Laptop Only Works When Plugged In: FIX It With 4 Easy Methods

So lately your laptop has gone bonkers. It doesn’t stay on when you unplug it from the socket. Well, there could be an issue with the battery or there couldn’t be. We’re going to figure it out. So, here’s a laptop only works when plugged in: Fix it with these easy methods:

  • Disable and Enable the Battery Device 
  • Reset All Your Power Settings From the Command Prompt 
  • Eject CMOS and Hold Your Power Button 
  • Keep Windows Updated 

4 Ways to Fix Laptop Only Works When Plugged In 

Whenever such problems arise, normally we think that the hardware is at fault. That could be the case, but first, you need to rule out the software issue. Who knows you’ve meddled with the settings before that has caused this or Windows has gone completely out of its way to give you problems.

Either way, here are 4 fixes that will help you remove any doubts about the software issue with your battery. 

Disable and Enable the Battery Device 

Try this fix if you see the battery icon but it doesn’t show the charging sign when you’ve plugged in the laptop. 

Step 1: Type Device Manager in the search bar of your Windows. 


Step 2: Open the Device Manager and look for Batteries. Left-click on the small arrow beside it and you’ll see two drivers. The Microsoft AC Adapter controls the cord and its connection to the battery. The Microsoft ACPI-Compliant Control Method Battery sees the battery charging at the hardware level. 

Step 3: Right-click on the second driver because that could be making an issue and select Disable device. The warning prompt ahead will tell you that disabling is going to cause malfunctioning. Don’t worry and select Yes because the device is already not working, so you won’t lose anything. Disabling the device will remove the battery icon from the taskbar. 

Step 4: Go back to the Device Manager and enable the Microsoft ACPI-Compliant Control Method Battery. You’ll find that the battery icon will have returned and it will show charging. 

In case this fix doesn’t work, try the next one. 

YouTube video

Reset All Your Power Settings From the Command Prompt

If the device reset hasn’t worked, the problem could be with your power settings. It’s time to reset them all to their default. 

Step 1: Search for Command Prompt in the search bar of your Windows. 

Step 2: Open the app and type powercfg -restoredefaultschemes. Do not put spaces in between. You may wanna copy this command as it is from here. Hit Enter after doing that. In the back, Windows will reset all your power plan settings. 

  • To check if this has worked, type Power & Sleep in the search bar and go to the app. 
  • There, select the Advanced power settings situated toward the right under the Related settings. 
  • Click on that and you should see that your power plan has only the Balanced option. 
  • That means all your previous settings have been removed. 

I hope that this has worked for you, if not, move on. 

Eject CMOS and Hold Down Your Power Button

This one is a bit rough on part of the software. By doing this, you’ll drain the laptop completely of its power and then restore it. That’s kind of jolting it awake or giving its brain a shock to get it working. 

Do not perform this method if you aren’t skilled enough to open up the core of your laptop. And make sure your laptop is turned off and all the devices are removed beforehand. 

Step 1: Flip the machine and unscrew all the screws beneath it with a Phillips screwdriver. 

Step 2: Make sure you don’t do away with the screws of the LCD. They have little indications with them. 

Step 3: Flip back the laptop and by using a prying tool, remove the keyboard. You’ll see small screws beneath it and the cables connecting it to the motherboard. Be careful when undoing all these. 

Step 4: Use the prying tool to pry open the hand rest beneath the keyboard after removing it and the lower case. You should see the motherboard now. 

Step 5: You don’t need to unscrew the screws holding the motherboard in place. You should instead see a round battery to the left or right side. Gently remove it with the prying tool or anything blunt but long enough to get under it. 

Step 6: Hold the Power button for at least 30 to 40 seconds after it. 

Step 7: Assemble all the components and try turning on the laptop without plugging it in. 

It should turn on now. 

Keep Windows Updated 

As a last resort, you should see if there are pending Windows updates that need to be installed. 

Step 1: Type Settings in the search bar of your Windows and open the app. 

Step 2: There, type Windows Update in the search bar. You should be taken to the Update & Security menu. 

Step 3: Towards the right, see if the “You’re up to date” is visible. If not, check for updates and install them. 

Step 4: Wait for the installation and then restart your PC. After it, check if it’s working when unplugged. 

Laptop Only Works When Plugged In

When to Take Your Laptop to Repair?

If none of the above fixes fix the problem you’re facing, then it might be time to replace your laptop battery. It could have been short-circuited or lost a cell or two. You could either buy a battery online or go to the repair shop to let them deal with it. But before buying it, make sure you know the exact model and make.

Why does my laptop shut off when I unplug it?

Looks like you might be a victim of having a battery malfunction or an adapter acting abnormal which is why your laptop fails to recognize the lithium-ion batteries for power flow and shuts itself.

How do I check my laptop battery health?

Hold the “Win+R” key on your keyboard and type in “Powershell” in the cmd text box. Now in PowerShell proceed by typing in the following command “powercfg /batteryreport” to generate a  brief report for your battery health levels.

Laptop Only Works When Plugged In: Fix – Conclusion 

Having a laptop that doesn’t turn on when you unplug it could mean that there’s a problem with the battery. First, however, rule out any problems with Windows. Follow the fixes above and if they still don’t work, you may want to buy a new battery.