Dell Laptop Not Charging? Here’s How to Fix It
Your laptop charger is one of the crucial components that makes any laptop functional. Even though you have enough power stored in your battery, high-intensity processing is severely limited just on battery power without a functioning charger.
Usually, when your laptop stops charging, it is due to one of three things. First, the fault is due to a damaged battery. Second, some issues with the charging cable. And finally, some driver issues.
This article further explains some common causes why your Dell Laptop is not charging, along with a guide on determining core problems and fixing them. So, without further delay, let us get right into it.
Is My Dell Laptop Charging?
One easy way to determine whether a Dell laptop is charging is by checking the LED light. Most Dell laptops come with a charger with an LED light. This LED light is located either on the adapter or the charging connector. It turns on whenever you plug the charging port into a power source.
Another indication is located on the Tray icon. The battery logo on the tray menu should have a 2-pin plug icon. If you only see the battery icon (without 2-pin), or if the LED does not light up, your battery is most likely not charging.
Why Is My Dell Laptop Not Charging?
Before we jump into the fixes, you need to know where the issue lies. Further below in the article, we have mentioned specific ways to determine whether the problem is with the battery, the charger, or the driver. And once you determine the issue, we have provided recommended solutions to fix the problem.
Discharge the Capacitor
The Capacitors on your laptop stores charge. Sometimes, a fully charged capacitor located on your laptop’s motherboard may be the reason behind a system that does not charge. To fix this, you need to discharge the capacitor. However, to do this, you need to remove the battery first.
Removing the battery is fairly simple for older laptops as batteries are easily accessible without removing the back plate. However, if you have a battery inside the laptop’s casing, you first need to remove the battery from the laptop.
Once you have successfully removed the battery, follow the steps mentioned below to discharge the capacitors.
- Remove any power source going into your Dell Laptop.
- Press and hold the Power button for 30 to 60 seconds to discharge the capacitors.
Check the Laptop Battery
Once you have discharged the capacitor and the laptop still does not charge, you can try detecting whether the charger or the battery is causing the issue. To check this, you must turn on the laptop without a battery.
- First, remove the power cable if it is connected to the laptop.
- Remove the battery from the laptop.
- Discharge the capacitor by pressing the power button for one minute.
- Now, plug the charger into your laptop without inserting the battery.
If the laptop turns on, the issue is most likely with the laptop battery. Replacing the battery with a new one should fix the charging problem.
Check Battery Status From BIOS
Another method you can use to check whether the issue is with the hardware or its driver is by using BIOS. BIOS, or the Basic Input Output System, has access to all the details about the hardware connected to the motherboard. And in Dell laptops, you can also check the battery status using the BIOS.
- Press the F2 key repeatedly during startup to enter the BIOS on most Dell laptops. If F2 does not work, the BIOS key could be any of the Function or Delete keys.
- Once in BIOS, Go to Settings General Battery Information.
Now on the right panel, you can see the battery and the charger details. Health should indicate Excellent/OK, and the AC adapter should give you the wattage currently supplied to the laptop. If the BIOS shows any error in the battery’s health, the problem is with the battery.
Note: BIOS for all Dell laptops are not similar. Depending on the laptop model, the BIOS could be different. Therefore, you may need to navigate the BIOS to find information about the battery.
Update Battery Driver
The battery driver manages the power supply to the system. Besides this, the driver is also responsible for displaying the battery indication icon located on the tray menu. Any issues with it may indicate a problem with the battery driver.
- Press the Windows X key and select Device Manager.
- Expand Batteries. You should see two entries, Microsoft AC adapter, and Microsoft ACPI-Compliant Control Method Battery.
- Right-click on Microsoft AC Adapter and click on Update driver.
- Once the update process is complete, update the second item on the list as well.
Run Dell Diagnostic Utility
Most Dell laptop’s BIOS, provides their user with a diagnostic options. The diagnostic tool runs a series of test to determine the any problem with hardware components connected to the laptop.
Method 1: Reconnect your AC adapter and your battery
One of the simplest and most effective ways to fix this issue is to reconnect your AC adapter and your laptop battery. To do so:
1) Power off your laptop.
2) Unplug the AC adapter and the battery from your laptop.
3) Press and hold the power button on your laptop for 20 seconds to release the residual power in you laptop.
4) Re-connect the battery and the AC adapter to your laptop.
5) Power on your laptop and check to see if the battery can be charged.
Method 2: Plug your laptop to a wall socket
It is possible that your laptop battery cannot be charged because you are using a surge protector. It can affect the functionality of the adapter. Try powering off your laptop and connecting the AC adapter directly to a wall socket. Then start your laptop and see if the problem resolves.
