Battery plugged in, not charging...(found the fix that worked for my Dell Inspiron


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Battery plugged in, not charging...(found the fix that worked for my Dell Inspiron

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Well, the charger is plugged in, but it says not charging. This has happened twice. I would have thought bad battery or bad charger, except luckily the first time it occured right after buying a new hard drive. I did a hard reset on the battery and that worked.

Now, it has happened again. I tried the regular battery reset, but that did not work. I tried uninstalling device and reinstall..did not work either.

Oddly, what did work was the following:

I had about 38% battery left. I unplugged the power cord from both laptop and wall outlet.

I removed the batter. Computer went dead.

I wiped the battery connectors with a clean cloth several times.

I put the batter back in and turned the laptop on with battery only.

I plugged power cord into side of laptop, then into wall outlet.

Immediately, the laptop began charging again! 

I am not sure why this worked. Maybe some techy out there may know. When I tried the battery reset, I turned the computer off before taking out the battery. Then took it out. Plugged in laptop with power cord and powered it. Then shut down and placed battery in. I turned back on..but nothing...

It may have to do with having the laptop already on when taking out the battery, or placing back the power cord, or could just be the wiping the battery with cloth????

Verified Answer
  • Saharsh, thank you so much--this post is from 2012 but I stumbled on it today and it fixed the problem of "plugged in, not charging" immediately upon reboot!  I downloaded the BIOS update and when I rebooted my battery icon was back (the icon had recently disappeared), it indicated that it was"plugged in, charging," and it charged--good as new.  Thanks again.

All Replies
  • Hi pamela6000.

    Welcome to the Community.

    The issue can be fixed with the BIOS update. Please visit the Dell's Drivers page at the below link and enter your systems Service Tag # and download and update the BIOS of the system.

    On BIOS update the system will restart and the issue shall be fixed.

    Thank you


    Social Outreach Professional

    You can reach us at: /

    Thanks & Regards
    Saharsh K
    To know more about Dell Product Support, Drivers & Downloads, Order & Dispatch status -> choose your region USA; India. For helpful Dell Support Videos, you may click Here.
  • Dell uses an "intelligent" power adapter system.When you turn on the laptop the BIOS program on the mainboard tries to identify the charger via special control wire.If - for instance - the cable that connects to the power jack is damaged or the power jack itself is loose / broken the BIOS might not be able to recognize the power adapter and refuses to charge the battery.

    To check if the power adapter is properly recognized press function-key "F2" at powerup.That takes you to the BIOS screen where you can find the information.

  • Hi

    Remove the Adapter and battery from the computer. Re-seat the power cord bricks in the adapter and then connect only the adapter start the computer by tapping F2 and look for AC Adapter type: If it shows Unknown. Could be problem with adapter. 90% that will fix the problem by getting adapter replace. Even you can try with different adapter if you have one and do the same step. Suppose if the alternate adapter doesn't show any report like Unknown. Confirm its problem with Primary adapter.  If that shows the same message like Unknown then it would be a problem with the Motherboard adapter connector.

    If everything is fine with Adapter. Now come to battery part. Connect the battery to the computer while the system runs and check for the battery error message. if it still persists. then go for BIOS update from the using the computer service tag.. make sure battery has charge like greater than 15%.. Also try check the battery with alternate adapter.

    This would be the fix.



  • Hi,

    Welcome to dell community forum.

    Kindly check with another wall outlet first .If that doesn’t work remove the battery from the computer and connect the adapter and check if the computer works and also try checking  the status of Adapter in bios by restarting the computer and tapping F2 on dell logo and check for the adapter type.. Another step would be trying with a known good adapter, if known good adapter works fine that means it should be an issue with the original adapter. If the computer works fine with known good  adapter connected the issue is not with the adapter might be an issues with the motherboard port where the adapter connects to.

    Warranty status:

    Let me know the system model as well and post back.

    If you have active warranty, you can contact me directly by clicking on my user name, add me as your friend, and send me the system service tag, phone # with address.

