laptop does not charge unless turned off
laptop does not charge unless turned off

Just like the title suggests. There is a common problem that many people have encountered, and that is when they try to charge their laptop does not charge unless turned off. Sometimes for a few seconds, it would give you the impression that it is charging but then nothing. It also might indicate that it is charging but once you remove the charging plug, it shuts down the low battery. What is expected from you once you realize that your laptop only charges when it shuts down? Is this a normal behavior? What should your next step be? 

If you are looking for clarification or some suggestions, then you are in the right place.

The first thing you should know is that this is not normal behavior and you should take immediate actions to fix this issue before it evolves.

Let’s lay down some reasons regarding why your laptop might not be charging while it is on. If your laptop only charges when turned off then you most definitely must consider the following causes. After I give you the causes, I will explain to you their fixes.

1) Defective battery

The first thing that you should consider is that your battery might be defective (too old or simply damaged). You will notice that it needs more electricity than usual to charge. The thing is it won’t get this electricity when the laptop is on because the electric current is being diverted to run the laptop’s various operations. In other words, it will only charge when you shut down your laptop because the battery does not have to compete for the available power. For in this competition, the battery will not win.

If you have a removable battery, you can try removing it and switching the laptop on to test this theory. If your laptop resists working even when the charger is plugged in, then you should assume that it is not a battery problem, but rather a charger problem. So, you can continue testing the theory by placing the battery in another laptop to check its liability. If the battery works fine on the other laptop, then it is not its fault. But, If you don’t have another laptop to test this, and the first laptop is working just fine with the charger only. Then you have every reason to assume that there is something wrong with the battery solely. You should consult a professional in this case to either fix your battery or consider getting a new one.

2) Overheated Laptop

If your laptop usually overheats, then the heat might prevent the charger from delivering power to your laptop while it is on. Additionally, excessive heat is known to damage your battery and make your laptop run for a shorter time on the battery even when it is fully charged. Why is that? Because many laptops have lithium-ion batteries that can be affected severely by heat. The chemical reaction that happens within the battery caused because of heat will shorten the lifespan of your battery. With prolonged exposure to high heat, your battery might even reach a point where it is unusable. You can try cleaning the fan and fan grates. Damp a cloth in some rubbing alcohol to help you remove the dust from the fan grates. You can also try using a cooling pad to avoid going through this issue multiple times. Furthermore, you can also attempt to remove the battery and allow it to cool down at room temperature before trying to use it again.

3) Faulty Charger

As mentioned before, a defective charger can prevent a battery from charging properly while the laptop is on. That is because it cannot do both jobs at the time. It cannot charge the battery whilst keeping your laptop running. Not much of a multi-tasker. BUT, before blaming your charger for not working properly, you have to make sure that it is the appropriate one used. Let me tell you why; some laptops might decline cheap chargers. That is why you should always seek an original or high-end one.

How to fix a laptop that only charges when turned off

As mentioned before, the first thing you should do is to determine whether the issue is caused because of the battery or the charger. Once you have eliminated these two issues, we are going to look for alternative explanations.

First things first, you should check your settings. Maybe you have accidentally changed something in the settings. So, make sure you haven’t changed anything in the power options that force the laptop to only charge when turned off. If you do not really understand how your system works, better just restore the laptop’s default power options. Professionals usually suggest this answer to people who have tried everything regarding changing the settings with no luck.

If the issue is the battery or the charger, then replace it. But before you rush into buying a new one, you might consider adjusting the battery into its compartment. Make sure it is seated perfectly. The same goes for the charger. Check the connector for dust or debris that might prevent it from delivering a proper connection. Did it not work? Fine, go get a new one. While buying a new charger, make sure you buy a genuine brand or at least a brand that matches the manufacturer. Otherwise, your laptop might reject it.

Next, you need to fix the overheating issue. If you do not, it will keep encouraging the battery to malfunction. If you have tried cleaning the cooling vents and it did not work or you felt that it did not fix the issue entirely, then you should try replacing the fan altogether. If you are incapable of replacing the laptop fan immediately, you can attach external fans to help cool the laptop temporarily.

You should also check all drivers and make sure they are all up to date. You can check for common driver updates through Windows update and Mac’s Software Update. You can do that manually through the device manager.

On the other hand, if the issue lies within the motherboard or charging circuits, you will definitely need to seek a professional’s help. Depending on how major the issue is, the technician might actually encourage you to replace the motherboard entirely. The problem here is that motherboards are overpriced, that is why some people prefer buying new laptops.

How Long Does It Take for a Laptop to Charge While Turned Off?

It usually takes around 45-48 minutes. Some batteries will charge fully within even a short time, but that completely depends on the battery’s health. Batteries that are completely depleted will take much longer of course. The charging time won’t differ much if the laptop is on or off. The charging time will differ depending on the model of the laptop, the battery’s health, and the charger’s performance.

FAQs Of Laptop Does Not Charge Unless Turned Off

Should I leave my laptop plugged in all the time?

The question you should ask yourself is… Is that really healthy for my laptop?

There are actually lots of debates surrounding this topic and with good reason. If you are using the genuine manufacturer’s charger, then your laptop is safe. That is because most chargers are designed to stop charging once your laptop’s battery is full. But you should check if your laptop does that or not because if it does not this could lead to a shortened battery life.

Anyway, you should simply check your laptop’s user guide for better guidance on how to take care of its battery. Lastly, if you are using a third-party cord, then it would be safer to just unplug the charger once it fully charges the laptop.

Should I lose the charger?

Well, you might consider that. If your charger is not powerful enough, then that will be your first option. You need to keep in mind that just because the adapter fits your laptop, does not mean it is doing its job. You have to see the number of watts your laptop battery needs, and the number of watts your charger delivers. If there is a discrepancy, then you should be concerned.

Also, you should feel along the power cord. If you find bumps, bending, breaks, or loose spots as you go, then that is another sign for you to lose the charger.

When all your options and their solutions fail to help you save your battery, the problem will most likely be found inside the machine itself. Several internal parts can cause a malfunction or failure on the battery, but once it is fixed. Boom, you are good to go. If you are sure that the issue is internal, now is probably the best time to contact tech support. Do not try butchering your laptop at home and getting its insides out. The technician you will contact will be aware of the hardware and software issues they might encounter, and that is exactly what you want right now.