What To Do If Your Laptop Or Tablet Battery Won’t Charge

Matt Smith 16-05-2012

laptop battery not chargingOccasionally we receive a question on MakeUseOf Answers about a battery that refuses to charge. This isn’t surprising. Batteries are known to only last so long, and poor conditions can drastically reduce their life. Issues with chargers or excessive power draw can also be a problem.


Let’s address this common concern. Just what do you do when your battery is on the outs? There are several answers, and they apply to most devices with batteries – laptops, smartphones and even tablets.

Are You Drawing A Lot Of Power?

laptop battery not charging

Every single electronics device in your home, including your DVD player and microwave, has a power supply. The power supply is designed to handle a certain mount of juice. In a device without a battery there is a maximum amount of power draw that must be handled – but no more.

Devices with batteries are different. They come with adapters that are meant to handle a certain mount of power, but what happens if you’re charging the battery and using every bit of juice the device can draw? Your charging may slow or stop.

The most extreme and popular example of this is the iPad 3, a device that badly outmatches the capacity of the adapter. Apple’s latest tablet will sometimes use up battery even though it’s plugged in. Power coming in through the adapter is outmatched by power used by the tablet.


Many phones and tablets exhibit similar behavior. USB charging is a common culprit because a USB connection delivers less power than a connection to a wall socket. Laptops are less likely to have this problem, but I have used gaming laptops that charged slowly if they were used for gaming while the battery in for a fill-up.

Is Your Battery Connection Secure?

tablet battery not charging

This is the re-incarnation of “is it plugged in?” for the wireless world, and just like that old bit of embarrassing advice, this one is equally valid. In fact, I say it’s more valid now than ever before – unlike power plugs, batteries come in all shapes and sizes.

What can you do? Take a very close look at your battery and, if you still have the device’s manual, consult it as well. Make sure there are no gaps and that the battery is flush with its mount.


If that seems to be the case, remove the battery again and check its connectors. It’s rare, but a connection can become blocked by debris, a portion of the connection might become bent or a connector may have suffered corrosion.

Should you find any of the above to be the case you’ll need to clear the connection. Wipe away debris with a soft cloth, re-position any bent metal with a small pair of tweezers and remove corrosion with a small amount of an appropriate cleaner (which may just be water) – just be sure to let the connection dry before using the battery again.

Is The Power Adapter Working?

tablet battery not charging

Sometimes a battery won’t charge because the adapter meant to charge it is broken. The easiest way to check this is to remove the battery, plug in the adapter and see if the device turns on.


With that said, a wounded adapter might appear to work at first but fail to work when you attempt a demanding task. Don’t just plug in the adapter and see if the device works. You should see if it continues to work when the device draws a lot of power, such as when you’re playing a game or watching a high-definition movie.

Re-Calibrate The Battery

In some cases a battery may seems to no longer be charging because of a calibration issue.

Calibration issues occur because a battery does not have a gauge inside it. The battery life gauge you see in your operating system is only a prediction. Battery size, current power draw and known past battery life are some of the variables used to calculate how long your device will last – and sometimes, the calculation can be badly skewed.

Resetting the battery can solve the problem. Allow the battery to discharge fully and then charge back up. The re-charge process may take many hours and may not seem to proceed as it should, but give it time. With luck, your battery will suddenly register a 100% charge and your troubles are solved.


Give The Battery Time To Recover

laptop battery not charging

A battery that appears to be dead may have been deeply discharged. This means that the amount of charge taken out of the battery was more than it was designed to handle, and as a result there’s so little charge left that it appears dead.

Batteries found in consumer electronics don’t often have this problem, but I’ve run across it three times, all with laptop batteries. In each case the laptop had been discharged until it automatically shut down. A laptop is supposed to shut down automatically at around 10% charge, depending on the operating system and user settings, but these laptops hadn’t done that. They’d consumed the battery until nothing was left and then shut down cold.

Reviving a battery from a deep discharge, if it can be revived, requires that you turn the device off entirely and allow it to charge for an extended period of time (at least two or three hours).

It’s Still Not Working!

