How to connect computer fan to usb?


Computer fans are an essential component for keeping your system cool and preventing overheating. While most fans in a computer are usually connected directly to the power supply or the motherboard, you may want to connect an additional fan using a USB port. These fans are smaller and more portable, making them suitable for various applications such as laptop cooling, DIY projects, or even desk fans. In this article, we will guide you through the process of connecting a computer fan to a USB port.

Materials Required

Before you start, make sure you have the following materials:

1. Computer fan
2. USB cable
3. Wire strippers or scissors
4. Electrical tape or soldering iron (optional)
5. USB port or a USB wall adapter

Step-by-Step Guide

Follow these steps to connect your computer fan to a USB port:

1. Identify the Fan Wires

Look closely at the fan’s cable and identify the red and black wires. The red wire indicates the positive (+) terminal, while the black wire represents the negative (-) terminal.

2. Cut and Strip the USB Cable

Take the USB cable and cut it at a suitable length from the connector end. Carefully strip off the outer insulation from both ends to expose the internal wires. You should find several color-coded wires within the USB cable.

3. Identify the USB Wires

Identify the wires inside the USB cable. Generally, USB cables have four wires: red (positive), black (ground), green (data-), and white (data+). However, every USB cable may have slightly different colors, so it’s essential to identify the wires correctly using a multimeter or a reference guide.

4. Connect the Fan to USB

Now it’s time to connect the fan to the USB cable. Attach the red wire from the fan to the positive wire on the USB cable. Similarly, connect the black wire from the fan to the negative wire on the USB cable. Ensure the connections are secure.

5. Insulate the Connections

To prevent short circuits or exposed wires, insulate the connections you made using electrical tape or a soldering iron. This step is crucial for safety and longevity.

6. Test the Connection

Once fully insulated, you can plug the USB cable into a USB port or a USB wall adapter. If everything is connected correctly, the fan should start spinning.

7. Mount the Fan

Depending on the application, mount the fan in an appropriate location. If you’re using it as a desk fan, find a suitable stand. For laptop cooling, consider using adhesive pads or a cooling pad.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can I connect any computer fan to a USB port?

Yes, most computer fans can be connected to a USB port as long as you have the necessary materials and follow the steps correctly.

2. What is the purpose of connecting a computer fan to a USB port?

Connecting a computer fan to a USB port allows it to be powered by the USB connection, providing a portable cooling solution or adding extra ventilation to your system.

3. Can I control the fan speed when connected to a USB port?

No, USB ports typically provide a fixed voltage and do not support fan speed control. The fan will run at its default speed.

4. Are USB-powered fans loud?

USB-powered fans are generally quieter compared to larger fans. However, noise levels can vary depending on the fan model and settings.

5. Can I connect multiple fans to one USB port?

Technically, you can connect multiple fans to a USB port by using splitters or connecting them in parallel. However, this may exceed the power output of the USB port, potentially causing issues.

6. Can I connect a computer fan to a USB hub?

Yes, you can connect a computer fan to a USB hub. Be sure to consider the power requirements of the fan and the available power output of the USB hub.

7. Can I cut any USB cable for this purpose?

USB cables with standard connectors (Type A or Type C) can be used for this purpose. However, avoid using cables with proprietary connectors or those that are not designed for data and power transfer.

8. Can I use an adapter to connect a computer fan to a USB wall outlet?

Yes, you can use a USB wall adapter to connect a computer fan to a USB port. It is an alternative if you don’t have a spare USB port available.

9. Are there any risks associated with connecting a computer fan to a USB port?

As long as the connection is made properly and the fan operates within the specified power range, there is no significant risk. However, always exercise caution when dealing with electrical connections.

10. Can I use this method to power other devices?

Yes, you can use this method to power other low-power devices that require a 5V power supply, such as LED lights, small motors, or similar peripherals.

11. Can I reverse the polarity of the fan when connecting it to a USB port?

No, reversing the polarity may damage the fan or prevent it from functioning correctly. Always ensure the positive and negative wires are connected correctly.

12. Can I use this method to control the fan with software?

No, this method only powers the fan. If you need software control, consider using fans compatible with motherboard headers or dedicated fan controllers.


Connecting a computer fan to a USB port is a simple process that allows you to power the fan using a USB connection. By following the steps mentioned in this article, you can make use of USB-powered fans for various applications. Remember to be cautious and ensure secure connections to ensure proper functionality and safety.

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