A laptop is an essential part of anyone’s work process, and suffice it to say that most people would not achieve maximum productivity without it. The main benefit of a laptop is that it can allow you to work wherever and whenever you want, thanks to its rechargeable battery, which makes the charger an essential aspect of your workstation. The problem is, sometimes you might not be able to rely on your charger.
There is a wide range of scenarios in which such a thing might occur. For example, you might be out in the wilderness, far away from a reliable power source. Alternatively, you might have damaged your charger for one reason or another, and that means you would need to search for a substitute that can charge it just as effectively. Whatever the case may be, the fact remains that you need several ways to charge your laptop without a charger so that you are prepared for all possible eventualities. We have outlined ten diverse charging methods below, none of which require a standard laptop charger.
Top 10 Laptop Charging Methods That Don’t Need a Charger
- Power Bank
Power banks are often associated with smartphones, but did you know that they can also charge laptops? Certain factors will have to be taken into consideration, of course, such as amperage and voltage. Suffice it to say that you can’t charge your laptop with a power bank designed for smartphones. Instead, you would need to purchase one specially made for laptops and other high-powered devices.
Another factor to consider is the type of cable you might be using. Some laptops use a USB Type-C charger, and you can charge your machine with virtually any power bank if that’s the case. A Type-C charger can modulate voltage far more effectively than a standard charging cable, which means you can charge your laptop effectively with a traditional power bank. However, you should bear in mind that it might take a while to charge fully. Laptop-specific power banks can charge your computer far more quickly, though.
- Car Battery
All you need to charge your laptop is a source of electricity and a way to send that electricity into your laptop battery. A car battery is an excellent source of electricity, and it can come in handy if you don’t have any other power supply that you can use. That said, we don’t recommend that you hook your laptop up to your car battery directly. Instead, use a power inverter to plug it into the cigarette lighter.
Most cars have cigarette lighters, even though they’re not used to light cigarettes anymore. They’re still connected to your car battery, though, which means they can charge your laptop too. A power inverter can convert your car’s direct current into an alternating current that’s compatible with your laptop battery. While a power inverter can be pretty bulky, we find that it’s an effective tool for when you don’t have a laptop charger.
One potential downside is that laptops don’t regulate incoming voltage, so there is a chance that this method could damage your battery. That’s not something you’d be worried about in an emergency, though, so this method can be helpful.
- Spare Battery
If you don’t have a power supply that you can connect to, you might need to bring a spare battery along. Once your initial battery starts to die, remove it and replace it with the spare. That will allow you to keep working for as long as the replacement battery lasts. Make sure you power your device off before removing your battery, though. Battery removal can cause a sudden shutdown, which can corrupt your BIOS and cause certain hardware malfunctions.
One thing to make sure of is that your spare battery is designed for your laptop. Every laptop has a unique battery assigned to it, and using a different battery could blow your integrated circuit.
- USB Type-C Adapter
Newer laptops have USB Type-C charging ports, which simplifies matters if you don’t have your laptop charger. That’s because you can use a Type-C adapter instead. You can plug these adapters directly into a wall socket and charge your laptop battery. One significant benefit of this charging method is that it works for all laptops that use USB Type-C.
This new form of USB is meant to facilitate fast charging, and it also turns every USB port into a charging port. Hence, even if you don’t have the specific charger that came with your laptop, you can still use a standard USB Type-C adapter to get the job done. An added advantage is that USB Type-C charges your laptop quite intelligently because it can detect charging issues such as temperature fluctuations. That makes this one of the safest alternative charging methods for when your main charger is broken or missing.
- External Charger
Sometimes you might not be able to use your laptop charger even if it’s right next to you, such as if you have broken your charging port. Charging your laptop battery externally can be significant in these types of situations. It can also be helpful if you can’t find your charger or if it has stopped working correctly. An external battery charger can replenish your battery’s power supply directly without going through the power socket.
You need to remove your battery to use this method and hook it up to the external charger. One benefit of using this method is that it can make your spare battery more effective. You can replace your main battery with the spare and put the former on charge while the latter keeps your workflow going. Once the spare is out of charge, the external charger would have fully recharged your main battery, and you can take the reserve out and put the original back in.
