How To Solve Laptop Plugged in But Not Charging

Having a laptop means that you can enjoy the freedom of using it in the living room, bedroom, balcony, or pretty much anywhere you want.

This is only possible if your laptop’s battery is working perfectly and holds a charge for long. 

Unfortunately, laptop owners always encounter problems with their batteries and chargers as well. One of the most common problems is a laptop failing to charge, yet it is plugged in.

We’ve been receiving the question ‘why is my laptop plugged in but not charging’ so many times that we decided to address it.

We are pretty sure you are here for the same reason.

Before I help you solve this problem, it is only fair that we help you understand why the issue of the laptop plugged in but not charging arises. 

Why is My Laptop Plugged in But Not Charging?

If you are constantly getting the error ‘plugged in, not charging,’ then the problem can be attributed to one of the following reasons:

Faulty charger

Sometimes the problem of your laptop not charging correctly can be caused by a damaged charger. If the charging cable has a problem, the laptop will not recognize the charger as genuine.

For your information, most modern laptop charging cables have been fitted with a thin third wire whose job is to verify if the charger is powerful enough.

This wire serves as a data wire that communicates with the laptop in case there is a problem.

So, if your laptop says plugged in but not charging, there is a possibility that your charger is faulty.

Old or Bloated Battery

Laptop batteries have a limited number of charge cycles before they start giving you problems. In most cases, it is usually around 400 charge cycles.

So, if your battery is one, two or three years old and you are encountering the ‘not charging’ error, the chances are that it has been depleted.

Bloated Battery
Bloated Battery

The might also be the case of the battery being bloated which can interfere with the charging process.

Aftermarket Adapters

Some modern laptops have been designed in such a way that they can only work with a proprietary charger. What does this mean?

The laptop won’t charge if you are using an aftermarket adapter. It does not matter whether the adapter has enough amperage or not; it just won’t work. 

The motherboard of such a laptop communicates directly with a small chip on the adapter.

So, if it sends communication signals across to the adapter, and it fails to get a response from the chip, it will not charge.

Aftermarket Adapter
Aftermarket Adapter

The other possibility is that you are using an adapter with lower amperage. This means that the power won’t be enough to charge the battery and run the laptop.

If this is the case, then you are likely to get the ‘plugged in, not charging’ error message. The only solution is to switch off the laptop and allow it to charge overnight.

Hot Adapter

Leaving your laptop charger plugged in the socket for too long might cause it to heat up around the adapter.

If the power adapter becomes too hot, then the laptop might stop charging automatically. This response happens to prevent further damage to your adapter. 

You might consider switching off the power socket to allow the adapter to cool down. If that was the problem, it should start charging again once you turn on the power socket.

Software Malfunction

Software malfunction might be yet another reason why your laptop battery is not charging.

Although Windows has been programmed to be a self-sufficient operating system, it can miss certain things during its regular updates.

If this happens regularly, some of your computer’s drivers might age out and force your laptop to reject the AC adapter’s power.

Most people might not suspect outdated battery drivers as the root cause of the problem.

However, the truth is that corrupt drivers might be the reason behind your battery, not charging. The only solution is to uninstall and reinstall them.

Of course, I am going to walk you through how to do that later in the post.

How Do I Fix My Laptop Plugged In But Not Charging?

Now that you know some of the reasons why your battery is not charging even when plugged in, it is only fair that I teach you how to fix it.

Failure to fix this problem means that you will be stuck with a dead laptop or a laptop as a desktop. 

Laptop Plugged In But Not Charging Fix

Is there anything to worry about if your laptop is plugged in but not charging? Probably not! In most cases, solving this problem should be a walk in the park if you know a few methods on how to do it. So, without further ado, let’s get right into it.

Restart Your Laptop

In some instances, your computer might undergo a lack of synchronization between the charger and laptop, thus failing to charge even when plugged in.

If that’s the case, the problem might be solved by unplugging the charger and restarting the laptop. It should work most of the time, especially if the error were due to the lack of synchronization. 

Plug-In & Unplug Your AC Charger

The other simple trick that might work for you if the laptop is plugged in and not charging is, unplugging the AC charger and allowing it to sit for a minute or so.

This allows the charger and battery to realign before plugging back the charger once more.

Uninstall & Reinstall Battery Drivers

If none of the above methods works for you, you might want to reinstall the battery and adapter drivers.

Before you do so, make sure you uninstall them because they might be the reason why your battery is not charging even when plugged in.

Follow the steps below to ensure that you are doing it correctly:

1. Plugin your charger and open the start menu for Windows 10.

Start Menu Settings
Start Menu Settings

2. Once open, click the settings icon and type “device manager” and click the result to open the device manager window.

Device Manager
Device Manager

3. Once done, click on batteries and wait for this setting to expand. Now right-click on Microsoft AC adapter and select “uninstall device.” Please do the same for Microsoft ACPI Compliant Control Method Battery to uninstall the drivers.

Device Manager
Device Manager

4. After you are done with uninstallation, wait for 20 seconds, unplug the charger, and remove the battery.

5. Wait for another 20 seconds to insert the battery and plug in the ac charger. Switch on your laptop and head over to the device manager. Click on “scan for hardware changes” and wait until you are prompted to reinstall the battery drivers.

Scan For Hardware Changes
Scan For Hardware Changes

6. Click the reinstall option and restart your laptop once the battery drivers have been reinstalled. This method should do the trick, and your laptop should start charging again.

Disable The Battery Drivers

I have been using this method for my laptop, and it works every time. So, instead of uninstalling the battery drivers, you’ll choose the disable option.

Unplug the charger and leave the drivers disabled for about ten minutes.

Disable Battery Drivers
Disable Battery Drivers

Lose The Battery

Sometimes a bad battery might be the cause of your problem. You’ll need to check the integrity of the battery to know where the issue lies. So, here is what you should do:

  1. Remove the battery if your laptop allows it. Long press the power button for up to 15 seconds to drain any residual power left. Now plug in the charger with the battery still removed and turn the laptop on.
  2. If the laptop powers on, then you should know that the charger is fine, and the problem is most likely in the battery. In most cases, I recommend reinstalling the battery and trying again because you never know whether the battery was just poorly seated in its compartment. 

PS: Do not attempt to remove the battery from your mac or any laptop that does not have a visible battery compartment. The best option is to take it to a specialist to test the battery for you.

Replace Battery/ Charger

If you have tried all the above methods and none seems to work, then you should consider changing your battery or charger.

But before you do so, find out whether it is the battery or charger that needs replacing. You can borrow your friend’s charger and test it out; if it works, then your charger is the problem, and you should replace it.

Make sure you do the same for your laptop’s battery.

Seek Professional Help

Sometimes the problem lies deeper in the motherboard or charging system. Your laptop might be having unique issues that you can solve by yourself.

If this is the case, you should visit your local computer repair shop, and a specialist will help you solve the problem.

Final Thoughts

Fixing a laptop that is plugged in but not charging should be easy if you use any of the methods we’ve discussed. That’s it on how to solve why your laptop is plugged in but not charging.


As a lover of technology. Kelvin spends most of his tinkering with stuff and keeping up to date with the latest gadgets and tech.

Leave a comment

Get our Free eBook When You Signup

Our ebook contains everything you need to know about laptops. It only takes 15 minutes or less to read! Also, get the latest updates in tech.