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How to Fix a Laptop Battery That Won’t Charge

How to Fix a Laptop Battery That Won’t Charge

A laptop showing the error message "low battery."You chose your computer carefully and rely on it for everything – from social media and staying connected to friends to working and keeping up with your family’s budget. So when the battery isn’t performing as expected, you might be pulling your hair out, wondering, “Why is my battery not charging?” Laptop batteries aren’t meant to last forever, but how do you know if yours has finally bitten the dust? This guide will help you understand common laptop battery problems, how to troubleshoot them, and when to pull the plug.

Common Laptop Battery Problems

1. The battery isn’t getting power. 

Let’s start with the basics. Is your laptop adequately plugged in? Double-check all connections, from the wall outlet to the charger. Ensure everything is snug, secure, and functional. Faulty outlets or loose connections can easily mimic a charging issue.

2. The laptop charging port is dirty.

Starting with the most straightforward laptop charging issue, your laptop charging port could be dirty or have debris in it that is preventing it from charging effectively. To fix this problem, visually inspect the charging port. Do you see anything in it that you could remove, such as pet hair, crumbs, dirt, or residue from the bottom of your backpack? Carefully remove anything stuck there, and use canned air to remove the smallest debris.

3. The laptop charging port is loose.

Does your laptop’s charging cable fall out of the port easily? Do you find yourself wiggling the cable to the correct angle where it starts charging? Your charging port itself may be loose or dying. 

While it is possible to replace the charging port yourself, unless you’re handy with a soldering iron, it’s best to leave this one to the pros. Depending on the make and model of your computer, a charging port replacement can cost anywhere from $50 to $200.

4. Your laptop charger is broken.

If your laptop battery is plugged in but not charging, you might have a charging cable problem. A quick way to test this is to try charging your laptop with another cord. If the battery begins charging immediately, it’s time for a new laptop charger! Unfortunately, if your laptop still doesn’t respond, the issue is likely something else. Try using a charger you know works (borrow one from a friend or coworker if you don’t have multiple) to verify.

5. Your battery is damaged, dying, or dead.

If none of these troubleshooting tips have solved your battery problems, you may have a damaged, dying, or dead laptop battery. 

To test this out — If your laptop has a removable battery — remove it and inspect for any physical signs of damage like bulging. While you’re at it, try plugging in the charger without the battery. If the laptop powers on, the culprit is likely the battery itself. Common causes of laptop battery damage and death are:

  • Age: Lithium-ion batteries, such as those found in laptops, have limited charge and discharge cycles. That means your laptop battery will eventually die if you give it enough use and time. You can take steps to delay this process, but over time, your battery will no longer charge to 100% or stay charged for as long as it did when you first bought it.
  • Extreme temperature: Exposing your laptop’s battery to extreme temperatures, such as leaving it in a hot car or out in the cold, can shorten and damage your battery’s lifespan. Extended periods in very hot or cold temperatures can also kill your battery.
  • Poor charging habits: Leaving your laptop battery plugged in all day (or night) can also reduce lifespan. If you’re guilty of keeping your laptop plugged in at all times, it may not hold a charge well.
  • Accidents: Dropping your laptop can cause damage to the battery itself, as well as the internal components that connect it. If you dropped your computer and the battery suddenly doesn’t perform as well, it could be damaged.

How to Fix a Laptop Battery That Won’t Hold Charge

If your laptop battery won’t hold a charge and none of the troubleshooting steps above help, it may be time to replace it. For some makes and models of laptops, this can be a relatively straightforward process that just involves removing the battery and replacing it with a new one. In other cases, the batteries are built into the laptop and require professional repair.

Replacing the battery for a new, high-end laptop can be a no-brainer. But if your computer is outdated and showing its age or has a built-in battery that requires professional help, it might be time to replace the entire laptop.

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