How to Clean an Xbox 360 Fan
By Marshal M. Rosenthal
Updated September 22, 2017
Items you will need
The Xbox 360 accumulates dust and debris from daily use, as do all electronic devices that have ventilation holes in them. Keeping the fan that is inside of the Xbox 360 clean will help keep the internal components from overheating and will help keep the device running more efficiently. Cleaning the Xbox 360 fan is not complicated, although you must open and partially disassemble the Xbox 360 to access the fan. Expect to take at least a half hour to get the fan out of the Xbox 360 to clean it.
Opening the Xbox 360
Remove all of the cables from the Xbox 360. Put a towel down on a table. Put the Xbox 360 on the towel horizontally.
Squeeze the top left side of the faceplate with your left hand (reverse this for “lefties”). Put the fingers of your right hand inside of the USB door at the bottom right of the faceplate. Pull up on the USB door to dislodge the faceplate. Slide the faceplate off, and put it aside.
Insert the flat-edged screwdriver into the hole in the ventilation grill on the right side of the Xbox 360. Release the four tabs inside of the ventilation grill that are holding a plastic insert in position. Press the "Power" button on the front of the Xbox 360 once. Repeat this procedure with the ventilation grill on the left side of the Xbox 360.
Place the Xbox 360 facedown on the towel. Lift up on the bottom plate. Remove the 14 screws now exposed using the Torx screwdriver. Turn the Xbox 360 faceup again on the towel.
Grab the sides of the Xbox 360 and lift up on the outer case to dislodge it from the bottom case. Remove the outer case, and put it aside.
Lift up and remove the plastic inserts that are on each side of the bottom case. Put them both aside.
Remove the screws from the back plate using a Torx screwdriver. Lift up on the back plate, and put it aside.
Removing and Cleaning the Fan
Turn the Xbox 360 back over onto the towel. Remove the screws from the left and right sides of the metal plate using the Torx screwdriver. Remove the screws at the front and back edges of the metal plate using a Torx screwdriver.
Lift up on the metal plate, and pull it off of the Xbox 360. Turn the metal plate over, and put it down on the towel so that the components attached to the metal plate face upward.
Insert the flat-edged screwdriver into the small tab at the back of the white plastic air tunnel that is now visible inside of the Xbox 360. Wiggle the tip of the flat-edged screwdriver as you lift the white plastic air tunnel from out of the Xbox 360. Put the white plastic air tunnel down on the towel.
Locate the black fan assembly on the side of the Xbox 360. Pull the black fan assembly’s power plug out of the circuit board using your fingers.
Pull the black fan assembly away from the side of the Xbox 360 case. Pull the black fan assembly straight up and out of the Xbox 360. Put it down on the towel.
Push the lint-free cloth through the white plastic air tunnel to remove loose dirt and dust. Wipe off the air tunnel with the lint-free cloth. Blow out the air tunnel with compressed air.
Blow out the two fans in the black fan assembly with compressed air. Wipe off the black fan assembly with the lint-free cloth. Wipe off the individual fan blades with the lint-free cloth. Blow off the fan blades with compressed air.
Reverse the disassembly of the black fan assembly to reattach it to the Xbox 360. Put the white plastic air tunnel back into position inside of the Xbox 360. Reattach the metal plate. Reverse the disassembly of the Xbox 360 to put it back together again. Reattach all of the cables.
Wear an anti-static strap to keep static electricity from harming the electronic components of the Xbox 360.
Improperly attaching the power plug of the fan to the circuit board can cause a malfunction. Opening the Xbox 360 yourself voids the Microsoft warranty.
Marshal M. Rosenthal is a technology maven with more than 15 years of editorial experience. A graduate of Brooks Institute of Photography with a Bachelor of Arts in photographic arts, his editorial work has appeared both domestically as well as internationally in publications such as "Home Theater," "Electronic House," "eGear," "Computer and Video Games" and "Digitrends."