The Laptop Only Charges When Turned Off— Understanding The Laptop

One of the major differences between laptops and desktops is that laptops have batteries. The manufacturers have perfected in making very powerful batteries. 

Most laptop batteries can last up to 12 hours when fully charged. However, the period the battery lasts depends on what you use it for. 

Charging a laptop battery is very straightforward. All you need to do is plug the laptop charger into a power source and connect it to the laptop.  

In this article, we are going to look at how and when to recharge the laptop battery.  

The laptop has been designed in such a way that it can charge when turned off and on. If it does charge when turned off, then it has a problem that needs quick fixing. Let’s explore the question. 

The laptop only charges when turned off.

So, this is a common problem, but I’m certain you are looking for clarification and suggestions. The issue can emanate from the power adapter or battery. 

If the laptop battery is failing, the charging mechanism of the laptop stops it from charging because it can’t accept any more charge. It’s a safety mechanism that prevents overheating of the battery when charging. 

Additional Information

Another factor can be that the power adapter cannot have enough power to run the laptop and charge the battery. But if you are using the original laptop charger, it’s the battery that has the issue. 

How To Fix The Charging Issue 

When you connect your laptop to power, you usually hear a cheerful chirp from the laptop. The LED indicator lights and the display beam and perks up more brightly. It’s the least of the signals the laptop should give. 

However, at certain times you might plug your laptop- because the battery is almost drained. But you get no response.

No brightened screen display, no glowing lights and no battery charging icon. What could be wrong? 

There are several ways you can charge and take care of your laptop battery. But between the laptop and the power source, several parts and steps can go wrong. 

Some are not complex, and you can fix yourself like a new battery, power cord or software fix. Others may force you to visit a repair shop. 

Knowing what the exact issue is can save you hours of frustration. It will also help you save some dollars in repair. 

The inside–out approach will help you identify what causes the problem and find the cheapest available solution. So let’s make a deep dive into the issue. 

Plug-In Your Laptop

It sounds stupid. Though you need to ensure your laptop is plugged into the power source. No hardware repair or software tweak can make a laptop not well connected to a power source to power on. 

Therefore before you do anything, be certain that the laptop plugs and AC outlet are firmly connected.  Inspect the AC adapter brick to verify that the removable cables are well fitted. 

Ensure the battery is well fitted in its compartment. The laptop and battery contact points should also be okay.

Finally, inspect the laptop. To find out if the problem has anything to do with it. Plugin into different power outlets to find out if it’s a blown or short fuse.

If you are using a power strip or surge protector, take it out and plug it directly into the power source. 

To this point, if it does not charge, then it’s not the user error that is causing the issue. The laptop is having a real powering issue. 

You know you have to figure out where the problem is by eliminating where it isn’t. Let’s start with the most popular issues that are easy to address. 


Do a check-up on the integrity of your laptop battery. It’s much easier in laptops that have removable batteries. 

Take it out and drain any residual power from the laptop by holding down the power button for about 15 minutes. 

Without the battery, connect the laptop to a power source and turn on the laptop. If it properly turns on, the issue might be the laptop battery. You can re-install the laptop battery and try the process again. 

Maybe the problem is that it was poorly fitted. Some laptops do not have visible battery compartments like most macs. Open it up or visit a specialist shop to test the battery. 


It would be best if you were certain your charger is powerful enough for the laptop. The power adapter might perfectly fit the laptop’s charging port. But this does not necessarily mean it’s powerful enough to charge it. 

This can happen to any charger. However, it’s a common problem in laptops that use USB-C chargers. 

You can technically use any USB-PD charger, but they do not offer enough wattage to ensure proper charge. 

Check your laptop’s original charger wattage if the original charger was a 45W stick to a 45W charger. A charger with a higher wattage than the original wattage will power it. 

A lower wattage charger won’t do much. It might only keep the battery from draining while using it. It will not be able to charge it any higher. 

Some will not charge the laptop when it’s on. If it manages to charge, it might be much slower than usual. So, if you will be using a third-party charger, stick on one that has been certified by USB-IF.

If your laptop does not use a USB charger, it’s better to stick with the manufacturer’s original charger. 

The cheap, no-brand chargers are usually low quality and dangerous. If you use such, try changing and use the original manufacturer charger. 

Confirm the USB-C Port

Today the USB C is standard in most laptops and devices. Its common uses are charging the battery and transferring data. 

The USB-C has been adopted by most manufacturers who make thinner designs. 

Some laptops have specific USB-C ports for data only. They cannot charge the device. For example, Huawei Mate Book X Pro has two USB-C ports. One is dedicated to charging only, while the other one is for data transfer.   

In case you are experiencing the non-charging issue. Check to ensure you have connected the charger to the correct USB port. 

You can also see a little power icon on the side of the port. It indicates the port that is meant for charging. 

Burnout, Shorts and Breaks 

Checking out for these issues is easy. Feel along the power cord. Bend and flex it slowly to identify the places that have breaks and kinks. 

Look at the ends of the cable for any broken connections like loose and cut spots. Check if the AC brick is discoloured. 

The parts should not be expanded or wrapped. Sniff it for any possible smell of burnt plastic. It might be the problem. 

Check the Connector

When you connect the laptop to a power source, the connection should be solid. The connection won’t be clean in the case of dust and other build-ups in the power jack. 

Clean the jack using a toothpick or any other thing and plug it in again. In extreme cases, the jack can be loose or wobbly. This will be an indication that the jack is broken inside the chassis and needs repair. 

You’ll need to take it to a repair shop. But if you’re confident with your skills, you can open from home and do the fixing.  

Beat the Heat

It is common for batteries to overheat, and this might be the cause of the problem. The temperature rise will make the battery misfire. 

It will then communicate to the system that the battery is completely missing or full. This will certainly cause charging problems. 

The system might shut down to prevent overheating the battery.  Or it might not be able to charge when the laptop is on. The problem is prone in old models which have low-quality cooling systems. 

Check the Settings 

Windows Laptops

Let’s explore Windows 10. Click on the Start menu to open. Then search for “power and sleep settings.”

Open additional power settings. On the older versions of the window, you will have to open it through the Control Panel and look for power options. 

After opening the power options, go to change plan settings and check if everything is properly set. 

Be keen on any incorrect settings for display, battery and sleep options. The battery setting might be the main issue if you set the computer to shut down if the battery level drops. 

You can assign certain actions from the settings like shutdown and sleep when the laptop lid is closed. Note the change in setting might make you believe that your laptop is malfunctioning. 

But there might be no hardware or software damage. The best way to ensure the settings are okay is by restoring them to default. 


The power issue is quite common in laptops. The major causes of the issue are faulty battery and laptop charger.

In the article, we have given some possible solutions to the issues. However, if you try and the problem does not end, you should seek help from professional tech support. 

The issue might be uniquely particular to your laptop model. A professional will easily identify and fix the issue. Plus, the tech might help you through the above steps. 

The issue might be the software of hardware and specific to your configuration. 

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David Huner
David Huner
David Huner is a tech lover. After completing his graduation from the University Of Phoenix, he started gather his knowledge mostly on latest technologies that keeps his life smart and cool. Now he wants to spread his knowledge with people who loves technologies.

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