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Identifying High Temperature, Heat, Thermal Concerns, Fan Noise on Dell Laptops

Summary: Identify if you have any valid concerns about the thermal and fan speed levels on your Dell laptop.

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Article Content


If you are concerned that your Dell laptop is running too hot or is too noisy with the fan constantly spinning, then work through the following troubleshooting steps.

Affected computers:

  • Inspiron Laptops
  • XPS Laptops
  • Latitude Laptops
  • Precision Mobile Workstations
  1. Flashing the system BIOS to the latest version on the computer can help resolve the issue. The Dell BIOS is responsible for managing fan speeds related to dynamic cooling and the performance of the computer.

    To download and install the latest BIOS, see Dell Knowledge Base article Dell BIOS Updates.

    WARNING: Dell Technologies recommends disconnecting any external devices like external hard disk drives, printers, and scanners before updating the BIOS.
    WARNING: Dell laptops must have the battery installed and charged to at least 10% before you begin the BIOS update. Dell Technologies recommends connecting the laptop to AC power before proceeding with the update process.

  1. Installing the latest version of the Intel Dynamic Platform and Thermal Framework / Intel Dynamic Tuning Driver driver. This is required on computers to control cooling and performance in the Operating System dynamically. To download and install the latest version:

    1. Browse to Drivers & Downloads page.
    2. Identify your Dell computer.
      • Click Download and Install SupportAssist to auto-detect your Dell computer. Follow the on-screen instructions to install Dell SupportAssist.
      • Or, enter the Service Tag, Express Service Code, or the Serial number of the Dell computer and click Search.
      • Or, click Browse all products to select your Dell computer from the catalog manually.
    3. Select the Operating System that is installed on the computer.
    4. Under Category, select Chipset.
    5. Locate the latest Intel Dynamic Platform and Thermal Framework / Intel Dynamic Tuning Driver driver.
    6. Click Download and save the file to your computer.
    7. Using File Explorer (also known as Windows Explorer), browse to the location where the downloaded file was saved.
    8. Double-click the downloaded file and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation process.

  2. Run the Dell ePSA Diagnostics to check the status of the computer fan. There is no dynamic control available during the ePSA tests, the processor runs at full speed during these tests, and the fans will likely go to high speed throughout the testing.

    For more information, see Dell Knowledge Base article How to Run a Preboot Diagnostic Test on a Dell Computer

  3. Is the computer shutting down and leaving error logs in the BIOS?

    1. No, the computer is not shutting down, and the fan is passing the diagnostic tests, then read these facts you should be aware of about laptops:

      • You can expect that the harder the processor works in such a slim design, the warmer it gets

      • The fan running constantly can usually be traced to a heavy workload causing high CPU usage. (This can be caused by Windows updates or any number of other open applications.) When the CPU usage runs high, the CPU gets warm, and the fan runs to control the thermal temperature in the system. Remember that today's thin and light designs mean that the fan runs more often due to the compact designs. When the application that is causing the high CPU usage is finished (whether it be updating, scanning, or simply processing), the CPU usage and, as a result, the thermal temperature and the fan will stabilize back down after some time.

      • A lot of thought has gone into mitigating where you can expect the heat to concentrate on these computers. The most common place to feel the heat is the ventilation on the base of each system, the other place you would expect it to run warm is along the top of the keyboard, which is on top of the CPU, fan, heat sink, and memory for most computers. Consider where your laptop is located, are any of the ventilation openings being blocked?

      • If the casing/keyboard is too hot for you to touch or you see signs of heat causing damage to the computer casing, you should Contact Dell for further help.

    2. Yes, this system is shutting down, or there are thermal/fan errors logged in the BIOS. You can find more specific troubleshooting in the Dell Knowledge Base article How to Troubleshoot Overheating, Shutdown, or Thermal Issue on a Dell Computer.

Additional Information

Article Properties

Affected Product

Laptops, G Series, Alienware, Inspiron, Latitude, Vostro, XPS, Mobile Workstations, XPS 13 9300

Last Published Date

02 Nov 2023



Article Type

How To