I just bought a case with fa , as pi 4 is not working great without it. Now temperature is low, but as I have it in my room, I would like to turn it off while sleeping.

My fan is: https://www.amazon.fr/gp/product/B07V9Q95RX/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

When I shutdown the pi, fan is still active, so I have to physically unplug power, which is not so great.

Is there a way to shutdown fan at the same time than pi ?

  • Hi @Juliatzin del Toro, Ah, let me see. If there is no power on/off switch on the power cord, perhaps you can DIY one: Rpi4B Case with Fan, 4 Heatsinks, 5V 3A USB-C PSU - US$17 - amazon.com/Smraza-Raspberry-Cooling-Heatsinks-Included/dp/… - (With a handy on/off switch on the 59 inches cable, easily press button to power on RPi4B)
    – tlfong01
    Commented Oct 3, 2019 at 5:32
  • Without knowing what case and how the fan is connected - No
    – Milliways
    Commented Oct 3, 2019 at 6:03
  • This is the switch you can DIY: imgur.com/a/7GcpXDI.
    – tlfong01
    Commented Oct 3, 2019 at 6:29
  • @Milliways sorry I updated my question with fan link Commented Oct 3, 2019 at 7:03
  • And you can use this kind of switches: imgur.com/gallery/R0j5Ac9. These are 250V AC 3A ~ 5A switches. Your Rpi4 5.1V ~ 5.3V DC 3A wall wart output has a micro USB connector. So I would suggest (no guarantee nothing won't melt down!) to "insert" the switch between wall wart and micro USB connector.
    – tlfong01
    Commented Oct 3, 2019 at 7:18

6 Answers 6


If the fan is connected to the 5V and GND pins then they are not controlled by software. Those two pins are directly connected to your power supply, so as long as the power supply is connected and turned on at the wall socket your fan will continue to run.

  • But this does not answer the question: "Is there a way to shutdown fan at the same time than pi?"
    – Ingo
    Commented Oct 3, 2019 at 10:55
  • 1
    @ingo I don't understand your comments. The fan runs while the power is connected regardless of whether the RPi is booted.
    – Dougie
    Commented Oct 3, 2019 at 16:20
  • Not really important and your answer is right, but that was not asked. How would you shut down the fan with the pi? With a common wall switch?
    – Ingo
    Commented Oct 3, 2019 at 16:43
  • I don't remember how did I connect it, but I can check tomorrow. So did I buy the wrong case ? Is there some case that would actually turn off with PI ? Commented Oct 4, 2019 at 8:15
  • shop.pimoroni.com/products/fan-shim Or you can hack your fan with a transistor to switch the power raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=194621
    – Dougie
    Commented Oct 4, 2019 at 9:43

Use gpio-fan. See this for reference: https://hackernoon.com/how-to-control-a-fan-to-cool-the-cpu-of-your-raspberrypi-3313b6e7f92c and https://github.com/spritrl/rpi-fan

Do not use an NPN transistor, it may or may not switch on perfectly with 8mA. Use a MOSFET, something like a BS170 (TO-92) or IRLZ24N (TO-220, big) and switch it neatly with 3V3. But really, the circuit specifics are "use what you have".

You will need to adjust your temperature threshold to an appropriate value. Generally, you want to keep the CPU temperature lower than 70°, or more ideally 60°, for longevity, and to mitigate thermal stress on components. Using an init.d script or rc.local is a matter of taste. It hardly seems worth it to make a service file.


The easiest solution is to get a really quiet fan which you can leave running overnight. Personally I got a GPU cooler with a 12V fan: it still rotates reliably when powered with 5V, but at a much slower speed which makes it totally silent unless I put the case to my ear.

If you already bought a fan and it's 5V, I would try to plug it into 3.3V to see if it becomes silent enough, while still providing sufficient airflow. AFAIK 3.3V is also switched off when the RPi is shut down.

Also, if your fan doesn't include a heatsink and the cooling is sufficient, you could try the opposite: get rid of the fan and attach a passive heatsink to the chip.

