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Front Case Fan Not Spinning: [3 Proven Fixes That Work

If you’ve been facing CPU fan problems for a little while and don’t know what to do or how to get rid of this issue, don’t worry! 

We are here to help you out. Everyone deals with some common CPU fan problems. A popular one is the front case fan not spinning

Our solutions are going to make your fan work for you, whether your fan is spinning slowly, faster than before, or even if it has stopped working. 

The CPU comes with a fan whose purpose is to control the temperature of your PC. You’ve likely experienced overheating issues many times in your life, so fans are there to reduce overheating. 

In this article, we will discuss these case fans in depth, covering how you can solve issues related to them – specifically the issue of the case fan not spinning.

Let’s get into it!


The Basics of CPU Case Fans

If we start by talking about the very basics of CPU case fans, then you must know that any power supply unit supplies a voltage of at least 12 V on desktop computers and 5 V on laptops to ensure the CPU fan is working properly. 

The fan header is the actual port that acts as an intermediary between the fan and the motherboard.

A set of three cables are assembled with the CPU fan, serving different yet necessary functions to make the fan work properly. 

These three cables come in distinctive colors and provide voltage, limit the speed of the fan, and act neutrally.

BIOS supervises the CPU fans, running them with controlled measures. The front and rear fans help  air flow around your PC.

There is always a threshold (or a certain limit) of temperature set, and, whenever the temperature of the CPU exceeds it, the CPU fan automatically turns on.

Take note, if your fan is spinning a bit faster than normal, then it is a sign of your CPU running at a higher temperature. 

If you don’t think your CPU is overheated and the front or the rear fan is not spinning, then recheck your BIOS settings. Sometimes, updating your BIOS settings proves to be the best solution.

CPU Case Fan

If your fan is running way too fast, then you may need to fix your motherboard or even the electric power converter (commonly known as the power supply unit or the PSU). 

In many cases, dirt is the only cause, accumulating on your fan and hindering the smooth running of your CPU fan.

Sometimes, the cables of the fan obstruct its vanes while spinning, which leads to trouble; the CPU fan has no torque to control this incident. 

In many cases, the motherboard of the CPU gets damaged due to short-circuiting, and the fan, which is attached to it, stops spinning.

Apart from short-circuiting, if the PSU does not deliver the required amount of voltage, then the fan can cease running as well. 

Let’s discuss the reasons behind and the solution to this fan-spinning problem.

Front case fan not spinning: 3 Causes And Solutions

There can be many reasons for your CPU fan to have stopped spinning or to spin abruptly. Let’s discuss the issues and the possible solutions to fix this problem.

Approach 1: Fan Issues

A fan-spinning problem can occur for many reasons. It may be due to the fan itself, the motherboard, or the power supply unit. Let’s first discuss issues with the fan.

Issue 1: The desktop or laptop gets overheated because the fan is either not spinning or is spinning abruptly

Fix: Always check to see if your system is placed in direct sunlight.

blue cpu cooler inside PC case, shiny light background

If you keep your desktop computer or use your laptop in an area that gets direct sunlight, then moving your system to a bit cooler place might prove to be the best solution to the annoying issue of the front case fan not spinning.

Keeping a desktop computer in a place where it gets direct sunlight results in your system overheating. It can also make your system shut down more often. 

The best fix is to find a cooler spot to keep your computer.

Issue 2: System was all right before overclocking, but now the CPU fan is not working.

Fix: Overclocking doesn’t suit every PC. You need to do a lot of research to see if your CPU can handle overclocking.

Image via avadirect

Overclocking results in the overheating of your CPU. Usually, cheap CPU fans can’t bear the excessive overheating produced due to overclocking. 

Special kinds of fans are necessary to produce the expected results. We suggest you stop overclocking and see if it reduces the overheating problem in your CPU.

If it does, that might also get rid of the automatic shut down problem as well. 

Issue 3: Fan has stopped spinning over time, even though the CPU is not getting overheated.

Fix: The best possible reason for this issue could be that your CPU fan is clogged with a lot of dust, which prevents your fan from spinning properly.

You can clean this dirt with a little effort, but, if you can’t, you can get it done by a professional.  

To do it yourself, just use the brush attachment of your vacuum cleaner. Move it all around the fan so that it can suck all the dirt out of your fan. 

If you do not have a vacuum cleaner, then buy an airgun or any canned air spray that helps you keep your CPU fan free from dirt.

Approach 2: Motherboard Issues

The issues of CPU fans are not limited to only errors with the fans themselves; they can also be caused by a damaged motherboard

Faulty Motherboard

And yes, this can also be the reason of your front case fan not spinning.

If you have tried millions of ways to fix your CPU fan but nothing works out for you, then you should next check your motherboard.

Issue 1: Fan has stopped spinning, and performing fan-related fixes did not work.

Fix: The best way to check if your motherboard suited well for your CPU fan is to arrange a working motherboard from a friend, install it in your CPU, and see if the fan works well with that motherboard.

