HP TouchPad Not Charging? Don’t Worry, It’s Probably Not Bricked!

Christian Cawley 05-12-2012

hp touchpad brickedThe HP TouchPad is a remarkable piece of kit. This tablet computer with its dual core CPU was released with a buggy version of the webOS operating system back in mid-2011 and failed to capture the imagination of app developers, leading to HP dropping the device within weeks of its launch.


The ensuing firesale resulted in tablets being picked up brand new for under $100 on both sides of the Atlantic and ensured that this powerful tablet (with a spec not far removed from that of the iPad) found an audience (many of whom were keen to install Android Backup, Restore, And Update Android On The HP TouchPad While webOS has a slick and pleasing user interface, the platform is sadly lacking in applications. As time progresses, developments to the drivers for these devices will result in a fully functioning Ice Cream Sandwich... Read More once a port was made).

It’s a hardy device that holds its battery well – but there are certain things that you need to do to ensure that this remains the case. One false move (or twist…) and your TouchPad might seem to be bricked.

For more tips about dealing with problems concerning the HP TouchPad The User's Guide To HP TouchPad Featuring the webOS operating system, the TouchPad offers a user interface that is polished, attractive and–most importantly–easy to use. Read More , please see my previous guide 5 Little Known Ways To Troubleshoot The HP TouchPad Like all pieces of hardware, however, there are occasional problems with the HP TouchPad. This might be due to running an application that requires too much RAM, or it might be because your tablet is... Read More .

Looking After Your Cable

The HP TouchPad requires – nay, demands – that you charge it only with the shipped adapter and USB cable. This can prove frustrating at times, and the power supplied by alternative cables is quickly detected as “wrong” by the device (regardless of operating system) resulting in a “telling off”.

hp touchpad bricked


You should strive to keep the cable free of kinks, wrapping it up carefully whenever you’re in transit. If your original HP charger and cable aren’t available, charging from a PC is possible but much slower and a full charge will not be reached; however, this option is open.

For the best results in the absence of the genuine HP charger, you should take steps to purchase a HP replacement device.

No Charge? Reset!

Occasionally, charging the HP TouchPad will not be possible, perhaps resulting in the device battery discharging completely and the tablet unable to start.

It isn’t a good idea to let this happen, wherever possible, as recharging can take quite a while. If you have connected your HP Touchpad to the charger only to find that a charging symbol is perpetually displayed, you will probably need to reset the tablet.


This is done by holding the power and home buttons at the same time for around 15 seconds. During this time, the tablet should shut down, restart and then boot into the installed operating system – albeit with a very low charge.

That’s usually what happens, anyway…

Help! My HP TouchPad Won’t Charge!!!

It doesn’t always happen like this, however; from time to time, you might find that the TouchPad refuses to charge, and won’t respond to the reset command as described above.

Before you head to the webOS support forums in a panic only to be told that you have to send your tablet back to the manufacturer (not a great idea, under the circumstances) there is still time for a level head. You see, unless your battery is broken (pretty unlikely in my experience) then what you need to do is unplug your HP TouchPad and remove the adaptor from the mains.


This barrel-shaped device has a twist-and-lock feature for switching plugs (after all, we use different connectors in different countries) and this can become slightly untwisted over time. The result of this is that your HP TouchPad receives a small charge, but not enough to recharge the battery.

bricked hp touchpad

Should this happen, don’t worry. All you need to do is untwist the adaptor attachment, check the connections are smooth and shiny, and then re-attach it, listening out for a satisfying click. You can then reconnect your HP TouchPad to the mains charger and a few minutes later it should boot up.

That’s a quick 5 second check that could save you a lot of money buying a new tablet!


Conclusion: Don’t Worry If Your HP TouchPad Won’t Charge!

Charging a HP TouchPad should be straightforward, but from time to time it is not. This is the same for most battery-powered devices, but with the HP TouchPad there is always the possibility that the device has bricked.

hp touchpad bricked

However, I estimate that 90% of “bricked” HP TouchPads (beside the fact that it is a tough piece of hardware to brick, especially with the added bonus of the webOS Doctor tool) are in fact incorrectly connected to the charging power supply.

