[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.


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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.


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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 Know If Your Laptop Battery Is The Problem

There are a few signs that may indicate that your laptop battery is the problem:

  1. Your laptop only works when it is plugged in. This is the most obvious sign that there may be an issue with your battery.
  1. Your laptop’s battery life is shorter than it used to be. If you notice that your laptop’s battery doesn’t last as long as it used to, this could be a sign of a problem.
  1. Your laptop won’t hold a charge. If you notice that your laptop won’t hold a charge for as long as it used to, this could also be a sign of a problem with the battery.
  1. Your laptop shuts down unexpectedly. If your laptop shuts down unexpectedly, even when it is plugged in, this could be a sign of a problem with the battery.

If you notice any of these signs, it is important to take your laptop to a qualified technician to have the battery checked out. A qualified technician will be able to tell you for sure if the battery is the problem and can also help you find a replacement if necessary.

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.
  1. Disconnect your charger.
  1. Disconnect or detach your battery (disconnect battery cable for inbuilt battery).
  1. Hold your power button for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
  1. Reconnect only your battery.
  1. Turn on your laptop while your charger is disconnected.

Method 2

  1. Turn off your laptop.
  1. Disconnect your charger and battery.
  1. Remove any USB peripherals from your laptop.
  1. Open the back of your laptop to reveal your motherboard.
  1. Eject your CMOS battery. (It looks like a coin).
  1. Press and hold your power button for 40 seconds.
  1. Reconnect your battery first and then connect your charger.
  1. Turn on your computer.

2. Uninstall/Reinstall Battery Drivers

Here’s how,

  1. Right-click on the windows logo and select device manager.
  1. Double click on battery to reveal a drop down.
  1. Uninstall everything inside the battery dropdown by right clicking on the first driver.
  1. Select uninstall device.
  1. When you see a pop up, click on uninstall.
  1. Perform the same action for the rest of the drivers under the battery dropdown.
  1. Once you are done uninstalling, restart your laptop.
  1. 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.
  1. Click on update & security.
  1. Click on any button on your screen that is related to downloading and installation of updates.

4. Replace The Battery

If your laptop only works when it is plugged in, then it is likely that the battery is not working properly. Replacing the battery is a relatively easy fix and can be done at home with just a few tools.

First, you will need to find a replacement battery that is compatible with your laptop. You can do this by looking up the model number of your laptop online or checking the owner’s manual. Once you have found a compatible battery, you will need to purchase it and make sure that you have all of the necessary tools.

Next, you will need to shut down your laptop and unplug it from any power source. Once it is completely powered off, you can begin disassembling the laptop. Start by removing the back panel and then locate the battery.

The battery will be attached to the motherboard with a few screws. Once you have located the screws, you can remove them and carefully pull out the old battery. Be careful not to damage any of the other components while you are doing this.

Once the old battery is removed, you can insert the new one into place and screw it in securely. Once the new battery is in place, you can reassemble the laptop and power it on. If everything goes well, your laptop should now work without being plugged in.

If your laptop still does not work after replacing the battery, then there may be another issue that needs to be addressed.

The Best Laptop Battery Replacements

There are many factors to consider when choosing the best replacement battery for your laptop.

The most important factor is compatibility; make sure to choose a replacement battery that is compatible with your specific laptop model. Other factors to keep in mind include capacity (mAh), discharge rate, and voltage.

To get the longest lifespan out of your replacement battery, it’s important to follow some basic tips:

  • Avoid letting the battery drain completely before recharging.
  • Store the battery in a cool and dry place.
  • Avoid exposing the battery to extreme temperatures.

With proper care, your replacement laptop battery can last for years.

Some of the best replacement batteries on the market include the APC Smart-UPS RT 5000VA Battery, the Lenovo ThinkPad Battery 68+, and the HP Envy 17-1011nr 8-Cell Battery.

All of these batteries offer high capacity, fast charging, and long lifespan. Choose the right replacement battery for your laptop and enjoy years of uninterrupted use.

Dangers Of Keeping Your Laptop Plugged In All The Time

One of the dangers of keeping your laptop plugged in all the time is that it can overheat. If your laptop overheats, it can damage the internal components and potentially cause a fire.

Another danger of keeping your laptop plugged in all the time is that it can shorten the battery life. The battery will degrade faster if it’s constantly plugged in, which means you’ll have to replace it more often.

Finally, leaving your laptop plugged in all the time can have a negative impact on your charger itself. The charger can become overloaded and stop working properly, which means you’ll have to buy a new one.

So, while there are some advantages to keeping your laptop plugged in all the time, there are also some significant dangers that you should be aware of. If you decide to do it, just be sure to monitor your laptop closely for any signs of overheating or other problems.

3 Major Causes Of Damage To Lithium Batteries

Lithium batteries are very good solid type of batteries but just like every other battery, they are prone to damages and below, we have pointed out some of the key areas.

These are the causes:


One is overcharging, which can happen if the battery is left plugged in for too long or if it’s charged with too high of a voltage. This can damage the cell structure and cause a loss of capacity.

Thermal Runaway

Another cause of damage is known as thermal runaway, which happens when the battery gets too hot.

This can be caused by overcharging, but also by things like exposure to high temperatures or using the battery in an environment that’s too hot.

Thermal runaway can lead to fires or explosions, so it’s important to be aware of this risk.

Physical Damage

Finally, physical damage can also cause problems for lithium batteries. If the cells are damaged, they may not work properly and could even catch fire.

So, it’s important to handle them carefully and to avoid dropping them or subjecting them to too much force.

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

There could be a few reasons why your laptop only works when the charger is plugged in.

One possibility is that there could be an issue with the battery itself. If the battery is not holding a charge or is not charging properly, then it would need to be plugged in to work.

Another possibility is that there could be an issue with the power adapter. If the power adapter is not providing enough power, then the laptop would need to be plugged in to work.

Finally, there could be an issue with the laptop itself. If there is a problem with the way the laptop is drawing power, then it would need to be plugged in to work.

Why does my laptop shut off when I unplug it?

One reason could be that your battery is not properly calibrated. To fix this, you can try recalibrating your battery by following these steps:

1. Plug in your laptop and let it charge until it reaches 100%

2. Once it reaches 100%, unplug your laptop and use it until the battery drains completely

3. Plug your laptop back in and let it charge until it reaches 100% again

4. Repeat this process a few times until your laptop no longer shuts off when you unplug it

Another reason why your laptop may be shutting off when you unplug it is because the power adapter is not working properly.

To fix this, you can try using a different power adapter or plugging your laptop into a different outlet. If neither of these solutions work, then you may need to replace your power adapter.

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

It could be a number of things. The first thing to try is plugging the charger into a different outlet to see if that makes a difference. If the charger itself is the problem, you can try using a different charger.

If neither of those work, then it’s possible that the battery is the issue. You can try removing the battery and then replacing it after a few minutes.

If that doesn’t work, then the next step would be to take the laptop to a computer repair shop to have them take a look at it.

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Solomon Omolabi is a seasoned IT professional with 10 years of industry expertise. As the owner of bestsoltips.com, he provides meticulously researched and comprehensive articles that effortlessly tackle any technical challenge. Solomon's contributions have earned him recognition on esteemed professional platforms, making him a trusted authority in resolving complex IT issues. Read more.

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