I handle a lot of electronics of various types, so I’ve run across more than a few batteries that appeared to be malfunctioning, not charging or dead. Every single one of them eventually returned to normal behavior after I followed the tips outlined above.

With that said, batteries do eventually die. My old Lenovo laptop reached a point where it would only last twenty minutes on a charge. Its battery was clearly ready to shed its mortal coil, and no doubt would have if I had not replaced it.

Once your battery issues are resolved, be sure to treat it right to preserve its future endurance. Check out Tina’s article about how to care for your battery How To Increase The Lifetime Of Your Laptop Battery A laptop with a short battery life is a nuisance, especially when you're on the road and nowhere close to a power socket. To make each individual charge of your battery last longer, learn about... Read More to find out more.

Image Credit: Nerrad, Mac Power Adapters

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    May 16, 2019 at 10:23 am

    As I wrote earlier this year, Android battery life can be atrocious. Most of the Android-powered phones I've tried end up dead overnight if they're not left on a charger, and Android tablets are just as bad.

  2. ian of Wpk
    July 21, 2018 at 3:21 pm

    I found the main voltage drop was along the charging cable. The supplied charger was putting out 5.3V at about 500mA but at the device end of the cable the voltage was only 4.5V. My Linx12X64 recognised this as Plugged In, Discharging. It continued to discharge even in standby. However when I changed to a 20AWG cable (thicker copper wires for the two charging wires in the four way USB cable) then all was fine and worked as expected.

  3. Starr Holly
    December 25, 2016 at 2:54 am

    I plug the charger into my DirecTV box's USB port and it provides a suitable current for my tablet. And it's in a secure place, so nothing can fall. Tablet or laptop not charging? Have DirecTV? Plug the wider end of the cord into the USB port of your DirecTV box, plug the narrower end into the charger port of your device, be it a laptop, a tablet, or a phone, shut down your device and place it near the DirecTV box. Problem solved.

  4. Scott Surgeoner
    October 17, 2016 at 5:05 pm

    I have an xps m1530. The battery is new. Problem is as follows. I plugged power cord to charge the new battery. It shows that it is plugged in (the computer) and that the battery is charging. The light indicator that shows the battery charging comes on for about five seconds ( the light rises and falls to indicate charge ) after 5 seconds the indicator stops a check of the indicators still states that the battery is charging. It is not so. If I unplug the powercord the computer crashes and shuts off immediately. How do I fix

  5. Jamie mccann
    September 11, 2016 at 9:48 am

    I have a tablet until last night it changed OK but now it won't switch back on tired different changes but still nothing it gets to maybe 5% then goes back down again it won't turn on now no battery life at all please help

  6. ahmadfadilah
    August 31, 2016 at 4:02 am


  7. Savanah Bright
    July 11, 2016 at 2:32 am

    i have to hold the charger in place and iit takes 2 and a 1/2 hours to charge, please help why do i have to hold it in position so it charges

  8. Jennifer
    April 12, 2016 at 7:49 pm

    My Nextbook 8 will not charge at all. I have tried multiple different cords and adapters and even plugged it into the computer and my tv. Still nothing. I have been having issues with the tablet for a little while. The main one being that once the tablet is taken off of the charger the light stays on and it acts as if it is still charging. Even after i turn it off and then back on it will say it is still charging. My tablet is only 3 months old. I can not find the receipt for it at the moment. Any ideas as to what could be wrong with my Nextbook and why it wont charge at all?

      June 6, 2016 at 5:19 pm

      Jennifer, it depends on where you bought it and if you use a credit card. Some place wii give you a exchange if you take the Credit card slip to them. Also credit card slip has a number on it with the info the store use to charge the CREDIT CARD CO. It is called the transaction no. The store can use that no. to verify your purchase and since it is just 3 months old the store can easily find the transaction.

  9. Anonymous
    August 1, 2015 at 4:24 am

    My asus tab, when it is plugged in it remains at a particular point (say 35%) ,neither it increases nor it decreases. But if i restart it after one hour or so the percentage increases to 50%.How do i fix this ?should i keep restarting it every now and then ?

