How-To

Stop What’s Revving Your CPU Fan Constantly in Windows 10

Since upgrading to the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, I noticed a strange occurrence, and my CPU Fan was always spinning up. Here are tips for reversing that.

Since upgrading to the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, I noticed a strange occurrence, and my CPU Fan was always spinning up. I ignored it for some time now, but it started getting annoying over the past few weeks. It became quite a concern regarding possible damage to components in the system overheating. My suspicions focused on a possible process accessing more CPU cycles than usual. The solutions presented here might vary depending on your configuration, but they are worth a try if you are experiencing a similar problem.

Disable Processes Causing CPU Fan to Remain Constant

First, launch Task Manager, press Windows key + X > Task Manager then click the Processes tab. Click the CPU column to sort applications and processes by CPU cycles. Below, I noticed the System Host Process was regularly accessing CPU cycles at 30%, sometimes going as high as 36%. Expanding the System Host Process tree reveals quite some services running in the background. For me this was a trial and error, I noticed Geolocation Service was running, so I decided to disable it first. Surprisingly, it worked and the CPU fan stop revving up. Unfortunately, Geolocation restarted again. I tried a few times while ending the following services: Device Setup Manager, Computer Browser, Windows Update; none of it made any difference.

processes-and-cpu

It became apparent none of these services were contributing to the high CPU cycles. Because I am on a metered Internet connection; I disable a lot of background apps and services to preserve mobile data. Some users experiencing issues with high CPU usage in Windows 10 have tried disabling some services such as Sync Settings and background apps. Click Start > Settings > Privacy > Background apps. Recommended background apps you can turn off include Weather, OneNote, Facebook and Twitter if you have those installed; I must admit, these didn’t make much of a difference either, but they might work for you.

background-apps

I decided to seek some expert advice and was told to disable the Host Process for Setting Synchronization. You can easily find it under Task Manager > Users tab; expand your user account tree, select the Host Process for Setting Synchronization then click Disable. Unfortunately, this expert advice didn’t work either, but it turns out to be a popular resolution for many users experiencing this problem with high CPU cycles.

processes-and-cpu-sync

As a last resort, I decided to check the System Host Process tree again, because I felt this is where the problem exists. I noticed Windows Update was listed as a running service. Although I have Windows Update disabled because I am on a metered connection, I decided to look there. Nothing unusual; I have it set for Defer Feature Updates. Out of curiosity, I checked under Choose how updates are delivered. Noticing I had the option to get updates from more than one place enabled; I tried my luck and turned it off. What do you know, the problem finally disappeared? Since writing this article, I have not heard my CPU fan rev up.

update-network

This does not isolate other factors that might contribute to excessive CPU usage. Some users have reported sync settings located under Accounts can also trigger this behavior. Modifying what gets synced can reduce the impact of the CPU fan remaining on constant. Another process I notice triggers the CPU fan is IAStorDataSvc. IAStorDataSvc is associated with the Intel Rapid Storage Driver. When I initially upgraded to Windows 10 in 2015, I had to disable it each to time I started Windows 10 to prevent from triggering the CPU Fan. In a recent forum post, we detailed issues users were experiencing with IAStorDataSvc causing stability issues. With Windows 10 providing built-in support for AHCI, there is no need to install or keep IRST. So, if you happen to be experiencing freezes on the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, 1607, uninstalling it might resolve the problem.

cpu-spike

Updating chipset drivers have also been reported to remedy the problem. Your web browser can be a factor too; Mozilla Firefox is notorious for causing the CPU fan to spin up. Check your web browser’s add-ons then disabling ones you don’t need might help. Also, reducing the amount of tabs you have open, especially if they are media based websites might help. Switching web browsers might be an option if you are constantly experiencing this with a particular browser. If you have “Hey, Cortana” turned on, and that is another culprit you can probably turn off. Other variables can include even application add-ons. I noticed when I used a Microsoft Word add-on, Grammarly; this triggered the CPU Fan which remained on constant even after exiting the application. There isn’t a silver bullet for this problem; hopefully, if you are experiencing a similar issue, trying some of these suggestions might help alleviate the problem.


