It is easy to feel anxious if your laptop is not charging but plugged in. After all, you can’t use it until the battery runs out. In many cases, however, it is possible to determine the reason your laptop is “plugged in, but not charging” and fix it.
This article will show you how to fix a dead laptop battery. These tips are applicable to any model of laptop, whether it’s a Dell, Lenovo or HP. Although we are focusing on Windows, most of these tips can be applied to any laptop running macOS or Linux.
1. Verify All Cable Connections
Before you dive into the details of how to troubleshoot this charging issue, it is important to first review the basics. You must ensure that the charging cable is securely inserted into your laptop’s charging port.
Double-check the connection to the wall outlet. If the current socket is not working, you might try another socket. You can connect directly to the wall outlet if you are plugged into a power strip.
Also, make sure to check the connection of the cable to the AC adapter brick. It could be tripped on, or stretched over time.
Make sure that you aren’t having another issue such as an incorrect percentage of your battery in Windows 10.
2. Remove the battery and connect to power
Next, check if the battery on your laptop is still working. You should remove any removable batteries from your laptop. You can usually do this by pulling a few tabs from the machine’s underside. You can find the instructions in the manual or Google for the model you have.
If the battery is not dead, you should turn off your computer. Also, unplug any accessories or chargers.
After removing the battery, hold down the power button for a few seconds to drain any remaining charge. Once that is done, plug in the charger and turn on your laptop.
If your laptop charges properly even without the battery, it is most likely that your problem with charging your computer is with your battery. Clean the battery compartment with a clean cloth. Next, re-seat your battery in its container and ensure that all contacts are aligned. If that doesn’t solve the problem, most likely has a dead battery. You’ll need to replace it.
If your laptop does not have a removable battery you can open up the machine and remove it yourself. You will likely lose your warranty and your computer could be damaged if you make mistakes. It is safer to bring your computer to a professional technician to examine the battery with professional tools. They’ll then be able to recommend a replacement or alternative solutions.
3. Use the right charger and port
Next, make sure you are ensuring that your laptop has enough power.
You should make sure your charger is plugged in to the correct port on your laptop. Most laptops have only one place for charging, but older computers might have USB-C.
You should try every USB-C port on your laptop. Some ports might only be used for data transfer. You might see a small power icon beside the port designated for charging.
You should always use the original charger that came along with your laptop for the best results. Fake chargers could cause permanent damage to your battery. Your laptop might charge slowly or not at all if it is using third-party chargers. This is especially true for USB-C cables as they aren’t designed to charge laptops as large as them.
For help in finding the right charger, please refer to section #8 below.
Consider the power source your computer is connected to. Your laptop might not be able to draw enough power from a low-power outlet, battery pack, or airplane charger. These cases might allow you to maintain the battery’s level with a weak power source but not increase it.
4. Check Your Cable and Ports to Seek Damage
Although you may have done a quick check for any cable connection issues, it is a good idea now to examine the power cord. Damaged cords can lead to “plugged in, but not charging”.
Check the length of your power cord to make sure it isn’t fraying. Grab it and feel for bulges or other irregularities. You can also inspect the AC adapter of the charger. If you notice burning, it is likely that something is wrong and you will need to replace the charger. You should immediately stop using any charger with a burning or excessively hot smell.
Take a look at the charger port on your laptop. The charger should fit snugly when connected. Try moving it around to check if it is secure.
You should also check for any debris in the port. This can hinder you from making a strong connection. To check for dirt and other debris that may have built up, shine a flashlight into your port.
To clean out grime, you can use a cotton swab and/or a toothpick. Do not be too aggressive as this could cause damage to the port’s internals.
This is a good idea to keep some slack on the charging cable to prevent future damage. This will prevent the charging port from being stressed by unnecessary strain. Do not allow the AC adapter brick to dangle on a table when your laptop is plugged into it. This will cause the connector to pull down and could lead to damage.
5. Reducing Resource Consumption
It’s possible that your battery is not charging when it’s plugged into. This could be due to hardware. Your charger may not be charging the battery fast enough if your computer is running extremely fast.
