If your laptop is plugged into power but not charging, that could easily make anybody worrisome. You might be confused wondering if you need to get a new AC adapter or spend a lot of money on repairs. Before you jump to any conclusions, you need to know that this issue could stem from several reasons like a loose connection, faulty charger, damaged battery, software issues, etc.
You might get an error saying “plugged in, not charging”. Not to worry because, in this article, we’ll give you different solutions you can try out to fix the Dell laptop not charging issue. Also, you can try out most of these fixes regardless of your laptop manufacturer.
Fixing your Dell laptop battery not charging but plugged in problem can be a bit tricky since there could be several factors causing it. So, before you conclude that you need a battery replacement or a new AC adapter, follow the given solutions to troubleshoot the issue.
Note: Remember that as the laptop battery ages, it is bound to wear out. It won’t hold the same amount of charge it used to hold when it was brand new, after a long time of usage. However, if your battery is not completely damaged, it is supposed to charge at least a little. Do keep an eye on the battery health and you’ll know when it’s time to replace it.
Types Of Laptop Battery Charging Issues
Battery Discharges But Doesn’t Recharge Properly
In case the laptop battery is discharging correctly but not recharging, then the problem lies with the charging system. Usually, this problem indicates that the adapter is starting to fail or the power socket where the charger plugs in is damaged. In other rare cases, you might have experienced a charge circuit failure in the laptop motherboard.
Laptop Battery Not Reaching 100%
If your laptop battery is discharging and recharging fine but cannot reach 100% or gets stuck at somewhere below 100%, then, possibly your laptop battery has a failed cell. Or else, there could an issue with the power management settings or maybe a software calibration issue.
Laptop Battery Charging But Turns Off When You Unplug The Adapter
If your laptop shuts down completely once you unplug the AC adapter although it was charging fine before, then, your battery might have failed. This happens when your laptop battery has run completely out of power. If your laptop battery drops to 0% and can’t recharge back, your computer won’t allow the system to use that battery again.
Usually, laptop batteries come with a chip inside that monitors the battery status and asks for a charge from your laptop as and when needed. The chip needs a little bit of charge from your battery to operate. So, if the battery had lost all its charge, the computer won’t be able to communicate at all with the battery and as a result, the computer won’t allow any electricity to be sent to that battery.
Hence, without the software in the battery chip to restrict the electricity flow to the battery, you could get a fire. So, it is your laptop’s safety feature that refuses to use the battery anymore. In this case, you need to get a new battery.
Solutions To Fix Dell Laptop Not Charging But Plugged In Error
We know that your laptop is pretty much unusable if it doesn’t charge. Here are some ways you can try out to fix this issue. We recommend that you keep executing the fixes until the charging issue gets resolved.
- Check The AC Adapter
- Check If Cable Connections Are Fine
- Check Laptop’s Battery
- Plug Into The Right Charging Port With The Right Charger
- Check The Charging Port And Cable For Damage
- Decrease Laptop’s Resource Usage
- Check The Power Settings
- Update The Battery Drivers
- Cool Down Your Heated Battery
- Run Windows Troubleshooter For Battery Problems
- Update The BIOS
- Isolate The Battery Charging Via The BIOS Mode
- Run The Hardware Diagnostic Test
- Try Another AC Adapter or Charger
- Contact The Dell Support In Case Of Internal Damage
Method #1. Check The AC Adapter
The very first thing to try out is checking if your Dell laptop’s AC adapter is working fine or not. Perhaps, your battery cells are not working properly because of the AC adapter. In this case, you need to ensure that your Dell laptop is being able to recognize your AC adapter:
Follow the given steps to do so:
- Restart your computer
- Once the Dell logo shows up, press the F2 several times until the message Entering Setup shows up.
- Now, verify the AC Adapter Type from the BIOS options
- If the AC adapter type shows None, then, check if the connection between the AC adapter and the power outlet is working fine or not.
- If the AC adapter type shows Unknown, you probably need to fix the AC adapter
- If your AC adapter type will show recognized appropriately, that means the AC adapter is working fine.
Method #2. Check If Cable Connections Are Fine
- First, you need to ensure that the laptop’s charging cable is inserted properly into the charging port of the laptop.
- The next thing to do is recheck if the adapter is well connected to the wall power outlet. If you find the outlet to be faulty, try a different socket.
- If your cable is plugged into some power strip, switch to the wall outlet and check. Perhaps, that your laptop battery is not getting charged because a surge protector is being used which might be affecting the adapter’s function. In this case, shut down your laptop and connect your laptop’s AC adapter directly to any wall socket.
- Next, start the laptop and check if the issue gets resolved.
