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Why are my GPU fans not spinning? 7 possible fixes

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A PC builder’s worst nightmare is their build not running as expected on the first boot, especially after you’ve dropped a small fortune’s worth of cash on your new GPU. 

Now don’t start worrying right away, there can be a bunch of reasons why you can’t get your GPU fans to spin when you power on your PC right away, but yes, it could indicate a potential issue. 

In this article, we’re talking about a few fixes you can try to see if your GPU fans are alright or if you’ve got a faulty component on your hands. 

Also read: How to check GPU temperature in Windows 10?

Stress test your GPU

One of the main reasons you don’t see your GPU fans start to spin right away is because they weren’t designed that way. You see, GPU fans are designed to kick in when your GPU goes above a particular temperature under stress. 

Why are my GPU fans not spinning? 7 possible fixes

To determine if this is the case with you, run either a benchmark test or a game for a bit and check if something happens. You can also use MSI Afterburner to check if your fans are working fine manually. If they are, you have nothing to worry about.

If they aren’t, though, it’s time to start checking things around in your build.

Check the PCIe power connection

Another rather common reason for GPU fans not kicking into action is that you forgot to connect your GPU to your PSU. It’s a fairly common thing to happen, especially with first time builders.

Check all of your GPU cables once again, especially the ones that go to the PSU. If your card doesn’t have a PCIe power connection (for example, 1050/1050Ti), it could indicate some other problem with the GPU altogether. 

Check all other connections

It’s also a good idea to check all other power connections at this point. Check to make sure all connections are well, connected and seated properly in their slots. 

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If you’ve reseated all the cables and everything else (including the system fans) are working fine, and your GPU isn’t, you likely have a faulty component at hand.

Check your PSU

Another possible point of failure could be your PSU. If you have a spare one lying around, check to see if your GPU is working fine with that. If it does, it can indicate a problem with the PSU, and it’s worth a shot replacing that one out. 

Also read: Logitech keyboard not working: 7 Fixes

Check your GPU in another build

If you have access to a secondary PC (or motherboard), plug in your GPU there to see if that’s working. If the GPU does turn on, something’s likely wrong with your motherboard, but if it doesn’t, it indicates a problem with the GPU.

Why are my GPU fans not spinning? 7 possible fixes
Checking your GPU in another build can eliminate the possibility of a faulty GPU.

Boot up your system without the GPU

Finally, try booting up your system without the GPU plugged into the system. If it boots up fine, chances are your motherboard isn’t faulty. 

Next up, run some stress tests on the PC to see if you get any errors. If you don’t, either the PCIe power connector on your PSU is at fault, or you have a malfunctioning GPU.

How to fix GPU fans not spinning on an old system?

If you’ve got an older build and your GPU fans have stopped spinning all of a sudden, it could well indicate that the GPU has reached the end of its life. However, you can still do a few things to squeeze a little bit more life out of your component. 

Clean the GPU

A relatively common problem in older builds is dust accumulation, and it can get so bad at times it can stop your GPU fans from rotation altogether. Clean your fan vents with a can of compressed air or a blower and check to see if that gets your fans spinning. 

Oil the fan bearings

If your GPU is ancient, the fan bearings might be dying out. You can make them last a little longer by oiling the bearings. However, it involves taking out the GPU, disassembling the fans, removing stickers, and greasing the bearings. Make sure to use some light household mechanical oil, not WD-40.

Also read: What is the difference between GPU and FPGA?

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here: