How to Fix It When Your Computer Is Making a Buzzing Noise

Troubleshooting a PC making a buzzing sound

Many different reasons could cause a buzzing sound coming from your computer.

  • A loose component in the case
  • Fan-related issue
  • Failing hard drive
  • Power Supply

Usually, it'll be something innocuous and easy to fix, but there's always the possibility it could be a sign of something more serious going on.

Why Is My Computer Buzzing?

It very much depends on what kind of "buzzing" sound your computer is producing. Does it sound like an electrical buzz? Does it sound more like a vibration? Are the fans spinning up faster and louder than usual? Does the buzzing sound have a physical grinding sound to it?

These are all kinds of buzzing that could suggest other causes for the sound, but more importantly, different ways to fix it.

How to Fix Your Computer When It's Buzzing

A general buzzing sound isn't an apparent symptom of a problem. Therefore, it's not a great way to diagnose an issue. However, here are some things to check and look for and some potential solutions to those problems.

  1. Rattling, vibration, buzzing: If you're hearing a buzzing sound that sounds like something is vibrating or rattling around inside your PC, it could be there's a loose screw or cable that's moving around or stuck in a fan.

    An excellent way to test for this is to turn your PC off and tilt it forwards, backward, and side to side to see if you hear a screw or something else rattling around as it falls or moves around the case.

    If it sounds like something's loose in there, all you need to do is unplug your PC's cables and open up the case. Then use a light to see if you can find the errant screw or object causing the rattling or buzzing sound. You should also check any fans you have to see if any cables or other things are obstructing them and causing them to make a noise when they spin up.

  2. Loud fans with buzzing: If your computer's fans are running faster and louder than usual with a buzzing sound, it could be that they're clogged with dust, or the bearings are starting to go. The best way to check this is to turn off and unplug your computer, then open the side panel.

    Look at the metal heatsinks on the graphics card and CPU and see if they've collected dust. It can also be good to check the intake vents at the front of the PC to see if any dust filters are clogged. If any of them are, use a can of compressed air to clean them out. You can also use a lint-free cloth to wipe down the fan blades, but be careful, as they are pretty delicate.

    If the sound persists even after you've cleaned your PC in this way, it may be a specific fan's bearings are failing. The only way to fix that is to replace the fan.

  3. Grinding, clicking, buzzing: If you hear an irregular ticking or grinding sound along with the buzzing, it could be that one or more of your hard drives (if you have them) are starting to fail. Before investigating further, be sure to back up any information to a separate drive or cloud storage option to ensure your data is safe. Then run a disk checking application to test the health of the drive. If it is starting to fail, you'll need to replace it.

  4. High-pitched buzzing: If the buzzing you're hearing is high-pitched, it could be what's known as coil whine. It isn't necessarily a problem, even if it is annoying, as coil whine is merely an electronic phenomenon when components vibrate at the exact frequency to produce the high-pitched whine.

    Unfortunately, there's not much you can do short of replacing the offending component, as most manufacturers don't offer warranties or guarantees for coil whine.

  5. Buzzing from your power supply: Regardless of what kind of buzzing you're hearing, if you deduce it's coming from your power supply, then you should replace it with a high-quality PSU as fast as possible. Excessive coil whine, a broken fan, or other component degradation could lead to your power supply failing, which has the potential to damage the rest of your PC.

  • Why is my computer making a fan noise?

    If your computer's fans run louder or more often than usual, your computer may have some airflow or cooling issues. Along with checking for obstructions and dust, you can try other things to keep your computer's temperature down, including moving it away from a wall or managing resource-heavy applications.

  • Why does my mic pick up computer sounds?

    If you're using an external mic, moving it away from the computer can cut down on sounds you don't want to record. You might also try a headset mic. If neither of these options work, check your mic's settings for sensitivity options; turning the sensitivity down will stop the mic from picking up quieter noises, like mouse clicks.

Was this page helpful?