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Seeing the notification “laptop plugged in not charging” isn’t a sight you’d like to see, especially if you have a busy day. Once the charge on the battery gets depleted, the laptop will shut off. At this point: should you find a laptop battery replacement immediately?

Not so fast!

Although a dead battery could be the main reason why a plugged in laptop is not charging, your laptop could behave this way if there’s a hardware or software issue such as an outdated battery driver, a faulty/ loosely connected power adapter, or a problem with a power source .

Whether you are using a HP, Dell, MacBook, Lenovo, Acer, or any other popular brand, this article is for you if you’d like to understand why this happens. It will help you find the best way to solve the underlying issue.

Why Laptop is Plugged in Not Charging


Generally, a laptop may fail to charge the battery when plugged in because of one of the following hardware or software reasons.

Hardware reasons could include:

  • A faulty or dead laptop battery
  • Faulty or incompatible laptop charger
  • Problem with the power source
  • Damaged charging port
  • A faulty motherboard

Software reasons may include:

  • A problem with the power plan
  • An issue with the battery drivers

How Do You Fix the Laptop Plugged in But Not Charging Problem?

Now that you know what is causing this charging problem, how then do you fix these problems? Try the following solutions before you order a battery replacement.

1. Check the Battery First

When you plug in a laptop, check the battery level indicator on the bottom right hand corner of your task bar or the battery charge LED indicator located near the charging port or the front of your device to find out if your laptop battery is charging or not.

If you are using a HP laptop, here’s what you should expect to see. The battery charge LED indicator will show a solid orange color to indicate that the charge is below 95% and it’s currently charging. On the other hand, the battery level indicator will show the battery’s current charge and how much time it needs to get to a full charge like shown in the image below.

HP Battery Level Indicator on Windows 10

If the battery doesn’t indicate the time left for the battery to have a full charge, first check the battery compartment to see if it fits well. Remove the battery to see if it’s swollen, broken, or damaged if the battery doesn’t show signs of charging but fits well in the battery compartment. Any of these signs means the battery is dead and you need to find a replacement as quick as possible.

Another thing you should do if the battery looks fine is examine the battery terminals (both on the battery and the laptop’s compartment) using a multimeter. If one or more shows any signs of damage, you need to take it to an expert to fix it.

2. Is There a Problem with the Power Adapter?

If the battery is okay, what do you do next?

  • Check the power adapter. Find out if you have connected the power adapter to the right port. Nowadays, modern laptops use a USB-C charging port, which looks similar to other USB ports used for transferring data. If you connect it to the wrong port, it could be the reason why your laptop is not charging while plugged in.
  • Also, sometimes dirt and debris finds its way into the laptop charging port and prevents adequate charge from getting to your battery. Check the port to see if you can spot any. Clean it up and connect the charger again to see if this solves the problem.
  • In case doing this doesn’t solve the problem, connect the power adapter to a different power outlet since it may be providing a low electric output to your laptop’s charging system.
  • If that doesn’t solve the problem as well, check the power cable to notice if the pin is bent or broken, or if the cable is broken from within. You can also use a multimeter to test the adapter’s functionality.

Here’s a video to help you use a multimeter.

Two things to note:

  1. Avoid using a faulty power adapter.
  2. If you find a proper replacement, ensure that it’s compatible with your laptop. Otherwise, using the wrong adapter can damage your laptop’s motherboard and other crucial parts if it delivers higher voltage than what your laptop requires.

3. Try Changing Your Power Plan

A laptop’s power plan is a feature used to increase a battery’s lifespan. In our research, we discovered that some laptop brands such as Lenovo, HP, MSI, Dell, and Asus have specific plans that can prevent charging even when you plug in your laptop at certain battery levels.

Usually, the main purpose of these features is to prevent overcharging, especially if your laptop is always plugged in most of the times.

So, why is your laptop plugged in and not charging?

It’s simply because of the battery charge threshold you set.

For instance, a Lenovo laptop has a built-in feature known as the Lenovo Vantage. The app has a function known as the Battery Charge Threshold. When activated, the laptop will charge the battery only when it drops within a certain percentage and stops charging when it reaches a specific percentage. Changing the settings can help solve the problem.

The following video can help you change the battery charge threshold on your laptop.

4. Update Your Battery Drivers

Did you know that your laptop battery needs specific drivers for it function? Using battery drivers that are not updated may be another reason why your battery is not charging.

So, how do you rectify this problem?

Laptop Battery Drivers
This is the menu that appears if you want to update the battery drivers
  • Press  Win+X simultaneously then select Device Manager from the menu that appears
  • Click on batteries and right click on both Microsoft AC Adapter and Microsoft ACPI-Compliant Control Method Battery to update the battery.

Your battery should start charging again. But if it doesn’t, repeat the same process but instead of clicking on update driver, click on uninstall device. Reboot your computer to reinstall the drivers.

5. Replace or Fix the Motherboard

I recently had this problem where I brought in a new battery replacement but the laptop couldn’t charge it. When I took it a laptop-repairing expert, he examined the battery terminals and noticed that the motherboard was faulty.

Normally, the motherboard is the heart of the computer. All crucial components of the computer are connected to the motherboard, including the laptop’s power socket.

In my case, I needed to replace the damaged chips responsible for passing charge to the battery. Fortunately, it worked! I also found out that my old laptop battery was also working.

However, the repairer told me that if I continued using the laptop that way, it would soon damage the entire motherboard.

If the damage on the motherboard is significant, replacing the entire motherboard or buying a new laptop would be the most ideal options.


Is it Okay to leave laptop plugged in all the time?

Many people, including gamers, use their laptops when plugged in all the time. It shouldn’t harm the laptop as long as there’s no power surge. Further, note that once the laptop battery is 100% full, the laptop doesn’t allow any more charge to go into the laptop. Which means it’s safe to use it your laptop plugged in all the time.

For more information on this, check out our recent article on: Is it okay to leave your laptop plugged in all the time?

Can You Fix a Laptop Battery That Won’t Charge?

You can only troubleshoot a laptop battery that won’t charge by allowing it to cool down if it’s too hot or reseating it by removing the battery. After doing this, press the power button for about 20 seconds before powering it again and trying to recharge it. You can also try to update the drivers to see if this will solve the problem. If any of this doesn’t work, it’s time to get a replacement.

What Happens a New Laptop Battery is Not Charging?

If you just bought a new laptop battery that’s not charging, try updating the battery drivers or changing your laptop’s power plan. If these options don’t work, take it back to the vendor immediately. This is because it may not be compatible with your device since some motherboard can be quite sensitive.

Wrapping it Up

There you have it folks! We believe that you now know what to do in case your laptop is not charging when plugged in. Try some of these things and see if you can find the source of the problem without having to use your money to buy a new laptop.

Author: Brian KaguiriExpert writer who loves to talk about tech. You can follow him on LinkedIn or Medium.

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