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System Battery Shows "Plugged in Not Charging" When You Hover Over the Battery Icon

Summary: This article provides information about how to resolve the "plugged in not charging" message when you hover over the battery icon.

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Article Content


Dell laptop shows the message "plugged in not charging" when you hover over the battery icon (Figure 1). However, the battery will charge outside the operating system (such as system BIOS or the one time boot menu).

plugged in not charging message
Figure 1: Plugged in, not charging message.

NOTE: Check to see if there is a hotkey to disable the battery. Some Dell laptops have an optional hotkey on the keyboard that will disable charging. For example, Fn+F2. If your computer has this option, use it to enable charging. To learn more about hotkeys, see the User Manual of your Dell laptop.


Battery-related issues can be caused due to an aging battery, battery reaching its end of life, AC adapter not working correctly, and so on.


Expand the sections below to find more detailed instructions in each troubleshooting step. Before you print this document, ensure to expand all the required sections.

To ensure that the Dell battery is getting charged correctly, the AC adapter must be working correctly. Verify that the laptop can recognize the AC adapter.

NOTE: Dell recommends using the original AC adapter that was shipped with the laptop.
NOTE: Ensure that the AC adapter that is connected to the computer meets the minimum wattage that is required for the computer to charge the battery. Many high end computers require higher capacity AC adapters such as 150 W, 180 W, 210 W AC adapters.
NOTE: Dell laptops docked to E-Port series, or other docking stations must use the AC adapter that was shipped with the docking station. These AC adapters have a higher capacity that is based on the additional power requirements of the docking station.

To verify that the laptop is recognizing the AC adapter correctly:

  1. Restart the computer.
  2. At the Dell logo appears, tap the F2 key several times until the message Entering Setup appears.
  3. Verify the AC Adapter Type in the BIOS options.
    • If the AC adapter type is None - Verify that the ac adapter is connected to the laptop and the wall outlet.
    • If the AC adapter type is Unknown - See the Dell knowledge base article How to Troubleshoot AC Adapter Issues on a Dell Laptop.
    • If the AC adapter type is recognized correctly, go to the next step.

There are several settings in the operating system like power management settings, device drivers, that may impact the performance of the battery. Charging the laptop battery outside the operating system (when the laptop is powered off) helps isolate hardware-related issues.

  1. Turn off the computer.
  2. Try one of the following combinations:
    • When the laptop is turned off, charge the battery for some time.
    • Or, restart the laptop and tap the F2 key to enter the BIOS or System Setup. Allow the battery to charge.
  3. Verify if the battery charge percentage has increased.
  4. Restart the computer, and go to the next step.

Running a hardware diagnostic test helps identify what the issue may be and provide you with troubleshooting steps to help resolve the issue. Dell offers both integrated and online diagnostics. It is essential to run a hardware test on the laptop or the battery to identify which device is causing the issue.

To run an online hardware test on the battery using Dell SupportAssist, browse to the battery diagnostics page.

NOTE: Running an online hardware diagnostic test on the laptop requires you to download and install the Dell SupportAssist application.

To run the Dell Pre-Boot System Assessment test:

  1. Turn on the computer.
  2. At the Dell logo screen, tap the F12 key several times until the One Time Boot Menu appears.
  3. Use the arrow keys on the keyboard to select Diagnostics and press the Enter key.
  4. Follow the on-screen prompts and respond appropriately to complete the diagnostics.
    1. If the test passes, go to the next step.
    2. If the test fails, ensure to write down the error code and validation code, and contact Dell Technical Support.

Checking the battery health status helps determine if the battery is operating correctly or if it must be replaced. Battery health status can be checked both inside and outside the operating system. See the Dell knowledge base article How to Check Battery Health Status on Dell Laptops.

  • Battery life is mostly determined by the number of charge and discharge cycles. This is also due to the consumable components inside a battery.
  • Battery capacity is the amount of time the laptop can run on a fully charged battery. It is normal for all types of batteries to lose some battery capacity and battery life over time. Every time a battery is charged or discharged, the battery loses a small amount of battery capacity. This behavior is considered a normal characteristic of a rechargeable battery and is not covered by the warranty.
  • For more information, browse to the Dell knowledge base article Dell Laptop Battery - Frequently Asked Questions. See What are the guidelines for handling worn-out and swollen batteries, and then replacing the battery on a Dell laptop? section.
  • For more information about swollen battery, see the Dell knowledge base article Swollen Battery Information and Guidance.

If the battery health status is normal, go to the next step.

The BIOS is firmware that is embedded onto the system board (motherboard) of the computer. Updating the BIOS to the latest version helps the computer recognize the AC adapter correctly. Updating the BIOS to the latest version requires the laptop to be powered by the AC adapter and battery.

WARNING: Dell laptops must have their battery that is installed and connected to the AC adapter before you begin to update the BIOS. Some Dell laptops must have at least a 10% battery charge before you begin the BIOS update.

To update the BIOS to the latest version, see the Dell knowledge base article Dell BIOS Updates.

If the AC adapter type is not recognized by the laptop, see the Dell knowledge base article Forcing a BIOS Update without the AC adapter that is attached on a Dell Laptop. Before trying to force the BIOS update, read the disclaimer below.

CAUTION: If the battery charge is less than 10%, you may be able to force the BIOS to update from within the DOS environment. A failure during this process will cause permanent damage to the system board of the computer. 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.

Dell Quickset

Dell Quickset is a suite of software applications that provide enhanced functionality to your Dell computer. The Dell Quickset utility provides easy access to configure settings for power management, the battery health meter, and other functions on most Dell laptops. It provides easy access to several functions that would normally require several steps. Some of the features that you can access using Dell Quickset include:

  • Disable or enable battery charging.
  • Change Function (Fn) key behavior.
  • Configure wireless shortcut key.

Installing or updating the Dell Quickset application can help resolve issues with battery charging. Download and install the Dell Quickset application from the Dell Drivers & Downloads website. Dell Quickset application can be found under the Application category.

NOTE: The Dell Quickset application is available and supported by select Dell laptops. If Dell Quickset is not available for your Dell laptop, go to the next step.

You can run the Windows Hardware and Devices troubleshooter which is built into Microsoft Windows. The Hardware and Devices troubleshooter is available in Microsoft Windows 10, Windows 8 or 8.1, and Windows 7.

To run the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter:

  1. Press the Windows key + R key.
  2. In the Run dialog box, type Control and press the Enter key.
  3. On the top-right corner, in the Search box of Control Panel, type Troubleshooter and then click Troubleshooting.
  4. Under System and Security, click Power.
NOTE: You must log in 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 Windows Troubleshooter did not resolve the issue, go to the next step.

  1. Press the Windows key + R key.
  2. In the Run dialog box, type devmgmt.msc and press the Enter key.
  3. In Device Manager, click > or + sign next to Batteries.
  4. Right-click Microsoft ACPI-Compliant Control Method Battery and click Uninstall.
  5. Click OK to confirm uninstalling the driver.
  6. Restart the computer.

Additional Information

For additional troubleshooting and help on Dell laptop battery or ac adapter-related issues, see the following Dell knowledge base articles.

Helpful videos

Check Your Laptop Battery Health

Duration: 02:34
Closed captions: English only.

Maximize Laptop Battery Runtime

Duration: 01:25
Closed captions: available in multiple languages.

SLN296542_en_US__11Battery(1) SLN296542_en_US__12Power(1) Browse to the Battery and Power site for additional resources and information.

Article Properties

Affected Product

Chromebook, G Series, Alienware, Inspiron, Latitude, Vostro, XPS, Retired Models

Last Published Date

07 Jul 2021



Article Type