The issue may result from the faulty AC adapter you are using. You can test your laptop battery with another AC adapter and see if it can charge your battery. If the new AC adapter works for you, you should have the original one replaced.
Method 4: Reinstall your battery driver
The problem can also occur if you are using the wrong battery driver. You can reinstall the driver and see if this fixes your problem.
To reinstall your battery driver, you can utilize Device Manger of your operating system. Connect your laptop to the Internet, and then find and uninstall the battery driver in Device Manager. After that restart your laptop and the driver will be automatically reinstalled.
You can also uninstall your battery driver easily using Driver Easy.
Driver Easy can help you manage the drivers on your computer. You can use it to update the drivers that are out of date or wrong. It will automatically find you the correct drivers that are suitable for your operating system. You don’t need to risk downloading a wrong driver or making a mistake when installing.
You can download and install drivers with either Free or Pro version of Driver Easy. But with the Pro version, you can do it with just TWO clicks (and you get full support and a 30-day money back guarantee).
You can also use the Pro version to uninstall the battery driver:
1) Open Driver Easy.
2) Click Tools.
3) Click Driver Uninstall.
4) Double click System Drivers and then Batteries. Then click Microsoft ACPI-Compliant Control Method Battery. After that, click Uninstall. The battery driver will be uninstalled immediately.
5) Close Driver Easy and restart your computer. The battery driver will be reinstalled automatically after that. Check if your battery can be charged now.
Method 5: Update your BIOS
This won’t work if your laptop power is too low. Make sure your laptop has enough power before updating the BIOS.
BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) is the program that manages the connection between the operating system and the laptop hardware devices. Sometimes faulty BIOS settings can result in the laptop not charging issue. You can update your BIOS to fix the faulty settings.
To update the BIOS, go to the Dell official site and find the support page of your laptop. Then download the latest BIOS update and install it on your computer. (Consult the instructions by Dell support on how to update the BIOS.)
IMPORTANT: Be extra careful about updating the BIOS and always back up your data before doing it. If you make a mistake or an error occurs, your laptop may become unusable and you may suffer from a loss of data.
Dell Power Companion review: Charge your laptop on the go
We’re all conditioned to carry a spare battery charger when we’re hunting Pokemon, but when your Dell XPS needs more juice on the go, what do you do?
Enter Dell’s Power Companion (found on Amazon for about 95), essentially a big-ass battery that connects to a laptop for a quick recharge. While at first glance you might confuse the Power Companion with your run-of-the-mill giant smartphone charger, there are a few key differences.
Not your generic battery pack
The first difference is that those battery packs can only charge phones and low-power tablets with their 5-volt output over USB. Full-power laptops need a lot more juice than that, so the Dell Power Companion puts out 19.5 volts.
Those generic battery packs are also themselves charged via low-voltage USB. The Dell Power Companion charges using the laptop’s own power brick, by way of the barrel connector. So no, you can’t charge the Power Companion using your phone or tablet’s USB charger but there’s a huge advantage in charging speed.
The typical generic large battery pack might take a half a day (some even a full day) to charge from zero. But by feeding off the 19.5 volts of the laptop’s power brick, the Dell Power Companion can recharge in less than a couple of hours.
And, of course, you can’t run your Dell laptop off a generic power brick. The Dell Power Companion I reviewed is the larger (15.4 ounces) 18,000 mAh model. Dell also makes a 12,000 mAh model for its USB-C laptops. Although Dell doesn’t seem to bless it, I was able to swap the USB-C cable from the smaller unit onto the larger one and charge both the Dell XPS 13 and the 2015 MacBook from it without problem.
On top of that you get a pair of USB Type A ports for charging other devices; both are rated for 2 amps, which I confirmed using a USB power meter. Again, the brick does not charge using the standard micro-USB port of generic bricks, so it features two plugs that are compatible with the majority of Dell power bricks sold today.
There’s another proprietary plug that connects the Dell Power Companion to your laptop using an included pigtail. This Dell Power Companion model includes both the thick barrel plug and the thin barrel plug.
There’s also a small power button and five LEDs that serve as a fuel gauge. When the laptop is powered up, it’ll automatically trigger the charging circuit, but when the laptop is off, you’ll need to press the power button to begin charging.
You can use the Dell Power Companion inline by plugging your laptop’s charger into the Power Companion, which then plugs into the laptop. One thing you should know about the Dell Power Companion is that it can’t match high-output power bricks. On the Dell XPS 15, for example, the stock brick is 130 watts. The Dell Power Companion, even the larger 18,000 mAh unit, is just 65 watts. When used inline through the laptop’s brick, you can get 90 watts from it though.
