Why Is Your Laptop Dying While Plugged In? Causes and Fixes

The issue of laptop slowdowns is a common concern that has been discussed at length in the technology blogosphere. While most of the time it’s an issue that can be easily solved, it’s also a recurring problem that can cause a wide variety of problems for the user. Here’s how to fix it.

If you’re an owner of a laptop, it’s likely that you’ve experienced the frustratingly common situation where your laptop will randomly turn off and display a red battery icon. If you’re lucky, your laptop will simply turn on again after a few minutes, but that’s only the half of it. What happens next is even more frustrating, as you will likely find your laptop will eventually just completely shut down, even if it’s plugged in and connected to a power source. This issue has a variety of causes, but most are easily fixed by following a few quick steps.

Laptops are great, but they’re not immune to dying. In fact, there’s a lot more to it than just the screen going dim and the laptop slowly turning off. Here’s a quick guide to show you everything you need to know about fixing your laptop, whether while it’s plugged in or while it’s off.. Read more about why is my laptop plugged in and not charging? and let us know what you think.

We’ve all felt the strain of attempting to make a deadline after delaying on work or school tasks; you’re hardly breathing. Then, without abruptly, the laptop screen goes black. If you don’t know your way around a computer, you’ll feel as if the world is collapsing around you since you won’t know where to begin. 

A bad power adapter, faulty power outlets, or damaged batteries are causing your laptop to die when plugged in. This reaction may also be triggered by more serious internal issues, such as faulty motherboards, HDDs, SSDs, or RAM. Make sure your outlet and charger cords are in working order.

This has happened to me before, and others have approached me begging for assistance. After learning about the different reasons and how to address them, I decided to create this post to assist others who are dealing with this common problem.

Connecting the adapter to a functioning socket may be the answer. If, on the other hand, the issue is caused by a faulty internal computer component, you may need to locate a new computer to fulfill your deadline. So let’s have a look at some of the potential reasons and solutions. 

Why Is Your Laptop Dying While Plugged In? Causes and Fixes

When I disconnect my laptop, why does it die?

Many factors may cause your laptop to shut off unexpectedly, even if it is still plugged in. If you don’t know why it continues occurring, it may be aggravating. The majority of problems are caused by the power supply (most often the battery, charging connection, or laptop socket), inadequate cooling, and malware. 

The following are some of the most frequent reasons:

Power outlets/sockets that aren’t functioning

wall power socket with plug plugged into it

This is often caused by issues with the power supply. Although laptops may operate on battery power for a short time, they need a dependable power supply to recharge the battery after it has been fully depleted.

When the battery’s charge runs out and there isn’t enough electricity to charge it, the laptop will shut off. It’s possible that the power outlet is broken, and no power is getting to the laptop battery through the power adapter.

A tripped circuit breaker or a faulty power connection caused by normal wear and tear may be the reason of the power outlet malfunctioning. A single defective outlet may sometimes cause all adjacent outlets to lose power or even trip the whole breaker panel. If this is the case, even if you attempt a different socket, the issue will remain. 

Power Adapter That Isn’t Working

charger for laptop

The adapter (also known as a laptop charger) is a device that transfers electricity from a wall socket to the computer’s battery. If this method of power transmission is compromised, power delivery will be hampered, and the laptop battery will not charge. 

The laptop will shut off when the battery is totally depleted. Burned/worn-out AC adapters, broken/damaged power cables, damaged DC-in connectors, and other factors may cause AC adapters to fail. 

A defective power adapter, like a non-working power outlet, prevents the laptop from charging. Some laptops display an error notice that says “AC adapter type cannot be determined,” making it simpler to see the issue. Whether you don’t receive this warning, you may check the charging LED light to verify if the laptop is charging. 

Choosing the wrong model, overheated charging blocks, and age are all common causes of faulty power adapters. According to HP, most power adapters can hold 1,000 or more charges.

If your adapter is outdated or overworked, it will not be able to provide a strong enough current to keep your laptop charged. The trickling effect will stop working if you disconnect it, and your laptop will die every time.

Batteries that are worn out or defective

a laptop battery

It’s normal for laptop batteries to deteriorate over time, and when they do, the laptop may suffer serious consequences. It may cause the computer to become unable to charge and retain power, overheat, and even shut off unexpectedly. This is a common reaction, particularly if the battery is a few years old. 

The memory effect is a problem that affects laptop batteries, such as Ni-Cad batteries. The battery is constantly damaged as a result of continuously charging it without allowing it to completely drain. The battery memory distorts with time, and it begins to consume power too quickly or shut off abruptly. 

