Why are my GPU Fans not Spinning?

Why are my GPU Fans not Spinning?

Your GPU fans will automatically run quickly when you are doing load-intensive operations on your computers like playing video games, doing video editing, or software development. This happens to effectively cool down your computer by enhancing overall heat dissipation. In contrast, sometimes, the fans won’t run quickly enough to keep the system cool since the hardware or software can’t keep up with how hot everything is getting. Additionally, the GPU fans mostly don’t turn on unless the card reaches a certain temperature and is under a high load.

Moreover, if you’re using the same graphics card for years, your GPU fans may no longer spin or spin less quickly than they once did, as you may have seen. In addition, your GPU may overheat as a result, which may damage your system or cause it to become unstable. But you can try a few different things to attempt and solve the issue. If you’re wondering why are my GPU fans not spinning, you might need to clean the fans or replace them entirely if that doesn’t work. Still, there are several solutions to reveal, but for that, you have to read this post until the end.

Why Are My GPU Fans Not Spinning?

Like any issue, there could be multiple reasons behind a single problem. In case of unusual GPU fan spinning, you might be seeing this issue for a few different reasons. Let’s have a look at some of the most common ones.

Fan speed issue: Low fan speeds are usually not a problem, but rather an intentional choice by the manufacturer. You must start analyzing the issue by checking the GPU fans’ speed capabilities. If the rated fan speeds are adequate, you can move to the next factors. 

Dusty GPU: Most of the time, dust is settled on the GPU fans or bearings of the fans that cause them to stick to the fans. The bearings are facing enormous resistance to do their jobs or stop sometimes. In short, dust may be a reason why the fans aren’t properly spinning. 

Improper cable management: You can’t maximize network performance with bad cable management. Bad cabling can result in signal interference, which causes everything to move slowly. Even, your GPU can overheat due to these issues due to improper airflow.

Poor connectivity: Another reason that may be stopping the GPU fans from properly spinning could be improper connectivity. Suppose, a card needs to be connected via an 8-pin connector. If it’s connected using a 6-pin connector, it may be the reason for improper fan speeds.  

Some software or drivers related issues: Sometimes, some bugs or glitches are there in the operating system or drivers that may be causing the GPU fans to rotate improperly. Therefore, we must consider this software-based issue that may be a reason for our problem.

How to Fix GPU Fan not Spinning? Possible Solutions!

If your GPU fans aren’t spinning, it could be a sign that there’s a problem. We have looked at several reasons that may be causing the graphics card’s fans to not properly spin. Now, it’s time to look at all several possible solutions to solve the problem in no time. Let’s explore!

1. Restart the computer

The best answer is frequently the simplest. Restarting your computer is the go-to solution recommended by IT professionals around the world for a GPU fan that appears to be malfunctioning. As I mentioned earlier in the previous section, the GPU fans are not properly spinning may be due to some glitches or driver-related issues in your operating system. Rebooting the computer is a great way to clean up the system and adjust settings for appropriate GPU fan operation. You must try this, if the issue isn’t resolved, you can move to the next fixes. 

2. Check for Interferences or Blockages 

If the fans can’t spin since they’re being blocked or tampered with something like wire or another component, it should be one of the first things you look for. Without really looking at the GPU fans when the computer is on, it’s sometimes not fully clear that anything is keeping them in place. Something is in the way if you notice the fans twitching but not truly rotating. This is most likely going to be a wire, but it may also be anything like the tubes of a liquid cooler or even a screw that became lodged in the cooler of your GPU. Keep this factor at top of your fixes list. 

Ensure to power off your computer before attempting to remove the impediment. You can work around your GPU and other components securely in this way. Whether the obstruction is still there, try gently spinning the fans on your graphics card to see if you’ve succeeded. Your hands, a tool, or a can of pressurized air can all be used for this. To protect your fingers, your tools, and your GPU fans, it is crucial to attempt to do this as carefully as you can when the computer is off. They are not blocked if they spin freely without creating any strange noises.

3. Look at Computer Power Connectors

Powerful graphics processing devices are required to have adequate input power to perform. Sometimes, the power connector may be either a 6-pin or an 8-pin combination depending on the model that connects the GPU to the power supply unit is either disconnected. Or the pins are not fully pushed into the card if you recently installed a new GPU and discovered that the fan isn’t spinning. Check to see that the GPU is installed properly in the motherboard’s PCI-E slot. You should also check to see if the power supply unit has enough wattage to power the GPU. 

The PSU may not be powerful enough to carry heavy-duty peripherals. The PC will often shut off without warning if this is the case. For your information, there are thousands of novice PC builders who often buy a top-of-the-line RTX without double-checking the wattage requirements. If the GPU is being underpowered by your existing power supply unit, you will need to invest in a more powerful replacement, at which time the GPU fan should resume functioning. In short, check everything that is required by the GPU to get enough power.

