It’s easy to get nervous when your laptop is plugged in but not charging, since you obviously can’t use your computer once the battery dies. But in many cases, you can figure out why your laptop says “plugged in, not charging” and correct it.
We’ll teach you what to do if your laptop battery refuses to charge while it’s plugged in. These advice will be useful whether you have a Dell, Lenovo, HP, or another system. We concentrate on Windows, although much of the advice also applies to laptops running macOS or Linux.
1. Check All Physical Cable Connections
Before delving into the details of this charge issue, go through the fundamentals. Check that the charging cable is securely plugged into the charging port on your laptop.
Then double-check its connection to the electrical outlet—if the present one isn’t functioning, try another socket. If you’re using a power strip, connect directly to a wall outlet instead.
Don’t forget to double-check the connection where the cable connects to the AC adapter brick. That might have gotten loose as a result of someone tripping over it or from stretching over time.
Finally, ensure that you are not experiencing a distinct problem, such as an erroneous battery % in Windows 10.
2. Remove the Battery and Connect to Power
Next, check to see whether your laptop’s battery is still functional. If your laptop has a detachable battery, remove it fully from the computer. This is usually accomplished by pulling on a couple tabs on the bottom of your machine. If you’re unsure about the procedure, see the owner’s handbook or Google directions for your individual model.
If your computer isn’t already dead, you should always turn it off before removing the battery. Unplug the charger as well as any attached accessories.
After removing the battery, press and hold the power button for several seconds to eliminate any leftover charge in the system. Connect the charger and attempt to switch on your laptop after that.
If it operates well without the battery, then the fault is with your battery. Make sure the battery compartment is clean; if necessary, wipe away any foreign material with a lint-free cloth. Then, replace the battery in its compartment and double-check that all of the connections are lined correctly. If this does not resolve the issue, you most likely have a dead battery that has to be replaced.
If your laptop lacks a replaceable battery, you may try opening it up and removing it manually. However, doing so would most certainly violate your warranty, and if you make a mistake, you might do catastrophic harm to your computer. In these instances, it is safer to take your computer to a technician who can use expert gear to examine the battery. They will then be able to offer a replacement or alternative options.
3. Make Sure You’re Using the Right Charger and Port
Moving on, make sure that electricity (and plenty of it) is flowing to your laptop.
Check that your charger is inserted into the correct port on your laptop. Many laptops only have one charging port, however if you have a recent computer, it may charge through USB-C.
In this scenario, check all of your laptop’s USB-C ports, since some may just be for data transmission. Some computers will display a little power symbol next to the charging socket.
You should use the original charger that comes with your laptop for the best results. Fake chargers may cause long-term damage to your battery. Third-party models may not utilize the correct wattage, causing your laptop to charge excessively slowly or not at all. This is particularly true with USB-C cables, since some aren’t designed to charge large devices like laptops.
If you don’t have the correct charger for your computer, read section #8 for information on how to get one.
Consider the power source into which your PC is hooked. If you put your laptop into a battery pack or a low-power socket on an airline or similar, it may not be able to charge the battery. With a poor power supply, you may be able to maintain the battery level consistent, but you won’t be able to charge it.
4. Review Your Cable and Ports for Damage
Even if you ran a quick check for cable connection difficulties previously, it’s a good idea to look over the power cord again now. The “plugged in, not charging” problem might be caused by a broken cable.
Examine the whole length of the power wire on your laptop for fraying or other damage. Grasp it to examine whether any sections are bulging or otherwise deformed. It’s also a good idea to sniff the charger’s AC adapter—if you smell burning, something is amiss within the box, and you’ll need to replace the charger. To ensure your safety, discontinue use of any charger that becomes too hot or has a burning odor.
Finally, have a check at the charging port on your laptop. When you attach the charger, it should fit snugly. If it seems loose, jiggle it a little to see if you can achieve a good connection.
Also, look for debris within the port that might prevent you from creating a secure connection. Check the port with a flashlight for accumulated dirt or other material that might prevent the plug from working properly.
If there is dirt within, thoroughly wipe it out with a cotton swab or toothpick. Don’t be too pushy or you’ll harm the port’s internals.
In addition, to avoid potential damage to your charging cable and port, always leave some slack in the cable while charging. This protects the charging port from being too stressed. Allowing the AC adapter brick to hang off a table while your laptop is plugged in can cause the connector to drag down and eventually break the connection.
5. Reduce Resource Usage
There’s a potential that your battery isn’t charging even when it’s plugged in because of a hardware issue. If your computer is working really hard, your charger may not be recharging the battery rapidly enough.
