Laptop Only Works When Plugged In? Here’s How to Fix

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Laptop with it's charger

Introduction:

Are you struggling with the actual ‘portability’ of your laptop? In other words, you can’t take your laptop anywhere with you because the moment you take it off from the plug, it shuts down? If you’re facing the same situation, this article might be very helpful to you.

There are numerous reasons why a typical laptop behaves like this. Most of the users think it’s because of the conventional heating issues around them. And that’s why they tend to buy bigger cooling pads, ventilated laptop tables, etc. Well, it might be because of the heating issues, but to a certain extent.

However, there might be a situation when your laptop slows down when it gets unplugged, instead of shutting down. If that is the case, I would like you to read my extensive article on Laptop Performance Slow When Unplugged (Battery Mode)? by clicking here.

Anyhow, if the case is otherwise, there are a ton of other reasons which can cause your laptop to shut down when plugged off.

  1. The battery’s About to Die

One of the core reasons for this problem is your laptop’s dying battery. As we know, the laptop’s battery (in fact, any battery) comes with certain health. It is usually 100% when you buy it new and varies when buying used. 

So with the passage of time, depending upon the usage, the battery slowly depreciates. It loses its ultimate strength gradually and reaches a stage where it gets impossible to operate on its own. That’s when it requires an external energy source to substitute the power it once used to generate. And that’s when you have to replace your battery.

So in order to help you remove the battery properly, I have gathered my experience and will share it with you. You can follow them and make sure you do the thing properly.

  1. Take out the battery from your laptop. When its no longer in contact, press the power button for around 30 seconds to kill all the remaining power inside your laptop’s body.
  2. Now plug in the adapter onto your laptop’s body and press the power button. Your laptop will turn on, making sure that things are not wrong with your laptop. If it doesn’t, consult a technician.
  3. Now there’s a fine trick that when your laptop is up and running, insert the battery that time. It will eventually detect an external battery and will start running accordingly. 

However, it is compulsory to check the battery’s health yourself before replacing it and I’ll show you a way how to do it.

  1. Turn on your laptop and open the ‘Start Menu’
  2. On the search bar, type in ‘PowerShell’ and click on the ‘Windows PowerShell’ app that first appears in front of you.
  3. When everything works fine, type in ‘powercfg/batteryreport’
  4. Upon pressing enter, the app will generate a health report of your laptop’s battery. It will include all the necessary information related to it.
  5. Now head towards your user account’s directory (C:\Users [The Username]) to access your laptop’s battery health report. 
command prompt user interface

Alternative way

  1. Instead of using the PowerShell app, you can simply access the command prompt for this service. 
  2. On the search bar, type in ‘cmd’.
  3. You will see the first option of ‘Command Prompt’ with a small black screen on its left.
  4. Right Click on that option and run it as an administrator
  5. Now when you are accessing your laptop in the administrative mode, type powercfg/batteryreport.
  6. Press Enter to bring it to action.
  7. Now again, go to the same user’s directory, C:\Users [Your Username] to access the battery report. Look for ‘battery-report.html’ file to access the report. 

Now you might find this process quite tedious and exhausting. So without making things complicated, I can also recommend a few apps that will help you diagnose the health of your laptop’s battery at your fingertips.

  1. BatteryInfoView:

Batteryinfoview is software that delivers a lot of information about your laptop’s battery. The information is so precise that the app tells you about the manufacturer name, full charged capacity, voltage, running time of your battery, etc. 

Although these things don’t really matter in the context of what I’m discussing here. But maybe on a wild day, you might need this information… who knows.

  1. Battery Optimizer:

Battery Optimizer, on the other hand, seems a little less ‘informative’. But it doesn’t mean it delivers insufficient information. Everything you require as a new user is present without any complications. The interface is user-friendly and you will love exploring the app. Not only it will show your battery’s health, but it can also run diagnostics and tell what app(s) needs to be shut down. It’s a pretty good feature when you don’t have time to grind through every single useless app to shut it down. 

In short, It will lend you a helping hand in saving your laptop’s battery life.

Anyhow, if you have run the diagnostics and find out that the battery isn’t in a good shape, it’s time to ditch it off and get yourself a new one. Replacing a defective battery with a new one will most probably solve the laptop’s dependency on the power socket. 

2) Driver’s not Driving

Don’t get distracted by the heading. It’s just a fancy way of saying that your Windows’ driver isn’t accepting the battery’s power.

Although Windows 10 is one of the best and most optimized windows versions to date, there are certain flaws in it that can create such critical problems like this. Sometimes it tends to create a malfunction that can reject the power source coming from the battery.

The easiest way to overcome this situation is to reinstall the battery’s driver of your laptop. After that, it’ll start accepting your battery’s power and will no longer need the external power source to operate (but when charging the battery, of course).

