If you’re like millions of people (myself included), then you’ve probably been playing a lot of the Resident Evil 2 remake lately. As you spend hours shooting zombies, you can’t help but notice that your PlayStation seems a little worse for wear. It’s hot to the touch and it’s running quite loudly.
How to make a PS4 Quieter? You can silence a loud PlayStation 4 without taking it apart simply by cleaning it using a portable, handheld vacuum cleaner on the lowest suction setting. Chances are, too much dust is preventing the centrifugal fan from doing its job. This makes the machine work harder to keep you entertained, leading to the troublesome noises.
You don’t want to miss this article, as I’ll go in-depth on cleaning your PS4 as well as how to prevent future noise recurrences. Whether your PlayStation is a few months or a few years old, you can soon have it running and sounding as good as the day you bought it.
What Does the Inside of Your PS4 Look Like Anyway?
While I don’t recommend you take apart your PS4, you may be curious about what it looks like inside the console. That’s natural curiosity, so let’s satiate it, shall we?
Beyond its protective shell, your console is a series of chips, boards, and wires. Nothing remarkable there. The hard drive is housed on the top left of most PS4s (if you’re lying the console flat). Then there’s the centrifugal fan, which I’ll get back to in the next section. As I mentioned in the intro, this is your culprit if your PS4 is running noisily.
There’s also the power supply, which runs on alternating current (AC) at 120/240 volts. Beneath the power supply are several capacitors. You’ll find a DVD/Blu-ray drive, an optical drive board, and the motherboard itself, too.
If you want to see all these pieces as they’re being disassembled, there’s a really cool breakdown here. Just to repeat it, I do not advise you to unscrew and take apart your PlayStation to get to the bottom of what’s causing the noise. There are several reasons not to do this.
First, if you have any kind of warranty or protection plan on your console, you’ll immediately void it. If you look through your PlayStation 4 owner’s manual, there’s even a section specifically prohibiting you from disassembling the console.
Second, unless you’re very experienced, you probably won’t be able to put the PS4 back together again and have it in working shape. Lastly, and most importantly, you put yourself at risk of electric shocks and laser radiation. It’s just not worth it.
What Causes a PS4 Fan to Get So Loud?
As mentioned earlier, the problem with your PS4 is not from some random interior component. Instead, it’s the centrifugal fan that’s causing all the noise.
The fan is about 85 diameters, so it’s a decent size. The job of the centrifugal fan is to cool down the console as it starts heating up. This can occur when you use the console for several hours at a clip. If you’re playing a graphics-heavy game, you can also expect to hear that worrisome loud whirring sound.
As handy as the centrifugal fan is, it’s not impervious to dust buildup. If you’ve owned your PS4 for more than a few months, then dust is going to accumulate on the console. Sure, you may use the disc tray and keep that free of dust, unless you’re ultra-modern and just buy digital copies of your games. Since you can turn the PS4 on and off via the controller, you might not touch the console itself much. That means dust can accumulate quite easily.
There’s more than just the dust that coats your PS4’s outer casing. Dust gets inside, too, unbeknownst to you. In fact, you can rarely tell something is wrong before your PlayStation’s fan begins running more audibly than it once did.
If you do nothing about this, the problem will only get worse. More dust continues to pile up on the accumulation that’s already in and around the fan. As a result, the fan has to strain even harder to work, which means it’s much noisier than it should be. It can become downright distracting. With time, the fan could even fail. Your console would still turn on and work, but after an hour or two of playing (if that), it would overheat and shut itself down. Some parts could even fry out.
Now that you’re aware of the risks of a loudly-running PS4 fan, you have to do something about it before you cause possible irreparable damage to your console.
How to Make a PlayStation 4 Quieter Without Taking It Apart
The main question is, how do you access the fan when it’s deep within your PS4? You don’t want to take the console apart, but what other option do you have?
The solution is not to disassemble the PS4. Instead, you want to clean it.
What can you use for the job? A handheld portable vacuum cleaner is best. These typically don’t get nearly as much suction as a full-sized vacuum does, but that’s what you need. Too much suction could cause the dust to move to other parts of the console, possibly breaking them. That’s why, even with a portable vacuum, you should always use it on the lowest setting possible. It may take longer to suck up the dust, but there’s less chance of damaging adjacent parts.
Never use a full-sized vacuum cleaner for the job. Even on its lowest setting, there’s too much suction. Plus, most of the nozzles are too big for the relatively delicate PS4.
Tips on Preventing Future PlayStation 4 Noise Recurrences
Unless there’s a very significant buildup of dust, then the cleaning method outlined above should have done the trick. Now that your PlayStation 4 is running as quietly as the day you bought it, how do you keep it that way? Make sure you follow these tips.
- Get into the habit of dusting your PS4 at least weekly. You can skate by with every two weeks, but no more than that. If you see dust on the outside of the console, then you can be reasonably assured that it’s on the inside as well.
- Make sure you keep your PS4 somewhere with adequate ventilation. If the console is already in a tight, enclosed environment, it’s more likely to get hotter faster. That means the centrifugal fan is working way too hard from the get-go, increasing the chances of it being noisy.
- When you set up your PlayStation in an entertainment center, don’t push the sides or the back against a wall or another surface. Don’t cover your console with anything either. There are air vents at the sides and back of the console that aide the fan in keeping the PS4 from overheating. Blocking the vents means the fan is the only defense against the console getting too hot and shutting down. You will certainly hear the fan in such a scenario.
- Do you keep your PS4 horizontal? Try standing it up for a while. When it’s positioned vertically, there’s less risk of it overheating. Since the console doesn’t get so hot, the fan can work at a normal rate, making less if any noise.
- Know that sometimes a loud centrifugal fan is just something that happens regardless of how clean the inside of your PlayStation is. If you’re playing a game that’s graphically stunning, it puts a harder demand on the entire console. That means the fan will be louder compared to some older games. The only solution is to upgrade your PS4 to the newest available model or tune it out. You can also turn up the volume on your TV or wear headphones.
If you sense it’s something else that’s causing your PS4 centrifugal fan to run so loudly, you might want to contact Sony about the issue. If your warranty has expired, then try a trusted console repair person. They can assess what’s causing the fan to be noisy without you having to take apart the console yourself. You can then either get the PlayStation repaired or upgrade to a newer, sleeker and hopefully quieter PS4.
The PlayStation 4 is a fun console, but when its centrifugal fan begins running on overdrive, it ruins your game. Most of the time, dust accumulation is the reason the fan is so noisy, but not always. Lack of ventilation and games with high graphical demand can also put a strain on the fan.
Although it’s tempting, I don’t recommend you disassemble your console to get to the fan. A handheld vacuum cleaner can suck up dust without voiding any warranties. Just be careful!
Now that you know how to maintain your PS4 fan without taking the console apart, you can get into the game with no fan to take away from the experience.