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AC Adapter

banner ac adapter
AC adapter, also called a power adapter or laptop charger, is used to provide sufficient power to operate the laptop for extended periods and to recharge the laptop battery. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, the suggested quick steps might help.

  • The ac adapter does not power on the laptop.
  • Getting an error message such as ‘AC adapter type cannot be determined’.
  • The laptop turns on but does not charge the battery.
  • Buzzing noise from the ac adapter.

Here are a few quick steps that you can try to resolve the ac adapter issue

Try each step and check if the ac adapter issue is resolved. If the issue is not resolved, proceed to the next step.

  1. Verify that there is no damage to the ac adapter, cables, or the power (DC) port on the laptop. Learn how to identify ac adapter damage on Dell laptops.
  2. Connect the ac adapter to another wall outlet (bypass any surge protectors or power strips).
  3. Always use the ac adapter that was shipped with the laptop. Dell does not recommend using incompatible or third-party ac adapters with Dell laptops.
  4. If the laptop is connected and powered by a Dell docking station, use the ac adapter that was shipped with the Dell docking station. For more information, see the user manual of the docking station.
  5. Connect the ac adapter to the laptop. Bypass the docking station to check if the issue is caused by the docking station.
  6. Ensure that the LED on the ac adapter is turned on. The LED indicator may be located either on the ac adapter brick or the adapter (DC) plug.
    1. If the LED is off, disconnect the ac adapter from the wall outlet, and reseat the power cord on the ac adapter and try again. If the LED remains off or turns off after connecting to the laptop, contact Dell Technical Support for repair options in your region.
  7. If the laptop supports a USB-C ac adapter, ensure that the USB-C ac adapter is connected to the correct USB-C port on the laptop that supports charging. See the user manual of the Dell laptop to identify which USB-C port supports charging.
  8. Go to, download and install the latest BIOS for your Dell computer. Learn about Dell BIOS updates.
  9. Run the preboot diagnostic test on the laptop. If the test fails, make a note of the error code and validation code, and contact Dell Technical Support.

If these quick steps did not resolve the ac adapter issue, we have more detailed information in the additional resources. You can also search for content related to the issue using the search bar at the top of this page.

Additional resources


Check if system will power on AC adapter alone

Check if system will power on AC adapter alone

Other Resources

Hardware Test
Hardware test
Run a hardware test on the Dell computer
Drivers and downloads
Drivers and downloads
Need to install or update Dell drivers? Go to
Learn how to troubleshoot power issues on your Dell desktop or all-in-one
Learn how to troubleshoot battery issues on your Dell laptop
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Support videos
Go to our Dell video library for more support videos.