MSI Afterburner fan speed locked fix [5 ways]

fan speed locked in msi afterburner

MSI Afterburner is the most go-to software when it comes to overclocking. Whether you are using an Nvidia or an AMD GPU Afterburner always got you covered. However, overclocking techniques, capabilities, results vary from hardware to hardware.

One of the most commonly used MSI afterburner feature is custom fan speed and graphs. It is easy to use and there is a lesser chance one can actually harm his computer using this feature. But I have seen so many people complain about this feature being locked out for them. It can be because of numerous reasons. Sometimes it is the Afterburners fault or it may be because of your limited hardware capabilities.

If you are here, It means you also have this issue. I recommend trying all the below tricks to fix the MSI afterburner fan speed locked issue.

MSI Afterburner fan speed locked fix

1. For Laptops

There is only one way for you to control your fan speed in a laptop. And that is by using a software like Speedfan. But still, it won’t necessarily work on every laptop.

msi afterburner fan speed locked fix
change fan speed using speedfan

If the fan speed settings are locked by your manufacturer(laptop), then there is NO WAY to control it. The reason being laptops often suffer from overheating issues as all the components are tightly bound in a small place. In this case, laptops fans play a crucial role in providing sufficient cooling. If a user is given enough privileges to control the speed of the fan and in case he reduced the fan speed below than what is recommended, there are higher chances the chipsets will burn due to overheating.

However, if you own a high-end gaming laptop, there will be a manual button to set the fan speed to normal, medium or high. Again, not all manufactures will have this.

However, there is one thing that you can do:

  • Open Control Panel
  • Go to Power options
  • Click ‘Edit plan settings
  • ‘Change advanced power settings’
  • Expand ‘Processor power management’
  • Then again expand ‘System cooling policy’
  • Set ‘Active’ for both on-battery and plugged-in
msi afterburner fan speed locked laptops
msi afterburner fan speed not working
msi afterburner fan speed locked laptops
msi afterburner fan speed locked

2. Enable the user defined fan control option

Even if you are on a PC, custom fan speed in MSI afterburner doesn’t just come out of the box. You will need to enable it first.

  • Click on the ‘Settings’ icon
  • Open the ‘Fan‘ tab
  • Check the ‘Enable user-defined software automatic fan control‘ option
  • Apply settings and restart the Afterburner
  • Then only the fan speed slider will be unlocked
  • Also, make sure that the ‘Auto‘ option is disabled
msi afterburner fan speed locked fix
msi afterburner fan speed locked laptop
msi afterburner fan tab missing

3. Try using MSI Afterburner beta

The ‘FAN’ will be missing in most cases especially if you have a 20 series turing based graphics cards from Nvidia. If your version of MSI afterburner is not displaying a ‘FAN’ tab then try using the beta version of MSI afterburner which you can download here. It might resolve the issue, at least it had for many users.

4. Adjust fan speed through motherboard utility software.

MSI afterburner is known to lock some of its functions for motherboards from non-MSI manufacturers like ASRock or EVGA when paired with certain graphics cards for some reason. This also includes the ‘fan speed’ control as well.

In this case, you can try using that manufacturer’s own utility or tuning software to adjust the fan speed. You will need to select your motherboard version and download/install the provided utility software.

  • For ASRock visit here
  • For EVGA visit here
  • For Asus visit here
  • For Gigabyte visit here and choose EasyTune
msi afterburner fan tab missing

5. Uninstall Afterburner, Reinstall GPU drivers and again Install Afterburner

Sometimes the GPU drivers might be the cause of the problem. Faulty or outdated drivers can cause several other issues including the one we are talking about. We’ll need to get that fix. I don’t recommend softwares like IObit or any other game boosters to auto-install your drivers for you. You will need to

Uninstall your MSI afterburner

  • Right-click on the Afterburner icon
  • Select ‘Open file location’
  • Locate ‘Uninstall.exe’ file
  • Execute it
fan tab missing msi afterburner
msi afterburner fan speed locked

Uninstall GPU drivers

  • Search for ‘Device Manager’ in the windows search
  • Expand ‘Display adapters
  • Right-click on the GPU name
  • Select Uninstall
msi afterburner fan speed locked laptop

Install GPU drivers

  • Visit this site for Nvidia and this site for AMD
  • Select your respective Graphics cards and operating systems
  • Download the drivers
  • Install them
  • Restart your machine
msi afterburner fan speed locked fix

Install Afterburner

Again install Afterburner and check if the fan speed slider is unlocked. Follow the 2nd and 3rd steps again to reverify.


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