If it does, then your motherboard needs to be replaced or restored. 

Also read: Motherboard not detecting monitor

Issue 2: Motherboard is not suitable for a particular system only.

Fix: In some cases, the PSU is no longer compatible with some parts of your motherboard, which results in stopping your fan from spinning.

computer motherboard

It is also possible that a very few of the parts of your motherboard have stopped working and, by changing them, your fan can start running well.

Issue 3: Changing some settings caused a problem for the CPU fan.

Fix: Always remember that BIOS turns on the CPU fan and that any changes in the BIOS settings can cause your case fan not to spin with the new build.

You can restore it to the previous setting by just resetting the BIOS. This will get your fan functioning smoothly, as it had previously. 

Just follow these simple steps to reset your BIOS.

  1. Shut down your laptop. Put your finger on the Power button and press the F2 key.
  2. Press the F9 key to reset BIOS settings.
  3. Press Esc to save the settings and validate if your CPU fan is working fine.

Approach 3: Power Supply Issues

If you are hearing some weird sounds coming from your PC and none of the above fixes worked for you, then recheck your PSU.

You might have heard about someone’s PC, keyboard, or CPU blowing up – this too happens because of PSU.

Power Supply

If you sometimes encounter sudden shutdowns or the PC restarting on its own, this too points to a PSU problem.

It is not feasible for many people to change out their motherboards (and it can lead to other problems as well). 

You need to check the voltage in your PSU. If your power supply unit cannot deliver 5 volts to 12 volts, then your fan or motherboard can develop sudden problems. 

In this case, you need to change your power supply. If you have changed your power supply unit and are still encountering the same issues, then it’s probably because the ports are not compatible with your system’s components, causing them to not work as desired. 

Case fan not spinning unless pushed: What to Do

There are some cases when you press the Power button of your PC , but your fan does not start spinning unless you take the case off and turn it on manually every time.

This is the reason you need to try one of these possible fixes. 

One of the possible reasons is that the fan is crowded with a lot of dust and, because of that, your fan can not spin itself, needing you to push it.

Inside of the personal computer (power suplay motherboard, cables, discs, fan...)

Just get an airgun or a canned air spray that can clean your fan with high air pressure. 

Another possible fix is to try to change your cables, as the previous one might be sliding out.

Sometimes, these can get in the way of blades, keeping the fan from spinning properly. Try to change cables and see if that works for you. 

Otherwise, you need to change your fan to a new fan. There is also the chance that the new fan might not prove to be the best solution. That means the problem is somewhere else.

If none of these solutions solve your problem, then the problem is probably in your motherboard or the PSU.

It’s possible that your power supply is not providing the required voltage, resulting in the fan not running the way it should. 

5 Precautionary Measures to Follow

These are five precautionary measures that you can adopt to ensure a perfectly working CPU fan.

#1 Keep your system away from extensive sunlight

Always check to see if your system is placed in areas of direct sunlight, as this can make your PC overheat, which in turn makes your fan run faster and eventually reduces its lifespan.

Relaxing break at the park

If your PC is placed in a hot area, try moving it to a cooler place to get your desired outcomes.

#2 Give your system some space

Always make sure your system has space to breathe. Make sure that your system is placed on a desk that is not closed off from all sides.

Always leave a few inches of space around every side of your system so that fans can work appropriately , and the system can’t get overheated frequently.

#3 Clean your fans

You know that dust can cause a considerable decrease in your fan’s performance.

Why do you always end up buying a new fan system for your CPU instead of taking care of the one you have?

Just get yourself a bottle of canned air spray and spray the fan once a week. A good cleaning can increase your fan’s lifespan.

computer fan cleaning

#4 Keep a case to cool your memory

Memory is the most essential unit of any system, but it produces a lot of heat as well.

To make your system less overheated, get yourself a cooling fan that can activate at high temperatures and keep the system at a balanced temperature.

#5 Keep a powerful cooling fan

The power supply of your PC comes with a powerful cooling fan, and, if you do not have case fans, then these power cooling fans keep your system’s temperature below a certain threshold.

Computer Power Supply and Fan

Always keep an eye on this fan and replace it if you feel your power supply fan is not spinning.


Do case fans always spin?

Case fans do not spin all the time; instead, they spin for just a few seconds when you turn your system on, and, after that, they stop spinning. Case fans are connected to the motherboard.

How do I fix the fan on my CPU not spinning?

Try all the fan-related fixes (e.g., cleaning the fan, moving your computer to a cooler place, changing the cables). If nothing works, then check your motherboard and power supply unit.

Are front case fans necessary?

Case fans are necessary to keep your system’s components cooler and get rid of excessive overheating. Front case fans have one purpose: to draw air into the system, keeping your system at a balanced temperature.

Is it possible for a graphic card fan to not spin?

Yes, but that indicates an error. You need to do something to make them spin. Dirt and debris is the main cause stopping cooler master fans from spinning properly. Always keep an eye on the health of your system’s components, as they all contribute to the lifespan of your system.