    • Nightmist515
      November 25, 2015 at 10:32 pm

      I have a similar problem to your and have no idea how to fix.

      June 6, 2016 at 5:23 pm

      Let it die completely and after that let it stay another day without charging it. A complete discharge battery charged better when it is set to recharged. It may take longer to recharge but that helps to recalibrate the battery. Give it a try

  10. Adolfo
    March 21, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    My DELL Venue 8 has a problem .......when I plug in my charger it says "plugged in, not charging " PLEASE HELP

  11. carrie
    February 28, 2015 at 7:27 pm

    My next book tablet will not charge red light will turn on for 5 to 10 second then red light will turn off has been doing this since February 17 tell know is my data still on the tablet or is it gone

  12. Twit Head
    February 7, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    I found a little known trick that has worked every time for me. I have all kinds of batteries. Alkaline, nickel metal hydride, lead ascid, I mean every type. I get out my working laptop, log on to eBay and buy a new one.

    • Al-Nayan
      April 30, 2015 at 7:30 am

      What if the Ebay battery does not work?

      June 6, 2016 at 5:26 pm

      That is why you have so much different ones. You are ready to buy. Business love people like you.

  13. rachel
    January 23, 2015 at 11:54 pm

    My tablet won't even turn on and I have been charging it for an hour now do I takeoff the back of it

      January 29, 2015 at 2:30 pm

      Yes, take off the back, then pry off the board inside. Cut the wires in the middle so you can tape or glue them back to gather later. Use a copper or steel dish scrubber pad to remove all the colored paint stuff on the board. Put it back reverse of how it came apart.

      You can fix it yourself just by taking it all apart and sticking it back together with duct tape and elmers glue. Don't take it to a technitian, they don't know anything special. They just watched movies for two years at electronics school and partied and had lots of fun. You can fix cars this way too. And home repairs... ANYTHING can be fixed by ANYONE!!! With NO CLUE as to what they are doing!! It's amazing!

      Seriously. Don't buy crap if you want it to work. If you buy junk, don't whine when it quits working. If something stops working properly, take it to someone QUALIFIED and KNOWLEDGEABLE about that type of product.

      • Aalok Chandra Tiwari
        December 25, 2017 at 12:35 pm

        Why be sarcastic to a genuine question?

      • Aalok Chandra Tiwari
        December 25, 2017 at 12:37 pm

        Plese advise without being sarcastic, so many people read this thread

    • Al-Nayan
      April 30, 2015 at 7:25 am

      I took my car to a repair shop, the idiot left my drain plug loose, and seized my engine. I changed the wheel bearing on my car myself, saving $700. I had no knowledge of cars, and that was 15 years ago. My son drives it now. Most things can be self fixed with minimal intelligence.

    • Al-Nayan
      April 30, 2015 at 7:29 am

      The whoile I dea of self help websites is to AVOID paying "Shylock" criminals that claim to be repair shops. Idiots like you should not be here trying to get business for their friends. If you cannot offer FREE honest advice, then go bury your feet in a bucket of cement and jump into lake Michigan. that will be a big favor to us!

  14. marie
    January 21, 2015 at 3:45 am

    Please help I'm so upset n confused idk what is going on !! I just got a iveiw 755 tpc 7 inch screen tablet the black gray one.for Xmas last mnth ! New in the box brand new yes! I know it's a cheap brand but come on I literally used it twice only n gently yes no problems I bought it a case a pen extra stuff I noticed the second time I used it when I went to power it on n it was fully charged it took about ten diff times tryin to power it on to finally turn on slowly I then realized it was a faulty tablet or cheap brand name for sure a new tablet shouldn't do that second time coming on!!! And then I put it away and now here I am three weeks later after leaving it in my dresser drawyer not bothered I went to turn it on and the iview logo came on and froze so I went. to turn it off n restart it n since then it has never ever turns don again or showed any sign of life since it Wil not charge I tried everything it literally is just a broken dead no life new tablet for no reason I only used the charger it came with ! It won't turn on at all or charge it don't even show a light it don't even show its dead no lights no nothing just a shut down tablet doing nothing no way can the batt b fried or bad its new n I Havnt used any other charger makes no sence at all I'm.upset I really wanted n needed one.for school n now.I have nothing n no reciept so can't even return the stupid thing I can't afford to have it looked at or fixed so I'm just stuck now with a broken non working tablet they mustve sold my aunt a broken returned one without checking it stupid walmart selfish money hungry asses all they care about is sales but when u go to return somethin they won't let u even exchange it if anyone has a clue how to figure out whats going on myself please help please tell me email me at xotruelovexxo thanks

