How to control CPU fan speed on a notebook laptop

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How to control CPU fan speed on a notebook laptop
The CPU fan usually rests above the processor. (Getty Images)

The "central processing unit" (CPU) is to computers as the brain is to the human body -- it is where intense, energy-zapping "thought" takes place. Simply called the "processor," it handles calculations and it consumes more PC power as those numbers grow larger and more complicated. A CPU fan is a separate component and it helps with cooling the processor as it heats up while carrying out computer commands. Similar to the processor, however, the fan also consumes power, which can negatively impact battery life. Microsoft includes functionality in the Windows 7 operating system that allows users to regulate fan speed.


  1. 1

    Click the Windows orb logo at the bottom of the desktop to show the "Start" menu. Choose "Control Panel" from the menu. Click on "Hardware and Sound," then select "Power Options" to open a window.

  2. 2

    Click the "Change Plan Settings" link next to the "Recommend Settings" power plan or another plan of choice.

  3. 3

    Click on the "Change Advanced Power Settings" link which opens the "Power Options" dialogue box. Click the "Advanced Settings" tab to the front of the box if it is not already.

  4. 4

    Scroll down to find the "Processor Power Management" setting and click the plus sign "+" to expand it.

  5. 5

    Click to expand the "System Cooling Policy" setting.

  6. 6

    Click to the right of the settings for "On Battery" and " Plugged In," which activates the option to change those settings. Change the setting to "Passive" to reduce CPU fan speed or "Active" to increase CPU fan speed.

  7. 7

    Click the "Apply" and "OK" buttons to save and close out of the dialogue box. Exit the other open windows.

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