GPU Fans Not Spinning

GPU Fans Not Spinning

Have you ever noticed that your GPU fans aren’t spinning?


Sometimes GPU fans won’t spin unless the graphics card is under load—if yours isn’t spinning when it should be, then there may be a blockage preventing the blades from moving or a setting that has stopped them running.

It’s important to investigate this issue quickly as GPUs tend to get hot when processing millions of pixels for you.

The first step in solving this problem is to give your fan blades a good clean, as dust can easily build up and stop the blades from spinning properly. Make sure nothing is blocking them while you’re at it; check for any objects nearby that could be causing an obstruction.

Once you’ve checked all these basic factors, consider whether any settings on your GPU might be stopping the fans from working correctly. Do some research online if necessary—there are often helpful guides available written by fellow users who have gone through similar issues before you.

Lastly, make sure that your drivers are up-to-date so they aren’t preventing the fans from operating as expected either.

Don’t worry though; most times this issue will have a simple solution and can easily be fixed with some detective work!

It could be a design, not a problem?

It’s not a problem, it’s a design – and that’s something to be celebrated!

Many GPU cards are designed with fan limits to conserve energy and reduce noise when they’re not being used for intensive tasks or reaching high temperatures. This feature is sometimes hidden in the firmware, making it difficult for users to modify.

Still, if your fans start spinning once the card is under load, then you know there’s nothing wrong! This is great news because it means your GPU card was designed with efficiency in mind.

Instead of wasting power by running all the time, regardless of need or temperature levels, these cards were made with built-in safety features that keep them from over-exerting themselves and draining resources unnecessarily. It also helps protect your graphics card from overheating while improving its lifespan.

The best part about this design feature? That extra energy saved doesn’t just benefit the environment – it can benefit you too! When your GPU isn’t running at full capacity all the time, it’ll likely use less electricity than if its fans were always on.

So next time you notice that your GPU fans aren’t spinning, don’t worry: It could just be a smart design choice instead of a problem!

With careful engineering like this built into modern GPUs, we can enjoy better performance without worrying about wasting power or damaging our hardware.

To test if this is what’s happening with your GPU, simply run a game or benchmark that puts it under load.

You can also install MSI Afterburner and adjust the fan speed manually.

Reason Action

Passive cooling mode Run game/benchmark or use MSI Afterburner
GPU temperature too low Raise fan speed manually in MSI Afterburner

Lets Take A Look At The Most Common Reasons Why Your GPU Fans Aren’t Spinning..

Reseat the GPU

Take out the GPU from its PCIe slot.

Consult your motherboard’s manual to make sure you have the best slot – usually, this would be at the top – for maximum bandwidth.

If already in use, try another one for testing purposes. Push it firmly into place until it locks securely.

If your GPU has extra power requirements beyond what’s provided by your motherboard, make sure you’ve plugged in all necessary cables from PSU to graphics card as outlined in both manuals.

Update the GPU Drivers

Updating your graphics drivers can help ensure you’re taking advantage of the latest features and bug fixes, while also potentially resolving any difficulties with fan operation.

It’s simple to check if your GPU driver is up-to-date; most modern GPUs come with an auto-update feature that’ll alert you when new drivers become available.

If the update isn’t available through your GPU’s software, you should be able to find it on the manufacturer’s website.

Once you’ve completed the update process, double-check that everything is working correctly by running some basic tests using benchmarking software or a game. 

If updating your graphics drivers doesn’t fix your fan problem, then consider rolling back to an earlier version of the driver where things worked properly. Reverting back to a previous build removes any potential conflicts between newer versions of Windows or other applications and may help get your fans spinning again.

PCIe Power Isn’t Plugged In

Don’t panic, you may have just forgotten to plug in the PCIe power cable – it happens! It’s a common oversight for first-time builders, and even more experienced builders can forget to take that extra step.

The PCIe power cable is a crucial part of ensuring your GPU fans spinning as they should.

You’ll want to check that this connection has been made before diagnosing any other issue with your GPU.

If you don’t see a 6 or 8 pin connector on your graphics card, then it’s possible that it doesn’t require an extra connection from the PSU.

Are All Power Cables Plugged In?

If you’ve forgotten to plug in another power cable, it’s time to get your hands dirty and take a look inside your PC! 

Check for loose cables and make sure all of the connections are secure.

