How to Fix a Dell Laptop That Won't Charge

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Matthew M. White
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Laptops are tough pieces of hardware and generally durable no matter what you put them through. However, there may be times when you notice that your laptop is not charging at all. When this happens, there are several ways to mitigate the disasters.

If you're a Dell laptop owner and are having charging issues, look no further. Below you will find a variety of methods to get your laptop to start charging again. We'll cover common symptoms and possible solutions.



Dell laptop not charging no light

Dell laptop power adapters have LED lights to indicate that your laptop is charging. If you plug it into a power outlet and connect the charging end to your laptop's charging port, it should turn on. Sometimes the light is off or goes off when you connect the charger to the computer.

There are several reasons why this can happen, such as:

  • Charger damaged
  • Faulty wall socket
  • Damaged cable
  • Faulty connector

Follow these troubleshooting steps and identify the possible cause of a charger malfunction:

  1. Check that the AC adapter, cables and charging port are not damaged.
  2. Make sure the power outlet is working.
  3. Disconnect and reconnect the power cables and AC adapter.
  4. Separate and reconnect the charger cables from the charging brick.
  5. Plug the charger back into the laptop.
  6. Check if the LED light is on.

If the wall outlet works but the LED indicator does not light up, you may need to buy a new charger. This phenomenon usually does not indicate a faulty port, but you should be prepared for this possibility.



You can run a Dell ePSA hardware diagnostic test to further troubleshoot the issue. Here are the steps:

  1. Turn on your laptop.
  2. Press F12 repeatedly until the One Time Boot menu appears when you see the Dell logo.
  3. Use the arrow keys and select "Diagnostics" before pressing the Enter key.
  4. Follow the instructions.
  5. Write down the exact error code if there is one.
  6. Contact Dell Technical Support for assistance.

Dell laptop not charging with USB-C

Some Dell laptops have USB-C chargers instead of other proprietary pin designs. These laptops already come with a designated charger, which can be replaced. However, when it malfunctions, it's usually caused by a faulty USB-C port or the motherboard.

Here are some ways to potentially fix the problem:

  1. Make sure the wall outlet is working.
  2. Disassemble and reassemble the charger (if possible).
  3. Unplug and reinsert the charger.
  4. Check if it charges.

If these steps don't help, you can try flipping the USB-C cable upside down. If other actions don't work, the problem is probably the port or the motherboard, and you'll need to send it in for repair.

Dell laptop not charging via docking station

Some Dell laptops can be charged via USB-C or the included charging cable connected to a docking station. These devices are designed to increase productivity by connecting all essential peripherals to one place. If you find that your laptop is not charging when plugged into the docking station, there are several ways to fix the problem.



Before we dive into the fixes, here are the potential reasons why your laptop is not charging through the docking station:

  • Your laptop charger does not have the correct power
  • Charging cables are loose
  • BIOS problem
  • Bad connection

To diagnose the problem, follow these steps:

  1. Check if the docking station works.
  2. Unplug the charging cable.
  3. Plug it back into the docking station.
  4. Check if your laptop is charging.

Since you don't need the Charge Brick, it doesn't come into play here.

Using different wattages will prevent charging and you will need to use a different docking station if this is the case. Of course, loose cables and a bad connection can be fixed by following the steps above. Reattaching everything tends to resolve loose connections.

In other cases, a BIOS update can cause problems with the charger, preventing your laptop from detecting it. If this happens, you may need to update the BIOS. Here are the steps to perform a manual update:

  1. Go to the official Dell website.
  2. Find your Dell laptop model.
  3. Choose your operating system.
  4. In "Category", select "BIOS".
  5. Check for the latest system BIOS version.
  6. Download the file.
  7. Find and run the installer.
  8. Follow the instructions of the installer.
  9. After your computer restarts, your BIOS should be updated.

BIOS updates may fix driver issues but do not fix hardware. If this solution does not work, it is probably one of the options mentioned above.



Dell laptop not charging when turned off

You expect your laptop to charge when it's plugged in, especially when it's turned off. However, some users encounter situations where they cannot start their computer without using the loader. And when it turns on, it may show 0% remaining battery.

One possible culprit could be the microchip that Dell uses to detect genuine batteries. The chip may malfunction and not detect the battery. Fortunately, there is a solution to this situation.

Depending on your laptop model, you may need some tools, but the solution will take less time if you can remove the battery right away.

  1. Drain the battery by pressing and holding the power button for 30 seconds.
  2. Remove the battery from the laptop.
  3. Turn on the laptop after plugging in the charger.
  4. Turn off the laptop and unplug the power cord.
  5. Reinsert the battery.
  6. Reconnect the charger.
  7. Restart the computer.

If done correctly, you will reset the chip inside your Dell laptop. However, if you're not sure you can do it yourself, especially with a fixed battery, you can take it to a store for repair.

Dell laptop not charging 100%

A fully charged battery is what people would expect after several hours of charging, but sometimes issues occur with prolonged use. A frequently used laptop battery will eventually wear out, and a symptom is not reaching 100% charge after a long time.

It may only reach 90% or more, but never full. Thus, you miss about half an hour of battery life.

Fortunately, there is a simple solution to this scenario. Here are the steps:

  1. Drain your laptop battery until it is below 10%.
  2. To close.
  3. Charge your laptop.
  4. After several hours, come back and turn on the laptop.
  5. It should reach 100%.

Sometimes it's not the battery that's at fault, but the driver. A quick uninstall and reinstall may fix the problem in this case:

  1. Press Windows + R keys.
  2. Type "devmgmt.msc" in the dialog box and press Enter.
  3. In Device Manager, look for the Batteries option.
  4. Click on the “>” or “+” sign.
  5. Right-click "Battery with Microsoft ACPI Compliant Control Method".
  6. Click "Uninstall".
  7. Confirm the choice.
  8. Restart your laptop.

Of course, there are other causes, such as problematic power adapters and more. You can always troubleshoot to identify the exact cause of the problem.

Say goodbye to battery problems

Most of the time, battery and charging issues require replacement chargers or hardware. Ideally, some problems can be solved at home using tools. However, always consult a professional for the best course of action if in doubt.

Have you ever encountered any of these problems? Which solution worked best? Let us know in the comments section below.

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