April 30 2019

How to Clean a Laptop Fan

Sometimes, our laptops get full of dust which causes overheating and can potentially damage the hardware. If your laptop is over a year old and you haven’t cleaned out the fans before, it may be time to start now.

Allowing fans to build up with dust prevents them from doing their job of keeping your laptop cool, and the more you leave it to choke on gunk, the faster your laptop will die. And, if you got one of the best gaming laptops out there, you don’t want it to die out so fast.

pc fan on a table

As morbid as it may sound, it proves the importance of keeping technology dust-free to prevent overheating. And if you notice that your fans are running more than usual, they are probably clogged up with dirt and should be cleaned immediately.

We have touched on how to keep your keyboard clean, in the past, but how do you go about cleaning a laptop fan?

What Causes a Dusty Laptop Fan?

Laptop fans are notorious for collecting dust. They suck in all of the dirt from the air, which inevitably leads to a build-up of gunk – gross.

While you may think that a little dirt won’t do any harm, accumulated dust in laptop fans can prevent proper airflow, which in turn causes overheating and can cook your CPU and GPU.

Tip: To further protect your laptop from overheating, fan coolers are available at an affordable price to improve airflow.

Laptop Cooling Pad

While a great laptop cooling pad reduces heat inside a laptop, it also creates a circulation of air through your computer. Though this may sound like a good thing, the cooler actually pushes more dust into your fans, resulting in a build-up of dirt over time.

How to Clean a Laptop Fan

Before you go and pull the bottom panel off your laptop, it is crucial that you look into the service manual specific for your computer model. Depending on your laptop, detaching the assembly fan can void a warranty. However, if you play it smart and get a great budget gaming laptop, you won’t have any issues with warranty.

repairing a laptop fan

Once you’ve got the all-clear, it’s time to start cleaning your laptop fans.

  1. Make sure your laptop is turned off and unplugged
  2. Next, unscrew the bottom panel from your laptop and remove it
  3. Remove your fan(s) and hold the fins in place with your fingers
  4. Now, use compressed air, a USB vacuum, or blow on the fans gently to remove the dust
  5. If there’s any dirt inside the laptop, use the above techniques to remove it

Tip: You can remove your laptop’s battery for extra precautionary measures.

How to Clean a Laptop Fan Using Compressed Air

If you don’t wish to remove the fan, compressed air works a treat on its own.

  • Turn off and unplug your laptop.
  • Remove the bottom panel from your laptop. You can also remove the battery for this step.
  • Spray compressed air at the fan(s) in short bursts. It is best to spray in the direction of the air vent to ensure dust blows out of your computer.
  • Once the dust is all out, screw the panel back onto your laptop.

Note that this should only be done if there’s a small amount of dust in your laptop fans as compressed air can clog them up even more.

compressed air for laptop cleaning

Warning: Do not spin the fins of a laptop fan. Keep them still while using compressed air.

How Often Should You Clean a Laptop Fan?

It is important that you clean out laptop fans at least once a year to prevent overheating. If you don’t want to risk ruining your fans by removing them, use the compressed air method that we discussed above to gently remove dust every 6 months.

laptop insides

Tip: You can purchase a dust filter to keep your computer fans clean.


Keeping your laptop fans clean is vital to ensure that they work to their full potential, without damaging your laptop. If you need a replacement and the damage isn’t fixable, we recommend looking at the top-rated MSI gaming laptops as they are known for their durability.

Finally, if you notice that your GPU fans have stopped spinning, we have something to say about why they have stopped and how to fix them.


  1. G.S. Jackson, How to Clean a Laptop Fan Without Compressed Air, Chron
  2. How to Clean a Laptop Fan, How to Clean Stuff


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Courtenay Smith