For example, if your computer becomes too hot, the fan needs to work harder to keep it cool, which consumes more battery power. When you have a lot of power-hungry apps and processes operating at the same time, they use up a lot of battery power.
To examine current resource consumption, launch the Task Manager on Windows by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc or searching for it in the Start menu. If necessary, click More information, and then on the Processes tab, you can see how many resources are in use.
Close certain applications if you feel this is the source of your charge problem. In severe circumstances, you should turn off your computer to allow it to cool down. When it’s back to normal, turn it on and test whether your charger can keep up with the battery under regular conditions.
If your computer is always struggling to keep up with your regular workload, consider upgrading to a more powerful machine whenever feasible. Also, be sure you’re not overheating your laptop by obstructing its vents.
6. Check Windows and Manfuacturer Power Options
Other software faults might also prevent your laptop battery from charging even when it is plugged in. While Windows’ power plans do not provide any settings that prohibit your battery from charging, third-party programs may influence how your laptop charges.
To begin, go to the Windows 10 power settings page by selecting Options > System > Power & sleep and then selecting Additional power settings on the right side. If you don’t see it, horizontally extend the Settings window until it displays.
Change plan settings adjacent to your existing plan in the resultant window. If you wish, you may click Change advanced power settings, but it’s easier to simply pick Restore default settings for this plan. Check to see if it makes a difference.
To learn more, read How to Create a Custom Windows Power Plan for Better Battery Life. If you’re using Windows 11, the aforementioned choices may be found in Settings > System > Power.
Many laptop manufacturers feature a battery charge threshold setting, which may alter how quickly your device charges. If you use a Lenovo laptop, for example, a certain Lenovo app option might cause the battery to cease charging. To discover it, go to the Start menu and search for Lenovo Vantage (called Lenovo Settings on previous computers).
Once the app is open, go to the Hardware Settings panel and choose Power, then scroll down to locate Charge Threshold. You may specify a minimum and maximum battery percentage for charging if the Custom battery charge threshold slider is active.
For example, if you selected 50% for Start charging when below and 80% for Start charging at, your computer would begin charging when it fell below 50% and stop when it returned to 80%. While this may prolong the life of your battery, it also causes your computer to cease charging as expected.
If this option is active, try deactivating it or choosing a different threshold.
7. Update or Reinstall Battery Drivers
Because your battery is an external device, Windows need certain drivers to properly connect with it. If your computer is still plugged in and not charging after attempting the steps above, upgrading or deleting those drivers may help.
Select Device Manager from the resultant menu by right-clicking on the Start button or pressing Win + X. Expand the Batteries section to find two entries: Microsoft AC Adapter and ACPI-Compliant Control Method Battery
Select Update driver from the context menu when you right-click on any of them. It’s unlikely that this will find any updates, but it’s worth a shot. You may attempt manually upgrading the drivers, but your computer manufacturer is unlikely to supply one for the battery.
If updating fails, right-click on any of the battery drivers and choose Uninstall device. This will prevent your computer from communicating with the battery, but the driver will be reinstalled when you restart, so don’t worry. After you’ve removed each battery device, restart your computer.
Allow Windows to reload the battery driver after restarting, and the battery should begin charging again. If that doesn’t work, try again, but after you’ve shut down after uninstalling, unhook your charger and remove the battery. After that, replace everything and restart your computer.
8. Get Another Laptop Charger
You’ve tried every non-monetary answer to the “plugged in, not charging” issue at this point. Order a new computer charger (or borrow one from a friend if they happen to have a laptop that utilizes the same charger) and see if it helps.
While third-party chargers are available at low prices on Amazon and other shops, we encourage using an approved charger whenever feasible. Third-party parts are often not up to the quality requirements of authentic components, and using a cheap charger might harm your computer or even create a fire.
If a genuine charger is not available, use a well-reviewed charger substitute from Amazon or a similar site. Check the reviews to ensure the product is safe, and keep an eye out for phony reviews on random things.
When purchasing a new charger, always ensure that it is rated for the quantity of power required by your laptop. To be sure, check the specifications on the official charger or the manufacturer’s paperwork.
Plugged In and Now Charging
Hopefully, one or more of the following solutions resolved your laptop not charging while plugged in problem. If the issue persists, a component within your computer may be broken, leading the battery to malfunction. Bring it to a computer repair shop to have an expert check it over; they may suggest a new battery.
Keep in mind that batteries degrade with time. After a given number of cycles, no battery will retain as much charge as it once did. However, unless your battery is absolutely dead, it should charge at least partially. It is feasible to monitor the status of your battery to determine when it is time to replace it.
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