  15. Anonymous
    January 18, 2015 at 11:34 pm

    What the mega chai chalata, what do you mean by mega chai chalata? I don't understand the meaning off mega chai chalata! But I have to give you credit for mega chai chalata, it sound real cool! So keep on mega chai chalata! Chalata!

  16. Anonymous
    January 18, 2015 at 10:44 pm

    Llew tel em yas sith niaga, mega chai chalata, mega chai chalata, mega chai chalata!

  17. Anonymous
    January 18, 2015 at 10:29 pm

    Mega chai charlatan , mega chai charlatan !

  18. Anonymous-chan
    January 15, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    Hello there ! I have a kind of big problem here I think ,
    my tablet is a Serioux one ( i don't remember which other types ) and yesterday , it was full charged ... It lasted for 2 days straight , even if the wi-fi was still on , even if i consumed every bit of it , it still said 95% ( i used 5% from the battery but then it stood still ) . And today , a few minutes ago , i saw a notification saying to install something ( it had a little android bot icon ) and i denied it , and accidentally installing the thing , but then i went to settings to un-install it , and then the battery went to 29% ( wi-fi on ) , after that , in every second it went down with 1%s . I quickly got my charger and put it in the tablet , and the battery was still going down until it was 1% , and i was pretty scared of what have i done and else .
    And my tablet is new I just got it this Christmas , if it's something important to do with my problem . Please help , I really don't want to heck it up yet , heh .

  19. brandon
    January 5, 2015 at 10:28 pm

    I have recently gotten a Android PC tablet for Christmas and it has been charging for over 30 hours, and the battery says 0% and dies as soon as unplugged idk how a battery could be bad when the tablet is brand new but it looks like the case unless I am wrong I have tried multiple different chargers and the tablet still has not charged past 0%

  20. Tonia
    December 29, 2014 at 10:58 am

    My Toshiba laptop battery warned 17% was left, and found that the plug to the power had been pulled out half way. Then the laptop went dead. When I push the on button a yellow light flickers a couples of time, but there is no other activity.

    How can we recharge our laptop? Would it help much leaving the laptop off, but connected to the power. Doesn't make much sense asking such a dumb question but this is what a friend advised me to do.

    Anyone who can suggest anything is most welcome and appreciated.


  21. callum mitchell
    October 24, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    i have i Android iPad and it won't turn on bet it was working 2 weeks ago what should i do can someone help me please!! :(

  22. collette mahoney
    October 22, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    Installed new battery in lap top (Dell)
    It never charges more than 10%. Unable to use it unplugged.
    Would the problem be the addaptor, and how would I know?

  23. David fit
    September 11, 2012 at 4:02 am

    i had a problem with my laptop hp compaq when i do plugged in the battery it will indicate charging But it won't increase the battery mater till the computer will shutdown and i try to put the battery to another pc and is working correctly and put another battery to my pc still giving me the same problem what happen to my pc

  24. Nidhi Jose
    September 9, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    i have an HCL ME tablet and for a few days its not working when i charge i witt my adapter it works but it does not turn on can you tell any steps to make it on

  25. bala
    September 4, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    My dell laptop battery suddenly stopped charging , but it maintains a stable power of 80% when connected to the charger . what is the problem? Can I continue using it this way?
    It shows remaining time as 3655:54 hours as opposed to 3 hours when I remove the charger of the laptop.

