Fix: Computer charges but won’t turn on

by Aleksandar Ognjanovic
Aleksandar Ognjanovic
Aleksandar Ognjanovic
Troubleshooting Expert
Aleksandar's main passion is technology. With a solid writing background, he is determined to bring the bleeding edge to the common user. With a keen eye, he always... read more
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In the midst of peculiar power-related errors, we can’t skip on the one where users are informed that laptop battery is charging or it’s charged (via LED indicator), but they just can’t manage to turn the laptop on.

There are multiple reasons for this and the troubleshooting of hardware-related issues is hard when you are on this side of the monitor.

Nonetheless, we still have a few possible solutions, that should, if the problem is still persistent, at least give you the better insight on what’s going on.

So, make sure to check them out below and report in the comments which were helpful or not.

What to do when computer charges the battery but won’t turn on

  1. Inspect power cord, adapter, and battery
  2. Remove laptop from the docking station and unplug peripherals
  3. Drain residual power
  4. Replace the CMOS battery

Solution 1: Inspect power cord, adapter, and battery

Even though they differ one from another, charging issues on laptops (or other similar mobile devices, for that matter), are mostly inflicted by a hardware malfunction of some kind. There are 4 obvious factors we can suspect when something like this happens:

  • The battery is dying on you.
  • Power cord parts are malfunctioning. Either cable, jack or adapter are physically damaged.
  • The motherboard is damaged. The short circuit might’ve burned the motherboard chips or transistor capacitors.
  • The power button is broken. This happens rarely, but it’s still a charges then stops

With that in mind, we can only hope that one of the first two is in question. Motherboards for laptops are quite expensive, and the power button repair requires expertise in the field.

In addition, make sure that you’re using an appropriate adapter. Some users that have had charging issues, used wrong power cords. On the backside of every laptop, you should find the exact input voltage and current you’ll need to meet in order to charge your device without any charges then stops

On the other hand, if you’re positive about the functionality of the aforementioned parts, make sure to continue with the troubleshooting.

Solution 2: Unplug peripherals and remove battery

Another thing you can do is removing the battery and trying to boot with DC adapter solely. Sometimes, despite the LED light informing you that the battery is full, the battery might be faulty. It’s one thing to hold a charge and completely other to transfer it to a machine.

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Also, make sure that all peripheral devices are unplugged. A small short circuit within faulty USB port can also prevent the computer from starting. If this, somehow, enables you to start your PC, check USB ports one by one in order to identify the one that’s causing the problem.

Solution 3: Drain residual power

A residual power is an electrical charge stored in almost every electric device. Basically, once you turn off your device, even without the power source, it’ll store some electric charge. Now, occasionally, some parasitic capacitance in the transistors might ‘trick’ the device and block battery charge.

This is a common troubleshooting step for various devices and it might just help you resolve the problem at hand. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Unplug the DC power cord from the laptop.
  2. Remove the battery.
  3. Press and hold the Power button for a while. It’s a common delusion that it needs holding for 30 seconds or so. One second is quite fine.
  4. Connect the DC power cord but don’t insert the battery.
  5. Power on your PC and look for changes.
  6. If you’ve succeeded, turn off the computer again, unplug the power cord, and reinsert the battery.

Solution 4: Replace the CMOS battery

A fairly common issue when a computer shows no signs of life is a bad CMOS battery. This usually happens when your PC is a few years old or, in the case of a laptop, the battery was removed for long periods of time.

To replace your CMOS battery, follow these steps:

  1. Open the computer case and find the battery (usually located on the motherboard)
  2. Write down all the information located on the battery
  3. Remove the cell. Some computers don’t have a removable battery. In this case, please contact the computer manufacturer
  4. Insert a new battery
  5. Turn on the PC, reset the CMOS values to defaults and save before exit

Disclaimer: hardware changes are for advanced users only and are done at your own risk. Keep in mind that some hardware changes may lead to voiding your warranty. If you do not understand the steps or don’t feel comfortable with disassembling your PC, please refer to a professional.

That should do it. We hope that this was enough to get you going.

On the other hand, if you’re unable to start your PC even though the LED lights inform you that the battery is charging or it’s already fully charged, we advise you take the matters to professionals.

These are common laptop issues and the repair rates are not high if we presume that motherboard is fully functional. We’re always there for questions, suggestions, or possible alternative solutions. Make sure to post those in the comments section below.

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