What Do You if Your Laptop is Plugged In But Not Charging?

Once the battery is drained, quickly, your thoughts run to your AC Adapter to keep up with the battery power levels so that you continue with your work.  

Plugged into the mains. No ‘ battery charging icon’ in taskbar, no brightened display and lights not glowing.

So your fate is sealed. You will not continue with work because your battery is plugged in but not charging.

Why won’t your laptop charge even when plugged in? What could be the cause?

In today’s post we explore the various reasons why your laptop is plugged in but not charging. 

We give you easy ‘do it yourself’ ways of troubleshooting, narrowing down to the actual cause, so that you fix things faster while saving lots of dollars.

Ready? Let’s dive into troubleshooting.

So have you plugged in your Laptop Right?

…But jokes aside, the first step in troubleshooting charging failure is to establish whether your charger is plugged in well…

This is not the right question to ask if one is in such a nasty situation. But jokes aside, the first step in troubleshooting charging failure is to establish whether your charger is plugged in well.

Check whether the wall socket you are plugging into, actually works. This you can do by gracing yourself with a power tester and insert into the live terminal of the mains in the socket.

It will light red if it actually receives power. And now you have eliminated the possibility of a blown out fuse.

Next we need to establish the physical state of the charger right from what plugs into the mains to what plugs into the power port on your laptop.

Clean all the power terminals into which chords insert. Those on AC Adaptor brick and power plug. Insert back the chords fully. Firmly.

By now, we have ruled out personal user errors and the problem may be embedded within the powering system of your laptop.

Is your battery working?

If your laptop embodies a removable battery, it’s time to plug it out and check its integrity.

Upon removal, drain the laptop of any possibilities of residual power by pressing the power button for about 20 seconds.

While the battery is removed, you may now plug in the laptop charger into the power port and power on.

Once the laptop powers right, maybe the problem is a faulty battery and not the AC Power Adaptor.

If you have second thoughts, you may clean the battery power terminals and plug the battery back, ensuring that it is more firm than before.

If your battery is inbuilt like its the case for MACs, you may need to take it to a specialist to test battery integrity for you.

Otherwise if your laptop still won’t charge, it time to head on to your next easy option.

Are you charging from the right port?

…Commonly in ultra slim laptops, USB-C ports come with data transfer, connection of externals and charging functionalities…

Lately, technology advancement has brought to life; 3-in-1 USB ports. Commonly in ultra slim laptops, USB-C ports come with data transfer, connection of externals and charging functionalities.

They provide great convenience for manufacturers producing slim laptops, however, depending on the manufacturer, confusion among users may arise.

Some manufacturers like Huawei have taken it on themselves to include 2 USB-C ports; among which one is for charging while the other is for data transfer and connecting peripherals.

This is most evidenced in the Huawei Mate Book X.

Ensure to use the right port for charging and not confuse one for the other to solve charge failure issues.

Is your AC Adapter Brick burnt, cables Broken?

Another fact to establish is whether your AC Adaptor brick is in the right physical state.

Ensure that the adapter isn’t burnt, disfigured or broken.  

Make use of your sense of smell to check whether the AC adaptor doesn’t smell like burnt plastics or a short circuit.

If turns out positive, contact your manufacturer or nearest electronic shop to purchase a replacement.

What of laptop power connecting terminals?

The ideal laptop power connecting terminals at the power port must be firm, in right shape and clean (without any dust clogging them).

If dirty, clean them out using compressed air from an air blower. Firmly connect your power cable and check if your laptop will charge now.

Is your laptop overheating?

Just like the CPU, RAM and GPU, a laptop battery is also another laptop unit that is affected by overly high temperatures.

Faced with serious heating problems, the battery sensor can’t be blamed for inaccuracy when estimating laptop battery levels. 

It can misfire, signaling to you that the battery is not charging or at worst shutting down the entire system abruptly.

Always use your laptop on a flat surface to ensure smooth flow of air from coolers.

If it’s unavoidable, and you use the laptop from the comfort of your bed, ensure your bed sheets and cover don’t block air passages and you can shut down for some time to cool the computer system.

Are your battery drivers updated?

Check if your battery drivers are up to date.

Go to start up menu.Search for ‘Device manager’.

Look for ‘Microsoft Ac Adaptor’ and ‘Microsoft ACPI Compliant Control Method Battery’. Right click on each item and update drivers.


Sometimes you may, remove the drivers, then download new ones from the manufacturer’s website directly and re-install them.

Once installed, restart your laptop to see if your laptop can charge now.

Are the battery settings right?

Battery settings like shutting down when the battery is too low may confuse you for none charging laptop. 

On the other hand, the laptop battery low level may be set at a percentage so high and it will end up shutting down yet there is still some power to get you going.

Ensure to set things right in the charging plan.


For Mac Laptops users:

In System Preferences, select the Energy Saver pane and review your preferences. Using a slider, select the time your computer can remain idle before sleep mode.

The shorter the interval, the easier it is to confuse laptop not charging issues with battery settings. Faced with this challenge, it’s most advisable to revert to default settings.

Have you consulted external tech support?

Sometimes it may be more ideal to call tech support for a quick fix.  

Depending on the model of your laptop, charging failure may be unique to a certain model and a seasoned technician may be in the right position to easily advise you on how to fix it.

Log on to the manufacturer’s website for contacts. Give them a call and will be ready to help you.

May be the problems are inside the casing. 

Probably by now you are exhausted, tired and feel like selling off the damn machine at a giveaway price. 

Hold on. You have not yet exhausted all possibilities.

Perhaps the reason why your laptop may not be charging even if you have plugged in correctly is hidden down in its casing.

It’s time to open it up. Damages to the laptop charging circuits, a malfunctioning battery sensor or a faulty motherboard may prevent your laptop from charging.

The only underside to such problem is that they require a specialist who will charge you some dollars. But nonetheless, it’s cheaper than purchasing a new laptop.

On the other hand you may be the kind of person who would want to deal away with the whole machine and purchase a new one; a process which may become too exhausting.


Like a sick person, fixing a non charging plugged in laptop requires to establish the cause first, then devise means of how to solve the issues.

The tips given above should come in handy while fixing your issues and consider buying a new one if and only if you have the bucks.

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