It may be a nightmare if your laptop refuses to switch on. Work, photos, papers, and other important information might be lost.
If your laptop does not turn on, or does not boot when powered on, there are things you can try and resolve the issue.
Below are troubleshooting steps to help identify what may be preventing your laptop from turning on. We recommend going through each of them for the best results.
These steps are specific to laptop computers.
1. Check the power supply and battery
This step may seem like common sense but confirm you didn’t plug the wrong power supply into your laptop. Many laptop AC adapters look the same. If the adapter doesn’t offer the correct voltage and amperage for your laptop, it won’t work.
If your laptop won’t turn on even when plugged in, start by checking the power supply. There are quite a few issues you could have with the power supply.
For example, the problem could be as simple as having the wrong charging cord which means you aren’t getting the proper voltage, or it could be that the power supply has failed
1. To test if the power supply is the issue, completely remove your laptop battery.
2. Then, plug your laptop into a functioning outlet.
3. First, confirm the outlet is functioning properly by plugging another device into it – if it works, the issue isn’t the outlet.
4. If you can power on your laptop without the battery installed, the issue isn’t the power supply, it’s your battery.
5. You’ll need to buy a new one but, in the meantime, you can simply use AC power only.
It’s perfectly fine to use your laptop without the battery installed, it just means you’ll always have to be plugged into an outlet to use it.
2. Check for a Bent Pin in the AC Adapter and Power Port
Some AC adapters include a pin on the end that connects to the laptop. Examine the adapter’s connection, which connects to the laptop, for any bent or damaged pins. If there is, the AC adapter is not providing power to the laptop. The AC adapter must be replaced to resolve the issue.
Some laptops have a pin inside the power port that helps make a solid connection to the AC adapter. If the pin is bent or broken, the laptop is not receiving any power. To fix the problem, the power port on the laptop needs to be repaired or replaced. However, depending on the type of laptop, this solution may demand a full motherboard replacement.
3. Consider Screen Problems
Make sure it’s not a screen issue. A common mistake is when the screen itself is black, people assume their laptop is off when it isn’t. If your power supply is working, you will need to troubleshoot further.
If your power supply is working, you will need to troubleshoot further.
1. First, disconnect all of your nonessential external display devices like projectors and monitors to make sure they’re not interfering with the startup processes of your laptop.
2. If the power button is lit and you can hear fans or noises but there isn’t an image being displayed, turn out the lights to see if there’s an image being displayed very faintly
3. If there is a very faint image once the lights are off, the screen’s inverter has failed and you’ll need to replace it
4. Alternatively, your brightness button may be broken.If your laptop starts up but there isn’t an image, the LCD panel could be broken. It’s not impossible to fix a broken screen, you can read our article here about how to do so. But if your laptop is an older model it might make more sense to simply replace your entire laptop.
If not, use the brightness function key on your keyboard to increase the brightness. Try plugging a different external monitor into your HDMI or other video output port to check if the problem is just with your laptop’s display.
4. Disconnect from the docking station
Check your laptop uses a docking stationwhen your laptop won’t turn on , disconnect it and try connecting the power cord directly to the laptop. Then, try turning on the laptop.
Disconnect from any docking stations. A faulty power port or power supply in a docking station can cause issues when you’re trying to start your laptop.
Disconnect your laptop from the docking station and plug the power adapter directly into the laptop. If your laptop starts, then you need to replace the faulty docking station.
5. Listen for any beeping sounds
When laptop motherboard components fail, often the laptop will issue a series of beeps.
The number of beeps is actually a code to help you identify the failed component. If you do hear the beeping sounds, check the laptop manufacturer’s website for what the number of beeps means for your computer’s make and model.
6. Remove and reconnect the battery
f your laptop turned off suddenly while you were using it, this could indicate an electric shock of some sort caused the safety mechanism built into modern motherboards to disconnect power.
The laptop can also be in a power state that prevents it from booting. Disconnect the power cable and then remove the battery from the laptop. Leave both disconnected from the laptop for at least a minute. Then, put the battery back in the laptop, connect the power cable, and try turning on the laptop.
7. Drain the computer of electricity
Sometimes, a residual electrical charge can keep your laptop from turning on. You can think of it as an “electricity clog.” By performing the following steps, you effectively drain your laptop of any electricity and start over, which often results in it powering up
1. Disconnect the AC adapter and remove the battery (if possible).
2. Hold down the power button for thirty seconds to drain any residual power from the laptop.
3. Without replacing the battery, plug the AC adapter back into the laptop.
4. Press the power button to turn on your laptop and verify that it boots correctly.
5. If the laptop powers on, shut down the laptop normally.
6. If you were able to remove the laptop battery, put the battery back in the laptop.
7. Power on the laptop again, and verify that it boots correctly.
8. Make sure all cooling vents are clear
Laptops have special safety circuits to cut power to your laptop if any components overheat—usually the CPU.
Overheating can happen for many reasons, but most commonly, it’s if you use the laptop on a pillow or sofa—any surface that blocks the laptop cooling vents. Avoid this to keep your laptop cool.
It’s also a good idea to clean all vents in your laptop case because hair, dust, or other debris can also cause overheating.
9. Check hardware
When your laptop won’t turn on other step when diagnosing power issues is to check your hardware.
If you’ve recently installed hardware like a new RAM kit, that could be the cause of your boot issues.
Remove and reinstall your new hardware and try to boot again.Unfortunately, sometimes the hardware in your laptop such as your hard drive simply fails and there is no easy fix. If you hear a clicking noise or the drive spinning but then powering down, this is a telltale sign your hard drive has failed .
In most cases, this means you’ll need to simply replace your hard drive.In instances like this, it is smart to have an external hard drive so you can back up any files you may need.
10. CMOS Battery
One other possible solution to test out is to replace the CMOS battery which stores the BIOS settings in the motherboard.
This is especially true if you’re running an older laptop that is off a lot or used with the main battery removed. A new CMOS battery is very budget-friendly to replace. If this battery is dead, the laptop won’t start.
You can replace the CMOS battery yourself if you feel comfortable opening the case. However, most people opt to have it replaced by an experienced technician.
Pro tip: Make sure that the cables are all properly connected. This might seem simple and obvious but most issues with a laptop that won’t turn on stem from a power supply issue. A loose or unplugged power cable means your computer isn’t getting the juice it needs to run.
11. Bad hardware
After going through the suggested troubleshooting steps above, if your laptop still does not turn on, the problem is likely a hardware failure.
The most likely component to be at fault is the motherboard or processor.
Unfortunately, more in-depth troubleshooting is required to determine the cause for the laptop not working. If faulty hardware is the culprit, repair or replacement is necessary.
We suggest contacting the manufacturer of the laptop for recommendations on how to get it repaired.
12. Diagnose, repair, or replace
Answering the question, “Why won’t my laptop turn on?” might seem intimidating to figure out at first.
Laptops make our lives more convenient by providing us with mobile computing options that fit any lifestyle.
But if you rely on a laptop for your work, school, and daily multitasking, any major issue can throw a wrench in your productivity. If you find that your laptop won’t turn on, don’t panic.
It’s likely a power supply issue that you can troubleshoot and fix. Even if it’s a more complicated issue, there are still budget-friendly ways to test and assess the problem.