- In case your charging cable is detachable from the AC adapter, check the connection there as well. It is possible that the connection there has become loose due to regular usage.
Method #3. Check Laptop’s Battery
Now, check if your laptop’s battery is working fine or not. To do this, follow the steps given below:
- First, remove the battery from the laptop if it is a removable battery.
Note: Remember, you should shut down your laptop before removing the battery. Moreover, disconnect the accessories (if any) and the charging cable as well before taking out the battery.
- Turn the machine upside down and then, pull a couple of tabs on the underside to remove the battery. If you don’t know how to remove the battery, check out the instructions manual or search on Google with your Dell laptop model to know the process.
- Once the battery is removed, hold down the power button for several more seconds and clear the charge in your laptop.
- Then, connect the charging cable back to your laptop and turn on the laptop without the battery. If you find that the laptop is charging fine, then the issue is with the laptop battery.
- To troubleshoot this yourself, you can try cleaning the battery compartment and wiping out foreign material if stuck inside.
- Next, place the battery back in its designated compartment and ensure that the battery contacts are lined correctly.
- Check if the device charges fine now or not. If that doesn’t fix the issue, you probably have a dead battery in your device that needs to be replaced.
- If your laptop did not have a removable battery, open up your laptop cover and remove the battery.
Note: Removing a non-removable battery from your laptop will result in voiding your laptop warranty and may result in serious damage to the system. So, it is recommended that you take your laptop to a Dell technician to check the battery and stay safe.
Method #4. Plug Into The Right Charging Port With The Right Charger
If you have somehow plugged in your laptop charger to an incorrect port that is not meant for the charging port, then, the system won’t charge. You need to plug the charger in the correct port on the laptop. However, newer laptop models make use of a USB-C to charge the laptop.
So, if your laptop model allows the use of USB-C ports for charging the laptop, try out all the USB-C ports on your machine. Some of the ports would be for data transfer and probably, the charging port will sport a small power icon next to it to indicate that it is meant for charging the computer.
If you are using a different laptop charger to charge your laptop, that too can cause this issue. So, use the original charger that came with your laptop. If you use a fake third-party charger, that might harm your battery and cause other issues. This is because third-party charger models might not use the correct wattage meant for your system which in turn, can lead to your laptop charging slowly or not charging at all.
The above situation has been seen countless times with the USB-C cables because those chargers might not be fit for charging big devices like a laptop.
Method #5. Check The Charging Port And Cable For Damage
Perhaps, the charging cord might be damaged and so, is unable to charge your computer.
- Inspect the entire length of the charging cord for damage. If any part feels bulgy or somewhat misshaped, that could be a problem.
- Check if any part has been pulled loose or if there are parts that have been chewed by a rat or your pet.
- Also, you could sniff the AC adapter of the laptop charger to check if it has a burning smell or not. If it does smell like something is burnt inside the box, you need to replace your charger. You should immediately stop using the adapter else it might get way too hot or cause an electric mishap.
- Other than that, you also need to check the charging port. It should have a snug fit when the charging cable is connected. However, if it has gotten loose, try tightening it to ensure a proper connection.
- If the jack is very loose or wobbly instead of staying firm, that means probably the power jack is broken from the inside. In this case, you need to take the charger and its cord to a repair shop.
- The charging port could also have some debris inside that might prevent a solid connection between the charger and the laptop by creating an obstruction. Over time, dust and lint might accumulate in your laptop’s charging port and that usually goes unnoticed if the connections are working fine.
- It is recommended that you regularly clean your laptop’s ports regularly to avoid this kind of situation. As a precautionary measure, you should turn off your laptop and also disconnect the charger before attempting to clean the ports.
- If you can’t see inside the port, try using a flashlight to check if any build-up dirt or debris is inside. This can prevent the charger from working properly.
- If you do find some grime inside the port, use the cotton swab or a toothpick to clean the area. Be gentle while cleaning the charging port otherwise, you can damage the port. However, the best tool to use in this case would be a lint-free cloth dabbed in some rubbing alcohol. That would help you clean the ports thoroughly.
- Next, wait for the port to dry completely until you reconnect your AC adapter back. If the port is still not dry, we recommend using a dry air blower.
Note: It is recommended that you should allow some slack in the charging cable to prevent future damage to the port and cable. This allows the charging port to stay free from unnecessary stress.
Method #6. Decrease Laptop’s Resource Usage
Sometimes, when your laptop is working way too hard, your charger won’t be able to replenish the laptop’s battery as quickly as it should. For example, if your computer’s temperature is high, the fan would be working harder for cooling the computer and that would consume more battery power.
Moreover, when a lot of power-hungry programs and processes are running on your computer, they will consume a lot more battery power at a far higher rate. Follow the steps given below to close some processes so that your laptop cools down.
- Press the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys together to open the Task Manager. Else, you can search for Task Manager from the Windows Start menu.
- Click on the Processes tab. Here, you will be able to check all the running processes.
- If you think your laptop is not charging because of too many resources, try ending some of the processes.
- Otherwise, you could also shut your PC down to allow it to cool.
- Then, power it on after some time to check if the charging issue is solved or not.
Method #7. Check The Power Settings
You need to check if there are some incorrect settings in the battery which could cause your system to shut down when the battery level gets too low. Here are the steps you need to follow to do so:
- Open Windows Settings and then got to System
- Click on the Power & Sleep option.
- In the Power & Sleep window, check out the values in the Screen and Sleep menus.
You need to ensure that the values under these fields are not set too low. For instance, if 10 minutes is selected for the When plugged in, turn off after field, your laptop will shut down after 10 minutes of inactivity while charging. You can choose to raise this bar to avoid sudden shutdowns.
- Click on the Additional power settings from the right side, in the Related settings section. If you don’t find the Additional power settings, try expanding the Settings window horizontally.
- In the window that shows up, click on Change plan settings
- Check that none of the settings here are set in a way to shut down the laptop suddenly.
- Select Change advanced power settings and check out the values of the Battery section.
- Ensure that Do nothing is selected for the Plugged in field under the Critical Battery Action. If not, then your system will shut down at a specific battery level even if you have it plugged in.
- Similarly, select Do nothing for the Plugged in field under the Low battery action.
- Or click on Restore default settings for this plan from the bottom right corner. However, this will erase the power customizations you have made.
- Click on OK to update and Save the changes
- Restart your laptop to check if the problem is resolved or not.
Tip: You will find here actions such as sleep and shut down when the lid remains closed or if the power button gets pressed. If somehow, these settings get changed, your system might suspect a certain power malfunction even if the battery and charger are working fine.
So, we recommend restoring your power profile to the default settings to ensure that the settings are not causing any issues.
Note: You need to check the settings for both battery and wall power.
Method #8. Update The Battery Drivers
Windows has some drivers that are responsible for interfacing with the battery properly. If your laptop battery is not charging, you could try updating or reinstalling the drivers to fix the problem. Follow the steps given below to do so:
- Right-click on the Start button
- Then, press the Windows + X keys and click on Device Manager from the menu that shows up.
- Click on Batteries to expand it. Two entries will show up, Microsoft AC Adapter and Microsoft ACPI-Compliant Control Method Battery.
- Right-click on the entries under Battery and click on Update driver.
- In case updating the battery drivers didn’t bring any proper change, then, right-click on the drivers and click on Uninstall. This should allow your laptop to stop affecting the battery. Now, reboot your system after uninstalling each battery driver and the driver will get reinstalled.
- Once the system has been rebooted, allow Windows to reinstall the battery driver and the laptop battery should start charging now.
- If the above solution still doesn’t work, then, unplug the charging cable after you’ve shut down the laptop and remove your laptop battery. Then, put the battery back in its place and restart your PC now.
Method #9. Cool Down Your Heated Battery
If your laptop is overheating, that too could cause the battery sensor to misfire. This, in turn, would convey a message that your battery is fully charged or missing which would trigger the charging issues. Sometimes, your system might completely shut down to prevent overheating the battery and a possible fire.
These problems can escalate if you are using older laptops that come with lower-quality cooling as compared to modern devices. In case you use the laptop on your couch or bed, that too will block the cooling vents.
If you can relate to this, then, turn off your laptop and allow it some time for cooling down. Then, check the air vents to see if they are free of dust and debris and unobstructed.
Method #10. Run Windows Troubleshooter For Battery Problems
You might already know that Windows OS has an in-built troubleshooter for troubleshooting the cells. So, you can try running the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter to fix your Dell laptop battery not charging issue:
- First, launch the Run utility by pressing the Windows + R keys
- The Run dialog box opens up, type in “Control” in the box and press the Enter key
- Now, in the search box of the Control Panel located in the top-right corner, type in Troubleshooter
- Next, click on Troubleshooting > System & Security > Power
- Wait for some while until the troubleshooter diagnoses the problem and attempts to fix it.
Method #11. Update The BIOS
The Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) is software that is responsible for managing the connectivity between your laptop’s hardware devices and the operating system. If there are some faulty settings in your BIOS, that too can lead to laptop charging issues. To fix the same, you need to update your laptop BIOS.
Note: Before you proceed with updating the BIOS, you must put your laptop on charge.
