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If your laptop won’t turn on or charge, then it doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s something critically wrong with your device. There are some nuances which you may not be aware of that can prevent your laptop from charging or turning on and in most cases the issue can be resolved easily at home. However, since this problem is a bit technical, you will have to put your problem-solving hat on and follow this guide to successfully troubleshoot your way out of a dead laptop.
Don’t worry though, it’s not as hard as you may think. We’ll go over a few different scenarios that you can follow along to get a better idea of what’s going on with your laptop. To keep things in order, we have divided this guide into two sections. The first section addresses the scenario where your laptop won’t turn on or charge at the same time while the second one is focused on a laptop that powers on but fails to charge. So, without further ado, let’s dive in!
Laptop Won’t Turn on OR Charge
Check the Laptop Screen
You are at work, and your laptop stops charging, you plug in the power cord and nothing happens. You shouldn’t panic right away because the problem is often not as critical. You may think the laptop is not charging, but there may just be an issue with your display. If you plug in your charger and the light on the charger turns on, then it’s probably your laptop screen that has gone bad. If you can still hear the fan running, go ahead and connect your laptop to an external monitor and see if the display pops up. If you can see your desktop externally, then it’s time to get a new screen.
Perform a Hard Reset
Often a laptop won’t start when an internal component or an accessory is defective. This is a protective mechanism to avoid any further damage that may occur due to faulty parts. In this situation a hard reset must be carried out.
Open your laptop and remove all accessories, memory cards and also the battery and power supply unit. Once you have done this, press the power button for at least three seconds. Now connect the laptop to the power socket again. If your laptop boots up, the battery or an accessory is probably damaged. To find out what the problem is, simply reinsert the battery. If the laptop works now, the problem is with the accessories.
Check the Charger Connection
To get to the bottom of the cause, you need to look at every aspect that goes into charging. First of all, check whether the charging cable is firmly plugged into your laptop. Even if it looks like it is, go ahead and push it in and see if that helps. If that doesn’t work, you want to inspect your laptop’s charging port a bit more closely. It’s possible that it has accumulated dust internally, so give it a gentle wipe with a cotton swab or a microfiber cloth.
You should also look for the light on your laptop that turns on when you plug in the charger, if you see that it is working then you know that the charging port is functional. There is also a strong possibility that internal parts inside the port have malfunctioned or loosened up, if this is the case, a repair is in order. It might not be as much work as you think, though. We have a guide with several ways to fix your power jack without soldering.
Sometimes the problem could be external as well. So, make sure that your power outlet is working because it could be the reason why your laptop is not charging. There could also be voltage issues. Even if the light on the charger is on, there may not be enough power coming through, so go ahead and try a different outlet. If the problem still persists then you know that the outlet is not the issue here.
If you have children or pets at home, it’s possible that one of them got a hold of your charger while you were away. If there are cuts, bites or tears on the power cord, then it is probably damaged. Sometimes these things are hard to spot so you’re going to have to look a bit more closely. If you see any signs of damage, then you know your laptop is not charging due to a faulty charger. If you do not have a spare charger lying around the house, then you can try charging your laptop without a charger.
Faulty Power Button
Maybe the Power button itself is not working. To test this, try turning the laptop on without the power button.
If you do not find any abnormalities and all is well with the charging port, charger, power button and the wall socket, then proceed to the next step.
Check the Battery
Natural Battery Life
A laptop battery loses its ability to hold charge with time, especially if it has not been charged properly. You have probably noticed your battery life has gone down since you’ve bought your laptop. Don’t worry, this is pretty normal. Batteries usually have a limited number of cycles they can go through and eventually need to be replaced.
External factors also contribute to the downfall of your battery’s performance. It is not good for your battery to always be fully charged, which is why you should not leave your laptop plugged into the charger for an extended period of time. Similarly, it is not advisable to have it regularly discharged either. It is best if the battery remains at a constant level of 40 to 80 percent. If you haven’t been careful with your battery, then there’s a pretty good chance that you need a new one.
Also Read: Can I Leave My Laptop Plugged in Overnight?
Testing the Battery
To test the battery, you need to first turn off your laptop and take the battery out. Use a microfiber cloth or a cotton swab to wipe the connectors down carefully. It is possible that dust has accumulated and is now obstructing the connection between your laptop and the battery. If that doesn’t work, then your battery cells are probably done. It’s time to get a new battery! You could try to replace the battery cells but realistically, it’s just not worth it to repair a defective battery in most cases.
Also Read: How to Replace Laptop Battery Cells
A quick way to verify this is by removing the battery and plugging in your charger to power your laptop directly. If your laptop turns on, then you know your battery was to blame. In this case, it just needs to be replaced. However, if the laptop still does not turn on, then proceed to the next step
Laptop Turns on Battery Doesn’t Charge
If the screen is still on, then the issue most probably lies with the internal components of your machine. The good news is that your laptop itself is still intact. As already explained above, check the charging port first. If this is defective, your laptop may not recognize the charger. If the laptop battery has run out of juice, it will not turn on as a result. This might be the best scenario. In this case you only need to repair the charging port. If that isn’t the issue then keep on reading.
Updating Battery Drivers
If you’ve gone through all of the steps above and everything seems to be fine, then it’s possible that your battery drivers are in need of an update. In most cases, you’ll see a “Plugged In, Not Charging” error pop up on your screen. If that is the case, go ahead and follow the steps below to update the drivers (Windows 10):
Step 1: Open the start menu and type “Device Manager”
Step 2: Now click on “Batteries”
Step 3: Now you’ll see two options here, one for the AC Adapter and one for the Battery
Step 4: Right click on the Battery option and choose “Update Driver”
Step 5: A new window will open up where you’ll choose the automatic driver search option
Once you’ve gone through the steps above, your battery should start working again. You may have to reboot your computer once after following the steps above.
We’ve now gone over a few steps that you can take if your laptop does not power on or charge. It is best to always be proactive and avoid battery wear as much as you can. Please note that all laptop batteries get weaker with time. However, you have the option to limit the wear and tear by following these steps:
- Only fully charge the battery if you really need to!
- Make sure that the battery never discharges completely.
- Try to keep a constant battery charge level of 40 to 80 percent.
- Do not expose the laptop to temperatures that are too high or too low.
Most of the times the damage is a result of rough use, be gentle with your laptops since they are quite fragile by nature. Make sure the charger is always facing in the right direction when you’re plugging it in your laptop or you risk damaging the charging port.
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