If you leave the laptop unattended for a long period of time, the battery will drain entirely, causing charging issues. Remove the battery and make sure it doesn’t completely drain while outdoors if you aren’t going to use the computer for an extended length of time. Overheating batteries are also an indication that you need to replace them.

This is a very frequent and probable reason for your laptop turning off when you remove it from the power source.

If you’re interested, I’ve published another post on keeping your laptop battery healthy for longer.


laptop overheating

Thermal protection is incorporated into most computers to safeguard them from the risks of overheating. When the laptop begins to overheat, this device turns it off automatically. If the laptop overheats and shuts off, it will not turn back on until it has cooled down.

This issue is more likely to occur in older laptops with a poor cooling system. Even if you’re using a very recent model, make sure the cooling vents aren’t obstructed. This is particularly true if you’re working on your laptop while lying down on a bed, pillow, or other soft surface.

If the computer overheats for no apparent reason, it’s possible that some internal components aren’t working properly. It may be the fans on the video card, the CPU, or even the case fans. 

I’ve published another post on how to keep your laptop cool, which you should check out.

Conflicts between hardware and software

laptop with usb hub and a few devices unplugged

Another possible cause is a hardware malfunction. When you add additional hardware to your laptop, it’s possible that you’ll have a hardware conflict, particularly if the laptop was working well before the addition. It may also be the consequence of a botched pilot upgrade with automatic update settings. 

Computers are often crushed as a result of incorrect pilot upgrades that clashed with the rest of the gear. You may get a hardware problem code notice before the shutdown, but the laptop may shut down without giving you the opportunity to respond. 


binary code with malware symbol

A system that has been infected with malware is susceptible and is prone to shutting down or crashing at any moment. Malware comes in a variety of forms. Some labor in the background, and it takes a long time for them to realize the harm they’ve done. Infected USB devices, unprotected websites, and public WiFi networks are all common sources of malware.

However, some may cause obvious symptoms, such as your laptop shutting down at a certain time of day or when you launch a certain program. If your machine isn’t properly secured by strong antivirus software, this will happen. Weekly scans will reveal any virus, allowing you to remove it and keep your laptop operating properly.

Downtime of the operating system

If you’ve ruled out everything else, the problem may be with your operating system. If your operating system fails, your computer may shut down unexpectedly. Restarting and entering a CMOS Setup while the machine is still rebooting is the best method to check for operating system failure. However, it’s better to leave any internal computer issues to the professionals.

What should you do if your laptop dies while it’s still plugged in?

Even if you don’t know what’s causing the issue, it doesn’t harm to attempt a few techniques to see if the computer will start up again. If your laptop dies while plugged in, follow these steps:

Examine the charger’s hardware connections.

The first step is to double-check that your AC adapter is properly plugged into the power source and that the switch is turned on. Make that the laptop is properly connected into the laptop charging port as well as the power socket/outlet. Just to be sure, double-check. To check whether it works, try charging a different gadget from the same power outlet. 

Check to see whether the electrical outlets are working.

Check to see whether the electrical outlets are in good functioning order. This may be accomplished by utilizing a separate outlet (ideally on a different wall or in a different room) or charging a different item from the same power outlet. 

If the circuit breaker tripped, a simple reset would fix the issue. A tripped main breaker panel follows the same reasoning. 

Are you using the appropriate charger and port?

Check the amount of power that your machine is getting. Make sure you’re using the right charger for your laptop and that it’s plugged into the right computer port. The majority of laptops only have one charging port. However, if you’re using one of the newer USB-C versions, test all of the USB-C ports on the computer to discover which one works. 

Use the original charger that comes with the computer for the best results. Fake chargers may damage your laptop for a long time. Each charger is designed to provide a particular amount of power to the laptop. Using a different charger may result in the wrong wattage being delivered, which could be the cause of the issue. This is mostly an issue with laptops that use USB-C connections to charge. 

Examine both the charging cord and the port for any signs of wear and tear.

After checking for cable connection problems, inspect the cable and charging port for any damage. Look for slight fraying and damage along the cable and adapter. Check the whole length of the rope with your hand for any unevenness.

Check for any burning odors in the connection and adapter. If you detect a burning odor, something is amiss with the charger, and it must be replaced right away.

If the charger seems to be in good working order, check the port where the charger attaches to the laptop. In most cases, the connection will be tight. There may be an issue if it seems a little loose or jiggly. To check whether you can obtain a decent connection, move it about. 

If the laptop begins to charge when you hold the charger at a certain angle, the port may be defective; get it repaired.

Keep enough slack in the connection and don’t let the adapter hang from a table, which exerts pressure on the port and may easily damage it, to prevent future damage to the charging port.

Examine your battery’s condition.