So, if you have any concerns about how well your TouchPad is charging, please take the time to run through these checks before burying your tablet in bubble wrap…

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  1. Bobbi
    January 20, 2017 at 12:49 am

    I am having issues charging as well. I have tried all the published fixes but to no avail. Love my tablet - what's happening now is that I plug it in, press the home buttons as instructed and I will get the charge signal but then it immediately turns to a "plug" looking for power. Any suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated.

    • Christian Cawley
      January 22, 2017 at 8:37 am

      Oh dear. I no longer have my TP so I can't give you any hands on advice, really, but as long as you're using the genuine charger and connecting directly to the mains supply (as opposed to an extension or splitter) then you shouldn't have any problems charging.

  2. Bobbi
    January 20, 2017 at 12:44 am

    Not even sure if anyone is still out there with their HP tablets - I love mine but my experience is now that it will not charge - I plug in the charger and power it up and i get a quick charge signal and then a "plug" visual so that it appears that it is not plugged in and charging. I have tried all these fixes, trying the reboots, the adapter clicks, etc and nothing is working. Any ideas?? Thanks so much!

    • SuperJC
      July 31, 2018 at 7:08 am

      Thank you to Christian, I just re-booted my wife's TP... after more than 6 hours charging for showed only 13% charged but the pad is a kind of very warm/heat-up state. So right now I'm put it on WiFi off (An Airplane Mode) then use 5V/2.1 Ah to charge this TP....Hope it works.

  3. Robert Novoselic
    January 14, 2017 at 2:27 am

    Mine came with the Elerbrock top-end rebuild kit, so we would like to charge in the car as it keeps track of everything coolant temp to rpms, is there a car charger that would work?

    • Christian Cawley
      January 22, 2017 at 8:39 am

      A car charger of correct voltage for the TP (check your documentation) should work. Assuming there are no other charging issues with the tablet, that is.

  4. Aaron
    April 9, 2015 at 7:14 am

    I've tried using a 2200m power bank to charge my dead tp, the backlights keep flashing but nothing show, any ideas with such flashing backlights ?

  5. sam
    March 25, 2015 at 11:18 am

    I have misplaced my original charger... how can I charge my hp touch pad? Micro usb isn't charging it...

    • Scott
      April 8, 2015 at 5:03 am

      Sam, it's perfectly fine and it's also often the only way you'll ever see it alive again. Yesterday morning, i decided to try and revive my 16 gb tp which has been dead since October of last year. Im talking past the battery with the red line, past the question mark... I had no screen activity or backlight at all, just a dim flashing light on the home button. My factory charger ( my second) didn't work with the twist thing. I plugged it into a 2.5 amp charger and the best cord i had. From yesterday morning until about two hours ago, it couldnt even keep the charging battery on screen... It just showed that for a second, showed a few paragraphs about using the wrong charger, then go black and repeat. No image stayed on screen for longer than a second. Finally after more than a day and a half of this it finally held enough charge to boot to the menu and stay powered up long enough for the charging circuitry to initialise itself and start to charge.
      TL;DR - just leave it in as long as it takes, eventually it will charge.

      • Anonymous
        September 6, 2015 at 1:18 am

        +2 to Scott's advice. It did work for me too with regular usb. My factory charger went bad too and haven't tried the twist thing.

        Also i tried the home button power button hold for 15 seconds to wake up my touchpad after keeping it in charge for long time. it did charge and showed 90% when it woke up.

        Thanks for this article.

  6. Norm
    March 14, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    is it a good idea to leave your pad charging for long periods of time when not in use?

  7. lisa jones
    February 5, 2015 at 9:02 pm

    i am having the same issue i tried a new cord aswell and i still cannot get my tablet to charge i am at a loss so i just going to give up on it and try and find a place that can fix it cheap

    • Christian Cawley
      February 13, 2015 at 11:14 am

      Is your plug definitely fully twist-and-locked, as highlighted in the article?

