What's that Sound in My Computer?

My computer is making a funning sound!

All computers, Mac, and PC (and Linux!) will have hardware that makes a sound. There are certainly high-end issues that can cause sounds. But more often than not, these are old problems that you’ll need to fix!

If your computer is making noise, it’s nothing to stress about, you just need to be educated!

The Average Sounds a Computer Makes

Whirring (especially as tasks are increasing)

Your ‘computer is whirring’ is the most common sound you can get. This is typically associated with increasing speed or performance on a computer. These sounds can be one of two things:
A fan is kicking on as your computer is drawing in more heat.
The hard drive (typically low RPM) hitting it’s maxed strain as it’s trying to keep up with the data processes.
If this sound is occurring without either of those things going on, you might need to call us.


Buzzing is a little bit harder to define and is far less common than it used to be. If your computer is dated, then it would be something akin to a floppy disc or a really old hard drive struggling to keep up.
Common sounds for buzzing could be anything from a loose screw to a drive on it’s way out.

Grinding (Smooth, not like a grating)

Not to be confused with ‘computer is clicking.’ I would say this is more common than buzzing but typically stems from the same thing. Instead of a floppy drive, I would check to see if you have a CD, DVD, or Blu-Ray drive active and might be obliquely set in place.
If it’s not that, I would say immediately check to see if one of your HDD’s isn’t on the fritz.

Fading Whine

A fading whine is usually something powering down or losing power. You’ll hear it with your computer shutting down more often than anything else or if you’re running a lot of programs and then decide you don’t want to do that anymore.
So it could be the power supply fading with a computer turn off or it could be a squeaky fan winding down.


You’ll often hear a lot of humming from a computer that’s maybe 5 years old. It’s standard to hear a dull humming from the computer either via the hard drive, or the fans on the computer. It’s just standard operating sounds, but computers have just gotten quieter over the years.

How to Troubleshoot Computer Ssounds

Task Manager

If you hear a noticeable uptick in sound, try the task manager (either ctrl + alt + del or ctrl + shift + esc)
Check out your processes and look for what your ram intake or CPU percentage is. If there is a spike, you can determine what might be causing those sounds.

Use a Program like CPU-Z

CPU-Z will give you insights into what is inside of your computer without having to crack it open. This can help you figure out if there is anything outdated that could lead to the recurring sound issue.
Troubleshooting this information with Google and adding strange noise will lead you to a dozen forums that will undoubtedly cover the topic.

Open it Up!

Make sure the power is off. Then open it up! Sometimes it will be obvious, you’ll see a lot of dust accruing, it might be hot to the touch, but you’ll be able to see if there are any obvious issues with the system.

Tech Fixers

Finally, the easiest way to determine what is going on with your PC is to bring it into a shop. We offer free diagnostic scans of your computer and can help fix whatever issues might be affecting it.

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