Laptop fan, always on


Active Member

I have a Dell XPS15 from a few years ago with an i7 4712HQ processor.

A few months ago (I think after a series of crashes, but can't quite remember) one of the fans started running, remaining on until power off. As soon as the button is pressed to power on, the fan comes on - straight away.

I tried all sorts to stop it, killing unnecessary processes and trying to adjust stuff in the BIOS, lots of tips and tricks from various sources. Still on.

It makes the laptop unpleasant to use, but I'm lucky enough to have another computer in the house so have been using that.

Now after a few months I would now like to fix t if I can! I've mostly given up with software fiddles, however.

Do you think removing that fan completely and using with no fan there is a safe option? It's the one on the right of the computer while looking at the computer face on.

Maybe a replacement fan could help?(I guess at around £12 it's not such a big risk).

My usage is general/basic office tasks/web browsing and if possible a bit of video editing as well from time to time (but can do without that, just aiming for a basic quiet computer at this time).

For what it's worth, the wifi stopped completely a few months ago too, again, and I felt I tried everything! I ended up taking the wlan card out (from the other side of the computer) and used a dongle instead.

Thanks for reading and any advice.


Active Member
You could try removing a fan but keep an eye on the temperature, it may not work though as it's likely that the laptop would throw up a fan error. A replacement fan at £12 is worth trying though.


Distinguished Member
Have you tried disabling turbo boost in the bios, that should stop it going past base frequency of the CPU.

If the laptop bios has no control for boost mode, Throttlestop and Intel XTU are utilities you might find useful, I've seen one other person using same CPU clocking it down to 2.3Ghz which helped stabilize temps.

You could try under-volting the CPU though that may require settings specific to your CPU, if no-one here can help the throttlestop forum may be able to tell you specific settings for your model CPU. There is also a guide here for under-volting Intel CPU's using the XTU.

Other options
  • Open up laptop, use air cleaner direct on the CPU fan.
  • Replace the thermal paste on the CPU heatsink.
  • Purchase a laptop cooling pad and hope it helps keep the temp lower so the CPU fan doesnt kick into top speed.


Active Member
Thanks! I took out the fan 2 hours ago and have been doing a fair bit of intensive work since, seems to work OK. The fan was pretty dusty though so I'll try cleaning it tomorrow.

v2 API

Distinguished Member
The cooler needs lifting, clean all the old dried thermal paste off with alcohol, the re-apply some new compound.
It's a common issue with older laptops due to the excessive heat, together with lots of movement/flexing they have to endure.


Active Member
Hi, and thanks for all the replies.

Just to let those interested know, I replaced the thermal paste. A slightly difficult looking job to begin with that actually was easy in reality. Unfortunately it hasn't fixed the always on fan, but at least I've refreshed the thermal paste. New fan on the way, hopefully that solves it.


Active Member
Hi I was intrigued by your post and did a search on "Dell XPS15 fan always on" and it came up with quite a few hits. It seems like quite a common problem depending on the year of manufacture and spec, but there are quite a number of videos with hints and procedures for this laptop model. Give it a try, you may find something that fixes your specific issue.


Active Member
Thanks jimscreechy. I remember trying lots of things last summer that I found online, but didn't get anywhere. I gave up at the time, but now have renewed enthusiasm to try and fix it! If the new fan doesn't work I will look again for sure. Thank you!

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