  • Do you have the reference of your fan ? Commented Aug 23, 2020 at 16:33
  • 1
    @JuliatzindelToro I bought this video card fan. I had to break off the clips on the sides to make it fit on the Pi, and simply glued it on top of the SoC chip. Commented Aug 24, 2020 at 9:13

I would solder fan cables to USB ground and 5v pins on the back of the pcb. All your problems solved. You can ssh turn off or put to sleep and your fan will turn off. You will still have that usb port available.


There are a lot of good ideas here. My favorite is Sobir's answer. Just solder the fan to USB ground and 5v pins.

But I do have one more method that can be used. A power saving power strip has the ability to shut of the AC when the TV is turned off. So if you had such a power strip, then turning off the TV would also turn off power to the PI (but remember to do proper shutdown first). Also, some TVs may have an AC power output. That could also be used to the same effect.



How to turn off Rpi4B case's cooling fan without pulling the power plug?


extreme passive cooling

There are many ways, including the following:

(1) Get a case with a manual power switch (Reference 2).

(2) DIY a manual cable power switch (Appendices A to C).

(3) Using Rpi GPIO to control a software switch to turn on/off the power supply for the cooling fan (Ref 6, Appendix C)

(4) Use a WiFi power plug, such a Sonoff (Ref 8 ~ 23).

(5) Use extreme passive cooling (Ref 24), using effective heatsink which is even better than a cooling fan.

(6) @Dmitry Grigoryev points out one thing I never thought of - When Rpi is shut down, 3v3 is also shutdown, even 5V power to Rpi is still on. So there are two get arounds, (a) Use Rpi 3V3 to drive the cooling fan, (b) Use a step up regulator to convert Rpi 3V3 to 5V, or even to 12V to drive a cooling fan.

(7) Ref 24's extreme passive cooling WITHOUT a fan performs better than a regular cooling fan. So this the quietest or perfect solution. Another similar method is to use the ICE Cooling Tower Fan 2.0 (Ref 27), which, if not using fan, should be as good (I guess) as the OP's cooling fan. (I once used a similar water circulation tubing heat sink PC graphics card, WITHOUT a fan, therefore very quiet, and PC chassis also uses fans with double bearing, or magnet bearing,so very quiet for my recording studio, ...)


Discussion Notes #1 - 2019oct04 hkt1635

The OP commented that my answer does not meet his requirement, which is summarized below:

Lying in bed, after watching a movie, shut down the Rpi as a PC, without leaving the bed. Therefore a local switch near the Rpi but too far from bed won't do.

Now let me consider some cases and see if I can produce a real solution.

Case 1 - The OP sits in front of Rpi on a desk, starts the VLC Media Player, selects a movie, then walks to his bed, lies on bed and starts watching the movie. He does not want to leave the bed anymore, and wishes NOT to get up and walk to the wall socket to switch off the wall wart.

Now either he changes his present Rpi case without a manual power switch to a new one with manual power switch, or DIY his own switch, IF the switch is "local" to Rpi but remote from bed, then he has to get up to reach the switch.

In other words, if the switch either comes with the Rpi case, or DIY inserted, does NOT solve the problem.

Case 2 - I have thought about a couple of more possible solutions, including the following:

(2.1) Use a mobile phone to switch Rpi, and then case power,

(2.2) Use a remote controller (similar to TV remote) to switch off Rpi and then case power, or just cooling fan power, which is easier.

(2.3) Lengthen the power cord at either or both ends of the manual power switch (Appendix A, Tamiya socket labelled "B"). This way, the OP needs to carry the switch with a dangling long power cord to bed. But this method is easy. One problem is that Rpi won't be properly shutdown.

(2.4) use a WiFi power socket, ...

(2.5) Extract the two wires connecting to the fan, extend the wires and added manual switch. This is easy but messy.

I need to ask the OP to confirm if I indeed understand his situation, and more details of his user requirements, before I suggest more solutions.

