Learn how to optimize the battery life, troubleshoot and resolve battery issues, run a diagnostic on a laptop battery and answers to some frequently asked questions about Dell laptop batteries.
Battery on a laptop charger is used to provide portable power for operating the laptop. Lithium Ion or Li-ion batteries are the most commonly used batteries in laptops and other digital gadgets. Dell laptop batteries are specifically designed for each Dell laptop. Power issues on laptop PCs are compounded because a laptop has two power sources: AC adapter (charger) & battery. Laptop battery provides power to the laptop when the AC adapter is not connected to the PC.
Note: Like most laptops, Dell laptops use lithium ion batteries, which can swell for a variety of reasons such as age, number of charge cycles, or exposure to high heat. While a swollen pack does not represent a safety concern, damaged or swollen components should not be used. Should you have an issue with a battery pack swelling, we recommend discontinuing use and replacing it with a Dell authorized battery.
If you are experiencing one of the following symptoms, follow the troubleshooting procedure below to verify if the AC adapter (charger) and battery are working correctly.
Battery - If you notice the following battery symptoms:
- Battery is not holding charge.
- Battery indicator LED does not glow or blinks always.
- Battery is not recognized by the PC.
- Battery charge is stuck at a certain percentage.
Refer to the troubleshooting steps below to resolve battery issues
AC adapter - If you notice the following AC adapter symptoms:
- AC adapter is not able to charge the battery.
- AC adapter is not able to power on the laptop PC, the lights or LEDs do not illuminate.
- AC adapter LED is off.
- Error message - The AC adapter type cannot be determined. This will prevent optimal system performance.
Refer to the Dell knowledge-base article AC Adapter Not Powering on the Computer or Charging the Battery
to troubleshoot AC adapter issues.
Expand the sections below to find more detailed instructions of each troubleshooting step.
Before you print this document, expand all the required sections.
Troubleshooting battery issues
Expand the sections below for more information on how to troubleshoot battery issues on Dell laptop PCs.
To ensure that the Dell battery is getting charged correctly, the AC adapter should be functioning normally. Verify if the AC adapter is recognized correctly by the PC.
To verify if the PC is recognizing the AC adapter correctly:
- Restart the PC.
- When the Dell logo appears, tap F2 key until the message Entering Setup appears.
- Verify the AC Adapter Type in the BIOS options.
If AC Adapter Type is None - Ensure to connect the AC adapter to the PC.
If AC Adapter Type is Unknown - Follow troubleshooting steps to resolve AC adapter issues. If AC Adapter Type is recognized correctly, proceed to the next step.
There are several settings with the operating system like power management settings, device drivers, etc,. that may impact the performance of a battery. Charging the laptop battery outside the operating system will help isolate hardware related issues.
- Turn off the Dell PC.
- Try one of the following combinations:
While the PC is off, charge the battery for a while.
Or, restart the PC and tap F2 key to enter BIOS or System Setup. Charge the battery within BIOS.
- Verify if the battery charge percentage has increased.
- Restart the PC and proceed to the next step.
Running a hardware diagnostic test can help you identify what the issue may be and provide you troubleshooting steps to help resolve the issue. Dell offers both built-in and online diagnostics. It is essential to run a hardware test on the PC and/or the battery to identify which device is causing the issue.
To run an online hardware test on the battery, visit the Battery Diagnostics page.
To run the Dell ePSA built-in hardware diagnostics:
- Turn on the PC and tap F12 key.
- Choose Diagnostics from the menu.
- When the diagnostics reports an issue, refer to the Reference Table of ePSA, PSA Error Codes and Troubleshooting Steps section, for the meaning of the code and any additional troubleshooting steps to perform, to help resolve the issue.
- When no issue is reported by the diagnostics, it means that no hardware issues were found. This most likely means your are having an issue with the Operating System on your computer.
Note: Running an online hardware diagnostic test on the PC will require you to download and install Dell SupportAssist application.
For more information on running a hardware diagnostics on a Dell PC, refer to the Dell knowledge-base article Resolve Hardware Issues With Built-in and Online Diagnostics (ePSA or PSA Error Codes).
If the Dell ePSA or online hardware diagnostic test passes, proceed to the next step.
If the Dell ePSA or online hardware diagnostic test failes, contact Dell Technical Support.
Checking the laptop battery health status will help determine if the battery is operating normally or if it needs to be replaced. Battery health status can be checked both inside and outisde the operating system.
Note: Battery life or battery capacity is the amount of time the PC can run on a fully charged battery. It is normal for all types of batteries to lose some battery life over time. Every time a battery is charged or discharged, the battery will lose a very small amount of capacity. This is considered a normal characteristic of a rechargeable battery and not a fault covered under warranty.
There are several ways to check the battery health status. For more information, refer to the Dell knowledge-base article Guide on Checking Notebook / Laptop Battery Health Status.
If the battery health status is normal, proceed to the next step.
BIOS is a firmware that is embedded onto the System Board of your computer. Updating the BIOS to the latest version may help the PC recognize the AC adapter. Updating the BIOS to the latest version requires the laptop PC to be powered by the AC adapter and battery.
Warning: Dell laptop PCs must have the battery installed and also be running on AC adapter power prior to updating the BIOS. Some Dell laptop PCs need to have at least 10% battery charge before you begin the BIOS update.
To update the BIOS to the latest version, refer to the Dell knowledge-base article How do I download and install the latest BIOS for my Dell computer?.
If the AC Adapter Type is not recognized by the PC, refer to the Dell knowledge-base article Forcing a BIOS Update without the AC adapter attached on a Dell Laptop. Before forcing the BIOS update, please read the disclaimer below.
If the battery charge is less than 10% you may be able to force the BIOS to update from within a DOS environment. A failure during this process may result in your system becoming unusable and users must proceed at their own risk. Dell shall not be liable for any loss, including but not limited to loss of data, loss of profit or loss of revenue, which customers may incur by following any procedure or advice set out in this article.
See the following article for more details:
How to update your System BIOS using a USB Flash Drive
You can run the Windows Hardware and Devices troubleshooter which is built-in to Microsoft Windows. The Hardware and Devices troubleshooter is available in Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1 & Windows 10 only.
To run the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter:
- Press the Windows key + R on the keyboard.
- In the Run dialog box, type Control and press the Enter key on the keyboard.
- On the top-right corner, in the Search box of Control Panel, type Troubleshooter and then click Troubleshooting.
- Under System and Security item, click Power.
Note: You will need to login to Windows with an account with administrator privileges. If you get any prompts from User Account Control while running the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter, click Yes.
If running Microsoft Fix-It or Windows Troubleshooter did not resolve the issue, proceed to the next step.
- Press the Windows key + R on the keyboard.
- In the Run dialog box, type devmgmt.msc and press the Enter key on the keyboard.
- In Device Manager, click > or + sign next to Batteries.
- Right-click Microsoft ACPI-Compliant Control Method Battery, click Uninstall.
- Click OK to confirm uninstalling the driver.
- Restart the PC.
Dell Product Bulletin website will help check if your battery model may be affected. Check if the specific battery PPID (Dell Part Piece Identification) is affected. This step is necessary to identify if your battery is affected. If the battery is subjected to a recall, you will be automatically connected to a replacement order form.
You will need your Service Tags and/or PPIDs for this process. You may also be asked for your contact information as well as a shipping or service address.
- Visit Dell Product Bulletin website.
- Click Lookup.
- Type the Battery PPID (Figure 1) and enter the Security Code.
- Click Next to check if the battery is under recall.
If the battery is under recall, you will be asked to provide your contact information.
My Laptop Battery is Plugged In, But Not Charging - (01:46)