Does a Blinking Battery Light on a Laptop Mean the Charger Is Not Charging?

By David Weinberg

Most laptops use a series of lights to express the computer's state. Each light can typically have multiple states, such as on, off, slow blink or fast blink, and may also cycle through different colors. Each computer manufacturer uses its own codes to indicate the laptop's charging state, but there are similarities between manufacturers.

Charging Conventions

The majority of laptops will display a solid green, blue or purple battery light to indicate that the battery is fully charged. Most manufacturers indicate that a laptop is in the process of charging by displaying a solid or blinking green, orange, blue or purple light. If your battery indicator light is green, blue or purple, the battery is probably functional, regardless of whether the light is blinking. If the light is solid orange, the laptop is probably in the process of charging.

Battery Error Coneventions

Many battery manufacturers use rapidly blinking lights to indicate that a battery's charge level is low. In general, a laptop will rapidly blink orange or red when its charge drops below a certain level until the computer is plugged into a power outlet and charged. If your laptop's battery indicator continues to blink rapidly in orange or red or if it remains red even when it is plugged into the charger, it indicates a problem with your battery or the charger.

Windows Charge Indicator

If you are unsure of what your battery indicator light means, you can verify your computer's charging state in Windows. Look for the battery icon in the notification area of the taskbar. If the icon is displaying an electrical plug over the battery, it is currently charging or fully charged. If there is no electrical plug and your computer is plugged into the charger, there may be a problem with your charger or battery. Windows will display a red "X" over the battery icon when it detects a problem with your battery. Hold the mouse over the icon to view the current battery level and charge state. A tooltip will appear with information about the current charge level and charge state. Check the charge level frequently to verify that the laptop is charging while plugged in.

Power Reset

If your laptop's battery is not charging, you may be able to fix the problem by doing a full reset on your computer and removing the battery. Shut down your computer and unplug it from its charger. Follow the computer manufacturer's instructions for removing the battery. On some computers, you may need to hold the computer's power button for 30 seconds to reset the battery information. Plug in your computer, reinstall the battery and turn on your computer.

Battery Replacement

In time, some batteries lose their ability to gain or hold a charge. If your laptop's battery refuses to charge, even after removing and reinstalling it, you may need to purchase a replacement battery. If your laptop is still under warranty or if your computer manufacturer issued a recall on your computer's battery you may be able to get a new battery for free.