How to Charge a Laptop Battery Without a Charger

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There's nothing worse than losing your laptop's power cord. Even if you can afford a replacement cord, you may have to special order it, which could take more than a day or so. Fortunately, there are a few hacks that may be able to help you charge your laptop's battery without the charger that came with it.

Charge Laptop With USB

The first question people usually ask when looking for alternative ways to charge a laptop is whether they can use the USB port. Unfortunately, the USB port is for providing charges to connected resources, such as a phone, or pulling information in, such as pictures and files.

However, in recent years, a technology called USB Type C has offered alternative ways to charge a laptop. But you'll need a USB-C charger, which may not be any easier than purchasing a new power cord. Still, you can find them at electronics retailers or online if you're up for trying. First, though, you'll need to make sure your laptop has USB-C charging capabilities. The newer 13" MacBook Pro, Dell XPS 13 and Asus Chromebook Flip C302 all offer USB-C charging capabilities.

Use a Universal Power Adapter

If the option to charge laptop with USB is off the table, a universal power adapter may do the trick. There are two things to note before you do this, though. Although a universal power adapter isn't exactly a homemade laptop charger solution, it can be just as dangerous. Your laptop's manufacturer builds its laptops to go with the power adapter, so going around that can be a safety risk to either you or the laptop. Also, universal adapters aren't exactly universal, so you'll need to make sure the adapter you choose works with the laptop you have.

Universal adapters offer alternative ways to charge a laptop, but they only support specific models. You could find the one you buy is built for Chromebooks, HP laptops and Dell laptops, but not your specific model. Even if you can find one that fits your laptop, though, read the reviews and make sure customers aren't reporting that it doesn't work or it stops working after a while.

Use an Air Adapter

Some laptop models can connect to universal chargers built for use in the car or on an airplane. One problem with this not-so-homemade laptop charger solution is that you'll have to actually be running your car to use it. Like when you charge a laptop with USB cord, though, you'll need to make sure the universal adapter you use actually works with your laptop.

As with any nonstandard or homemade laptop charger solution, though, you'll need to check to make sure the car charger you choose works as promised. Most car chargers are designed to work with your power cord, so you'll need to search until you find one that charges your laptop without one.