Lost your laptop’s charger? Here’s what to do
Without your laptop charger, you may feel like your laptop is next to worthless. You might be lucky enough to get one of those super laptops that can keep charge for up to 17 hours, but eventually, the charge will run low, putting you back to the same spot.
So, what exactly should you do in the event you lose or forget to carry your laptop charger? The answer depends on how creative you are.
While innovation in computer technology keeps on improving every day, there aren’t many alternatives to charging a laptop without its charger.
However, there are some tricks you can try that will keep your laptop humming. In this roundup, we will show you how you can easily charge your laptop without your charger.
- READ ALSO: Top 10 Windows 10 USB-C laptops to buy
Is it possible to charge a laptop without it’s charger? Yes, and the easiest way to do it is with a universal adapter. Remember to always check the voltage, no matter the charging solution. If that doesn’t suit you, charge your laptop from a car battery or use an external battery charger.
To learn how to do that, check the guide below.
How can I charge my laptop without a laptop charger?
Solution 1 – Use a universal adapter
A universal adapter is perhaps the most common solution to your battery woes. These universal chargers come with multiple tips so it’s likely you’ll find one that will fit in your laptop’s charging port.
You can even buy individual tips separately. Some universal adapters even have the ability to charge your laptop from a car or from other 12V DC power points.
When plugged in, the adapter will not only power the laptop but charge it as well.
However, if put in the wrong way, tips can cause improper voltage and damage to your laptop.
Solution 2 – Car Battery
If you are the kind of travellers who spend most of the time on the road than in the office, then you can use the car battery to charge your laptop.
Wiring the laptop directly to the battery can be tricky since most modern laptops have battery voltages ranging from 8V and above, while most car batteries are rated at 12V.
Even so, there are ways that you can ‘hotwire’ a laptop to a car battery even if the voltage is less than 12V. However, it’s important to be cautious as you could wind up with a dead car battery or damage the laptop in the process.
The most efficient way to adapt the power from a car battery to power or charge a laptop is by use of an inverter. Various inverters exist and are capable of generating AC current from a DC source with output power ranging from 12-24V.
When you have the inverter, you can certainly use your car’s cigarette lighter to charge your laptop. To do so, follow these 3 simple steps:
- Step 1: Plug the inverter right into your car’s cigarette lighter socket.
- Step 2: Now plug the laptop’s AC adapter into the inverter.
- Step 3: Connect the AC adapter to the laptop.
Solution 3 – Use an external laptop battery charger
An external laptop battery charger is a standalone device that doesn’t plug into your laptop. Instead, you remove the battery of your laptop, mount it on the charger, and then plug in the charger into an electrical outlet.
Most external laptop chargers have indicator lights that flash when the battery is charging, then remain steady when the battery is fully charged.
Note that external laptop chargers are usually brand specific, so choose one that matches your laptop’s specs.
Solution 4 – USB C charging
If you’re one of the lucky ones that have a USB type C on your laptop, then you don’t have to worry anymore.
USB type A port only allows for data transfer and power output, but not input. With the introduction of USB type B and, most importantly, type C, not only fast data transfers are allowed but also power input and output.
So, if you lost your laptop charger, you have a couple of options. The first one is to charge your USB C laptop from a power-bank. Remember that the power bank needs to be rated 18v or higher to have the desired effect.
Also, a big power-bank can supply a lot of juice to your laptop and it is also portable, so you can take it with you everywhere you go.
Another solution is to use a USB C power adapter. Modern laptops come with those in the box, but if you don’t have one, buy it along with a good USB C to USB C cable.
The last solution, as silly as it may sound, is to use your phone to charge the laptop. Yes, you won’t get much of anything and yes, it won’t last too long, but in the urgent case when you need just 10 more minutes to save a document or send an email, this works.
You just need a phone with USB C and a USB C to USB C cable. Connect your phone and the laptop with the cable and in the USB options on your phone choose ‘supply power to the other connected device’.
That’s it. Your phone should now, for a very limited time, charge your laptop.
While the methods described above might provide a solution for charging your laptop when you don’t have a charger, keep in mind that they cost money, and require an advance purchase.
In all cases, it is economical and safer to buy a laptop charger.
Hope that these solution opened some new doors for you. If you have any more questions, drop them in the comments section below and we’ll be sure to take a look.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in January 2017 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
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