case fan screws don t fit

Case Fan Screws Don’t Fit in PC Case: A Full Guide!

Some of us enjoy building our own computers. I totally understand that. When building PCs, running into problems require you to improvise accordingly. 

Case fan screws are one such example. When they don’t fit, it becomes really annoying. 

So, what to do when the case fan screws don’t fit? 

If the case fan screws aren’t fitting, it means they’re self-tapping screws. These screws are meant to be forced into the plastic hole. The screws will drill their own holes and installation will be easier the 2nd time. You can also choose high-end case fans with pre-drilled holes. 

That was a short answer to the entire discussion. Of course, there’s a lot more to be talked about. That’s why I’ve talked about this problem in detail. 

I’ve also discussed workarounds that may work. To know more about fitting case fan screws keep reading till the end. 

Why Case Fan Screws Won’t Go In? 

You’re all excited about building a computer and you’re almost done. You’ve built the parts and are about to install the fans. 

Suddenly, you realize the fan screws aren’t going in. This is more than enough to ruin the day. Here’s someone who faced a similar issue!

Did you get the wrong case fan screw size? After all, they aren’t going in. Then they start looking for the right screws that fit the case fan screw holes. 

Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Users face similar situations when they try to use system fan headers for CPU fans

Because not every PC casing fan comes with the pre-bored holes. Because pre-boring would increase the cost of production.

This becomes a little confusing for the people who don’t know this information. They try to use screws that may be too big or small.  

There are plenty of forums complaining about case fan screws being too small

Even the PC cases with casing fans may not have full pre-drilled holes. These fans only have one pre-bored side that is attached to the casing.

Because of this reason, you can’t alter the fan setup. For example, you can use the intake fan as the exhaust. 

This limits your freedom and quite frankly, is annoying to deal with. However, you still can do it. It’s just that you have to bore the other side yourself

Well, that’s the situation you’re facing right now. You’re most likely stuck with the casing fans that don’t have bored holes. 

What to Do When Case Fan Screws Won’t Screw in? 

After realizing that case fan screws won’t screw in, you’re in a tough spot. In this situation, you now have two options in front of you. 

Option 1: Install Your Case Fans Anyway

Before describing the method, here’s a fair warning. By following the method, you can void warranty policies. It should be your last resort if nothing helps. 

Nevertheless, it isn’t that risky method at all. That was the easy method that requires no physical force. But if you want to save money, you’ll have to go the hard way. 

In other words, you’ll brute force the screws in the casing fans. The way it’s meant to be. No need to be stressed, however. 

Because with the right tools, these are decently easy to install. 

Before I start talking more about the installation process, let’s talk more about the case fans. It’ll make it easier for you to understand. 

You could be wondering about the incorrect case fan screw hole size.

Well, the case fan screw hole size is correct. Because you are already provided with the correct screws. The screws that came with the casing fans are called self-threaded screws. It means the screw is going to make its own hole as they go in. 

It’s just not the way you thought they would be used. 

This requires a lot of strength and therefore, they are annoying to many people. Honestly, I also hate these screws too. 

Because sometimes screwing them feels like it’s going to break your case. But with patience comes great rewards. So, let’s get it started. 

To make it easier, I’ve simplified the process and divided it into multiple steps. Because otherwise, the whole process may seem messy to you. 

For instance, changing the RAM bus speed from 2400MHz to 3200MHz involves a couple of steps. 

Simply follow the steps one by one and you’re all good!

rgb fans
Source: PC Game Haven

Step 1: Get a Long Screwdriver

Screwing self-tapping screws require a lot of physical force. So, forget the small screwdrivers as they’ll make it harder to screw. 

You want big screwdrivers that are easy to hold and easy to apply pressure with.

Step 2: Place & Screw One Corner of the Case Fans 

Since you’ll drill the hole, you can’t place the case fan the way you want. Your options are limited and you can only bore a little bit of the plastic. 

To do it correctly, plan where the case fans will sit in your PC case. When you’re done, place them inside of your PC. 

This is the most important part. You’ll always screw the fans from the outside of your PC case. 

This way you won’t have to bore too much. As long as the case fan is stuck in your PC, your job is done.