Discussion Notes #2 - 2019oct05 0938

Case 3

(3.1) Use a USB powered cooling fan, extend the USB cable to bedside, and without leaving the bed, just pull the USB plug to turn off the fan (Ref 7). This 40mm cooling fan is brushless, double bearing, and might be much more quiet than your Rpi case's built in fan. You can also find "magnetic" bearing which is even more quiet.

(3.2) And you can add temperature sensed PWM fan speed control, so if the Rpi is not playing video, Rpi becomes cool, the fan will automatically run at very low speed, or even stops. Now you can have a nice sleep, ...

Case 4 - Updated 2019oct06hkt1204

In Case 2.4 above, I suggest using a WiFi power switch such as Sonoff, but I am not sure if the OP is confident to to the wiring of 200VAC wires. I also googled IoT Stack Exchange and found 50+ posts suggesting using a WiFi power switch, including how to use Sonoff's GPIO pins to do other things (Perhaps turning on/off the OP's case's cooling fan, as well as the Rpi power.)

Again, this is a bit risky and not recommended to newbies. So in case if the OP is interested in the approach,

I would suggest the OP to move this question to IoT Stack Exchange, ...



sonoff 2019oct0602

For those those are interested to learn about Sonoff, IoT MQTT, ESP8266 etc, and dare not to touch the dangerous 200VAC mains, you can consider doing the following experiments.

(1) Open the Sonoff cover (it is hacker friendly, takes your less than 3 seconds)

(2) Study the schematic, find where the AC200V to 3V3 transformer output, remove the AC circuit, supply your own 3V3 power. Update (Ref 22 Youtube has a very good description of how NOT removing AC to DC converter circuit and can just supply your own 3V power from Win10 USB to UART TTL.)

(3) Find the ESP8266 chip's TxD, RxD, GPIO pins and use Rpi ESP8266 IDE to program the ESP8266.

There is a tutorial (Ref 20) on how to use LUA to program the ESP8266/ Sonoff smart switch. This tutorial is simple because it does not make use of any cloud, third party server, MQTT broker, you just use your smart phone to WiFi talk to ESP8266 whose pins can do the following: (1) switch on/off Rpi (logic or power circuit), (2) switch on/off cooling fan, with the help of ddriver 2N2222.

WARNING: I myself have not tried it. So there is no guarantee that something won't explode!

/ to continue, ...


(1) Rpi4 Case without manual power switch

(2) Rpi4 Case with a power switch

(3) The manual power switch to DIY

(4) 250V 3A ~ 5A manual power switches

(5) How to strip the power wires

(6) Using LM2596 and LM2941 to switch on/off PSU/currenct

(7) Amazon 40mm x 10mm 5VDC USB Brushless Cooling Fan, Dual Ball Bearing - $14/2 pcs

(8) Sonoff Smart Remote Control Wifi Switch Compatible with Alexa Iphone Android - $22

(9) Sonoff Product Info

(10) Sonoff User Guide

(11) Six Sonoff Secrets: Storage, Safety, Switches, Sensors, Software, and Sites

(12) Sonoff Basic WiFi Smart Switch Review (YouTube)

(13) How to Use MQTT With the Raspberry Pi and ESP8266 - Thomas Varnish

(14) Make your own Sonoff WiFi switch using ESP8266 and MQTT 2017aug09

(15) Sonoff / Tasmoto Garage Door sensors

(16) Are all SonOff GPIO mains isolated? - IoT StackExchange 2019sep19

(17) Manual Override Button for Sonoff Basic - IoT StackExchange 2019sep19

(18) Sonoff basic- GPIO’s - IoT StackExchange 2019sep02

(19) DIY Add a Sonoff To Home Thermostat

(20) Lua application for management Sonoff WiFi Smart Switch

(21) Sonoff Schematic

(22) Sonoff - A $5 Alexa-Controllable, WIfI Outlet Tutorial 169,199 views 2017mar24