    • salem
      February 27, 2015 at 8:18 pm

      your laptop may have a virus or a error in the sy
      stem check the condition or take to a store

    • salem
      February 27, 2015 at 8:18 pm

      your laptop may have a virus or a error in the sy
      stem check the condition or take to a store

  26. Tia
    August 29, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    I have a Dell XPS M1530. I bought it about 4-5 years ago and only replaced the hard drive once and the monitor once. It's been really good.

    However, just the other day I was unable to turn it on. The power cord was charging it the day before so I know it had been charged (also the power light on the power cord and the laptop lights up when it's plugged in). I did the whole unplug cord and battery for 30 sec. to 2 minutes, then turn it on again. I even hooked it up to an external monitor to see if it was the monitor, but nothing showed up, so I'm assuming it is the power supply.

    What do you think it is? Is it dead finally?

  27. Akingbade femi
    August 19, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    When i connect my charger to my dell it will spark at the connector in the system still can't power the system what can be source of the problem . From Nigeria

  28. Alex Olariu
    July 31, 2012 at 12:40 am

    keep the good articles coming

  29. tablet pc
    June 9, 2012 at 2:12 am

    Under normal circumstances, all the batteries down

  30. Steve Gillette
    May 22, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    The battery wouldn't charge on my year old Asus laptop, so I got a replacement. The malfunctioning battery went in the freezer for a few days, I vaguely remember somewhere on the web reading that this sometimes helps (realigns the lithium crystals or something). Anyway, the original battery now works fine. I let it thaw for a day before trying it. Maybe it was just the time it rested, or maybe the freezing helped. I'd be curious if this worked for anyone else.

    • Matt Smith
      June 2, 2012 at 4:49 pm

      I've heard of the freezer trick for everything for CPUs to hard drives to batteries.

      As far as I'm aware there's no science behind putting a Li-Ion battery in a freezer. It shouldn't have any impact. If you tried to operate the battery while it was cold there would be an impact on its output. There's also a decent argument that placing Li-Ion in a cold environment for storage is a good idea because they degrade from heat, but that's not going to bring an already dead battery back.

      I'm sure some people have had their batteries come back to life after sticking it in a freezer, but that battery might just as easily resumed operation if they'd done nothing to it at all.

      Maybe send a letter to MythBusters about it.

      • elani
        June 27, 2012 at 7:25 am

        hey my andriod tablet wont chaarge for bast 5 hours

  31. zeeshan khan
    May 22, 2012 at 10:14 am

    My laptop's battery stopped charging, but after about a week it went back to normal and said that I need to get a new battery because this battery is running out of its life.

    • Matt Smith
      June 2, 2012 at 4:43 pm

      HI Zeeshan, if your computer is telling you that your battery is on its way out, it probably is - though there could be some error.

  32. roseann
    May 21, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    My battery only charge when there is electric power supply. Onces it is off d laptop goes off. I need help on this.

    • Matt Smith
      May 21, 2012 at 4:52 pm

      Sounds like the connection between your battery and the computer is faulty. Perhaps the connector is bent, or dirty, or otherwise obstructed? Look for the metal contacts on the battery and the laptop and see what condition they are in.

  33. Alex Ginnsz
    May 18, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    NOTE: these tricks work on an Acer Aspire One, model NAV50 (160GB/2GB/1.6GHz Atom/Win7) and may not work on your computer, even if it's the same model...

    Lately, now and then, my netbook's battery stops charging at around 62%. The first thing I do is unplug the power, wait a few secs, and plug it back in. Sometimes it works right away, sometimes it takes a couple tries, and sometimes it doesn't work. When it doesn't work, I reboot the computer and the battery starts charging again, usually all the way up to 100%.

    PS: I don't know what's causing this. All I know is there are always so many problems with PC's that you end up wasting all your time and energy troubleshooting instead of getting your things done. I have enough problems to solve as it is. I switched from Mac to PC a couple years ago to save money. I didn't save any money and I wasted a lot of precious time. So I think the best and perhaps only solution to this problem is to get a Mac! I know I am.

