Battery charging problems

In this post I explain how to troubleshoot battery charging problems. I will discuss most common failure examples and suggest some troubleshooting steps.

Example 1.

Laptop shuts off when AC adapter unplugged.

When you move the cursor arrow over the battery icon while the laptop is connected to AC adapter, it show the remaining charge and says “charging”.

The power meter utility (if available) also shows that battery is connected and charging.

But… as soon as you unplug the AC adapter, the laptop shuts off completely.

Possible problems:
1. The battery not seated correctly. Try reconnecting it.
2. The battery contacts got dirty or oxidized and it’s not making good connection with the motherboard. Apply some electronic contact cleaner on the contacts.
3. If reconnecting the battery doesn’t help, most likely it’s bad and has to be replaced.
4. If you replaced the battery but the problem still exists, this is motherboard related failure. Apparently the charging circuit on the motherboard failed. In this case the whole motherboard has to be replaced (or repaired on the component level).


Example 2.

The battery not detected by the laptop.

There is a red cross on the battery icon.

If you move the cursor arrow over the battery icon, it says “no battery detected”.

Possible problems:
1. Most likely the battery is bad. You have a very good chance to fix this problem by replacing it with a new one.
2. If replacing the battery doesn’t help, this is motherboard related failure. The motherboard has to be replaced (or repaired on component level).


Example 3.

The battery discharges very quickly after it reaches some critical point.

The battery detected by the laptop and charges properly to 100%.
When you unplug the AC adapter, it take normal time to discharge until some critical point (let’s say 80%) but after that the battery discharges very quickly to 0%.

Possible problems:
This is battery failed. It has to be replaced with a new one.


Example 4.

The battery charges only if the power plug positioned correctly.

You have to wiggle the power plug in order to charge the battery. After you find the right position, it charges properly.

Possible problems:
1. AC adapter failure. The AC adapter power cable is damaged. Here’s how to test your AC adapter.
2. If the AC adapter works fine, most likely this is power jack (connector where you plug power adapter) failure. In this case the power jack has to be replaced.

149 Responses

  1. my laptop display plug in but not charging. what do i do

  2. tabley

    thank you for ua knowlege

  3. cj2600

    @ Tibenda,
    Apparently, the battery failing. You’ll have to replace it.

  4. Tibenda

    my laptop charges until 80% and then at the battery icon shows words (plugged in,but not charging)while shows the green color indicator meaning charging complete.what can i do to make my laptop to reach 100%

  5. @ zecodudu,
    It’s either failed battery or there is a problem with the motherboard. It’s hard to tell without testing the laptop with another known good battery.
    If you experience the same problem after battery replacement, this is motherboard related failure.

  6. zecodudu

    pls my laptop work with battery or directly on AC but the laptop does not charge the battery, what could be the problem?

  7. Lorenzo


    i have an Acer as3810t. I stopped using the laptop with battery 10 days ago when I arrived at the seaside and now that I tried to use it again it shows energy level but not chargind and it is no longer possible to use it without ac adapter (for example if i remove the ac adapter leaving the battery alone it goes off).
    I only see a fast yellow (recharge) light when i power on but then no more signal of battery.
    I already tried to remove the software adapter and I have linux on it on dual boot with windows 7.
    What could i try now?

  8. Sivi Nair

    I have a toshiba satellite laptop.Bought from Europe. After when i updated the BIOS from toshiba europe site. The pc switches-off when the AC adapter is unplugged.and when i put the laptop in hibernation mode & unplug the AC adapter even for 1 day, switch on the laptop with AC power the laptop resume succesfully.. Let me know what is the problem.

  9. cj2600

    @ hmd,

    there is no power(no happen by push power button) when i only use with battery, but when plug in, my laptop works but on tray at corner in right bottom just show the battery usage however it use from plug in, and no decharge in battery happen.

    Most likely it’s either bad battery or there is a problem with the motherboard. If new battery does’t fix the problem, it’s bad motherboard.

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