This is one of the more common issues I come across on a day to day basis and there are many reasons that the laptop may not be charging the battery. We are going to look at the top 5 reasons.
Note that some of these solutions involve dismantling your laptop. If you are not comfortable working on your laptop you are best to take it to a repair technician.
1. Faulty/Dead Battery
Most laptops are designed to run on AC power only (the power adapter) but there are a few laptops out there that will not run without a battery. If your battery is completely dead then it may be that the laptop is not detecting a battery as present. The solution would be to try another battery to see if it resolves the issue.
2. Laptop boots but then battery is not charging
This is quite a common occurrence. I have found in my experience this tends to be more an issue with dell and HP computers but it is also found on other models. You may find that when you have the computer running that the battery is not charging. This can be caused by 3 things.
First you could have a faulty battery that is taking more charge then the power adapter can supply. Secondly it could be that the adapter is starting to go faulty and is not providing enough voltage to both charge the battery and run the laptop. What you will find is that if you power the laptop off the battery will charge as normal. You can try putting a Multimeter on the AC adapter to see if it is giving out the voltage on the sticker. If it is under voltage you will need to replace the adapter. You can also try a spare battery to rule out the battery as the cause.
The final reason is a problem or fault with the motherboard not distributing the power correctly. If this is the cause in most cases it is not economical to repair the laptop as it is likely the main board needs to be replaced.
3. Battery not connecting correctly
There are cases where the battery may not be connecting properly with the pins of the laptop. Most laptops have switches near the back to lock the battery into place. Ensure these are in the locked position. Take the battery out and then put it back in again.
Also ensure that your battery is flush to the laptop case there should not be any real gap between the battery and the laptop (a couple of mm`s at most)
4. Faulty adapter
Laptop power adaptors do go faulty more often than people think and are one of the main causes of a laptop not charging correctly and this is across all models including Toshiba, HP, Sony and Dell. They tend to go faulty in one of 2 ways.
The first thing to look at is the connector on the adapter. Most have a pin on the inside and if the pin is bent or damaged in any way it will not make a connection with the DC jack on the inside of the laptop. You may notice that the battery charges if you wiggle the connector.
Sometimes if the adapter has had a hard life and has been pushed too hard the pin may snap or short killing the adapter.
The second thing that happens with adapters is that the transformer in the big box dies. You can often tell there is a problem with the transformer by putting your ear to the box when it’s on. If you hear a loud buzzing then the chances are the adapter slowly packing in. This is not a fool proof method of testing the adapter but it’s a good indication. You should always test it with a Multimeter to be sure.
You can pick up a Universal Laptop Adapter pretty cheap nowadays
5. Damaged DC Jack on laptop
The DC jack is the part you plug your adapter in on your laptop. It is quite common for these to go especially if the adapter is put in and out often. I find this is the cause for a laptop not charging in about 50% of the laptops I look at. It can also become damaged if:
- It is dropped
- It is shorted
- If the adapter is pushed too hard
- It is bent when the adapter is in
The DC jack is either soldered to the main board or is connected via a cable assembly (No soldering needed)
If the jack is connected via a cable assembly then it does make the job a little easier as you do not have to do any soldering on your laptops main board but you still have to take the laptop apart. If you are not comfortable with taking your laptop apart then it may be best to take it to a repair shop.
If the DC jack is soldered to the main board it is usually soldered by 4-7 pins. You will have to de-solder the original socket and replace it with a new socket. If you have no experience of using a soldering iron you should definitely take it to a repair shop.
Usually you can find the DC jack for your laptop by typing your computer model number followed by the words DC jack into Google. Alternatively if it is a cable assembly they usually have a part number on them.
There are other reasons for your laptop not charging or booting but these are the most common reasons I have come across.