When your laptop is plugged into a power source, but not charging properly, this can be very frustrating. Luckily, there are a few simple steps you can take to troubleshoot the problem, possibly saving you a trip to the repair shop.
1. Try the obvious first
Your problem may lie within the actual power cord or laptop battery itself. If your battery is old and has been discharging faster than usual for a period of time, it may be time to purchase a new one. Replacement batteries can be found online or at electronics stores, just be sure to get one with matching voltage specifications of your current battery. Even when purchasing a third party battery, expect to pay around $75 to $100 for a new one.
The other obvious issue could be a bad power cord. The good news about this is that a replacement cord can be purchased online at Amazon or Ebay for around $10, and you can definitely fix this computer issue by yourself. Look for the model number of your laptop, and this should point you in the direction of the proper replacement cord.
2. Hot! Hot! Hot!
Yup! That’s right! If your laptop is plugged in but not charging, chances are it could be due to overheating. This is even more so with older laptops that don’t have the cooling technology of today’s laptops. Perhaps you are one of those who likes to use your laptop on your bed or couch, hence causing the cooling vents to be blocked and your system overheated. Not a very good idea.
[Read also: Can I Use My Laptop While Charging?]
3. It could be your settings
If the above fixes failed to resolve the issues, you might need to dig a little deeper to find the root of the problem.
For Windows users, check your power options in the Control Panel. Check the setting for the battery, display, and the sleep options to see if everything looks in order. Sometimes changing these settings will cause your computer to shut down when the lid closes, or may shut the computer down when the battery power percentage reaches a certain level. In some cases, restoring the settings to default may solve the problem.
For Mac users, check out the Energy Saver pane in the System Settings. The issue may be that the computer is set to “sleep” after a very short idle period. Adjust the setting to a longer time to see if this helps. Restoring the laptop to default settings may also help fix the issue with a Mac computer.
[Read also: How to Take Care of Your Laptop Battery]
4. Update drivers
For Windows users, look in the Control Panel and open the Device Manager. Find the battery tab and update drivers for an item labeled Microsoft ACPI Compliant Control Method Battery. After updating, reboot the machine and see if the issue is resolved. If not, delete the “Microsoft ACPI” item and then reboot the machine yet again.
For Mac users, shut down your power and remove the battery, then unplug the machine. Disconnect your power source and then depress the power button for about five seconds. Reinstall the battery and connect to power source and turn on the computer. For new Macs with sealed batteries, shut down the machine while leaving power adapter connected. While power is off, hold power button down while simultaneously pressing shift/control/option keys, then turn the power on.
[Read also: How to Charge a Laptop Without its Charger]
5. Contact technical support
If none of these simple fixes work, chances are it’s time to contact a professional computer repair specialist. They will know the common problems with your particular computer and can offer helpful advice as well as quality repairs.
Some common computer issues can easily be resolved at home, without having to spend the money on professional repairs and having to be without your computer for several days while it’s in the shop. Try these simple fixes for power up and battery issues first to see if you can fix the problem yourself.
[Read also: How to Get More Runtime Out of Your Laptop Battery]