  8. Anonymous
    February 2, 2015 at 12:45 am

    great info! Thanks for posting issues. My HP touchpad is not holding a charge. I am going to try working with adapter wires.

    • Christian Cawley
      February 2, 2015 at 9:14 am

      Good luck, hope it all works out for you!

  9. Kav
    May 22, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    Same for me, it seems, as Debra.
    I left my touchpad on the charger overnight, and for 7 hours while I was out. I didn't check it before I left home, in the morning, so when I came home I expected the touchpad to be fully charged.
    You can probably tell it wasn't.
    I assumed that I had left my touchpad on the touchstone at the wrong angle, so it hadn't charged correctly. However, when I pressed the power button while it was on the Touchstone, the charging symbol with the red line appeared. I still wasn't alarmed, though, because this isn't the first time this has happened to my touchpad and I. The first time it didn't turn on, I pressed power+menu. The second time, it wasn't charging despite a charging symbol. For this, I checked and twisted the round battery cover like you suggested, and in an couple of minutes my tablet turned on. The last time it refused to charge, I checked the charger, googled, and managed to turn it to the USB symbol by pressing volume up+power+pressing home repeatedly. It worked, even though I really didn't expect it to.
    This time, it's different.
    I have the same symptoms, charging symbol, not charging, not charging even on laptop, etc etc, but I've tried all possible solutions and have yet to activate my tablet. My touchpad detects the touchstone,--it still shows a charging symbol when on the stone-- but doesn't charge like it says it is. I've been through a variety of button pressing, my fingers are still hurting, the laptop isn't charging it either, and I can't find anymore ideas.
    And, yeah, I tried twisting the barrel thing.
    It didn't work.

  10. dave
    May 21, 2013 at 6:19 am

    this is amazing...I thought my touchpad had to be dead, since I could charge my phone on the same plug without issue...I stumbled across this and thought "no way is that what's wrong, but I'd be amiss not to check"...It was 100% the problem. What's blowing my mind is it seems like either the connection would be made or not, right?...but somehow the engineers at HP managed to find a weird in-between state. This honestly dosent even seem possible...but eff it. I'm grateful!!

  11. xylah marie gutierrez
    May 1, 2013 at 8:20 am

    good day,
    i concern my touchpad. its empty batery. im sad coz no adaptor of my hp touchpad. but i have already cord. actually this tpuchpad is give to my bf from england. and i forgot to remind the charger. he bring back to his country. now i try to look all shop here in philippines. but all of the adaptor is not work. plsssss help me. i need adaptor for my touchpad.
    finally, i really like the hp unit. awesome. friendly user..
    thank you..
    god bless.
    from: xy

    • Cala
      May 20, 2013 at 6:45 pm

      I've found that the chargers made for HP touchpad go bad rather quickly. My first one went bad and I bought a new one from ebay with shipping around $14. Not two months later the thing quit. With some very gentle wiggles I can now get the first one to charge again. Strange.

      I think I'm going to try a different charger NOT made by HP that is for hp touchpad. These are only wall connectors, they do not have the option to be used as a cable from computer to touchpad (which I never do anyway).

      Unfortunately I have to lay my touchpad flat and put a pen under the connector where the charger connects for it to charge. Very bad engineering on the charger I'm sad to say.

  12. Judy
    April 16, 2013 at 2:12 am

    My HP tablet was totally dead and I tried everything I read online including ordering a new charging cord. I almost threw the thing out when I finally ready about connecting to the computer for a low voltage trickle and it took a few hours but finally the charging icon came up and slowly it began to charge and then then changed to the normal charging cord and it finally came up to 100%. This was after about a month of not being able to get it going. While it was connected to the computer I tapped the center and on/off buttons as well--everything until I finally saw a sign of life, so don't give up. I almost did.