- First, visit the official site of Dell and look for the support page for your laptop model.
- Next, download the latest BIOS update and install it. You can also consult the Dell support team on how to update your Dell laptop’s BIOS.
Note: Please be cautious while updating your laptop’s BIOS. We recommend that you back up your laptop data before updating the BIOS because in case something goes south, you won’t lose your data.
Tip: Usually, the fundamental cell charge of your Dell laptop should be at 10% while updating. If your battery cell’s charge is lower than 10%, then also you can force a BIOS upgrade. However, the upgrade might fail only to result in more damage than what you began with. So, it is recommended that you don’t update the BIOS with a low charge.
Method #12. Isolate The Battery Charging Via The BIOS Mode
Launching the BIOS mode will isolate all hardware-related problems since it is outside of your Windows OS. Your Operating System settings such as power management, drivers, and other devices might be affecting the laptop charging. So, you can try using the BIOS mode to troubleshoot your Dell laptop battery not charging issue. Here’s how:
- Turn off your system
- Now, you can either try charging the laptop battery while it is turned off.
- Or else, you can restart the laptop and once you see the Dell logo, press the F2 key several times until BIOS mode opens up.
- Once the BIOS mode is launched, you can now allow the battery cells to charge.
- Now, check the percentage of the laptop battery after charging it for some time. If it has been growing, then you have solved your problem.
- Restart your PC.
Method #13. Run The Hardware Diagnostic Test
Sometimes, we don’t know what is wrong with the laptop and don’t want to mess around with it too much. Or maybe you cannot find much information about the issue anyway. In such cases, you can try running a hardware diagnostic test for identifying the problem and get certain steps to fix it.
To do so, you have to access Dell Support Assist and go to their cell diagnostics page. You can also try out the Dell Pre-Boot System Assessment test. Follow the given steps to execute the same:
- Turn your computer on
- When the Dell symbol shows up, start pressing the F12 key and keep pressing it to open the One Time Boot Menu.
- Launch the Diagnostics via the arrow keys and next, press the Enter key
Follow along with the on-screen instructions to finish the Diagnostics test and wait for the result:
- If the Diagnostics test is successful, move on to the next step
- In case the test is successful, move on to the next methods and if you get some error or validation codes, then inform the same to the Dell Technical Support team.
Method #14. Try Another AC Adapter or Charger
If you’ve tried out all the above solutions and your laptop battery is still not charging, buy a new charger for your laptop model. Else, you can borrow your friend’s laptop charger if they happen to have the same laptop model. Then, check if your laptop battery is charging with the alternative charger.
To ensure if your laptop charger is working or not, you can use a multimeter to check if it outputs the right voltage. If not, then it’s time to replace your laptop’s AC adapter. Make sure you buy an official laptop charger only and not an inexpensive third-party one.
We don’t recommend third-party or duplicate laptop chargers because they might not be up to the mark and won’t qualify up to the required standards. Moreover, using a duplicate charger could potentially damage your system or worse, lead to a fire.
Method #15. Contact The Dell Support In Case Of Internal Damage
If you have tried out all the above fixes and nothing worked, then think of this as your last resort. Make sure that you have swapped power cables, tried other batteries, checked your power settings more than once, and also resolved any potential software issues. In this case, the problem lies within the laptop.
Many internal parts are capable of leading to issues when they fail or malfunction. Some common internal failures that might cause charging issues are damaged motherboard, faulty charging circuitry, and faulty battery sensors.
In this case, we recommend that you contact the Dell support team for help. In case your laptop is under warranty, they will repair your laptop or replace the battery (whatever might be required to fix the problem) free of cost.
How To Keep Your Laptop Battery Healthy?
Laptop cells can be susceptible to damage if you use them in the wrong way. Refer to the tips given below to ensure that your laptop battery has a long life:
Keep Your Laptop At The Right Temperature
As already mentioned, high temperature is an absolute No-No for your laptop battery. When the laptop overheats or stays heated for a long time, that makes the system work harder and as a result more power is consumed. Hence, the cells will burn out faster.
Enable The Battery Saver Mode
This mode allows your laptop to use less power than it normally does. This way, the cells don’t have to work hard all the time and the battery life will get extended.
Don’t Forget To Charge Your Laptop Battery
Many users forget to charge their devices, and then, the laptop battery reaches an extremely low. As a result, the laptop shuts down on its own which can result in permanent damage to the laptop cells. It’s a good practice to not allow your laptop charge to drop below 20%.
We hope the above solutions have helped to fix your Dell laptop battery not charging issue. If the problem persists, possibly some part of your laptop is damaged and is preventing the battery from working correctly. In this situation, you should take your laptop to a technician.