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Quick Fix for a GPU Fan That’s Not Spinning



How can you fix a GPU fan that’s not spinning?

Your video card is having trouble with cooling and you just noticed that the fans are not spinning or that they’re stuttering. If you’re looking for a quick fix to get your graphics card up and running without worrying about it overheating, here are some quick fixes that should help:

How to fix new GPU’s Fans Not Spinning?

If your graphics card is new, then it should work perfectly and it shouldn’t have accumulated dust. However, not all issues revolve around aging GPUs. Here’s why your brand new video card may have issues with its fans:

Before you start fixing the fan, you should know that all modern GPUs have fans that can go idle if the temperatures are cool enough. This way, your video card fans will make less noise and save power since there is no need to continuously spin.

So, what you need to do is load up a demanding game and see if your fans are spinning as they should. Install a program such as MSI afterburner to monitor the speed of your GPU fans. If it shows you that the fans are indeed idle when they should actually spin, try a complete restart.

Fixes for GPU Fan That’s Not Spinning

Sometimes, the most obvious and easiest fix is a system restart. But, if that didn’t work, here are the issues that may stop your GPU fans from spinning:

1 – A loose cable

If you just built your PC, then you may want to check the cables. Sometimes they are not fully seated. To fix this, first turn off your PC and disconnect it. Then, remove the side panel of your case and take a look to see if everything is plugged in.

If the PCIe power cable is plugged in, your video card is recognized but the fans won’t spin, then try using a different PCIe power cable.

After all these fixes, your graphics card fans should be working properly. If not, try some of the next fixes:

2 – Update drivers

You may never know what updating drivers could fix, so why not try this solution? Sometimes a hardware issue can be caused by a simple reboot, so even though the drivers are up to date, delete them and reinstall them to be sure that they are working properly.

3 – Check the motherboard

Maybe your GPU fans aren’t broken at all and it’s an issue caused by the motherboard. To fix this, first turn off your PC and disconnect it. Remove the GPU, connect the monitor directly to the motherboard and try turning your PC. This way, you will make sure that it isn’t the motherboard that doesn’t let the GPU fans spin.

4 – Clean your GPU

If your video card is old, then you may need to maintain it and clean it from time to time. Make sure there is no fluff and dust on the GPU and its fans. If you have a can of compressed air around, it’s best to use them when you clean computer components. A clean dust cloth will also do the job, but the can of compressed air is highly recommended. After cleaning the GPU, reinstall the card, plug all the cables and restart your PC. Load up a game that will put your GPU under some load and see if the fans start spinning.

If the fans don’t kick in, you can still try to do some maintenance.

5 – Add some oil

The older your video card is, the more prone it is to have stiff fan bearings. You can use a bit of lightweight mechanical oil (only that kind of oil) to lubricate the center bearings – a tiny bit of oil to coat that surface may do the job (you can blot away the excess oil with some tissue). Search online for a guide on how to unscrew the fan without breaking anything.

6 – Replace the Fan… or the GPU

If your graphics card is new and the fans don’t work no matter how many things you’ve tried, contact the seller and send it to warranty or have it changed out. It is essential that you do not remove or take the GPU apart as it may void the warranty.

If none of the fixes has worked or you, there is always the possibility of replacing the fans. For those that have an old graphics card, but not THAT old, maybe you can find compatible fans that work with your GPU heatsink. However, if your video card is very old, you may have a difficult time finding a fan. So, it may be time to buy a new one or else opt for a computer repair service online.

Even low-range GPUs that have been launched in 2019 or 2020 are better than the ‘granny’ resting in your PC case and they are quite affordable. Seriously, it’s time to let go!

Dan Western is the founder of Gaming Gorilla, as well as several other infotainment blogs. When he's not working on his business, he's likely in the gym or playing video games. Dan's current setup is a PS5/Nintendo Switch living room setup, and a custom RTX 3090, I9-10850K inside the Lian Li 011D Mini for his office setup.

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