  13. Carolyn
    April 12, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    I went thru twisting the adapter attachment with no luck. I was preparing the funeral for my beloved tablet when the lights flashed! i substituted a different cord and plugged it into the adapter and voila - charging!! It charged fully and works like normal.

  14. D
    April 8, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    Hi everybody. I think I may have one of the reasons why this happens. Mine is HP 32gb, with? the newest cyanogenmod android on it, which should not matter, but just fyi. I live in a humid city and every year like clockwork when the weather turns humid, this thing doesn't charge, no matter how long I leave it on the wireless or usb charging cable. This year, same thing. I have left it for over a week and now it boots within 5 minutes of using usb cable with original charger. g/luck!

    • Christian Cawley
      April 8, 2013 at 6:06 pm

      Interesting account! Thanks D

  15. David
    March 27, 2013 at 2:42 am

    I have tried everything and I think my Touchpad is bricked.
    Can I use webOS doctor from my macbook with the USB cord it the TP has no power at all?
    Thanks in advance!

  16. elsayed
    March 7, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    i've recently bought atouch tablet
    but with another charger
    it bacame out of energy
    when i matched the charger it gives me amessage saying to recharge your device pls use the original parts (adabtor and usb cable)
    i'm here in an isolated part from egypt which make it difficult to get the original attach ments......
    tell me how could i recharge my device
    or how many volts it needs to be recharged

  17. claudia
    February 22, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    I have tried everything you have listed above, but my touchpad is completely unresponsive. I do have a feeling that it is a charging problem, b/c bf it became unresponsive it was working very well. My question - is there any other charging devise that will charge as well as the charger HP provided w the tablet?

  18. abz
    February 8, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    Just to let you know that a very helpful solution for so called Bricked HP touchpad is available at rootzwiki by j scullins.its called touchpad debrick v4, if you google it I am sure you can find it. Please do it at your own risk. First do all of the above to revive your touchpad, if there is no option left then head to rootzwiki.
    Few days ago my touchpad battery was totally drained, so when I did resetting it was coming with battery symbol with the question mark in the middle, and it refused to boot. So after doing all of the above, I tried the last touchpad debrick from roots wiki.
    Now to avoid future battery problem download an app call automelt from play store which shuts down HP touchpad when battery drains to 20%, hope that helps.

  19. Ammu
    January 30, 2013 at 1:30 am

    Thanks for infor but mation. However, my problem is I can reboot with the result showing a battery sign with a question sign in the middle. I can not by pass it. I tried everything that needed to be done. Is there something I miissed? Again, thank you.

  20. ralph
    January 15, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    thanks for this post; I was suffering from the slightly twisted power plug problem and thought I somehow managed to brick the device until I found this post

    • Christian Cawley
      January 15, 2013 at 12:59 pm

      A pleasure to help! I felt the same moment of relief when it happened to me :)

      • Debra Keeling
        January 21, 2013 at 8:08 pm

        Well I thought mine had bricked. I moved in mid December, and my Touchpad was simply packed up and put in a box. I went to retrieve it about a week ago..dead as a door nail. So I did the untwist thing and it looks like the home key displayed a light signal so there was hope. I now have the battery charging symbol with the red line underneath it so that's more than I had last week. I just reset it, or it appeared to reset so we'll see if it will actually start to charge. I am waiting for that red line to change to green or some indication that the reset worked. The screen got bright, like it lit up when I did the reset. Here's hoping :-)

        • Debra Keeling
          January 21, 2013 at 10:19 pm

          Well maybe I spoke too soon. I can get the battery charging picture on the screen but that is about it. Nothing else happens. I tried resetting it three times but it simply won't really charge. I thought it was working as the battery charge icon changed to the HP logo but nothing after that. I'll let it charge through the night, cross my fingers and toes and hope for the best. Thanks for the tips, it was worth the effort.

        • Christian Cawley
          January 22, 2013 at 9:01 am

          Keep trying, Debra - I once waited around an hour with the HP logo on screen attempting to repair a TouchPad for a customer, and it all ended well.

