Your GPU Fan Not Spinning? Let’s find out why and how to fix it

We don’t see it often, but many of us see GPU fan not spinning on an old PC or a brand new one. If it is the first time seeing it, everyone gets confused, even panic. Don’t be. There always a reason for everything, and in this case, sometimes it is not even an error. It is just a new feature called “Freeze fan stop”.

I. Freeze fan stop: When Gpu fan not spinning is just a feature

Some recent graphics card models have freeze fan stop to bring less noise when the GPU is in low load situations. Freeze fan stop feature only starts the GPU fans when it hits specified temperature (at 60 Celsius by default)

The graphics cards can work best at below 85 Celsius. The maximum operating temperature for any graphics card is around 100 Celsius. So it is fine when your GPU fans don’t work sometimes.

However, when your graphics card equipped with Freeze-fan-stop and still want to change it, to make the fans spin at all times or at a lower temperature, there is something you can do:

  • Install the manufacturer’s GPU management software

  • Disable Freeze-fan-stop feature to make the GPU fans spin all the time

  • or assign fan speed for a certain temperature threshold of the graphics card

II. Common reasons why your GPU fans are not spinning

First of all, you need to unplug your graphics card and try it on a working computer. Graphics cards are not hot-swappable devices, so turn the PC off before switching your graphics card to test.

1. Your PCIe x16 slot isn’t working properly

When your graphics card doesn’t need an external PCIe power connector, the chance is the PCIe x16 slot that you are using might not be working correctly. So option one is switching to another PCIe x16 slot if your motherboard has two PCIe x16 slots.

Option two is updating drivers for your system then restart your PC. If your GPU fans are still not working, you are not having this faulty.

2. Some PCIe power connector isn’t plugged in

Some high-performance graphics cards need more power than 75W from the PCIe x16 slot. As a result, they need extra energy from PCIe x4, x6, x8, or more than one PCIe power connector.

Forgetting plugging in one of these cables will make your graphics card lack the energy to operate.

Check the PCIe power connectors, tighten them if they are already connected, and try to turn on your PC again.

3. Another power cable isn’t plugged in

Maybe you haven’t known yet, that an unplugged fan can stop your PC from starting up. Yes. A small power connector for the CPU fan can prevent your whole system from booting up.

Sometimes, it is your case. First, double-check all the cables to make sure you plug them all in tight. Then restart your computer to see if your GPU fans work.

4. Your GPU fans are too dusty

You keep your PC in a dusty environment, or your dusty filter wast burst. Unfortunately, that makes your graphics card and all other PC components dusty, which can make GPU fans not spinning.

First, unplug the power of the PC. Then bring the whole PC outside and use something like a leaf blower to blow all the dust away. If it is still dusty after that, use a small soft brush to clean all dirty surfaces, then use the blower again.

Remember not to disassemble the PC parts, except you are a PC hardware expert and know what you do.

5. Your GPU fans’ oil dried out

You have owned that graphics card for quite a while, and it is bearing out now. So you need to reoil the fans’ bearing to make it alive again.

Unplug your graphics card from your PC case, remove the front cover to access the GPU fans. Next, peel off the sticker and put a couple of drops of lightweight machine oil (do not use a high temperature machine oil) or household oil.

You have another option replacing your GPU fans with other fans that fit your graphics card. But, again, do it carefully or ask someone who knows about PC DIY works.

6. Your GPU is too old

The last case, your graphics card is too old, it does not work properly, can stop functioning any time. You already try all ways to clean and revive your old graphics card but it still stop running from time to time. Your only option is to upgrade your graphics card or buy a whole new PC.

You can choose a good NVIDIA card, an AMD one or try one of budget GPU choices. In case your whole PC is too old, you can look into Best prebuilt gaming PCs for every budget range.

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Paul Syverson
Paul Syverson
Working as a software engineer for a computer manufacturing company for many years, Paul Syverson has a wealth of experience to share with you about this intelligent device. There is no doubt that his information will be very useful for those who have the intention of buying the best functional computer meeting their needs.