My Laptop Says "Plugged in But Not Charging"

By Adele Eliot

When your laptop is running out of power but doesn't seem to be charging from the AC adaptor, this can be frustrating. After all, they're supposed to be portable and having to keep them attached to the wall limits where you can use them. Several factors might cause your laptop to stop charging properly, but you can fix the problem by resetting your battery manager or updating your software.

AC Adaptor

If your laptop indicates that it's plugged in but the battery isn't charging, this could indicate a problem with the AC adaptor. Some adaptors have a light that comes on when they're charging a laptop, so if you can't see this, no power is coming through the adaptor. Check that the adaptor is firmly plugged into the wall outlet and that the other end is attached to your laptop properly. If possible, you can also check the adaptor by plugging it into another machine.


A problem with the computer's battery manager or the battery itself could prevent the battery from charging when plugged in. To reset the battery manager, disconnect the AC, turn your computer off, take out the battery, reconnect the AC and turn your computer on again without the battery installed. Wait for the computer to boot and then uninstall the battery manager, even if you only have one. Shutdown the computer, disconnect the AC, reinsert the battery, and then reconnect the AC and turn the computer back on.


Out-of-date BIOS software could cause your computer say that the battery isn't charging from the AC adapter when actually it is. You can tell whether this is the problem by accessing your power plan settings and seeing whether your computer is being charged by the battery or by the AC adaptor. The BIOS is a piece of software that checks and controls the hardware components in your computer. Download the laptop manufacturer's latest BIOS software update to rectify the problem.


To prevent the battery from becoming faulty or failing, don't overheat your computer. Always use it in a well-ventilated area, placing it on a hard surface in a position where the fan vents are clear. Also check these vents every month or so to make sure they're clear of dust and dirt. If you use your laptop on uneven or fabric surfaces, or allow debris to build up in the vents, this could cause overheating, which could damage the battery and motherboard.