(23) Sonoff Official Website

(24) Raspberry Pi 3: Extreme Passive Cooling 591,625 2016may08

(25) tlfong01's ESP8266-12 and LUA Learning Notes 2018

(26) tlfong01's MQTT/Mosiquito Learning Notes

(27) AliExpress Ice Tower Cooling Fan V2.0 - US$20

(28) Amazon CPU Water Cooling Pump Tank for Desktop Computer

(29) AliExpress PWM 40mm, 12V, 400mA, 5W, 28,000rpm, 4wire, Double Ball Bearing, 16.3cm, 58dB, CPU Cooling Fan - GreenTech SanYo SanAce, US$4


Appendix A - Power Switch DIY Notes 1 - Cutting power cord to insert switch

stripping wires

Appendix B - Power Switch DIY Notes 2 - Switch inserted

pss switch

Appendix C - Rpi4B + PSU - Power Switch Testing OK

system testing ok

Appendix D - Using A Software Switch to switch on/off cooling fan power

psu switch 1

psu switch 2

Appendix E - Sonoff Smart Remote Control Wifi Switch

Product Spec

Supports 2.4G WIFI router and 2/3/4G mobile network (5G router not supported)

Power Input - 90 ~250VAC

Maximum load current - 10A

Only use “eWeLink” free app.

Security Mechanism: WEP/WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK


Remote ON/OFF: Turn electrical devices on/off from anywhere

App Support: Free IOS and Android mobile App eWelink

Sync Status: Real time device status provided to App

Timing: Set scheduled/countdown timers to turn on/off at specified time

Scene: Turn on/off a gang of devices one tap

Smart Scene: Trigger on/off by temperature, humidity or other environmental conditions

Control Options

Voice Control

Sonoff Basic Switch works with Amazon Echo,Echo Dot,Amazon Tap and Google Home to manage your devices through Voice control

Remote Control

Sonoff Switch transmits data to a cloud platform through the Wi-Fi Router, which enables you to remotely control the connected appliances, via free eWeLink App.You can download the iOS version in App Store and the Android version in Google Play.The App eWeLink enables you to control your devices easily

Timer Control

Set timing schedules for the appliances, which can include countdown, scheduled on/off

Setup Guide

  1. Switch off electricity source

  2. Open the covers at both ends

  3. Connect the two electricity source cables (Live and Neutral) to the ports with “IN” mark, one cable for one port, and there’s no limitation for which port to connect

  4. Connect the two appliances cables(Live and Neutral) to the two ports with “OUT” mark, one cable for one port, and there’s no limitation for which port to connect make the cover install firmly

End of Answer

  • 1
    sorry, question is: Is there a way to shutdown fan at the same time than pi ? My use case is that I watch a movie with my Raspberry PI from my bed, so I don't want to leave my bed to turn off PI. So a local switch is not a good option... I just don't understand why PI can't tell everything to shutdown by software, like any PC would do. Commented Oct 4, 2019 at 8:08
  • 1
    @Juliatzin del Toro, Ah let me see, so what you want is shutting down the Pi, like what any PC would do. Let me see if I can suggest anything better.
    – tlfong01
    Commented Oct 4, 2019 at 8:31
  • @Juliatzin del Toro, please read Discussion #1 in my answer, and confirm if I understand your situation correctly. Feel free to point out any thing missing, or make counter suggestions. PS, I am leaving for jogging, so see you later this evening or tomorrow.
    – tlfong01
    Commented Oct 4, 2019 at 9:13
  • @Juliatzin del Toro - More brainstorming ideas. You can also consider WiFi AC power switch, such as Sonoff. So you can use mobile phone, Alexa voice control, or timer control. (Ref 8 ~ 10, Appedix E)
    – tlfong01
    Commented Oct 5, 2019 at 3:56
  • 1
    this is really exhaustive, would be great if you can summarize and cut out the fat or at least index things for easier skimming
    – neaumusic
    Commented Oct 17, 2020 at 3:07

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