  34. dushko
    May 17, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    lol these makeuseof and ehow articles are so useless...I would gladly shut these sites down-they just mess up google searches and are a big waste of electricity and computing resources.
    With idiotic instructions like "download a crappy shareware for this", "buy a paid app to do a simple registry hack for you", "if you car has a clogged air filter, take it to a repair shop", "if control light sdhghfgs524548 keeps blinking, have a tech identify the problem"....
    really stupid

  35. SteveFromFerndale
    May 16, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    Most Lithium Ion batteries contain protection circuitry that will cut off all voltage if the voltage drops below a certain level. Usually, your device will automatically shut off before this happens but it can still occur if the battery is left in a fully discharged state long enough. The battery will then show 0 volts and most smart chargers will refuse to work if positive and negative can't be determined. If the batteries voltage can be "boosted" there will be enough voltage to charge it.

  36. bben
    May 16, 2012 at 9:38 am

    I have seen a different kind of battery problem in several Dell laptops. After replacing the battery with an aftermarket unit - the battery works, but will not charge. Then replace the charger - still will not charge. The computer works fine when plugged in. The battery charges in a different computer. AND the charger works with a different Dell. My internet investigations show this to be a common Dell problem with several models - possibly related to a poor ground inside near the power connection. One of several reasons I refuse to recommend Dell laptops.

    • Matt Smith
      May 16, 2012 at 3:52 pm

      Why blame Dell for a faulty aftermarket battery?

      • bben
        May 16, 2012 at 5:18 pm

        The battery, and the charger both work on another laptop computer. The charger works to power up the computer - but not to charge the battery. As I said I 'm not the only one to see this in Dell laptops.

        If I charge the battery on the other computer, It works in that Dell as long as the battery has a charge.

      • dushko
        May 17, 2012 at 3:51 pm

        matt smith you're clearly an idiot, maybe you write these idiot makeassof articles yourself

      • TD
        October 11, 2012 at 6:30 pm

        Hi, I recently purchased a replacement charger. And since them when my computer is powered on this battery indicator will say charging status not available. Also when looking at the old charger versus the new charger the Part No is different. Could that be a reason why I'm not able to tell the battery status, the computer shuts off at randoms times, and the computer is getting hot?

  37. Vipul Jain
    May 16, 2012 at 4:34 am

    you can always take out the battery and try to rotate it on a table from both sides.
    If it does, even from one side, it means it has swollen & is dangerous, might even explode soon.
    So time to get a new one. :p
    This at least works for cellphones, never tried for tabs or laptops.

    • Matt Smith
      May 16, 2012 at 3:53 pm

      Most laptop batteries aren't flat like cell phone batteries, so this probably won't work as well with them.

    • Knut Flottorp
      September 11, 2012 at 7:00 pm

      Your point is correct, and it is a simple way to test most batteries.
      Matt: Sometimes you can freeze the battery and remove traces of previous abuse. So, place it at the bottom of the freezer, and charge it while cold. Sometimes wasted batteries then charge, and keep on charging until max capacity - overnight. (Semi-conductors like Iodine cause the swelling, it sublimates, freeze to around -32C and the gas turns solid.)

  38. Toby
    May 16, 2012 at 1:41 am

    I had a problem with my netbook battery dying. i had no clue they cost so much to replace. the OEM battery cost almost $200. I went to Batteries plus and bought an after market Rayovac battery. It was ~85-$100 +$5 for overnight shipping. first battery was a dud, but they replaced it and this one works. I recalibrate it once or twice a month, but this thing screws with my power meter in Ubuntu. If my computer is idle for a while, it will read that my battery is low even though it's fully charged. it will say my max life is 6hrs even though it's 3.5. Sometimes, but not often it will randomly cut off by itself in the middle of working or if I have it hibernating between classes and I forget my volume is up. when I pull it out a loud blasting siren/alarm goes off like it's stolen or something lol. For the most part it works. I just have to cut it completely off when i'm not using it or my laptop will give the wrong readings which will make it cut off prematurely.

    • Matt Smith
      May 16, 2012 at 3:54 pm

      Sounds like that battery may not be the best.