When a Laptop Adapter Is Not Working


A laptop gives you the power to take your work with you wherever you go, but it won’t do you much good if you can’t charge the battery or use the device when plugged into a wall outlet. The laptop’s power adapter is what enables you to recharge the device or use it for long, intense work sessions; a faulty laptop adapter renders your laptop all but useless. Some laptop adapter problems can be resolved with some quick troubleshooting, but others will require a full replacement of the accessory.

Check the Connections

  • If your laptop adapter normally works but is experiencing problems, double-check all of your connections to ensure they’re seated properly and functioning. Examine the adapter’s connection to both the wall and your computer, as well as any extra connections where the power cable meets the adapter box. Once you’ve verified that everything is connected correctly, try a different device in the same outlet to rule out problems with the breaker or current.

Test With Another Laptop

  • One of the easiest ways to determine whether a problem is with your adapter or with the power port on your laptop is by testing the adapter with another laptop. Most laptop adapters will fit several different model laptops from the same manufacturer; borrow a friend’s laptop to check your adapter. If your friend’s laptop charges on your adapter but yours does not, the issue is with your laptop and not the adapter itself. A PC repair shop should have a few laptops on hand with which to test your connection if you can’t find a friend with a similar machine.

Look for Physical Damage

  • Physical damage is a common cause of laptop adapter failure. Because adapters are packed, unpacked, stepped on, tripped over and generally abused, they naturally wear out faster than a desktop power cable. Carefully examine the full length of your laptop cable and each of its connections. Look for kinks, tears, exposed wires or anything else that indicates damage. A damaged laptop adapter should be replaced immediately for the sake of safety and reliability.

Protecting Your Adapter

  • Keeping your laptop adapter safe will lengthen its lifespan and ensure you’re always able to use your laptop when you need it. When using your adapter, try to place it in a low-traffic area where it won’t be stepped on. Avoid rolling over the cable with your chair; the weight can damage the cable without noticeable harm to its exterior. Avoid putting the adapter near any liquids and clean up any nearby spills quickly. Finally, store your cable in a laptop case or bag when it’s not in use.

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  • Photo Credit Anil Bolukbas/iStock/Getty Images
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