Ripped cord of a laptop's charger
USB laptop cable on a desk The rubber sheath separated from the connector or the power-brick and the wire is frayed (or short) Would affect charging and sometimes smoldering.
  1. Ripped-Off Power Cord

Sometimes the things are out of order because of the simple cord of your laptop. It works when plugged in but somehow fails to charge the battery. This happens when you misplace the cord, handle it carelessly, or place it where you should avoid it

  1. Underpowered Charger

I once lost my laptop’s original charger somewhere in the house. Now to save the hustle, I went to the market to grab a new one. And it turned out to be a bad decision. The thing with that charger was it never charged the way my old one did. It took a good long time to even charge half of the battery. It was a complete frustration until I found the original one under the living room’s sofa.

So telling you this story reflects that you might be facing the same issue as mine. The aftermarket accessories are not as good as the ones inside the box. It can also turn bad and as bad as it couldn’t buff up the battery. The reason for it can be either it is a defective charger, or it is underpowered. 

  1. Cuts and Bruises

By this, I mean the exposed cuts, bends, damages on the cord or on the adapter. Look, your charger is not made out of jelly, it can harm itself if you’ll throw it carelessly. It will take damages, it will lose its protective cover and it will compromise on its efficiency if it does not receive its deserving care. 

But it’s not totally your fault. It can be your toddler or your pet that chewed out the sensitive part, thinking of it as some candy. It can be terribly caught between your drawer, or simply because your vacuum cleaner tried to suck it in, thinking of it as dust. 

Now after you’ve experienced something similar, you should better inspect your cord and adapter carefully. Look for any visible and observable cuts and exposures. See if there is any colour (s) fading away. Sniff it a bit to observe if any part is smelly. 

Here’s How to Fix the Errors:

  1. Replace the Faulty Battery

Anyhow, if you have run the diagnostics and find out that the battery isn’t in a good shape, it’s time to ditch it off and get yourself a new one. Replacing a defective battery with a new one will most probably solve the laptop’s dependency on the power socket. 

However, I will advise you always to get a new, pin-pack battery for your laptop. Choosing a used battery might have adverse effects on your laptop. So always prefer a brand new one for your laptop.

  1. Install the Correct Drivers on your Laptop:

So if you are still facing the issue, it might be because of the laptop’s software, and particularly, drivers. The drivers inside your laptop might be outdated that stopped receiving power from its battery. 

So in order to fix this issue, proceed with the following steps:

  1.  Head towards the Start Menu and type in ‘Device Manager’ in the search bar. 
  2. You will get a pop-up window that will state all the necessary components and their respective drivers. 
  3. Find the Batteries tab and click on it to reveal its drivers.
  4. You will now see the drivers installed in your laptop that helps drive the battery’s power to your laptop.
  5. These two drivers mainly consist of charger’s one and another for Microsoft ACPI Complaint Control Method Battery. Such a mouthful. Still, there can be other drivers to so you have to update them accordingly.
  6. Now right click on particular drivers and you will see a pop-up menu showing up. From there, select the option ‘Update Driver’
  7. By doing so, your laptop will connect to the internet and will download the latest updates available, if any. 

Once done, it will enable your laptop’s battery to function normally. Following these steps might help you regain your laptop’s battery power.

3) Get a fine set of adapters and cords:

As said earlier, a faulty cord or an underpowered charger can result in such an act. So to counter it, get a new, pin-pack, genuine, and an authorized set of cords and adapter for your laptop. People these days are making some good money by offering low-quality and compromised accessories for genuine laptops. Don’t fall in that trap and always do your proper homework before buying something worthwhile.

A technician fixing a laptop

4) A Certified Technician is your Guy

And when all hope seems lost, a qualified technician is your best buddy. Take this matter to the hands of a professional and ask them about the fault. It may turn the whole laptop upside down, but he will carefully inspect it and will let you know what the actual problem is. 

It can be due to some fault in the motherboard, a damaged charging slot, a misplaced charging pin, etc. So if none of the mantras is working, it’s better to let a professional handle the situation. 

To see and calculate how much it will cost to repair your laptop’s battery, I’ll link my detailed article on How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Laptop Battery in 2022? You can access it by clicking here.

Conclusion:

As a final verdict, I would like to finish it by telling you that it’s not an uncommon issue. Many people face this problem every day where they are endlessly hooked near their electric socket because of this problem. So if it came upon you, no big deal.

 If the problem is small and can be fixed easily, my article will help you tremendously. I have listed the very main issues along with their solutions. However, if you feel things are complicated, always consider going for a professional. Hope this article will help you just like it did a good number of people, just like you.

Now when you are going good and enjoying your fixed battery issue, the next step is to maintain its performance. And for that, I’ll link my article on 7 Proven and Easiest Ways to Increase Laptop’s Battery Life. You can read that detailed article by clicking here.

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