Check the battery’s integrity once you’ve ruled out a defective power connection. Some detachable batteries deplete rapidly and must be replaced often.

Follow the procedures below to check the battery:

  1. Remove the battery and drain any remaining power from the laptop (you can do this by holding down the power button for 15 seconds).
  2. Then, without the battery, plug in and switch on the computer. If it turns on, it indicates the computer and adapter are in good operating order, and the battery is the issue.
  3. Replace the battery and try again to be sure. Perhaps you placed the battery incorrectly, causing the power to be delivered incorrectly. If it still doesn’t function, it’s time to get a new battery.

Some computers, such as Macs, don’t have a direct battery compartment, so you’ll need to see an expert. To prevent future issues, remember to properly care for your battery.

Reduce your use of resources.

Overloading your computer, in addition to the hardware, may result in charging issues. A computer that is overworked drains more quickly than normal, which may cause power issues. The laptop will eventually die if the charger isn’t providing enough charge to replace the battery as fast as it is draining. 

This is particularly true if you have multiple applications open at the same time, causing the laptop to get overloaded. Due to the overloading, the laptop will get heated, forcing the fan to work harder. To cool the laptop down, the fan will work harder, using more power. 

Wait till it cools down before powering it up again to fix this issue. Allow time for it to charge once it turns on, and avoid running several power-hungry applications at the same time.

Allow it to cool.

If you see your laptop beginning to heat up, turn it off and wait until it cools down. Keep in mind that if the laptop won’t switch on at first but does after it has cooled down, the issue is most likely with the cooling system.

Check to see whether the vents are clean and clear of debris. If the laptop continues to overheat, the fans are faulty and must be replaced.

Start your computer again.

Many issues may be resolved by restarting a computer. As a result, restarting your laptop is a smart option. Reinstalling the operating system is as simple as entering the CMOS setup while the laptop is restarting. If the laptop turns on successfully, the issue may have been due to an operating system outage. 

However, if it powers on for a few moments before shutting down again, the issue may not be with the operating system. A failing hard drive, motherboard, CPU, or other internal components may be to blame. If you aren’t familiar with computers, get the laptop examined by an expert. 

Solution to a hardware conflict

If you’ve just installed new hardware, such as a CI/PCIe card, the best option is to remove it entirely. If not, you may need to get the issue diagnosed by a specialist. It’s possible that the issue is caused by an automated upgrade to internal hardware.

These problems may also be caused by new browser plug-in extensions. Beta applications and plug-ins are notorious to use excessive amounts of power, causing your laptop to overheat or drain faster than it can recharge.

Examine your laptop’s power choices.

Some software issues/conflicts may also cause your laptop to shut down suddenly. Some laptops, for example, have a system setting that causes the laptop to shut down when the battery level reaches a particular point (typically when it’s nearly completely charged). 

Windows operating systems are notorious for this. If you believe this is the case, take the following steps:

  1. Connect your laptop to a power source until it restarts. 
  2. Go to the power settings page and reset this option once it’s turned back on. This may be done by heading to settings, selecting systems, and then power and sleep. 
  3. Change the plan by pressing power settings and then changing the plan. 
  4. After that, choose Restore default settings and then click OK. 

If you have a MAC, here is a tutorial on resetting your computer’s power settings.  

Seek expert assistance.

If none of the above solutions work, your laptop may have more serious issues, and it’s better to leave the diagnosis to a specialist. Bring your laptop to the manufacturer for diagnostic and repairs if it still has a valid warranty. If everything else fails, schedule an appointment with a reputable computer repair company.

Note: If you have an Apple laptop, you should always see a MacBook expert. They feature a distinct operating system, which makes them considerably more difficult to use for those who are used to Windows products.


Other than basic power system issues, an abrupt shutdown may indicate a problem with an internal component that requires urgent care. 

If you’re familiar with computers, this might be a simple issue to tackle. However, if you have any concerns, see a professional. Otherwise, you risk making a mountain out of a molehill.

Why is your laptop dying while plugged in? This is a common problem that occurs with a lot of computers. Why is your laptop dying while plugged in? Actually the most commonly asked question on tech forums (and forums in general) is “Why is my laptop dying while plugged in?” But there is a reason for that. The reason your laptop dies when plugged in is because the adapter is faulty and not the power supply.. Read more about windows 10 plugged in not charging and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you fix a laptop that is plugged in?

If your laptop is plugged in and you are not using it, unplug the power cord from the outlet. Then plug it back in.

Why is my computer battery going down while charging?

This could be caused by a number of factors. It could be that your battery is dying, or it could be that the charger you are using is faulty and not working properly.

Why is laptop not charging when plugged in?

The laptop is not charging because the power cord has been damaged.

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