Some phones have potent batteries, which means that you can use them as makeshift power banks. You obviously can’t expect a smartphone to charge your laptop for very long, but the thirty-odd minutes of charging it can provide can prove crucial. Remember, thirty minutes of charging can keep your computer running for at least forty-five minutes to an hour, so this is an excellent method in desperate situations.
One tool that you would need to make this method work is a USB Type-C cable. Your phone needs to have a Type-C charging port, and so does your laptop. If both of these conditions are met, you can connect your computer to your smartphone with a Type-C cable. Needless to say, this will drain your smartphone battery quite quickly, so you should decide whether your laptop is more important or your phone at that moment.
- Universal Adapter
Sometimes the problem isn’t the lack of a power supply, it’s that you have forgotten or misplaced your charger. In situations like this, all you need is a way to connect the existing power supply to your machine, and a universal adapter can work wonders here. It comes with a number of different pins, and is particularly useful if you have an older model. Older laptop designs feature charging pins that aren’t common nowadays, so a universal adapter is great because it keeps you powered up despite your lack of a charger.
One thing to note is that universal adapters can sometimes damage your battery. That’s because they don’t modulate voltage effectively, so proceed with caution if you want to use this method. Remember, the methods we are outlining here are meant for extreme situations, and if you absolutely need your laptop to keep running you might be willing to risk the small chance of battery failure to get the job done.
HDMI cables are usually used to connect your laptop to a TV screen, but they can also help you charge your battery. Once again, a USB Type-C cable is necessary here. If you haven’t already noticed, Type-C cables help make your laptop much more versatile from a charging perspective, and the same goes for this method.
To charge your laptop with an HDMI cable, you must connect one end to a TV and the other end to your computer. The end of the cable connecting to your laptop needs to be USB Type-C, of course. Once you have made the connection, your computer will start drawing power from the TV.
- Another Laptop
A frequent reason you cannot use your charger is a damaged charging port, and several solutions can make this less of an issue. We have already discussed using a spare battery and charging it externally, but this method helps you avoid buying an external charger.
Instead, you can take your dead battery from your laptop and put it into a different laptop. As long as both laptops are of similar make and model, there should be no problems in this regard. Once the battery is in the other laptop, you can connect its charger and replenish it as usual. The spare laptop likely won’t have the same damaged charging port as your main machine, so you can replenish your battery life and potentially use an extra battery too to keep your workflow constant.
- Solar Charger
Using the power of the sun to charge your laptop might sound futuristic, but it’s becoming increasingly commonplace as the years go by. Nowadays, you can buy a solar laptop charger from various stores, and the main advantage of this method is that it frees you from your dependence on grid supply.
All you need to charge your laptop with a solar charger is sunlight. That might be limiting because you can’t charge your machine at night, but if you get your timings right, you can get your battery fully charged so that you can continue using your laptop well after the sun has set. You can also buy power banks that operate using sunlight instead of a USB connection to a power source. We feel that this is an excellent method for people on the go because you can’t always rely on there being a power source down the road. It also works for camping trips where you don’t want to bring a regular charger.
Q. What chargers can I use with my laptop?
A. There are a couple of factors to consider here. The first of these is pin size. Different laptops have differently sized charging ports, and you need to make sure that whatever you are using has the correct pin size; otherwise, it might not fit. Secondly, take voltage into account. Check what the voltage of your standard charger is and try to find an alternative with the same. Excess voltage can damage your battery or IC, so it’s essential to exercise caution here.
Q. Can I charge my laptop without a power source?
A. Most chargers will need a supply of electricity to recharge your laptop battery. However, there are a couple of ways for you to charge your laptop without electricity too. Power banks and solar chargers are options that can help you keep your computer running while you’re off-grid. A car battery is an alternative power source that can come in handy in a pinch too.
Laptops these days have pretty impressive battery lives, but eventually, your battery will run dry. Not having a charger in this scenario can be relatively stress-inducing, so you must plan for every contingency by preparing yourself with alternative charging methods. The variety of techniques that we have provided above will come in handy in all kinds of situations. The key here is to understand the mechanism that powers your laptop and recognize the various ways in which you can keep it running smoothly even if you don’t have a charger on hand.