Start by locating the power supply unit (PSU) in your case.You might need a flashlight or magnifying glass if your case is too cramped. If everything looks okay here, then proceed to unplugging each cable from its corresponding port on both ends of the PSU.

Next up is checking every single one of these cables individually for any kind of wear or damage.

You’ll want to pay special attention to their pin connectors as they can become corroded over time due to heat buildup from normal operations within the system itself.

Make sure none of them have been bent out of shape either! Once all these checks are done, plug each cable back into its respective port making sure that they’re firmly secured without forcing anything out its place before powering up your system again.

It should now be running as usual with no issues regarding GPU fan spinning – but if not, then there could be something else wrong with either one component or multiple ones within your PC’s setup, so don’t hesitate in seeking help from professionals who know what they’re doing when it comes down to these sorts of problems!

Reset Your Fan Curves

Adjusting your fan curve can be a great way to optimize performance and noise output, so consider tweaking or resetting it for the best results.

You should also keep in mind that most GPUs have their own factory-set fan curves which are based on general settings that work well with a variety of hardware configurations.

If you want more control over your fan speeds, then consider manually adjusting the fan curve in your graphics card’s software utility.

This will allow you to customize exactly when and how fast the fans spin at certain temperature levels. Just be sure not to go too far in either direction as this could potentially damage your hardware and reduce its lifespan.

Keep in mind that if the fan curve has gone out of whack or is causing undesired effects such as loud noises or poor performance, then it may be worth resetting the curve back to its default settings. This should return everything back to normal without having to put too much effort into fine-tuning things yourself.

Resetting might also fix any compatibility issues between certain hardware components if they weren’t playing nice together after manual adjustments were made.

Check That Your Fans Have Power?

Does your Power Supply Unit (PSU) has the right wattage for your graphics card?

If everything looks good on those fronts and you’ve double checked all connections, then it’s possible that there could be a problem with one of the components on your graphics card itself.

This could range from something as simple as a loose connection or bad contact between components, to more serious issues such as defective voltage regulators or capacitors.

In these cases you should either take apart and inspect each component yourself if you feel comfortable doing so, or reach out directly to customer support for help troubleshooting and replacing any faulty parts.

In any case, make sure you’re always following best safety practices when working with electronics – wear static protection bracelets at all times and only use ESD safe tools while handling sensitive components like GPUs!

Is Anything Jamming The Fans?

Carefully examine each fan blade and rotor for any small pieces of debris that may have gotten stuck in the fan housing. If you find any obstruction, use compressed air to remove it and clear the way for the fans to spin freely.

It’s important not to just blow the air into the fan without checking first, as this could make matters worse by pushing debris further into the fan blades or rotor.

Instead, blow into the spaces around each blade so that any dust or other particles will be blown away instead of being pushed deeper inside. Once you’ve cleared out all obstructions, you can try spinning each fan with your finger while your computer is powered off.

This will give you an idea of how much resistance it has before attempting to put it back together and boot up your rig. If everything feels good here then you should be able to assemble your rig and test whether it runs properly under load with no problems from blocked fans.

Inspecting and removing any obstructions from your graphics card’s fans can help get them up and running again quickly without further damage or interference caused by trapped particles inside its housing.

Make sure everything looks clean and clear before powering on again so that nothing gets caught in its blades while they’re spinning at high speeds!

Are The GPU Fan Motors Burnt Out?

Fortunately, replacing fan motors isn’t too difficult for most GPUs, but some designs may require professional assistance. First off, power down your computer completely before attempting any repairs or maintenance on your GPU fans.

Once you’ve done that, remove the casing from around your GPU so that you can inspect it more closely. Look at all the fans individually and check for any signs of burning or physical damage that might indicate they need to be replaced.

If one or both of them appear damaged in any way then it’s likely time for new ones.

When replacing fan motors, make sure you get ones specifically designed for your model of graphics card; different GPUs use different sizes and types of fans so generic replacements may not fit correctly or provide adequate cooling performance.

If possible, try to buy high-quality replacement parts as these will usually last longer than cheaper alternatives. Before putting everything back together again, double check all connections are secure and everything looks correct – incorrect wiring can lead to further problems down the line!

After installing new fans on your GPU make sure to test them out before putting your computer back into operation – just in case something went wrong during installation!

Also Read: CPU Fan Not Spinning

Reboot and Update Drivers

A quick reboot could be all it takes to get your fan spinning again – but if it persists or you find yourself needing more support, updating your card’s latest drivers or reinstalling them are both good places to start.

