How To Fix CPU Cooler Not Lighting Up [Quick Tutorial 2023]

Written By Farhan Max

You are finally done installing your CPU cooler the way you wanted it, but when you turn on your computer, the CPU cooler RGB  does not light up like it’s supposed to.

You are probably wondering:


Why is my CPU cooler not lighting up?

Your CPU is not lighting up for several reasons. The most common reason is that most people make not connecting the cables the proper way. You should check the SATA power plug to your PSU and a USB cable that connects to your motherboard.

You have nothing to worry about as this kind of problem has the potential of getting fixed very quickly. I faced this same problem many times as a professional gamer, but I always managed to fix it in just a few minutes.

So, without wasting any time, grab yourself a cup of cappuccino or whatever you fancy, and read the entire article and be careful not to skip over any part, so you are not left with any doubts afterward.

Why Is My CPU Cooler RGB Not Working?

CPU cooler RGB usually doesn’t work for users who have installed the RGB manually and on their own. In this case, the installation was probably not done right. Moreover, if you use an incompatible component with your CPU cooler, you may face this issue.

Another reason why your RGB is acting up might be because you didn’t check first whether your CPU and cooler come with an RGB header or not.

You are recommended to have an RGB or ARGB header compatible with your CPU, as that will ensure your ability to connect LED strips and other lighter strips to your PC.

Sometimes the issue could be with the RGB themselves. Once, I was doing a build for a client. I found out that all RGB devices were not working except for one. So, keep in mind that the cooler might not be the issue; it might be the RGB. Also, the issue can happen for errors in different RGB software like MSI Mystic, ASRock Polychrome RGB, or Aura Sync.

Now that you know what exactly is causing this issue let’s dive into the fix.

How To Fix CPU Cooler Not Lighting Up

Before you can start fixing it, you will need to identify what exactly is causing the issue. This is because the fix entirely depends on the cause. So, I recommend you go over the previous section one more time before moving forward.

You should stop if the cooler or your CPU has issues, as the fixes I will be discussing are meant for issues caused by the RGB and nothing else.

Here are the ways to fix the CPU cooler not lighting up:

1. Check If All The RGB Cables Are Connected


Most of the time, you usually get an RGB cable that should come with the fans themselves. In other words, you should find two cables with the fan: one for the RGB and one for the fans themselves.

If the RGB cables are disconnected, and you just connected the fan cable, you won’t see anything light up.

A few fans also come with an RGB controller or hub. If your fans come with something like this, use them. Otherwise, use the RGB ports on your motherboard to connect to the cable.

2. Make Sure The Cables Are Connected To The Right Header

This is a widespread mistake made by people who are doing this for the first time.

First, you need to see what voltage your CPU cooler works at. My cooler is 12V for standard RGB.

However, the three-pin ARGB header typically runs at 5V, and the two are not interchangeable.

You need to make sure the header lines up with the pin labeled with your CPU cooler’s voltage. If the arrow on the connector lines up with the pin, you’re fine.

My problem was fixed when I lined it up with the pin labeled 12V.

Another time I faced a different type of issue with the header, and the problem was that when I was pressing hard on the pin, it would start glowing, but when the pressure was taken off, there was no illumination.

3. Check Your SATA Connector

Another common reason why your RGBs are not working is using incompatible SATA connectors.

The required SATA Connector should have five pins, so if yours only has four pins, you need to get it switched out.

4. Check The Fan USB controller

If the RGB strips on your fan are paired with a controller that you are using to control them, then you need to be certain that the USB is working correctly.

If you notice that your controller isn’t functioning properly, you can try updating the firmware.

In addition to that, it is recommended to check the strips attached directly to one single channel instead of using different ones.

5. Check The Fan OEM

If the fans you are using are of a different OEM, then it will be complicated to set up the RGB as they might not work with each other.

That’s why you should always make sure the fans you are using are from the same OEMs. Follow our guide to change the Fans with different OEMs

6. Reset The Device

If you are using the cooler and everything was working fine until it stopped working randomly, then the last option you can test is resetting the device.

If this last solution does not work, you are left with no other choice but to take it to the nearest service center to rectify this issue.

Check out the list of the most reviewed top 9 best CPU coolers you can buy in 2023. And yes, they come with RGBs.

How Do I Know If My CPU Cooler Is Working

There are a bunch of methods to verify whether your CPU cooler is up and running or not. One of the easiest methods is to monitor the CPU temperature of the cooler under heavy load. If the temperature is 60 degrees or under, then you are fine.

Another obvious way to check if your cooler works is to use your PC, and if you see any random shutdowns, you need to get your cooler checked out.

Furthermore, you are likely to experience extremely low clocks as the cooler would throttle the CPU down. You can monitor the throttling with a Windows program called HW monitor, and if the throttling appears every day, then your cooler isn’t working.

You could also check the fans and the pump by simply listening for any noise from the pump and the fan. There should be some noise, even if it’s not very loud. If you don’t hear anything, then neither the fan nor the pump is working anymore.

Also, check out our separate post on why is my CPU Cooler so loud.


Question: What happens if the CPU cooler fails?

Answer: In this situation, you should be able to notice a rapid heat-up of your CPU which should lead to shutdowns. Some newer systems actually show an error message on the screen that tells you if the CPU cooler fails.

Question: What is a healthy CPU temp?

Answer: The normal CPU temperature will depend entirely on the CPU that is used. However, generally speaking, anything between 40 degrees and 60 degrees is always considered normal.

Question: How do I know if my motherboard supports RGB?

Answer: The best way to find out if RGB is compatible with your motherboard is to simply consult your motherboard’s webpage or talk to the store where you purchased it. You could also look in the manual provided with the motherboard.

Question: Is RGB lighting worth it?

Answer: There are no performance enhancements coming from the RGB f that’s what you are wondering. However, it is a great accessory to make your setup look extraordinary and it is also great to have if you usually work or game in dark environments.

Final Thoughts

CPU RGBs can be easily fixed if you know why the problem is happening.

I hope you have finally gotten that beautiful setup you always wanted. If you liked this content, bookmark our webpage and visit it regularly to see new tech updates.

About The Author
Farhan Max is a tech geek with a particular interest in computer hardware. He's been fascinated by gaming since childhood and is now completing his undergraduate studies while researching and testing the latest tech innovations. Alongside his love for all things geeky, Farhan is also a skilled photographer.


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