turn-on laptop displaying 97 percent battery
Laptop Battery Percentage

When your laptop says it’s plugged in but not charging, it’s a moment that can spark worry. After all, laptops are essential tools for work, study, and entertainment. Without a charge, they’re just expensive paperweights. This issue can happen to anyone, whether you’re using a Dell, Lenovo, HP, or another brand. It’s a common problem, but often, it’s one that you can fix yourself.

Laptop Plugged In But Not Charging: Troubleshooting Guide

StepPossible CauseAction
1. Basic Checks– Loose connection– Ensure all connections (power cord to adapter, adapter to laptop, and adapter to outlet) are secure. – Try a different outlet.
– Faulty cable or adapter– Inspect the power cord for physical damage (cuts, fraying). Borrow a compatible charger to test.
– Software glitch– Restart your laptop.
2. Power Management– Incorrect power settings– Access Power Options in your control panel. Ensure settings match your usage (e.g., “Balanced” for typical use).
3. Battery and Drivers– Removable battery issue– If your laptop has a removable battery, remove it (with laptop off and unplugged). Inspect for damage or bulging. Reinsert it securely.
– Outdated or corrupt battery drivers– Update battery drivers in Device Manager. Right-click on “Battery” and select “Update driver”.
4. Advanced Troubleshooting (if the above steps fail)– Hardware malfunction (charging port, internal components)– Consult a qualified technician or customer support for further diagnosis and repair.

Additional Tips:

  • Observe the charging indicator light on your laptop or adapter. Consult the user manual for its meaning.
  • Avoid using unofficial chargers or adapters that may not meet safety standards.
  • Regularly update your laptop’s BIOS and drivers for optimal performance.

Most laptops should last up to four hours on a single charge, but age and use can wear them down. Before you panic or rush to buy a new battery or laptop, know that there are straightforward solutions to this problem. This article will guide you through some simple steps to diagnose and fix a laptop that’s plugged in but not charging. These tips are mainly for Windows laptops, but many apply to macOS and Linux machines too.

Key Takeaways

  • Ensure your laptop’s power adapter is in good condition, without any visible signs of damage such as frayed cables or bent plugs, as this is a common cause of charging issues.
  • Regularly inspect and clean the laptop’s charging port with compressed air to remove any dust or debris that may obstruct the connection, thus preventing charging problems.
  • If experiencing charging issues, consider the battery’s health and age; it may need a reset or, in some cases, replacement, especially for laptops that have been in use for several years.
  • Utilize different troubleshooting methods like testing with another power adapter or battery (if removable) to pinpoint the source of the charging issue, whether it be the adapter, port, or battery itself.
  • Prevent future charging issues by properly maintaining the power adapter and regularly cleaning the charging port, which includes gently coiling the adapter cord when not in use and keeping the port clear of obstructions.
How To Replace A Laptop Battery
How To Replace A Laptop Battery

Common Reasons for Laptop Not Charging

When a laptop is plugged in but not charging, it can be frustrating. This issue can stem from several sources. Let’s explore the most common culprits.

Malfunctioning Power Adapter

The power adapter is the lifeline for a laptop. If it’s not working correctly, the laptop won’t charge. Over time, adapters can wear out. Cables might fray, or the internal wiring could break. It’s essential to check the adapter visually for signs of damage. Another simple test is to use the adapter with another laptop, if possible. If the second laptop doesn’t charge, the adapter could be the problem.

HP Battery Not Charging When Plugged In
Battery Not Charging When Plugged In

Faulty Charging Port

The charging port is where the power adapter connects to the laptop. If this port is loose, damaged, or dirty, it can prevent the laptop from charging. Users should examine the port for debris or damage. Sometimes, gently cleaning the port with compressed air can remove dust and fix the issue. If the port feels loose, it may need professional repair.

Battery Issues

Laptop batteries have a life expectancy. After several years of use, they might not hold a charge as they once did. In some cases, the laptop’s software might incorrectly read the battery’s health, leading to charging issues. A simple reboot can sometimes reset this miscommunication. For laptops with removable batteries, taking the battery out and putting it back in can also help. If the battery is old, replacing it might be the only solution.

