How to clean the fan on your Xbox One

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The Xbox One is a pretty hardy games console. But if you’re noticing that it’s much noisier than usual when it’s running, or the console gets very hot when playing games, it could be that the internal fan is clogged up with dirt and dust.

The white Xbox One S console is likely more susceptible to this than the sturdier Xbox One X. This is because the ventilation holes on the top of the console (above the fan) give dust an easier entry point; in contrast, the Xbox One X’s solid surface means dust can only get in via the side vents.

It’s worth pointing out that, while some dust particles will likely find their way into the console’s innards, it’s extremely unlikely that it will be severe enough to hinder the operation of your Xbox One. And even if it does, it could take years to build up to that extent.

Nonetheless, here’s everything you need to know about keeping your Xbox One clean, shiny and in good working order.

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Keeping your Xbox One fan clean

When it comes to keeping your console’s fan free from dust and dirt, it’s definitely a case of prevention being better than cure. 

The more dust that you allow to build up on your Xbox One, the more likely it will find its way onto the console’s fan mechanism via the exterior shell’s air vents.

Therefore, the best thing that you can do to prevent dust gathering is to clean the console regularly.

Every week or so, turn the machine off at the wall and give it a wipe over with a dry lint-free or microfibre cloth, or a microfibre duster. The microfibre material will ensure that the dust sticks to the cloth, rather than just pushing it around and potentially directing it into the vents, making things worse.

READ MORE: How to change NAT Type on Xbox One

The risks of cleaning your Xbox One's fan

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If you do notice a more severe build-up on the fan itself, you could try using a compressed air device to blow short bursts of air through the vents. Beware, though: this air can cause the fan to spin and risks damaging it. 

This is a tricky process, so it’s probably a last-resort option. If you are going to do it, try sticking a long pin through one of the vents just enough to stop the fan spinning during the cleaning process. Be careful, though – you don’t want to push it in too far in case it can’t be retrieved. 

The more extreme way of cleaning the Xbox One’s fan is to actually take the console apart to reach the fan directly – as detailed here.

However, this course of action is not advised, especially if your machine is under warranty. Opening up your console could void its warranty and make it difficult to get it fixed if things go wrong. 

If you’re really worried about the condition of your Xbox One’s fan, it’s probably worth taking it to a Microsoft-approved repair specialist for a professional clean. It won’t be free, but it’ll probably cost you less than having to shell out for a whole new console.

READ MORE: How to transfer games from an old Xbox One to a new one