How to fix a Windows 10 laptop that's plugged in but isn't charging
Because one cannot run on battery power alone.
Matt ElliottSenior Editor
Matt Elliott is a senior editor at CNET with a focus on laptops and streaming services. Matt has more than 20 years of experience testing and reviewing laptops. He has worked for CNET in New York and San Francisco and now lives in New Hampshire. When he's not writing about laptops, Matt likes to play and watch sports. He loves to play tennis and hates the number of streaming services he has to subscribe to in order to watch the various sports he wants to watch.
Thankfully, I found that this problem was not uncommon and would occasionally arise after a Windows update. And more thankfully, there was an easy fix. I haven't been able to replicate it since it occurred two years ago, but the Device Manager in Windows 10 hasn't changed since then, so my fix is worth trying if you encounter this problem. Here's how I got my laptop's battery back to charging when it was plugged in.
If your laptop refuses to charge the battery even though it acknowledges that it's plugged in, here's what you need to do:
Open the Device Manager by searching for it or right-clicking the Start button and selecting Device Manager.
Click Batteries on the list to expand it and you should see two items:
AC Adapter and Microsoft ACPI-Compliant Control Method Battery.
Right-click on each item and choose Uninstall device. Yes, you are uninstalling your laptop's battery drivers, but don't worry because they will automatically be reinstalled when you restart your laptop.
Shut down your laptop.
Unplug the power cable from your laptop.
If your laptop has a removable battery, remove it. My
laptop does not have a removable battery. I tried skipping this step but it didn't work, so I removed the bottom panel of my laptop and then removed the battery by disconnecting it from the motherboard.
Put the battery back in if you removed it.
Plug in your laptop.
Power on your laptop.
Click the battery icon in the system tray and you should see that your laptop is plugged in and charging.
By reinstalling my Lenovo laptop's battery drivers and disconnecting its battery and then reconnecting it, I got my laptop's battery back to charging when it's plugged in. With differences in manufacturers, your mileage may vary. If you encountered this plugged-in-not-charging problem and found a fix that differs from mine, please describe your method in the comments below.