Why My Computer Fan Making Clicking Noise- Easy Fix

Computer fan making clicking noise
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Sometimes you hear a distinct clicking coming from your computer, and this is worth investigating. The computer makes a lot of noise. Some PCs- like an optical drive hum whine or spin up from a coil- are pretty normal.

Additionally, other noises like popping or cracking your speakers may be so frustrating, but above all, it is not something you should worry about. If your computer has a tapping or apparent clicking noise, you may have an issue that needs to be sorted out.

This article will take you through some of the issues causing your computer to make clicking sounds. Most computer-moving parts have at least something about spinning- fans, CD drives, disk drives, or that sort of thing. Clicking sounds often come when either of the parts is failing or blocked. So let us have a look into some of the problems causing the noises.

1. A failing hard drive

A failing hard drive

Sometimes we expect a minimal low-volume clicking noise from most hard drives. If you look at the inside part of the metal case, the hard drive may look almost like a high-tech record player. The reason is that it has some of the design elements-spinning disk same. This is where we have information storage and also an actuator moving arm that can read and write data.

It is the same way needle plays music, probably from an old record. A hard drive that is full-functioning and is powered on will mostly make a soft “whir” or “hum” sound from the disk which is spinning, then a more audible “tap” sound just because the actuator arm makes rapid moves back and forth.

What is so frustrating to hear is a loud “click” or “snap” sound. That usually indicates that there is some mechanical failure. It might be either from the harm or the disk, which typically means that your drive is really in trouble. If possible, boot into the operating system, then back up data as soon as possible because the probability of the drive failing any time is very high. You need to get a replacement immediately.

 Most of the drives use a form of monitoring called SMART (self-monitoring, analysis, and reporting technology), which means it can also check-in to see if the drive is failing. It is also important to note that if your computer might be using a solid-state drive (SSD), a flash storage type with no moving part, it is very safe to assume clicking noise, if any, is not coming from the storage.

2. A failing CD or DVD drive

A failing CD or DVD drive

Mechanically, the optical drive inside your computer is almost the same as the hard drive described above. The only difference is that it is possible to remove and replace the storage medium. Additionally, because optical drives use a spinning disc and a moving arm with a lesser lens, they will automatically make the same tapping and whirring noises as reading and writing the data.

Therefore, in a situation where you hear a loud clicking sound, it usually symbolizes that it is either one of the parts moving. For instance, the small electric motor, or maybe the laser track has failed, or the drive is reading data off a disc, which is faulty.

Fortunately, a faulty CD drive is not an immediate, “ensure your data is backed up now” issue like a faulty hard drive. Sometimes unless you have crucial data, you need to have access to a DVD or CD; your computer can get well without one.

If you fix the situation, replacing the internal drives is very readily available and straightforward to install. (In this case, ensure you have a SATA or IDE drive which can match with the connection in your motherboard).

However, some of the computers may have a modular drive disc that can be swapped out. If you rather know you will not crack your PC case, then open it. You will find so many external USB- based drives which you choose from.

3. A cooling fan that is blocked

A cooling fan which is blocked

In most cases, most desktop computers have some active cooling –this is a system of some small fans, in which they draw air inside the case. This expels the hot air and cools the components in your case. Sometimes, the PC’s wiring internally (mostly a desktop) can snag or drag on maybe one or two of the fans, creating a “scratch” or a “tap’” noise.

It often occurs when internal components might have been jolted a little, for example, when the PC has been transferred from one place to another.

This is very easy to fix: switch off the computer, remove the access door or case, and view any loose data cable close to any cooling fan. Ensure and then check fans on the CPU (this is the large block at the center of your motherboard) and graphics card, too.

You probably do not need to unplug any or move it far, but if you need a permanent solution, you can organize the cables a little to ensure that your PC’s internals is tidy and nice.

 A clicking sound may also pop out from those fans who are dying, or dust has just gummed them up. While your case is off, move ahead and switch on your PC. Have a look over, and don’t touch any of the internal components. If you come across any fan that is not spinning correctly, you have to resolve that issue. You also have a chance to clean the fans.

Switch off your PC and get the fan out. Remove any dust and anything else which could be gumming up your fan using some isopropyl alcohol and a cotton swab (in a situation whereby it’s a lot, then use compressed air and then blow it first). After that, you can spray very lightly with a contact cleaner. It is designed just for cleaning circuit boards or control knobs and such things. 

It also works very well for fans. It dries very quickly and leaves no residue behind. Then give your fan a few minutes to dry, return it to your PC, then see whether it is working any better. Fans are very cheap to replace, so you can choose to go that way.

4. Monitor or speakers

A loud click directly from your PC’s speakers as you switch it on or off is not a usual thing; In case you get to hear a constant clicking sound, something is wrong with either of your components. 

5. Power issues

In a situation whereby your computer is making a clicking sound just before it shuts off on its own, there could be a wiring or power supply. That noise indicates power is failing, and all components stop at once. Check power rails and make sure all components have an excellent connection to the power supply.

You Might be Interested to Read: Hard drive making noise when idle (why and quick fix).


This article has highlighted how computers make clicking noise a failing hard drive, failing CD or DVD drive a blocked cooling fan, sometimes from monitor or speakers or the computer has power issues.

A computer clicking noise can be frustrating, but by reading and following the points mentioned above, you will understand where the noise is coming from and how to deal with the problem. However, if you find it more challenging, it would help best if you consult an expert to help you.

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