That can lead to problems in heavy-use scenarios. Because the Power Companion maxes out at 65 watts, a more powerful laptop, such as the XPS 15, will not charge when the GPU or CPU is under heavy loads. To test this, I used the FurMark benchmark to tap the power hungry GeForce GTX 960M, and the laptop stopped charging.
This would obviously be a problem if you were encoding a video in the field and suddenly realized your battery was just about dead. In this case, the Dell Power Companion would be unable to charge the laptop and keep encoding at the same time.
There is some good news though. Even though you can’t charge the laptop under heavy loads, it appears that the laptop drains from the the power bank first and only slowly drains from the internal battery.
For example, with 11 percent left on our XPS 15, I again ran FurMark with the screen at 100 percent brightness and it took 20 minutes for it go from 11 percent to 10 percent. Unplugging the Dell Power Companion and running on just the internal battery, FurMark took the battery from 10 percent to 6 percent in about five minutes.
The upshot is that the Dell Power Companion can greatly extend battery life even if you don’t plug it in until you’e at 20 percent. And if you plug in the Dell Power Companion when both are 100 percent, it gets drained first before moving to the laptop.
And I should note that far less intensive CPU or GPU actions didn’t discharge the Dell Power Companion. And, of course, you can still just charge the laptop when it’s off or not being used. Smaller, lower-powered laptops shouldn’t have any problem at all.
If you decide to buy a Dell Power Companion, you’ll want to make sure your laptop is running the latest BIOS to avoid problems in the laptop’s power circuits.
The battery-life difference
How much actual practical battery life do you get? To find out I used our standard battery rundown test, playing an Ultra HD 4K video file at 250 nits to 260 nits. The XPS 15 I used here is a model with the smaller 56 WHr battery—Dell sells the same laptop with a much larger 84 WHr unit, but you can only get it on the pricier 450,700 configuration and up.
Battery life on the XPS 15 with the small 56 WHr battery is just average, even though our 450,400 unit doesn’t have a power-eating touchscreen or high-res 4K screen. I charged the battery and laptop to 100 percent and then measured the playback time.
The results are pretty stunning. The stock XPS 15 with the 56 WHr gas tank eeks out 312 minutes—with the 18,000 mAh Dell Power Companion I saw an incredible 1,364 minutes. That’s almost a full day of video run time compared to the stock five hours.
Why such a huge increase in playback times? Honestly, I don’t know—it exceeds what I expected. The playback time was measured using external hardware and verified by Windows’ power log. So yes, amazing battery life for video playback.
In the end, there are a handful of things to consider before purchasing a Dell Power Companion: its limitations for charging when the laptop is under load; the fact that it doesn’t work with all Dell laptops—the company claims compatibility with about 30 models including many XPS, Vostra, Precision, Latitude, and Inspiron models; and finally, its weight, about 15.4 additional ounces in your bag.
But when you’re in the middle of nowhere and desperate to get something done on your laptop, the extended battery life is well worth it.
The Dell Latitude 13 7390 2-in-1 Review
Although GPU performance is likely not the biggest concern for a business laptop, battery life certainly is. Dell offers the Latitude 7390 with a couple of battery options. The base Core i3 model comes with just a 45 Wh battery, but all other configurations come with a much more respectable 60 Wh version, but here you can also get the standard “ExpressCharge” 4 cell battery, or for a few dollars more, a Long Life Cycle battery.
To test battery life, we run through a couple of tests, all with the display set to 200 nits brightness, to provide an even playing field for all devices. Our web tests leverage Microsoft Edge, and for the movie playback, we use Films TV.
2013 Light Web
Our first test is the easiest, and it’s just opening four web pages per minute. In 2018, it’s not a very difficult test, so the test is being phased out as we get more data for the newer test. Still, it’s the one we have the most data for, so it’s nice to have it for longer term comparisons.
Dell offers excellent battery life, thanks to the large battery, 1080p display, and 8 th gen CPU. Over 13 hours here is one of the better results we’ve gotten.
Removing the battery capacity from the results lets us compare the platform efficiency, and here Dell does very well. It’s impressive how efficient the platform still is despite the doubling of CPU cores, and kind of makes us wonder what took so long to get the quad-cores in the Ultrabook category.
Dell couples the Latitude 7390 with a 65-Watt USB-C charging adapter. They offer an ExpressCharge battery option on this model by default, which allows quicker charging at the likely expense of overall battery life. As a business laptop, there’s no heat or other exotic tricks required to remove the bottom cover either, so battery replacement should be fairly straightforward.
At 153 minutes, the charge rate is pretty reasonable for this size of battery. You can also change the battery charging behavior, to optimize battery life, using the Dell Command Power Manager software. You can set the Advanced Charge settings to a schedule of when you normally work, so the battery will be fully charged when you need it, but kept dormant when you don’t.