If your computer gets hot, it will require more power to cool it. If you have many energy-hungry processes and programs running simultaneously, it will drain more battery power.
Windows users can access the Task Manager by using Shift + Esc or searching the Start menu for it. This will allow you to view current resource usage. If you need more information, click More Details. The Processes tab will show you how many resources are being used.
Close any programs that you suspect are the cause of your charging problem. You should turn off your computer to allow it to cool down in extreme cases. When it is back to normal, turn on your computer and check if the charger can handle your usual workload.
You should upgrade to a faster computer if your computer is having trouble keeping up with your normal workflow. Don’t heat your computer by blocking the vents.
6. Take a look at the Windows and Manufacturer power options
Your laptop’s battery may not charge if there are other software problems. Although Windows’ power plans don’t have any options to prevent your battery from charging completely, third-party software can alter how your laptop charges.
Go to Settings > Windows 10 Power Settings, then click Additional power settings. Expand the Settings window horizontally to see it.
Click Next to your current plan, in the resulting window. You can click Modify advanced power settings, but it is easier to just select Restore default setting for this plan. You’ll be amazed at the difference.
How to create a customized Windows power plan to increase battery life. For more information, visit The Settings menu will show you the options for Windows 11.
Many laptop manufacturers offer a battery charge threshold which can impact how your device charges. If you have a Lenovo laptop the charging of your battery can be stopped by a specific Lenovo app setting. To find it, use the Start menu to search Lenovo Vantage.
After the app has opened, click Energy in the Hardware Settings Panel. Scroll down to locate Charge Threshold. You can choose a minimum or maximum battery percentage to charge if the Custom Battery Charge Threshold slider has been enabled.
If you choose Start Charging when Below at 50% and Start Charging at at 80 percent, your computer will start charging when the battery drops to 50 percent, and then stop charging once it reaches 80 percent. This can help preserve your battery’s health but it will also cause your computers to stop charging as you would expect.
If this option is enabled, disable it or set a threshold.
7. Install or update battery drivers
Windows requires certain drivers to properly interface with your battery because it is an external device. After trying these steps, if your computer still isn’t charging, you can update or remove those drivers to restart the charging process.
Right-click the Start button, or press Win + X. Next, select Device Management from this menu. Expand the Battery section to see two entries: Microsoft AC Adapter, and Microsoft ACPI Compliant Control Method Battery.
Right-click each one and select Update driver. Although it is unlikely that the updater will find any, it is worth a shot. You can update the drivers manually. However, your computer manufacturer may not provide one specific for the battery.
If the updating fails, right-click each battery driver and select Uninstall device. Your computer will stop communicating with the battery. However, the driver will be reinstalled when your computer reboots. After you have uninstalled all battery devices, restart your computer.
After restarting, allow Windows to reinstall your battery driver. It should then start charging again. If this fails, restart Windows. After the uninstall is complete, turn off your computer and unplug the charger. Once you’re done, turn on your computer again and put everything back.
8. Buy a second laptop charger
You’ve exhausted all options for solving the “plugged-in, not charging” problem. The last resort is to buy a new charger for your computer (or borrow one from a friend if you have the same charger) to see if it works.
Although you can find cheap third-party chargers at Amazon and other retailers online, we recommend that you use an official charger whenever possible. Many third-party parts aren’t as high quality as genuine components. A cheap charger could cause damage to your computer, or even set off a fire.
If a genuine charger is not an option, you can opt for a well-reviewed replacement charger from Amazon or another retailer. To make sure the charger is safe, read reviews and be careful of fake reviews for random products.
Always ensure that the charger you purchase is rated to provide the power your laptop requires. To confirm, check the specifications on the charger or the manufacturer’s documentation.
Plugged in and Charging
One or more of these steps should have resolved the problem with your laptop not charging after being plugged in. If the problem persists, it could be that a component of your computer is damaged and your battery doesn’t work correctly. It is best to take it to a computer repair shop so an expert can examine it and recommend a replacement.
Remember that batteries age with use. After a certain amount of cycles, a battery won’t hold the same amount of charge as it did before. However, your battery should still be charged unless it is totally dead. You can keep track of your battery health so that you know when it is time to replace it.