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Most people like to use their laptop while it is plugged in and charging. The reason why they use it like this is to activate the high-performance mode without losing a ton of battery. Keeping your laptop plugged in is generally recommended if you’re gaming or doing something that requires a lot of power.
Sometimes your laptop may lag while charging. It can be frustrating at times because you either have to choose between a laggy machine or having your battery drained quickly. Luckily, you don’t have to worry since there are a few easy fixes that you can implement right away. Before we dive into those, let’s understand why your machine may operate at a lower pace while it is charging.
Also Read: Laptop Won’t Turn on OR Charge
Reasons Why Your Laptop May Lag While Charging
You should understand the underlying cause before you actually go look for a solution. In general, there are two reasons why your machine may slow down when you have it plugged in. Let’s go through both of them real quick so you understand what is going on with your computer:
Most laptops have the Turbo Boost option enabled which makes the cores go up to their maximum (max boost clock) whenever the CPU is overloaded. While this may be good for some high productivity programs, it’s not stable and can cause your laptop to lag. There is no way to just turn off turbo boost, but you can limit your CPU to only hit 99 percent peak performance and easily avoid this problem.
While thermal throttling is less likely to cause the problem, it is still a strong possibility! When your CPU and GPU are overloaded, they tend to overheat because of the excess energy required. While this heat is not necessarily a problem, you can experience slower performance if it isn’t dissipated properly. In order to make sure that your components don’t get damaged, the performance is reduced resulting in slower speed. This issue is further exasperated when your laptop is charging since you provide extra energy which then converts to heat.
If you think that the reason your laptop is slow is not covered above, maybe read our article which asks Why is my Computer so Slow all of a Sudden? It has 7 fixes.
How to Fix a Slow Laptop While Charging
We discussed the two main reasons why your machine may slow down when charging. The good news is that you can easily remedy them and have your machine operate at the normal pace. So let’s dive into the solutions below:
Make Sure the Turbo Boost Does Not Activate
As mentioned previously, the Turbo Boost cannot be turned off. However, you can limit your CPU performance to reach maximum 99 percent capacity so the Turbo Boost option does not activate. Fortunately, this isn’t that difficult. Follow the steps below to solve the problem:
- Go to your settings and search up “Control Panel”
- Select the “View by” option on the top right hand corner of the panel
- Change this to either “Small Icons” or “Large Icons”
- Locate the “Power Options” icon and click on it
- You will see “Balanced” or “Power saver” already selected under “Preferred Plan”
- Choose “Change plan settings”
- Click on the “Change advanced power settings” option
- Locate “Processor power management” and click on the little “+” next to it for a drop down menu to appear
- From there select “Maximum power state” and change this from 100 percent to 99 percent
- Try using your laptop when plugged in and see if the problem has been resolved
Check if your Laptop is Thermal Throttling
If you’re reading this, then lowering your CPU peak performance didn’t help in fixing the problem. If so, then the likely culprit is thermal throttling. However, figuring this one out isn’t as easy as simply checking if your computer is warm to the touch. You will need to download a software called “MSI Afterburner”.
While its downloading, look up and note down the clock frequencies of your laptop’s CPU and GPU, as well as the maximum temperatures they sustain when under high load. From the MSI afterburner program, turn on the option that shows the boost clock and temperatures. While performing your usual tasks, record these and compare them with the expected values that you get from the internet. If the clock speeds are lower than expected and the temperature is significantly higher than normal, then it means your laptop is thermally throttling.
Fixing Thermal Throttling
There are potentially thousands of ways you can fix thermal throttling. Listing all of them down is practically impossible, but we will go over the most common ones. We recommend trying all of them since they are pretty straightforward to implement.
- The first way this can be done is by cleaning the fans and any other out take. If dust is caught in these then it won’t allow heat to escape effectively, resulting in overheating. Using a can of compressed air should do the job. If your laptop isn’t under warranty then we recommend opening up the back, for maximum effectiveness.
- You should also ensure that there is enough space for proper airflow. This means that you shouldn’t use your laptop on your lap when it is charging, or when you are performing heavier tasks. It may also help to buy a dedicated cooling pad with fans.
Also Read: How to Keep Laptop Cool on Bed
- Lastly, we also recommend using your laptop in a cool environment when it is plugged in. While this step shouldn’t be ideally taken, but it may slightly help your problem for the time being.
If your laptop still lags when it is plugged in, then there is likely some other serious issue. It could be that your laptop is still thermally throttling, but requires more extreme measures to be taken like reapplying thermal paste. In this case, it is recommended to take your computer to a repair shop. Moreover, if your device is still under warranty then the best course of action would be to get it claimed by the manufacturer.