15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Fenoy W Butler  

    I don’t have the fan issue but information read nevertheless.

  2. Ken D  

    Great tips, Andre. I was having the same problem on my Toshiba Satellite laptop after the Win 10 Anniversary update. The cpu fan was constantly running and things were staying hot. Closing most of my open Chrome tabs helped, but I also tried another tip: using Change Advanced Power Settings> Processor Power Management, I reduced the Maximum Processor State from 100 percent to 90 percent. The combination of these two actions seems to have solved the overheating problem for me.
    Thanks again for your always helpful advice!

    • Thanks for that tip Ken, certainly will be useful!

    • Rafael  

      My ears thank you, this works for me

  3. Paul  

    Would Sysinternals Process Explorer give more detailed information to be able to track down the offending CPU hogging culprit?

    • It certainly would. I was going to mention it, but I thought it would be more suitable for an in depth article detailing how it works.

      • And when will you be writing that article, Andre? Thanks for the great tips here, although I didn’t experience that with my win 10 A/U. Turning off the majority of notifications has made a positive impact on my older laptop. Win 10 has actually been “good” for my MSI laptop, but only after tinkering with some stuff garnished from the internet and from GroovyPost.

        • I have a few articles to tackle first, when I get those off my plate, I will certainly work on it.

  4. Marllo  

    @Ken D: The tip you suggested worked so far. I’ll keep watching to see how long this will remain effective. Thanks.

    @ Andre: Great write up. Thanks for addressing this issue. I noticed the same high CPU usage when I updated to Win10 Anniversary also. I tried killing a whole slew of processes, but nothing seemed to work. If you find any other effective solution be sure to share.

  5. MerryMarjie  

    I’d like to add my experience, just for shakes. I had a real problem with awakening the computer from sleep for at least six months. What would happen was a rev up on the fan so it was really loud, and the monitor wouldn’t come on and I’d have to restart the computer. Pros couldn’t find anything wrong. I continued to haunt every site I could in hopes of finding the cure for this awful fan noise which was really scary for me, and one day I read a comment (don’t remember where) and the poster mentioned the display adapter driver needed updating. After I had tried so many “fixes,” I thought that wouldn’t work either, but I went into Device Manager, found the Display Adapter, found that the driver needed updating, performed the five second chore, and it was fixed. I haven’t had any whining noise from the fan since, and that’s been about four months ago. The computer awakes normally now.

    If this saves anyone else from six months of Googling “fan whining,” I hope it helps!

    • Max Daru  

      I had this problem on my Lenovo desktop. I don’t normally power off my machines, but the fans kicking on full at 3am motivated me to turn my machine off at night. A clean install of bloatware-free Windows 10 stopped this behavior. Presumably, Lenovo services were responsible.

  6. pmichel  

    Waow… for a long time I joked about having a virus on my computer, a virus called: Windows !
    But the more I learn about Win10, the more I believe this to be a fact !

    I’m baffled at the fact that Win10, by default, acts as a hidden torrent server for micro$oft…
    It’s going to take me years to find all the things to disable in Win10…

    Thank god my primary PC is linux

  7. This all sounds nice and warm but I never said my CPU fan, I said CPU runs at max speed since last win10 update March 17 2017. Look at task magager, performance.

  8. Rich  

    Andre,
    Thanks for verifying that stopping the Windows Update task would turn off fan. My PC is new (Dell 15-5000 5700 gen8 i7 processors) and Dell had no clue why their noisy fan runs almost constantly. After hours with Dell, I immediately attacked the issue myself via via the Task Manager and ended a running Windows Update task and the fan lowered its speed and then turned off completely in about 10-15 seconds. It is now 30 minutes later and no noise! What it was doing is running for about 1.5 minutes (minimum) to 8+ minutes, shutting down for about 1-2 minutes, starting back up, etc. repetitively for hours. Doesn’t help Dell with a noisy fan, but definitely stopped it from running like it did. Thanks for your article.

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