Laptop Makes A Rattling Noise When Tilted? How To Fix It!

It might be true that laptops were made to be very handy, portable, and convenient to use but that also means that they can be quite flimsy and prone to damages even when you are only using them regularly. One of the things that you might have noticed is when you actually hear odd rattling noises when you tilt the laptop over or when you move it around. But where is this rattling noise coming from and how do you fix it?

In most cases, the reason why there is a rattling sound coming from a laptop that is tilted can be attributed to a piece of the internals that has gone loose and is making contact with the laptop’s fan and other moving parts. Meanwhile, in some laptops, it might be due to a part that has come loose and is moving.

The rattling sound that you hear when you tilt your laptop over is not something that you can take lightly. After all, something like this can easily damage your laptop such as when it hits your exhaust fans and prevent them from functioning well or when the loose part has come so loose that it prevents your laptop from actually functioning. That’s why you need to have this problem fixed as soon as possible.

Dell Inspiron Laptops

Why is my laptop making a rattling noise when tilted?

Different laptops come in all shapes, sizes, and build quality. While laptops are made to be quite easy to carry around due to how small, handy, and convenient these machines are, that doesn’t mean that all laptops are made to have a solid build quality and to have internals that is just as durable as the most durable part of the laptop.

Truth be told, because you are moving around so much while you are carrying your laptop wherever you go or because you don’t know what is happening inside the laptop while you are using it during your normal daily routine, there could be a chance that some of the internals actually get damaged as a result of how you handle the laptop.

Of course, you will never know when a laptop’s internals get damaged or not when the damage tends to be a bit small. This can easily happen when your laptop is probably in your bag and you are on the move as you might hit the big somewhere or actually mishandle the entire bag while you are traveling or going somewhere while carrying the laptop. In other cases, something as simple as a bump can have lasting impacts on a laptop.

So, that said, some of you might have noticed that your laptop makes a rattling noise when you tilt it or move it around while it is powered on. This can be quite common in larger laptops or in the less compact ones as these laptops have more internal parts that are moving around so much in comparison to compact laptops which have internals that doesn’t make use of moving parts. As such, what is the cause of this problem?

Going back to what we said, the reason why this rattling noise is happening is most probably due to how there is internals that was slightly damaged or has come loose as a result of mishandling the laptop or even something as simple as using it on a regular basis. The internals of a laptop comes with plastic parts that can be flimsy and easy to damage. In some cases, there is internals with screws that can easily get loose or dislodged.

In such cases, a simple nudge or a bump might end up causing a bit of internal damage to the laptop or might cause a screw to come off loose. As such, when a small piece of plastic breaks off or when a screw comes loose, tilting or moving the laptop might cause those pieces to come into contact with the laptop’s moving parts such as its cooling fan. After all, the cooling fan is moving around so much that anything that comes into contact with it will naturally shake around the laptop and cause rattling noises.

Computer laptop charging battery on bed

That said, when a flimsy laptop that may be on the lower end of the price spectrum has plenty of different plastic parts, such a scenario can be quite common as some of the plastic can easily chip off with a slight bump or nudge and may end hitting the parts that move on a regular basis while the laptop is powered on.

The dangerous part about this is that the moving parts are actually moving for a reason such as when the fan needs to move or spin to keep the laptop cool. So, when a small piece of debris makes contact with such moving parts, it might hinder their ability to function normally. For example, a piece of plastic might make the fan less efficient and will cause your laptop to overheat more often than not. As such, it is important for you to fix this problem as soon as possible.

There are also cases wherein laptops that don’t have moving parts can still end up with rattling noises. There are some laptops that have internal parts that are simply glued on. So, when the glue wears off or actually peels off for one reason or another, the part might come loose and might make rattling noises when the laptop moves around. This is something that you might experience in MacBooks, which don’t have cooling fans or plenty of moving parts but have internals that was simply glued on.

How do you fix the rattling sound the laptop makes when tilted?

For laptop owners that can open their laptops, the fix can be quite easy as you only need to open the panel under the laptop to reveal some of the internal parts. You can try to breeze through the internal parts such as the cooling fan without removing or touching them. If you see a small piece of plastic, screw, or debris in the parts that move on a regular basis when the laptop is powered off, you can try to safely remove it.

Access panel on the bottom of a Laptop

Using tweezers can be good to use when trying to reach tight spaces but makes sure you don’t hit the laptop’s parts. You can also use a can of compressed air to try to dislodge that piece as the compressed air might be strong enough to actually push it away.

However, for those with laptops that cannot be opened, the only possible solution for you is to bring your laptop to the service center to have it checked and serviced. If it still is under warranty, you may be able to have it replaced if the problem still persists.


I'm Rob, the founder of I’m a Marine Corps vet with a master’s degree in Information Systems and have been working in the technology field for over a decade.

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