Understanding these common reasons can help diagnose and perhaps solve the problem of a laptop that’s plugged in but not charging.

Troubleshooting Steps

When a laptop is plugged in but not charging, it can be frustrating. However, there are steps you can take to pinpoint and possibly fix the issue. Let’s dive into some troubleshooting methods.

Check Power Adapter

The power adapter is crucial for charging your laptop. Start by examining it closely. Look for any signs of damage, like frayed cables or bent plugs. These are clear indicators that your adapter might be the problem. If there’s another power adapter compatible with your laptop, try using it. This can help you figure out if the issue is with the adapter or something else.

Inspect Charging Port

Next, focus on the charging port of your laptop. Over time, this area can collect dust and debris, potentially blocking the connection. Gently clean the port with a can of compressed air. Be cautious not to push the debris further inside. Also, check for any physical damage inside the port. Damage here might prevent your laptop from charging properly.

Test with a Different Battery

If the above steps didn’t solve the problem, the battery could be the issue. Batteries wear out over time and might fail to hold a charge. If your laptop has a removable battery, try swapping it with a compatible one. This is a straightforward way to check if the battery is at fault. For laptops with non-removable batteries, this step is more challenging and might require professional help.

By following these steps, you can identify the root cause of your laptop’s charging issue. Remember, if you’re not comfortable performing any of these tasks, it’s best to consult with a professional.

Acer Chromebook charger problems
Acer Chromebook charger problems

Tips to Prevent Laptop Charging Issues

Having a laptop that’s plugged in but not charging can be frustrating. But, there are ways to prevent this problem. By taking care of a laptop’s power adapter and charging port, many issues can be avoided. Let’s look into how this can be done.

Properly Maintain Power Adapter

Power adapters are key for laptops. They need care. First, always pull the plug, not the cord, when unplugging it. Pulling the cord can damage it over time. Second, avoid bending the cord sharply. This can break the wires inside. When not in use, loosely coil the cord to prevent damage. Also, keep the adapter away from liquids. If it gets wet, it might not work and could be dangerous. By following these tips, the adapter will last longer and work better.

Regularly Clean Charging Port

The charging port is another important part. It needs to be clean to work well. Dirt or debris in the port can stop the laptop from charging. Every few months, check the port. A can of compressed air can blow out dirt. Be gentle, though. The port is delicate. If unsure about cleaning it yourself, a professional can help. Keeping the port clean makes sure the laptop charges when plugged in.

Taking care of a laptop’s power adapter and charging port is smart. It helps avoid charging problems. Simple actions can make a big difference. Follow these tips to keep your laptop ready to go.


Proper maintenance and regular cleaning are key to avoiding laptop charging issues. Handling the power adapter with care and using a can of compressed air for the charging port every few months can make a significant difference. By adopting these simple practices, users can ensure their laptops remain charged and ready for any task. Remember, a little attention to your device’s needs goes a long way in maintaining its health and functionality.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my laptop charging but not increasing?

This might be due to a faulty battery, incorrect power management settings, or hardware issues within the laptop. Considering a battery check or settings review could help pinpoint the problem.

Why is my laptop power plugged in but not charging?

This issue commonly arises from a loose, unplugged, or damaged charging cable. Another reason could be a dirty or blocked charging port preventing a good connection. Regular cleaning and checking for cable integrity can often resolve this.

Why is my HP laptop not charging when plugged in?

The main reasons could include a faulty or loose power cord, declining battery health, or outdated drivers preventing proper charging. Inspecting these areas might offer a solution to the charging issue.

How do I fix my HP laptop not turning on?

First, verify the power supply and battery’s condition. If the laptop remains off, consider diagnosing any screen issues, disconnecting all peripherals, using a rescue disk, booting in safe mode, and, if necessary, checking the laptop’s hardware for fault.

How do I test my laptop charger?

To test a laptop charger, ensure it’s connected to both the laptop and a functional wall outlet. Check for any indicator lights on the charger or laptop that signify charging. If it doesn’t charge, try using another device’s charger with similar output specifications, if possible, to determine if the issue lies with the charger or the laptop.

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