8 Steps To Fix A Laptop Not Charging

By | December 5, 2021

Your work can be damaged if your laptop is connected but not charging. You obviously can’t use the computer after the battery dies. But in most cases, you can find out where the charging problem lies to fix it.

We’ll show you what to do when your laptop battery won’t charge while plugged in. Whether you have an Acer, Toshiba, Dell, Lenovo, HP or other machine, these tips will help.

Physical Check Cable Connection

Before you move on to in-depth troubleshooting, first check the basics. Make sure you have inserted the laptop charging cable firmly into the laptop charging port. Then double check the connection to the wall, consider trying another outlet if the current one doesn’t work.

Don’t forget to review the connection where the cable plugs into the AC adapter brick as well. It can get loose if someone trips over it.

Remove Battery and Connect to Power

Next, you have to determine whether the battery is working or not. If your laptop has a removable battery, remove it completely from your machine. You should always turn off the computer before doing this (if it is not already off) and unplug the charger.

After you remove the battery, hold down the power button for a few moments to clear any remaining charge in the system. Once done, connect the charger and try to turn on your laptop.

If it works normally, then the problem is with your battery. Put the battery back in its compartment and make sure all contacts are in place. If this doesn’t solve the problem, you most likely have a dead battery that needs to be replaced.

If your laptop doesn’t have a removable battery, you can try opening your machine and removing it yourself. However, doing so will likely void your warranty, and you could cause more damage to your computer if you make a mistake. It is safer to take your computer to a technician who can analyze the battery using professional tools.

Make sure you are using the right charger and port

Next, you can check if enough power has entered your computer.

Make sure your charger is connected to the right port on your laptop. Many laptops only have one place for the charger plug, but if you have a newer computer, maybe use USB-C for charging. Try all the USB-C ports on your laptop, as some may be for data transfer only.

For best results, you should use the original charger that came with your laptop. Counterfeit chargers can damage your battery and cause permanent damage. Third-party models may not be using the right wattage, which could cause your laptop to charge very slowly or not at all. This is especially true with USB-C cables, as some are not meant to charge devices as large as laptops.

Review Your Cables and Ports for Damage

Even though you did a cursory check for cable connection problems before, it’s a good idea to review the power cable more thoroughly now.

Look down the entire length of the power cord for fraying or other damage. Try reaching for it to see if any part feels large or out of shape. It’s a good idea to smell the AC adapter part of the charger if you smell burnt, there’s likely something wrong in the box, and you should have it replaced.

Finally, look at the port for the charger on your laptop. You need to be quite snug when connecting the charger. If it feels loose, try wiggling it a bit to see if you can get a good connection.

Also check for debris inside the port, which could prevent you from making a good connection. You can clean this with a toothbrush, toothpick, or other small object.

Speaking of this, to prevent future damage, you should keep the cable slack, so as not to put unnecessary stress on the charging port. Avoid letting the AC adapter brick dangle from the table, which will pull on the connector and could damage the connection over time.

Reduce Resource Usage

It is possible that your battery is not charging even if it is plugged into the hardware. If your computer is working very hard, your charger may not be charging the battery fast enough.

For example, if your computer gets hot, the fans will have to work harder to cool it down, which will require more battery power. When you have many power-hungry programs and processes running at once, they will suck up more battery power at high rates. Open Task Manager (Ctrl + Shift + Esc) to check the current resource usage.

If you suspect this is the root of your charging problem, try closing some programs and/or shutting down your PC to cool down. Once it’s back to normal, turn it on and see if your charger can keep up with the battery with its usual workload.

Check Windows Power Options

Other software issues can also cause your laptop battery to not charge. While Windows power plans don’t have any specific options that will prevent your battery from charging, you might configure your system to shut down at a certain battery level or similar.

Visit the Windows power settings page by going to Settings > System > Power & sleep and click Additional power settings on the right side. There, click Change plan settings next to your current plan.

You can click Change advanced power settings if you want to see it, but it’s easiest just to select Restore default settings for this plan. See if that makes any difference.

If you have a Lenovo laptop, there are factory specific apps that can cause charging problems. Use the Start menu to search Lenovo Vantage (called Lenovo Settings on older systems).

Once open, click Power on the panel Hardware Settings, then scroll down to find Charge Threshold.

If the slider Custom battery charge threshold enabled, you can select the minimum and maximum battery percentage for charging.

For example, if you choose 50 percent for Start charging when below and 80 percent for Start charging at, your computer will start charging when it drops to 50 percent and stop when it returns to 80 percent.

This may cause your computer to stop charging the way you expect it to, so try disabling this if it is enabled.

Update or Reinstall Battery Driver

Since your battery is an external device, Windows uses certain drivers to properly interact with it. If your computer is still plugged in and not charging, updating or removing those drivers may start the charging process.

Right click on the Start button or press Win+X, then select Device Manager from the resulting menu. Open section Batteries and you will see two entries: Microsoft AC Adapter and Microsoft ACPI-Compliant Control Method Battery.

Right click on each of these and select Update drivers; chances are it won’t find updates, but it’s worth a try. You can try update drivers manuallyl, but your computer manufacturer may not provide a battery specific one.

If the update does nothing, right-click on the respective battery driver and select Uninstall device. This will cause your computer to stop interacting with the battery, but the drivers will reinstall when you reboot, so don’t worry.

After the reboot, let Windows reinstall the battery driver, and hopefully it will start charging. If that doesn’t work, repeat the process, but once you shut down after uninstalling, unplug the charger, remove the battery, then put everything back together and restart your PC.

Try Another Filler

At this point, you’ve tried everything that costs nothing. The final solution is to order a new computer charger (or use one from a friend if they have the same laptop) and see if it works.

While you’ll find inexpensive third-party chargers on Amazon and other retailers, we recommend using an authorized charger whenever possible. Third-party components often don’t meet the quality standards of genuine components, and in the case of chargers, using cheap ones can damage your computer or even cause a fire.

If original chargers aren’t an option, check out reviews to make sure that whatever charger you choose is safe.

Plugged in and Now Charging

Hopefully, some of the steps above fix your laptop charging problem. If the problem persists, the inside of your computer may be damaged, causing the battery to not function properly. You should take it to a computer repair shop to have an expert look at it they may recommend a replacement battery.

Keep in mind that batteries wear out with age. After a certain number of cycles, none of the batteries can charge as many batteries as usual. But unless your battery is completely depleted, it should charge at least a little.