Skip to Content

PC Beeping: What it Means and How to Troubleshoot It

PC Beeping: What it Means and How to Troubleshoot It

Most PC owners know that startup beeps indicate hardware failures. However, what these beeps indicate is often a mystery. Depending on the number of beeps you hear, you could be looking at defective RAM, low CPU fan speeds, high CPU voltage, or a corrupted BIOS, among other things.

If your PC starts beeping instead of properly booting upon startup, don’t panic—we can tell you what these beeps mean and how to troubleshoot potential issues.

Number of Beeps and What They Mean

Determining the number of beeps your PC makes and whether you notice a pattern is the first step in diagnosing your computer’s issue. Below is a rundown of what different beeps indicate.

Number of BeepsIndication/Action Required
OneNormal if your computer boots up immediately
Two(Power-On Self Test) POST/CMOS error
One long beep, one short beepMotherboard issue
One long beep, two short beepsVideo card issue
One long beep, three short beepsVideo card issue
Three long beepsKeyboard issue/not connected
Continuous long beepsCPU overheating or overheated

Note that beep patterns may vary across different motherboards, so it’s imperative to search unique beep codes for common BIOS.

How to Troubleshoot a Beeping PC

Once you’ve determined the number of beeps your PC is making, you can start to troubleshoot these issues. Here are a few methods you can try.

Power Cycle Your PC

Power cycling refreshes device functionality and is an easy way to get your device and its applications working. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Shut down your PC and disconnect peripherals, including removable batteries, if applicable.
  2. Press and hold the power button for 20 minutes to drain your device’s capacitor charge.
  3. If your device’s temperature is high, allow your PC to rest for half an hour.
  4. Reconnect your peripherals and cords and boot up your PC.

Physically Inspect PC Components

Unless doing so will void your warranty, some inspections may require an old-fashion visual. First, you’ll want to locate your computer’s RAM slots and determine whether any components are loose. If your RAM is broken, you can simply purchase a replacement.

More complex fixes might involve a broken graphics card, so you may prefer to contact a professional to replace this. Similarly, a broken processor requires immediate replacing.

Check Your Power Supply

Some beep patterns indicate your PC isn’t receiving enough power from its PSU (power supply unit). If your power flow experiences constant interruptions, it could be due to loose connections or a broken PSU.

Review Your Cooling Setup

If your PC beeps indicate insufficient cooling, your CPU voltage may be too high or too low. Review fan speed settings and reset your BIOS/UEFI to an appropriate number. If your PC continues to overheat, you may need to remove, clean, and reinsert your CPU cooler.

Inspect Your Keyboard

Beeps that indicate an issue with your keyboard call for a physical inspection. Perhaps your keys are stuck or your board has short-circited. 

The Bottom Line

While a beeping PC may sound concerning, the number of beeps will tell you how critical your computer’s issue is. In most cases, a simple troubleshoot will suffice. If not, contact a computer repair service agent—they’ll likely know just what to do!