Losing a laptop charger or having one break is a frustrating situation. If you are in need of charging your laptop and don’t have the manufacturer’s charger, you do take a risk trying these other methods.
The risk comes from the fact that your laptop manufacturer’s charger is specially designed to charge your laptop so that it doesn’t overheat and explode on your lap.
That being said, you can charge your laptop without the manufacturer’s charger but there is no free ‘hack’ to charging your laptop without the original charger. None of these methods are free and you would be better off (budget and safety wise) purchasing a replacement charger for your laptop.
Disclaimer: You use these methods at your own and your laptop’s risk.
Using a Power Bank
This is by far the most feasible way to charge your laptop (as well as the safest) as you may already have a power bank laying around.
First you will need to be sure that your power bank can charge laptops. These power banks are often upwards of 20000mAh and need at least 18V to charge laptops. They have the ability to charge several types of devices including laptops.
Power banks of this size can be on the expensive side with some ranging well over $50 at the time of writing. They are worth the investment, though, because they are able to charge several different types of devices on a single charge.
A power bank is always handy to have if you’re traveling or if you find yourself without your laptop charger.
Most power banks have protection features that turn the power bank off when it detects high temperatures, over charges, or a short circuit. Make sure your power bank is labeled as safe for charging laptops before purchasing or using on your laptop.
Power banks are great to have if you travel a lot because they are so versatile. So it’s great to have one of these with you in case you forget your charger.
If you need to charge your laptop now and you can’t wait for Amazon shipping, you can find power banks at your local electronics store, just be sure the power bank is capable of charging laptops before you purchase.
Using a Universal Charger
You can purchase a Universal Laptop Charger which will allow you to charge practically any laptop on the market. They run just under $30 at the time of writing. This charger comes with several AC adapters that fit the charging port in your laptop.
The universal charger would be suitable for someone who has several laptops of different manufacturers that need to charge but it isn’t as practical for someone who has simply lost or broken their original charger.
You are better off finding a replacement charger from your laptop’s manufacturer. You would likely find them at a similar price range anyways.
Using USB C Adapter
If your laptop is a newer model and has USB C port, you can charge your laptop via a USB C Adapter. You can either order these online or find them at your local electronics store.
The release of USB C ports gave us the ability to transfer power to and from either side of the USB C port so you can use your USB C port to charge from the wall or another device and then use the same port and cable to charge your phone or other device.
This is the safest way to charge via your USB C adapter because the adapter has protection that turns off charging when it detects high temps or other problems.
Do not attempt to charge via your USB C port without the adapter. This is because the adapter is able to charge for certain voltages and other adapters (like your phone wall adapter) are not suited for the voltages laptops carry.
You risk shorting the adapter and causing damage to your laptop or even to yourself by not using the proper adapter.
Using a Car Charger
You can also use a car battery to charge your laptop via the cigarette lighter in your car. This method also requires an adapter. If you don’t have one already, one of these comes in handy on long road trips or when you forgot to charge your devices beforehand.
In order to charge a laptop, you need an adapter that can charge for 18-21V. You can just plug this into your car and charge a couple devices at a time.
You can find these adapters at electronics stores. I would not trust an adapter bought at a gas station or tourist stop to be able to charge your laptop (those ones are likely better for your phone).
It’s better to purchase one of these from an electronics store so you can be sure what devices it is capable of charging.
..This is a great option if you forgot your charger on a trip but it isn’t the most efficient long term option…
These devices are super handy to have in general, especially if you travel often with your devices. This is a great option if you forgot your charger on a trip but it isn’t the most efficient long term option, unless you want to go out to your car every time you need a charge.
Using an External Battery Charger
An external battery is basically a secondary way to charge your laptop battery. Your laptop’s battery must be removable for this method to work. Most external batteries are brand specific so you will need to purchase a battery that is for your laptop’s brand.
An external battery charges your laptop battery directly. It’s basically a little cable that plugs into your battery directly and then into the wall. These are super handy to have for when your laptop battery struggles to hold a charge or has an issue charging.
This method is not as efficient as it may sound and you are likely better off purchasing a new laptop charger. Removing your laptop battery can be risky and for some brands, it may even void the warranty on your laptop.
External battery chargers cost about the same as a new charger for your laptop so unless you really want to charge your laptop this way, it’s probably best that you buy a new charger.
Using a Super Battery
A super battery is a second battery for your laptop. It has a different charging cable that plugs directly into the battery. To use this, you would remove your laptop battery and insert the super battery in its place.
..you would need to purchase one for your specific laptop and ensure it fits and works in your laptop…
Super batteries are brand specific products (just like the external battery charger) so you would need to purchase one for your specific laptop and ensure it fits and works in your laptop before trying this method.
Use of these super batteries is really for emergencies only and with the advent of newer, more efficient ways of charging, this method really isn’t that efficient.
Despite their name, super batteries struggle to hold charges longer than about 4 hours. It’s probably more cost-effective for you to simply buy a new charger for your laptop instead.
These above methods are all plausible ways of charging your laptop without its original charger. However, all these methods cost and some are simply not effective in the long run.
It’s advisable that you simply buy a new charger for your laptop rather than spend exorbitant amounts of money on secondary ways to charge it that may not be safe for you or your laptop.