    Thanks & Regards
    Rajesh R
    To know  more about Dell Product Support, Drivers & Downloads, Order & Dispatch status -> choose your region US ; UK; India. For Dell support videos click Here.
    If a post answers your question, please click "

  • Pamela:

    I found the same thing out, however, this only works a few times, so currently I have to keep plugged in.  I haven't had the extra cash to invest in $150.00 for a new battery, hoping that this would resolve the problem.  I have only had my Inspirion for about a year and this has been happening for the past 6 months.  I was originally considering a MAC and probably should have gone with it. Extremely disappointed in Dell!!

  • Tried this, too. Worked 1 time and went back to not charging

  • I found a solution. I had the computer lead plugged into a rather thin extension lead. I simply unplugged it from that and plugged it straight into the wall. Problem fixed. I tried the uninstalling Windows 7 drivers but that did not work.

  • what if the the battery is already 0%?

    cannot install BIOS at battery less than 10%

    the "plugged in, not charging" problem is a prolonged issue and very frustrating.

  • > If your system has been working fine in the past then there is no need to update the BIOS

    > press F2 at powerup and check the power adapter status in the BIOS : if the power adapter is not recognized

      watch the video I already included in my previous post

    > additionally read this:

  • I found on another site that overheating can cause this problem, so in the time you take out the battery, wipe it off, and restart, it has cooled down.  That might be why.  My computer actually just had this problem and I quit the heavy program, my computer cooled down, and it started charging again.

  • Saharsh,

    My computer is a couple years old and I have recently upgraded to Windows 8. Is this advice still good? 

    Thanks for your help!


  • I had a Dell 14R and it intermittently would not charge.  The problem got progressively worse until it stopped working altogether.  I Eventually got around to fixing it and found the problem was the signal wire was open between the AC jack cable and the AC jack.  
    If you have similar symptoms, beware! don't let that battery sit more than 3 days on < 20% charge - you'll ruin the battery. If you want to see how I fixed it - here are step by step instructions with photos:
  • I had the same issue, but it won't let me update the BIOS with 0% battery. Is there another solution for this?

  • Hi thelights007,

    Please share the system model and the operating system installed. The error 'plugged in not charging' can be caused due to various reasons such as faulty adapter or faulty charging board.

    You may try below mentioned steps which may help in fixing the issue. Steps to perform Flea Power are:

    • Power off the system. 
    • Disconnect any external peripherals (flash drives, printers, external hard drives) from the computer.
    • Disconnect the AC Adapter and remove the battery from it.
    • Press and hold the power button for 20 to 30 seconds to release the residual charge from the laptop.
    • Reconnect the battery and the AC Adapter.
    • Once the system is powered on and booted properly, re-seat the battery. Check if you still get the error or not.
    • Boot the system to BIOS, tapping the F2 key on the Dell logo screen when you power on the system.
    • Press F9 key to load BIOS defaults. Once done, press F10 key to save and exit. System will restart. Check if the error is still there.
    • Try and wiggle the AC Adapter cable and check if that makes a difference.

    If it still doesn't work, parts replacement may be required.

    Hope this helps. Please share the findings.

    Thanks & Regards
    Saharsh K
    To know more about Dell Product Support, Drivers & Downloads, Order & Dispatch status -> choose your region USA; India. For helpful Dell Support Videos, you may click Here.
  • Thanks for the suggestions. I still haven't fixed the issue though. I reset the BIOS defaults and was actually able to get the battery to charge while running diagnostics later. I flashed the BIOS and that didn't fix the issue. Now I get an error message that says the adapter type cannot be detected. I tried another AC adapter that I know is in working condition and it yielded the same results, so I know it isn't an issue with the adapter. Also, the battery is new, as I initially thought the battery was the problem. It charges, so I know it isn't the issue either.

    I know that it isn't the BIOS, battery, or adapter causing the issue. Do you have any other suggestions?