How To Control CPU Fan Speed With MSI Afterburner? – Guide

MSI Afterburner, a versatile graphics card overclocking utility, can also control the CPU fan speed, providing users with a powerful tool for temperature management. 

Enable user interface control in MSI Afterburner settings, access the Fan tab, customize the fan curve, and apply the settings. Monitor temperatures and adjust as needed to optimize CPU fan speed for performance and cooling.

This comprehensive guide will dissect the potential causes behind this common issue and provide detailed step-by-step solutions to empower users to regain control over their GPU fan speeds.

Understanding The Problem:

Despite its reputation as a robust graphics card software, MSI Afterburner has a history of occasional glitches, with one of the most prevalent being the fan speed control feature becoming inaccessible.

Users often encounter scenarios where adjusting the fan speed doesn’t reflect in the actual operation of the fan or where the control options are greyed out.

Common Causes Of Disabled CPU Fan Speed:

Common Causes Of Disabled CPU Fan Speed:
Source: Reddit

1. Disabled Feature:

The fan speed control feature may be disabled in the MSI Afterburner settings, rendering it inactive.

2. GPU Stress:

The software’s features can become greyed out when the GPU is not actively used. Running a GPU-intensive process can activate the fan speed control.

3. Compatibility Issues:

Compatibility problems between MSI Afterburner and the GPU, or conflicts with the software version, can hinder fan speed control.

4. Outdated Drivers:

Using outdated graphics drivers may cause abnormal behaviour in MSI Afterburner, including issues with fan speed control.

Preliminary Checks Of MSI Afterburner Fan Speed Control Issues:

Before delving into more advanced fixes, it’s wise to perform some initial checks:

  • Restart MSI Afterburner.
  • Ensure MSI Afterburner is up-to-date.
  • Revert to the software’s default view.
  • Confirm GPU functionality and connection.
  • Verify that your GPU allows third-party software adjustments.

Read: No Or Unknown CPUfreq Driver Is Active On This CPU – Fix In 2023

Fixes For MSI Afterburner Fan Speed Control Issues:

Fixes For MSI Afterburner Fan Speed Control Issues:
Source: linustechtips

One common challenge users encounter with MSI Afterburner is the greyed-out or unresponsive fan speed control. To address this issue effectively, users can follow a series of step-by-step fixes to troubleshoot and resolve the problem.

1. Run a GPU-Intensive Process:

Ensure that MSI Afterburner features are not greyed out due to GPU inactivity. The first step involves running a process that actively utilizes GPU resources to activate the fan speed control feature.

This ensures that the software recognizes the GPU’s activity and allows users to adjust the fan speed accordingly.

2. End Graphics-Intensive Processes:

Users should identify and close resource-hungry applications or games that may overload the GPU to troubleshoot fan speed control issues further.

By ending these graphics-intensive processes, users can check if the fan speed control becomes available, addressing any conflicts or overloads that may have initially caused the issue.

3. Enable Fan Speed Settings:

In cases where the fan speed control is missing or unresponsive, navigating to MSI Afterburner settings is crucial. Clicking on the Fan tab and enabling automatic user-defined software fan control is vital.

Users should then choose “Custom” in the predefined fan speed curve dropdown menu and apply these settings. This process ensures the fan speed control feature is actively engaged and customizable.

4. Rule Out Compatibility Issues:

A common cause of fan speed control problems is compatibility issues between MSI Afterburner and the GPU. To address this, users should confirm the software’s compatibility with their GPU model.

Checking forums for the GPU manufacturer can provide insights into which software version works best. If compatibility issues persist, downgrading to a known-compatible version may be necessary.

5. Update or Downgrade Graphics Driver:

Outdated or buggy graphics drivers, including fan speed control, can adversely affect MSI Afterburner’s performance.

Users should regularly check for the latest graphics drivers on the official website of their GPU manufacturer.

If issues persist after a driver update, considering a rollback to a previous, stable version can be a practical troubleshooting step.

6. Manually Change Fan Speed Settings:

If reinstalling the software proves ineffective, manually editing the settings file may provide a solution. Locating the MSI afterburner CFG file, opening it, and entering the desired fan speed value allows users to customize the settings directly. Saving the file and restarting the device ensures that the changes take effect.

7. Reinstall MSI Afterburner:

Users can uninstall MSI Afterburner from the Control Panel as a final resort if all previous fixes fail. Deleting any remaining files and folders related to MSI Afterburner ensures a clean slate.

Reinstalling the software from scratch provides a fresh start, potentially resolving any underlying issues impeding fan speed control.

Read: Pre Memory CPU Initialization Is Started – 6 Steps In 2023

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Why Can’t I Change My Fan Speed in MSI Afterburner?

To adjust the fan speed in MSI Afterburner, enable it via the settings. In the Fan tab, check “Enable user-defined software automatic fan control,” set the curve, and click OK. The User Define button allows you to control fan speed.

2. Why MSI Afterburner Locked Fan Speed on Laptop?

Manufacturers typically lock fan speed settings on most laptops due to compact designs prone to overheating. Some high-end graphics laptops provide a manual fan speed button. Alternatively, consider downloading SpeedFan for customizable laptop fan control.

3. What Is Fan Sync MSI Afterburner?

Fan Synchronize in MSI Afterburner permits toggling between synchronous and asynchronous fan control modes. Enabling Fan Sync aligns fan speed with internal heat automatically. When Fan Sync is disabled, users can independently select and adjust each fan speed by creating a custom fan curve.

4. How To Fix MSI Afterburner Power Limit Greyed Out?

Occasionally, MSI Afterburner may grey out voltage, temperature, core clock, and memory clock values. Try changing the theme or running applications/games to resolve the power limit issue. Updating to the latest beta version of Afterburner or updating the graphics card driver can also fix the problem.

5. How To Increase GPU Fan Speed Using The MSI Afterburner?

To boost GPU fan speed:

  1. Establish a custom fan curve in Afterburner.
  2. Open the application, adjust the fan speed slider, and click the gear icon.
  3. Choose User Define, opening a graph with fan speed percentages and temperatures.
  4. Customize the curve to suit your preferences for different temperature scenarios.


Mastering MSI Afterburner involves understanding its intricacies and troubleshooting common issues. Following this comprehensive guide, users can confidently navigate potential obstacles, ensuring effective control over GPU fan speeds for optimal performance and temperature management. If all else fails, exploring alternative graphics card software may offer a viable solution to meet individual user preferences.

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