Is your MacBook Pro making a loud, whirring noise that you can’t seem to get rid of? If that’s the case with you, here are simple hacks to help you identify the problem’s source and then fix it yourself.
There are two possible causes of MacBook pro making loud whirring noise- here’s how to know the possible cause: If you own an old machine, the old models that came with a hard drive rather than a solid-state drive (SSD), then a possible cause of the whirring noise could be the drive.
In this case, I would recommend you consult a technician or simply replace the drive with a quiet one. On the other hand, if you have a newer model, then the most probable cause of the noise is the fan.
Why Is My Mac Fan So Loud?
If your Macbook fans are running at full speed, it doesn’t necessarily mean that something is wrong with your Mac. The fans are there to cool down the internal components of your MacBook by increasing the flow of air around the parts.
If you are using computationally intensive programs, such as high-end games or HD video editors, then your computer will be working extremely hard, resulting in heat.
The fan sensor will detect an increase in temperature and promptly increase fan speed to prevent the system from overheating. While editing a 4K video about your recent vacation or playing a particularly intense game, the sudden spike in noise levels is a positive thing.
1. Free Up Memory
Another short- and long-term fix for fixing a noisy laptop fan would be to find the program consuming too much processing power. It could be a program or a process running in the background draining the CPU.
To figure out the process/program consuming processing power here’s what to do:
- Open Activity Monitor (Click Applications then Utilities)
- In the Cpu section, you will get a list of all running processes and applications. Those with the biggest resources will be at the top.
- To terminate a process, click the task and press the “X” icon in the upper left corner.
There is a faster and simpler approach to detecting and terminating resource-intensive applications and processes. CleanMyMac X includes a simple Menu program that monitors and terminates these demanding activities while you use your Mac. Apple has certified the software, and a trial version is available for you to download.
CleanMyMac X analyzes the programs that drain the CPU excessively and overwork the fan. These programs are labeled in the Top Consumers category. Click Close next to the program you wish to exit. Simple as that.
2. Apple T2 Security Chip
The T2 security chip is a specialized Apple component used in Intel-powered macOS computers. Among other things, it is meant to safeguard the boot process and enable hardware-level protection for data kept on the computer, allowing enterprise users an additional degree of security.
Most MacBook users often complain of the whirring noise problem as soon as they turn on their Mac machines.
I can attest the same as I’ve owned both MacBook Pro and a Dell Laptop and I haven’t experienced such a problem with my Dell computer.
The whirring noise, in this case, serves as a safety alert to warn you that there’s a problem with the computer.
Most modern Apple laptops are equipped with Apple T2 Security Chip. If you press the power button immediately after plugging your mac into the power source, the computer will throttle full speed, making the fans also spin to the highest speed.
3. Fan Problem
If the whirring noise kicks in immediately after switching on the laptop, even when not plugged in, then the biggest culprit, in this case, are the fans.
Several things could be causing the fans to start immediately you switch on the computer, and they include:
Dust and Dirt Accumulation
Dirt and dust accumulations could be why the fans start spinning immediately after switching on the computer.
Not only does dust affect computer fans, but it’s also the culprit for ceiling fan making a clicking noise. If the motherboard’s hot air cannot escape your computer, it causes rise in temperatures, making the fans spin immediately after boot.
Inspect the ventilation holes and see if they’re clogged with dust or debris. You can use a hairdryer to blow out the dust or simply use a quiet vacuum cleaner to suck out the dust. Perform this maintenance procedure regularly to avoid this sort of problem again in the future.
At other times, even when your machine fans and ventilation system are clean, the fans will start to spin after several hours of heavy usage.
At this point, the fans will spin at the highest speed possible because you have no control over them. But what if I told you there’s a way to have control over the fan spin speed?
Having control will allow you to decide when the fans turn on and the speed as well. You can simply download fan control software for MacBook’s.
Some great recommendations, in this case, include Fan Control by Lobotomo Software, SMSF control and MacBook Fan Control by Derman Enterprises.
These softwares are designed to alter the temperatures at which the fan starts spinning. However, it’s important to note that they won’t go below the manufacturers recommended settings.
4. Apple Diagnostic Test
All MacBook’s are equipped with software that allows you to test whether the problem results from hardware failure.
The program is known as Apple Diagnostic Test, can be a live saver, especially when you can get the machine fan to work correctly.
After you see the grey screen, press the D button to allow you to select hardware tests to perform.
Mac with Apple silicon:
- Start your Macbook computer
- Hold down the power button as it turns on
- Release the power button as soon as the startup option window displays on the screen
- Press Command-D to initiate the Diagnostics
- Apple Diagnostics will launch automatically. Upon completion, you will be presented with a list of problems it encountered.
If you have an intel-based macbook:
- Start your computer and hold down the D key as it boots
- Release the D-Key as soon as the progress bar is displayed on the screen or when you’re prompted to select a language.
Other Causes of MacBook Fan Noise
Some other possibilities could be causing the machine fan to start spinning immediately after switching on.
Probably your room is too warm/hot. You can solve this problem by installing a quiet wall air conditioner.
If you’re on a budget, I would recommend a quiet pedestal fan as a quick fix. It’s also possible that your computer is getting older, and the hardware produces more heat than it did when the computer was new.
You may have the latest operating system, capable of running on your computer and using more resources than the previous one.
On MacBook Pro Making Loud Whirring Noise
Nothing is annoying, like having a MacBook Pro making loud whirring noise while trying to beat a deadline.
The noise reduces productivity and creates lots of distraction throughout.
The above hacks can help you figure out the problem and fix it by yourself without much trouble.
You can watch the video on this link to give you a better visual understanding.
Meet Mike O’Connor, (a DIY enthusiast), living in Cincinnati, a city ranked as the noisiest in the USA.
As a work from home dad, I have a first hand experience of how noise can truly affect your well being.
Soundproofing isn’t something that should be taken as a hobby, it should be a skill that every homeowner should be equipped with.
Most of the work documented on this blog comes from purely first hand experience, and the products recommended work as indicated.