          Fingers crossed!

  21. Candace
    January 1, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    Thank you! A simple fix. I had forgotten about the twist on plug. It now appears to be charging. :)

  22. Marcus Pullan
    December 26, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    Found an issue where I now have to place something under the USB cord to keep the connection tight to allow charging of the touchpad. Not sure if it's the touchpad itself, or the USB side of the connection. Will look into getting a new USB cord before playing with the existing one.

  23. Mikevans1
    December 12, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    Where can I find the latest version of ice cream sandwich ? I installed on your how to guide which was back in may ??? Also my touchpad is refusing to charge after trying everything bar purchasing a touchstone dock

    • Mikevans1
      December 12, 2012 at 7:13 pm

      May I add that the camera doesn't work on the version I have installed

      • Christian Cawley
        December 12, 2012 at 8:08 pm

        Hi Mikevans1

        Please see // for details on upgrading and use this thread on XDA:

        You'll need a recent build and the appropriate camera patch. I'll be addressing this upgrade in a future article for MUO.

        • Mikevans1
          December 12, 2012 at 8:14 pm

          Thanks for the reply but any idea on a fix for switching touchpad on ?

        • Christian Cawley
          December 12, 2012 at 8:53 pm

          Have you tried the steps in this very article? Because those are the fixes

        • Mikevans1
          December 12, 2012 at 9:04 pm

          Yes tried pressing home and power button and also plugging cable junto computer and nothing

          Any other things I could try ?

        • Christian Cawley
          December 12, 2012 at 9:29 pm

          As I say, the answers are here. I suggest patience, a toothpick or a Touchstone.

  24. Debbie Franklin
    December 11, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    I am so grateful for all the things that you all do! Especially all the information on sooo many products!! It's simply AWESOME!!! Thank you so very much.

  25. Shahbaz Amin
    December 6, 2012 at 3:47 am

    Thanks for this supportive and such an informative article. Usually if a phone or laptop hardware goes bad even for few seconds it feels like end of the world. Seriously!! Cos software issues normally we can easily figure out using error messages etc but hardware issues are hugely over-estimated...
    Thanks again

  26. Leslie
    December 6, 2012 at 3:21 am

    I am grateful for all of the tips I have received for my HP Touchpad on your site. Unfortunately, I think it's curtains for my device. I have a Touchstone and have tried plugging it directly into the wall, but after a few hours of trying to charge, all I get is the low battery/plug icon. Can't reboot at all (I've had issues with this for months -- always have to go through the Launcher/Device Info). Any other ideas to wake it up? Thanks - any help is truly appreciated. I love my touchpad, and would hate to see it die.

    • Christian Cawley
      December 6, 2012 at 10:45 am

      That's sad to hear Leslie. If the "twisting adaptor" fix doesn't help, I'd suggest Sean's thoughts above are worth a read.

  27. Sean
    December 5, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    The microUSB plugs are prone to wear. For the HP Touchpad, the best option is to use induction charging via the HP Touchstone. Pity the Touchpad has been left behind; it holds its charge for 8 hours with video and browsing, has induction charging, exchanges data by touching the HP/Palm Pre/Pixi cell phones and has a user interface that only now Android approaches. The quality of construction is also excellent.

    Even though there are very few apps specifically for the HP Touchpad, the fact that it implements Adobe Flash means that you can simply go to a website which performs the same functions as the myriad of "apps" in Android or iPhone. You can dual boot into Android but the camera doesn't work, and, worst of all, the battery autonomy is far inferior than under WebOS.

    What a screwup by HP management.

    • Christian Cawley
      December 6, 2012 at 10:47 am

      Hi Sean

      Thanks for your thoughts, and I couldn't agree more. From day 14 HP management got it wrong, and have barely understood the quality of the device on their hands ever since.

      I should point out, however, that the camera does now work using recent Ice Cream Sandwich builds and an increasingly improving patch - certainly enough to use Skype, for instance.