Laptop Troubleshooting, Tips

How to Clean a Laptop Fan and Heatsink

After using the laptop for a period of time, you will find that the heat dissipation performance of the fan was reduced. At this time, we should clean laptop fan and heat sink, and replace thermal grease to keep the heat dissipation performance and prolong the service life of the internal components.

Therefore, it is necessary to clean the fan and heatsink in time for the laptop. If you feel the temperature of the palm rest is greatly increased, or the fan often accelerates the rotation and abnormal noise, you should clean the laptop fan to stop your laptop from overheating.

Usually to clean the laptop fan needs to open the laptop (remove the bottom cover, keyboard, etc.), this article will introduce the specific processes of disassembling the laptop, cleaning the fan and replacing the thermal grease.

You need to do some preparatory work before you start to open the laptop. You first need to know how to open your laptop. If you don’t have laptop repair experience, blindly opening the laptop may damage it. Unfortunately, each laptop is opened differently.

The easiest way is to download the laptop’s maintenance manual from the official website. This manual already contains the steps to remove each component of the laptop. But as far as I know, only HP, Lenovo, and Dell provide maintenance manuals.

https://www.dell.com/support/home/us/en/04/products?app=manuals

https://support.hp.com/us-en/products/laptops

https://support.lenovo.com/us/en/solutions/ht077589

There is also the easiest ways to go to youtube.com to search for a laptop disassembly video.

Just search keyword like:
[your laptop model] disassembly
[your laptop model] replace fan

There are a lot of videos on youtube about disassembling the laptop and cleaning the fan. You just need to follow the instructions of the video.

6 steps to clean a laptop fan and heatsink

Tools need:
1. Screwdriver (check the types of screws on the bottom cover to determine which type/size)
2. Soft brush
3. duster cloth
4. thermal grease
5. lubricating oil
6. cotton swab

There are often a lot of users leaving me a message asking about the screwdriver types. Usually, it is difficult to decide which type of screwdriver to use to open your notebook, so I suggest you prepare a Screwdriver set with some different types. Fortunately, most of the ultrabooks can be opened with Torx T5 screwdriver.

Note: Before start taking apart the laptop, make sure that the laptop has been turned off, wash your hands to eliminate static electricity to avoid irreversible damage to the laptop.

1. Remove the bottom cover

Please use an old card or thin plastic tool separate the bottom cover from the palmrest assembly. The bottom cover has many hidden latches fastening it to the palmrest (Only a few laptops have some latches on the bottom cover, such as XPS 13, XPS 15, EliteBook 1020 G1, Asus UX501, UX 305, Spectre x360 13, etc..). You need to move the thin plastic tool along the side to unfasten all latches.Remove the bottom cover

2. Disconnect the battery cable from the motherboard

For security reasons, you must disconnect the battery cable from the motherboard before you touch the internal components.
disconnect battery cable

3. Remove the cooling fan and heat sink

Remove all screws securing the cooling fan and heatsink, and disconnect the fan cable from the motherboard, then you can take out the cooling fan and heatsink.Remove cooling fan

4. Clean the fan and heat sink

You will find some screws are securing the cover of the fan. After removing the screws, you can remove the cover and then use the brush to clean the dust on the fan. If the brush is not clean enough, you can use a wet cloth wipe the blades of the fan.
fan

In order to reduce laptop fan noise, you can pull out the fan blades with a little effort.
remove fins

Use a cotton swab to damp the lubricant and apply it to the fan shaft. Also apply a little on the fan base, especially the contact area.
apply oil

Clean the heatsink with a soft brush
heatsink

5. Remove thermal grease from CPU and GPU

Use a duster cloth to remove old thermal grease from the CPU, GPU, and heatsink
remove grease

6. Apply thermal grease to the CPU and GPU

Now apply the new thermal grease to the CPU and GPU, and install the fan and heat sink to the motherboard.
Then reconnect the battery cable and install the back cover. The complete process of clean laptop fan is completed.

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