This way, you can reset any settings that could be telling the fans to stop when they should be running properly.

Fortunately, downloading updated drivers from either NVIDIA or AMD’s website is easy and free.

Try With A Different Graphics Card Or Even Another  Computer

When your graphics card’s fans won’t rev up, swapping it out for a new one may be the only way to get them humming again.

That is, try putting the graphics card into another computer. If the fans spin in the other machine, then it likely means that your GPU is just fine and any issues are with either your computer or its compatibility with the card.

Check if all their components are compatible and consider updating both machines’ firmware if needed.

Once everything checks out, carefully install the graphics card in the second computer and see if it works as intended. Try running some games on it too – this will help give an indication of how well it runs with different types of workloads.

If everything goes smoothly in the second system and no further problems arise, then you know that your original GPU is not defective – which means all you need to do is find ways of getting it working on your own machine again!

Troubleshoot potential incompatibility issues between your motherboard and GPU; look into updating drivers; or even replace parts like power supply units – anything might be causing a conflict between these two components.

Does The System Boot Without The Graphics Card?

If your system does boot up, that could eliminate the motherboard as being the issue we’re having with our GPU fans not spinning.

Once your system has booted up without its graphics card installed, it’s wise to run some stress tests on it in order to check for any potential issues that might pop up.

This will help us determine whether or not there are any other underlying problems that need addressing before we can move forward with troubleshooting our fan issue.

If running these tests doesn’t reveal any further issues, then either the PCIe connector on the Power Supply Unit could be faulty, or more likely, it’s likely that the graphics card itself is faulty and needs replacing via a return or RMA process.

We want to make sure all other possible causes have been ruled out before taking this course of action though!

Dust – Maybe?

Dust buildup on any part of a computer can cause performance issues, but it’s especially true for GPUs. When dust accumulates on the fan blades and heatsinks of a GPU, it creates a barrier between them and the air they need to keep cool.

This can cause overheating, resulting in fans that don’t spin or don’t spin as quickly as they should.

All you need is some compressed air and some patience; with a few blasts of compressed air, you’ll be able to remove any dust from your GPU’s fan blades and heatsinks.

Make sure to blow away all the dust from both sides of each fan blade so that there are no obstructions preventing them from spinning freely when powered up again.

Once you’ve finished cleaning your GPU, re-install it into your build and see if that fixes the problem.

Oiling The Fans Can Help..

If your graphics card’s cooling system isn’t working properly, it may be time to oil the fan bearings!

If the fans on your graphics card have stopped spinning, you can try re-oiling them as a way to get some extra life out of them.

It’s a simple process: all you need to do is remove the fan from the card, peel off the sticker on the back, and apply a few drops of 3-in-1 household oil or a lightweight mechanical oil.

If this works then great—you’ve got yourself an upcycled GPU that keeps running for longer. But if not, it’s likely that your graphics card will no longer work and you’ll have to replace it with a new one.

Oiling fan bearings can be a good way to maintain your graphics cards in general as well—it’s always worth doing preventative maintenance where possible!

Would Your GPU Be Under Heavy Load?

It’s always a good idea to check if your GPU is actually under load before assuming there is something wrong with it or trying more complicated solutions.


When all else fails, it’s time for a fresh start – time to return your GPU and get your money back!

It can be daunting to consider the idea of having to go through the process of returning a faulty product but if you’re within warranty, then this is often the best option. After all, you don’t want to risk further damage or waste money on components that might not even help.

There are usually two main ways of going about getting an RMA (Return Merchandise Authorization), depending on where you bought your GPU from.

You could either contact the manufacturer directly or reach out to the store or website where you purchased it in order to initiate a return.


We hope this article has been helpful in figuring out why your GPU fans aren’t spinning. 

But sometimes you might need to take further action, like reseating your GPU or checking for other interference sources. 

At the end of the day, if all else fails and nothing seems to work then it may just be time to RMA your GPU so you can get an optimized working product that functions as intended.

We hope this article has given you some insight into possible causes and solutions for when your GPU fan isn’t spinning. Good luck!

If you’re still having issues, contact our PC repair technicians today!

I am a computer engineer holding a bachelor's degree in Computer Science, complemented by a Master's in Business Administration from University of Strathclyde, Scotland. I currently work as a Senior IT Consultant in Melbourne, Australia. With over 15 years of...