How to fix the “Plugged in not charging” problem on a Laptop

How to fix the "Plugged in not charging" problem on a Laptop

I recall my first “Plugged in not charging” experience ; boy was I scared crapless . I had taken a 2-month trip without my laptop and it stayed off all that time. An excited me got back, tried powering the Laptop but got no response.  I then connected it to power, tried again; and it came up, phew!! Next thing I knew, “0% Plugged in, not charging“. I was terrified that I might haven had to purchase a new battery at a time I was mighty broke, but now, I know better. In today’s guide, we’ll be looking at common causes of the Plugged in not charging error and how to resolve it.

What could cause the Plugged in not charging error?

The most common causes of the plugged in not charging error are:

  • Leaving the laptop unused for a long period of time: This could result in corrosion or accumulation of static energy
  • Always hibernating / sleeping the PC instead of shutting down: OS errors tend to accumulate when you do this and the battery charging process might suffer this
  • Faulty / inferior power pack or power source: The power pack might be damaged or not be powerful enough Voltage-wise. In some cases, the voltage supply from the source or the cord might be too low
  • Damaged battery: The battery might be unable to retain charge anymore
  • Faulty laptop power connector: The Laptop’s power connector might be loose or faulty
  • Overheating laptop: The Laptop might be overheating,  thereby cutting the charging process in order to cool off or fooling the Laptop into thinking its charging the battery
  • Corrupted battery drivers: The battery drivers might be corrupted
  • Constantly charging battery: The battery should experience a charge-discharge cycle. Constantly charging the battery without discharging could result in this error
  • Dust on battery connectors: The battery connectors might be corroded or clogged with dust

How can I resolve / fix the plugged in not charging error?

A few fixes you could apply when faced with the Plugged in not charging issue are:

1. Restart the laptop: Restarting helps clear temporary OS errors

2. Shutdown the laptop:  Ensure to shutdown the PC more often instead of hibernating / sleeping it for long

3. Expel static energy:  To expel static charges

  • Shutdown the laptop
  • Remove the battery
  • Hold down the power button for 30 seconds
  • Slot in the battery
  • Power up the Laptop

4. BIOS update: This mostly isn’t the problem but you could consider it. Visit your laptop brand’s official website and search for any available BIOS update for your model

5. Battery reset: To do a battery reset;

  • Shutdown the laptop
  • Remove the battery
  • Connect the laptop to a power supply via the power pack
  • Power up the PC for a few minutes without the battery inside
  • Shutdown the laptop
  • Disconnect the laptop from power
  • Slot in the battery
  • Power up the laptop
  • Connect the laptop to power

6. Re-install battery driver: To do this;

  • Press the Windows button or Start menu
  • Search for Device manager and launch it
  • Click Batteries and expand the list
  • Right-click on Microsoft ACPI-Compliant Control Method
  • Select Uninstall
  • Click Scan for Hardware changes at the top

7. Change power pack / Adapter: Try another power pack / adapter to ascertain whether the fault is from the power pack or laptop (also take a look at the laptop’s power connector )

8. Change the power source: Consider using an alternative power source because the voltage supply might be too low to charge the laptop

9. Try cooling the laptop: If the laptop is overheating or the cooling fans are rather loud then employ laptop cooling techniques (see https://journal.hovatek.com/how-to-resolve-the-problem-of-an-overheating-laptop-pc/ )

10.  Clean the battery connectors: Take out the battery, wipe the dust off the connectors then slot it back in (ensure to shutdown before taking out the battery)

11. Change battery: If you’ve tried all fixes but the issue persists, you’re stuck at 0% plugged in not charging or the laptop goes off once you disconnect the power source then you should consider getting a new battery.

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