Start the process by placing your case fans. Then, get the self-tapping screw and place it on the screwdriver. Afterward, hold the case fan with your hand and start screwing with another. 

It’s going to appear real tough at first. If the case fan screws seem too big, don’t worry. It’ll bore through as you put enough pressure.

Now, just wait until the screw threads into a little bit of plastic. You can then put more pressure afterward. 

Since this is the first screw, remember to not let go of the casing fan. Otherwise, it’ll get tilted as you put pressure to screw in.

If it gets tilted, unscrew it a little and position it properly. 

Step 3: Screw the Opposite Corner of the Case Fan

Thanks to your great effort the first screw is now inside. All that’s left is to install the 2nd screw and you’re done!

The 2nd screw will always go in the opposite corner of the 1st screw. This will place the case fan strongly against the PC case. 

Screwing this screw is going to be easier than the 1st one. So keep your hopes up.

Like before, hold the fan against the PC case. Take the screwdriver and start screwing. Keep putting pressure and gradually increase it as you bore through.

Stop when you’ve realized that the fan is now properly screwed. Try moving the case fan with your hand and see if it’s loose or not. 

Step 4: Screw the Rest of the Corners of the Case Fan

You can now choose to screw the other two corners. But most people quit after two. Because all you need is a running case fan. As long as it’s stuck, it’s all good. 

But it may cause vibrations as two corners aren’t screwed in. The fan spinning will cause small collisions between the case and the fan. 

To get rid of the vibration, you’ll have to screw the other two corners. But before that, you may like to run the computer first. 

Try running the fan at full speed and check if it creates vibrations or not. If it doesn’t, maybe you don’t have to screw the rest. It’ll save you a trip to hell. 

But if it does vibrate and cause noise, you’ll have to screw the other corners. That will get rid of the noise as the fan is properly mounted. 
As always, try to clean the PC once in a while. Sometimes, long-time dirt can make it harder to re-install the parts.

PC rgb lighting
Source: Voltcave

Option 2: Get New Case Fans

This first option is to get new casing fans. This is the easier option and will instantly solve the problem that you’re facing. 

You see, not all the casing fans come without the pre-bored holes. Most high-end case fans come with pre-bored holes. 

For instance, EKWB has casing fans that utilize UNC 6-32 screws. They’re super easy to install!

In other words, these fans are a little expensive but they’re worth the price. This is the only option that you have if you don’t want to bother with your casing fans. 

One thing to remember is that these fans can come as sets or single pieces. Also, these case fans screw sizes are in various dimensions. So you have plenty of choices should you go forward this way. 

Look for case fans on online websites and carefully inspect the photos. You’ll notice the pre-bored holes in the fans. 

Some products will also mention if the fans are pre-drilled or not. Most high-end brands do produce case fans with pre-bored holes so you’re fine. 

To save you trouble, I’ve recommended some great picks-

Antec 120mm Case FanCheck the Price on Amazon
Noctua High-Performance Cooling FanCheck the Price on Amazon
uphere 3-Pack Long Life Computer CaseCheck the Price on Amazon

Choose any of these and they’ll save you all the troubles. Simply get them and install them on your new PC!

Cooling Fan
Source: PC Guide

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are all case fan screws the same?

No, all case fan screws are not the same. There can be different types of screw holes in case fans. Some use self-tapping screws and some use long ones. Because of this reason, case fan manufacturers send multiple screws with the case fan package. This helps you in case you lose some screws.

Are case fan screws self-tapping?

Case fan screws can be self-tapping but not always. High-end case fans from Corsair or Lian-Li come pre-bored. But non-brand case fans in the entry levels are usually threadless. These case fans require self-tapping screws. These screws can bore into plastic easily and effortlessly. 

Do Corsair fans come with screws?

Yes, Corsair fans come with their own set of screws. Corsair is one of the most renowned companies when it comes to case fans. Corsair fans are considered one of the highest quality fans on the market. Packages bought from Corsair include the mounting screws which are super easy to install.


That’s all regarding the issue of case fan screws don’t fit. I  hope that this discussion got rid of your confusion and helped you understand it. 

If you’re still confused, take the computer to the nearest service center. They’ll install the fans for a price or recommend new ones!

Finally, have a nice day and happy gaming!

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