Dell XPS 15 not charging but is plugged in


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Dell XPS 15 not charging but is plugged in

  • my  Dell XPS 15z is only ten months old while on my computer last night something popped up saying:

    'The AC power adapter type cannot be determined.

    Your system will operate slower and battery will not charge. 

    This problem might be solved by:

    • Ensure the plug is inserted completely for best system operation.
    • Connect a Dell 130W adapter or higher'

    i've always taken really good care of my laptop never dropped it or anything i hope that its not broke...

    if it is broken and i have my year warranty do i still pay for whatever new part i need?



    Welcome to the Community.  I am sorry to read that you are having the problem with the notebook.  I have a quick test for you to try, unplug the AC adapter from the notebook, and disconnect the cable from the wall socket and the AC adapter.  Replug the cable into the AC adapter making sure that the connection is good. Plug the power cable back into a known good power outlet.  Check the LED on the AC adapter, does it come on?  While keeping an eye on the power LED connect it to the notebook, does the LED flicker or turn off when connected to the notebook? 

    Please shoot me a private message, just click on the link in my signature. With the message include your name and the service tag of the notebook. If need be I can set up a dispatch to send you a replacement AC adapter, or a service if the power charger / system board is defective.


  • Hi Terry,

    I have the same exact problem for my L502X as well. It was working fine till a week back and even now at random times I do get the charger to charge the battery in some exact positions.I also use a converter as I am using the laptop in India where the connecting plug is different. So what might be the problem? 


  • Pravinkumarp

    I would start by removing the battery and checking to see if the AC adapter can power the notebook by itself.    For a test start the system while tapping F2 to enter the BIOS.  Under the advanced tab look for AC adapter errors, and make sure that it is set to enabled.  Does the notebook give errors regarding the AC adapter? 

    If you aren't getting any errors about the adapter, and the adapter doesn't have any problems with powering the notebook, then it is likely that it is the battery that is at fault and will need to be replaced.  

    If possible if you have a friend or coworker that has another XPS l502x see about swapping out the AC adapter and the battery with the other system.  See if the problem follows the AC adapter, the battery or stays with the notebook regardless on what AC adapter or battery is being used.

    If possible try other power outlets,  and seeif that makes a difference.


    I hope that this helps



  • Most of  the times, after a little trying, I am able to get the AC adapter to work when I plug in the pin fast instead of a slow eased in sort of a way. So I think the problem is with the pin or the connectors. So how do I go about setting it right.

  • That is strange.  If either the AC adapter or the connector was defective it wouldn't work at all regardless on how fast or slow that you plugged in the AC adapter.   Please send me a private message with your name, the service tag of the system, your address, and phone number and I will be happy to investigate this further.


  •  I have an XPS 1701 which just started doing the same thing it's not charging , the charge light is flickering off and on orange and white. What could be the cause to this  problem, my laptop is only a year and half old and I normally keep it plugged in. Do you think it's a problem with the battery?


    I appreciate any help or  feed back on this problem


  • Hi coffey2go,

    Please help me understand if the charge light on the battery or the adapter is flickering?
    Try connecting the adapter to the computer without the battery.
    To isolate the issue, check with a known good adapter.

    1. Visit the following website:
    2.  Under category BIOS, click “Get  Driver” and save the file on desktop.
    3. Ensure to connect the AC Adapter to the computer, run the BIOS file.
    4. Follow the on-screen instructions to update the BIOS.
    5. Restart the computer when prompted

    In case the system has active warranty, please private message the system service tag, contact number and registered owner’s name.
    To private message, accept my friend request; click on my user name and click start conversation.

    Warranty status:

    Awaiting your response!

    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 "

  •   Thank you for your reply , the link on your message didn't work is it possible you could send it again


  •  Thank you very much for your help



  • I too have the same problem as mentioned above, but I am able to charge with other adapters and also with my adapter by plugging into some different power outlets. The lights on the adapter do come on and it does not flicker or go off on connecting to the notebook.

    How do I overcome this problem. I have been using my notebook for some 5 months now. Will it be covered under the warranty, if the problem is of the adapter and cannot be fixed?

  • Terry B,

    My Inspiron N5110 displayed the same error message. When i did the test you posted the LED came on when i connected the power cable to the wall socket and stayed on when i then connected it to my laptop so i have no idea what's wrong as the charger seems okay and i know very little about computers!


  • Thanks for the tip. After searching everywhere and trying all sorts of diagnostics, the simple "fast plugin" worked!

  • Hi SMR_47,

    If a known good adapter is working then it should be an issue with the original adapter.

    But as you said that the original adapter is working on good known wall outlet, it might be an issue with the wall jack as well.

    Please check the original adapter connecting to a known good wall jack oce agian.

    I would recommned updating BIOS on the computer as well.

    1) Visit the following website:
    2) Enter the Service tag of the computer in the box provided and click “Submit”.
    3) In the next page, click drop down arrow to select the Operating System which is installed in the computer.
    4) Under category BIOS, click “Download File” and save the file on desktop.
    5) Ensure to connect the AC Adapter to the computer, run the BIOS file.
    6) Follow the on-screen instructions to update the BIOS.
    7) Restart the computer when prompted. 

    To further troubleshoot the issue,I have added you as a friend. Please accept my friend request by clicking on my name highlighted in blue and then click on “Friends” tab at the top and then click on “Request to Review” and finally click on “Accept” button.

    I am sending you a private message as well. Click on “Inbox” to respond to the message and provide system’s Service Tag and contact details so I may access your system records and check for further course of action. You could also click on Start Conversation to send a private message.

    Awaiting your response!

    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 "

  • what if the battery is at 0% and you cannot make the bios update because you cannot raise it to 10%?