4. Double-check the PCI-E slot

The issue could also be brought on by a defective motherboard, notably a problematic PCI-E slot. The PCI-E slot that is being used in this instance or the motherboard as a whole might be the source of the issue. If the problem persists, try moving the GPU to a different PCI-E slot to verify this. If it doesn’t, even after you’ve done all the above instructions, the motherboard could be at fault. If so, it’s probably time to get a new one or, if it’s brand-new, to return it to the seller and get a replacement. This shouldn’t be a problem because the majority of current motherboards come with straightforward warranties.

5. Remove any debris and dust from the fan.

Dust and debris accumulation on the fan blades is the most frequent cause of GPU fan failure. It doesn’t take much to obstruct movement or render the blades stationary with the extremely low torque of the GPU fans. If the PC hasn’t been used or cleaned in a long, there are more chances that you will face this issue. Well, we have cleaned the dust or any debris if this is the issue. All you need is to have a canister of compressed air to blow up the dust. Let’s explore all the steps that are required to clean up the dust!

First, open your computer, find your GPU, and blow away any remaining dust from the fan blades or surroundings. Even further, you could disassemble the GPU’s fan from it and use compressed air to effectively blow away any dust from the fan’s blades on each side. In addition, if you decide to take the GPU’s fans off, use this as a chance to clean the card’s surface and the heatsink if the GPU has one.

Note: Pay particular attention to avoid getting too close to the components and circuitry as you spray.

6. Apply a few drops of lubricating oil

If the fans on your outdated graphics card aren’t spinning anymore, you might be able to prolong their life by re-oiling the fan bearings. If you haven’t done it before, you’ll need to take off your graphics card from your computer, as well as the fan(s), peel off the label on the back, and add a few drops of 3-in-1 home oil (a light machine oil will suffice; WD-40 is not recommended).

If the oil restarts your fans, that’s wonderful. If it doesn’t, your graphics card is probably going to stop functioning.

7. Replace the fan

Fans do break down, particularly older types that have been running for thousands of hours. In contrast, more recent GPUs are still susceptible to the rare fan failure brought on by an unanticipated manufacturing error. To check it, you can use the MSI Afterburner, an overclocking and GPU monitoring tool that configures the program to run the fan or fans at maximum speed and test their utility. It is almost a given that the issue will be a hardware failure if they don’t start up and you’ve addressed all the suggestions we made above.

Assuming you most likely lack the knowledge to open a fan and fix it manually, the only choice in this situation is to spend money on a new fan. Fortunately, fans are some of the most affordable PC parts. Having said that, for the assurance of dependable products, we advise sticking with reputable companies like Cooler Master and Corsair. Sadly, broken fans aren’t the only thing that may stop blades from spinning. In short, if there is some need to replace the fan, just do it for the sake of the GPU’s good health and performance. 

Is It Harmful to My GPU if the Fans Are Not Spinning?

So you’ve noticed that your GPU’s fans are not spinning. What’s the deal? Is it harmful to your GPU if the fans are not spinning? Well, it’s not exactly harmful, but it’s not ideal. When your GPU’s fans are not spinning, it means that the heat is not being dissipated properly. This can lead to your GPU overheating, and that’s not good news. In short, if there is a need for the fan to spin or the graphics card is getting hotter, but the fans aren’t spinning, it would be harmful to the graphics card and other components. 

So what can you do to prevent your GPU from overheating? Well, you first start by following a bunch of fixes for the issue that is given above. If these don’t work out, try purchasing a new third-party fan for the card. Or, you can try manually cooling it down by blowing on it or using another fan in the nearby places inside the PC case. Or you could try installing a new graphics card cooler. In any case, it’s a good idea to get your GPU fans spinning so that the heat can be properly dissipated. 

Conclusion

There could be several reasons why your GPU fans aren’t spinning. One possibility is that your graphics card is overheating so both the card and fans are automatically shutting down to prevent damage. Another possibility is that something is blocking the fans, such as dust,  dirt, or something else. Low fan speeds are usually not a problem, and rather an intentional choice by the manufacturer. Poor cooling can be caused by poor case design, bad case airflow, and/or non-functional GPU fans. 

Even if the fan appears to be spinning very slowly, it’s probably just the fan cooling system acting abnormally. If you’re having trouble figuring out why your GPU fans aren’t spinning, it’s a good idea to check out all the above-mentioned reasons or causes in your graphics card. They’ll be able to help you troubleshoot the problem and get your graphics card running smoothly again. After that, you can try some fixes to solve the issue at home. If it doesn’t give you results, consult with an expert

Zohaib Hassan
Zohaib Hassan is a staunch tech enthusiast and has been writing about his interactions with computers for years. He has been serving the PCIdeaz, GamingSilk, and BesTechReview as a content writer and manager along with experimenting and testing numerous tech masterpieces. Indeed, he often forgets about eating his spicy snacks when has his head on the computer screen.