[SOLVED] laptop only works when plugged in

Are you also facing the same problem whereby your laptop only works when plugged in? If your answer is yes, I’m glad you found this article because i have compiled a list of solutions below that will solve your problem especially if you are using a Dell, HP, Acer, Lenovo, Toshiba and MSI laptop.

The first time you noticed your computer not turning on unless you plugged in your charger, you may have wondered what was really going on with your laptop and how this problem managed to develop.

Since your laptop is unable to come on or stay awake without a charger plugged in to it, it means your laptop is having issues getting power from its battery as long as it is charged.

In this article, you will learn the reasons why your laptop works only when it’s plugged in and how you can fix it easily.

Reasons why Your laptop only works when plugged in

1. Corrupted Driver

Drivers play an important role for it’s specific hardware to work properly. If a driver is not properly installed, corrupted or uninstalled, the hardware won’t work properly.

In this particular situation about your laptop only staying on when plugged in, the driver you would need to inspect properly is your battery driver. There’s a chance that it could have been corrupted, uninstalled or not properly installed.

To inspect your battery just to be sure your drivers aren’t the cause of the problem, you would have to uninstall and reinstall all your battery drivers. You can learn how to do this with the solutions below.

2. Battery isn’t properly Connected

Your battery is the secondary power source for your computer after its plugged in charger and if your laptop refuses to turn on without a charger, it means you might have issues with your battery.

In this situation, you need to inspect your battery to determine if it is sitting right. If your laptop is using a removable battery, you should remove it and clean it up with a clean cloth and then reinsert it back in to see if your laptop comes on.

If your laptop is using a non removable battery, you will have to go through the extra step of unscrewing and taking out the back cover of your laptop to look for the cable connecting your battery to your motherboard. Once you find that cable, detach it and reattach it properly.

3. Low Battery

Remember, your laptop battery is the key suspect here and we have to consider every possibility. In this instance, you may have a low battery all along.

It’s completely normal for your laptop battery to be completely dead without you being aware of it. This can happen when you leave your laptop in idle, sleep or hibernation for too long.

There’s a chance your battery is completely drained and needs some time to charge before turning it back on. My advice for you is to turn off your laptop and try to charge your laptop for up to 30 minutes to 1 hour before turning it back on.

4. Wrong Power Settings

Power settings or power plans on your laptop are set to optimize your laptops’ battery in response to how you want your laptop to perform. There are three power settings on your laptop:

  • Balanced
  • Power Saver
  • High Performance

Each of these power plans has its own optimization settings dedicated to increase or decrease the performance of your laptop with the aim of either decreasing or increasing battery life.

The point is, changing from one power plan to the other must have conflicted things resulting in why your laptop isn’t recognising your battery.

So, if you changed your power plan recently, you should try testing all three power plans to see if any of the plans detects your battery power. Check the solutions below to see how you can do this properly.

5. Windows Update

Windows update is one of the primary culprits for causing problems on laptops. When Microsoft releases an update, there are chances that the update could come along with some bugs.

With the current situation you are facing, there are chances that your laptop updated automatically and has probably messed with your battery drivers. A simple uninstall, reinstall or rolling back to the previous battery driver should resolve this problem. Check below for solutions.

How To Fix A laptop That only works when plugged in

Here’s how,

1. Hold Down Your Power Button

By holding your power button, you will completely drain all the power from your laptop in order to remove any settings left on your laptop. To achieve this will require 2 methods. Make sure you try all the methods below to see which would work for you.

Method 1

1. Turn off your laptop.

2. Disconnect your charger.

3. Disconnect or detach your battery (disconnect battery cable for inbuilt battery).

4. Hold your power button for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

5. Reconnect only your battery.

6. Turn on your laptop while your charger is disconnected.

Method 2

1. Turn off your laptop.

2. Disconnect your charger and battery.

3. Remove any USB peripherals from your laptop.

4. Open the back of your laptop to reveal your motherboard.

5. Eject your CMOS battery. (It looks like a coin).

6. Press and hold your power button for 40 seconds.

7. Reconnect your battery first and then connect your charger.

8. Turn on your computer.

2. Uninstall/Reinstall Battery Drivers

Here’s how,

1. Right-click on the windows logo and select device manager.

2. Double click on battery to reveal a drop down.

3. Uninstall everything inside the battery dropdown by right clicking on the first driver.

4. Select uninstall device.

5. When you see a pop up, click on uninstall.

6. Perform the same action for the rest of the drivers under the battery dropdown.

7. Once you are done uninstalling, restart your laptop.

8. Your drivers will be reinstalled immediately after your computer restarts.

3. Update Windows

There’s a possibility that the current version of Windows your laptop is using might have some issues and be missing out on the newest version that is capable of fixing your problem overall. You can easily detect this when your laptop only works when plugged in. So, why not update your windows to see if this might work for you.

Here’s how,

1. Enter the following command on your keyboard to open windows settings.

2. Click on update & security.

3. Click on any button on your screen that is related to downloading and installation of updates.


Why does my laptop only work when the charger is plugged in?

Your laptop only works when your charger is plugged in because your battery is not providing any source of power to your laptop which should indicate to you that you may have a dead or damaged battery.

Why does my laptop shut off when I unplug it?

Your laptop will shut off when you unplug it because your laptop is getting its source of power from your charger and not from your battery. You should inspect your battery closely to check for damages or improper connection.

How do you fix a laptop that won’t turn on without a charger?

To fix your laptop that won’t turn on without a charger, you would have to drain all the power from your laptop by resetting the CMOS battery. You can also fix it by uninstalling and reinstalling your battery drivers.

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