once the update is done, give your MacBook a restart and try to observe if the fan would still continue to run at high speeds on idle when plugging in an external display or running at 1440p resolution.
4. Disable Hardware Acceleration.
If you observed that your MacBook’s fans would spin fast from time to time while using chrome, then you might have problems with its settings. By default, Chrome would use your GPU to boost or optimize its performance which is not needed for regular browsing and word processing.
To fix this, you should disable hardware acceleration settings on Chrome to prevent it from using your GPU when browsing the web.
- On your MacBook, open Google Chrome.
- Inside Chrome, click on the button with three vertical dots located at the top-right corner of your screen.
- After that, click on Settings.
- Lastly, under System Settings, disable the ‘Use Hardware Acceleration’ option.
Now, try to observe your laptop to see if the issue with MacBook fan noise is already resolved.
5. Use the Right Side Ports for Charging.
One of the key features of the MacBook is that you are able to charge on both USB-C ports located on the left and right side of the device. While this makes it easier for you to charge your MacBook on the go, a recent report from a MacBook user claimed that the laptop shows a strange spike in its CPU usage and temperature when charging it from the left USB-C port.
While there is still no defined explanation as to why this occurs, we strongly advise that you use the left side ports of your MacBook for connecting peripherals and use the right USB-C port for charging the device.
6. Use gfxCardStatus.
gfxCardStatus is a free tool that allows you to view which applications trigger your dedicated graphics card which causes the fans to spin faster to keep things cool.
Try to download the app on your MacBook and check it from time to time while you are using your laptop so that you can identify which programs use your graphics card even on idle. Make sure to close these applications or uninstall them permanently from your computer to prevent high system resource usage from your MacBook even at idle.
In addition, you can manually select which graphics card should be used by your system. You can also enable dynamic switching that allows the program to automatically decide when to use the dedicated graphics and when to disable it.
7. Create Your Own Fan Profile.
When you connect an external display on your MacBook, its fans immediately ramp up to 100% to keep your processor cool. However, this is where the fan noise comes into play. The default fan curve set by Apple seems to favor temperature instead of noise which many did not like.
There is a tool called TG Pro which allows you to not only set a custom fan profile so that you can control how your fans would behave at idle and at load, but also monitor your MacBook’s temperature and CPU usage.
Here you can set custom fan profiles for different CPU temperatures and when you are plugged into the power adapter or using your MacBook’s battery. You can also control when TG Pro is going to be enabled as well as controlling the auto boost function of your laptop.
8. Set a Custom Display Resolution.
As mentioned above, the fans on your MacBook ramps up when you connect an external display to it. However, setting a custom resolution on your external display seems to work in keeping your fans quiet while maintaining reasonable CPU temperatures.
To set a custom display resolution on your MacBook, follow the steps below.
- First, download SwitchResX on your MacBook (This is a paid application).
- After that, you would need to disable SIP, which is explained on SwitchResX website.
- Once you have disabled SIP, open SwitchResX on your MacBook.
- Now, select your external display and click on Custom Resolution.
- Click on the (+) plus button to add your custom resolution.
- On the pop-up window, make sure that Custom Resolution is selected and change the Vertical Scan Rate to 50Hz or 55Hz.
- Lastly, press the Command + S key on your keyboard to save the changes.
Now, restart your system and go back to SwitchResX. Go to Current Resolutions and change your external display’s resolution to the one that you have created.
Once the custom resolution is applied, try to observe if your MacBook would still continue to produce whirring fan noise when plugged in to an external display.
9. Run Hardware Diagnostics and Contact Apple.
Apple has a built-in hardware diagnostic tool that allows you to scan for problems related to your MacBook’s hardware like the fans. It is possible that your fans have a problem which causes it to produce noise when running at higher speeds.
To run the hardware diagnostic tool, check out the steps below:
- First, ensure that no external device is connected to your MacBook.
- After that, press on the Apple logo located at the top-left corner of your screen.
- Next, click on Shutdown.
- Once your MacBook is completely turned off, start it once again by tapping the Power button while holding down the D key on your keyboard until the language menu appears.
- Lastly, select your preferred language and follow the on-screen prompts to proceed with the test.
Once the results come out and the tool found a problem with your fans, bring it to the nearest Apple Store on your location and ask them to check your MacBook to confirm the problem that was diagnosed by the tool.
However, if the diagnostic tool did not find any problem with your MacBook, we still advise that you bring your MacBook to your local Apple Store or a licensed Apple repair center to help you out in diagnosing the problem with your MacBook’s fans.
This wraps up our guide on how to fix the issue with your MacBook fan noise. If you know other solutions on how to fix this kind of issue, kindly share it in the comment section below, and we would give you credit for the solution once this article gets updated.
If this guide helped you, please share it. 🙂