12 reasons your laptop won’t turn on (even when plugged in) & how to fix it

The thought of your laptop dying due to the low battery is so awful – imagine if it wouldn’t turn on. Is there a scarier thought? Don’t worry. We got some probable causes as to why this might be happening to you, so you can stop questioning god about it. Read up on the 12 Reasons your laptop won’t turn on (even when plugged in) and how to fix it.

Why my laptop won’t turn on – 12 reasons

Let’s take a look at some of the most common causes.

1. Screen issues

If you’re hearing your laptop whirring with a fan, it’s probably on. The screen might display a faint or no image at all. It is a screen issue. There could be a problem with the LCD, the brightness button, or the screen’s inverter.

2. Hot hot hot!

If you’ve been using the laptop a lot without great ventilation, it could be a victim of the heat. When a laptop is kept on pillows or a bed surface, it can block the fan’s system. It would cause it to heat up. It will not turn on until it has cooled down. Try restarting it after an hour or two. Make sure to keep it on a desk or hard surface for appropriate ventilation.

3. Battery’s dead

It is the most obvious one. But sometimes batteries can become so poor that you’ll need to put your laptop on the charge only just to turn it on. Try plugging in the charger and then press the on button. If it’s working, you’re good to go. It could also be that your battery may need replacement altogether. A professional will be able to help with that.

4. A faulty dock

A malfunctioning docking station could be the cause of your problems. Unplug from the dock and plug the power adaptor into the laptop. If yours is good to go, the docking station needs to be checked and repaired or replaced.

5. A CMOS problem

The CMOS battery powers the BIOS to load the input and output components. This battery could be to blame if your laptop is not starting up. Get this battery checked and replaced as soon as possible if this is the case.

6. New hardware

Did you recently get some new hardware components installed on your laptop? And it is not turning on right after this change. It might mean that the new components are faulty or malfunctioning. They may not be compatible with your system. An example of this is a new RAM or motherboard. Get them replaced and possibly ask for a refund while you’re at it.

7. Bootable devices

An external DVD drive or a USB plugged in could be the cause of your laptop woes. Remove these devices safely from the system. Now try turning it on again. If it’s working, you know you’ve finally got the problem by the neck.

8. Faulty power button

One of the not-so-obvious reasons for a laptop not starting up is a malfunctioning power button. But it’s not uncommon. The simple reason is that this button is pressed too often and is more sensitive than your laptop keys. Frequently pressing too hard can cause it to break. Get it replaced or repaired. Sometimes the power button may not light up but might still be working.

9. Residual electrical charge

A leftover electrical charge could cause your laptop to shut down. You will need to remove the charger and the battery for this to be solved. After this, press the power button for 30 seconds. Now without replacing the battery, simply charge it with the adapter. Your laptop should turn on. Replace the battery after a while.

10. A failed motherboard

If you are hearing beeping sounds regardless of a shutdown laptop, this may be the motherboard indicating its failure. The beeps are a code much like morse code to help you identify the exact problem. You can find the answers on the manufacturer’s website and FAQs.

11. Monitor issues

There could be a loose wire or issues with your screen. You can set up another monitor and connect the computer to it. If you find the display working fine there, you have your answer. A monitor issue could be caused by a fall and a wire being disconnected. It could also be screen damage. Both of these will be fixed with the help of a trained professional.

12. External damage

Whether it’s a popcorn stuck inside your keyboard or a fall to the head, external damage to the laptop is no joke. Check for cracks and scratches on the surface and every nick and corner. Open the laptop using screwdrivers and check for broken wires or missing parts.

If you have just had your unit serviced and it won’t turn on, there’s a high chance the technician got something wrong. While you’ve got the lid opened up, you might as well check the battery too.

Physical damage could cost you a lot of money in repairs and replacements of components. We recommend calculating the costs beforehand. Old models might not be worth the cost of repair as they depreciate thirty percent every year.

But newer models could be repaired. Just make sure the cost is lower than twenty-five percent of the original price. That way – nobody loses.

HP Envy Elitebook won’t turn on? Common issues, even when the charging light is on.

woman looking at laptop confused

One common issue with the Elitebook is the residual electrical charge. You can easily avoid this obstacle. When you notice the laptop isn’t starting, remove the battery. Remove the charger. Hold the power button down for 30 seconds. Now plug in the AC adapter charger and start it. It should startup now.

Another issue could be the screen itself. You could have damaged the laptop while transporting it for work. It may cause you to think that the laptop isn’t turning on. In fact, it’s the screen not responding. An average HP screen replacement can cost you anywhere between $60-$300.

While the more complex tasks should be left to a professional, here are some basic things you can try:

How to fix a laptop that won’t turn on

  1. Check the charging light

    Take a look at the light when it is plugged in. If it’s lit, it might not be a battery issue. If charging instantly turns it on, you know it was a charging issue.

  2. Observe the screen

    Do you see the screen flicker at all? Are there lines on there? Is only a partial display visible? If yes, you’ve got a faulty screen on your hands. You might need screen replacement altogether. Once an LCD screen is damaged, it is rarely ever repaired.

  3. Check for a residual charge.

    You could unplug it and remove the battery to check for leftover current. Now press the power button for thirty seconds. Now plug in the charger and try restarting. It should work if the issue was leftover current.

  4. Check the buttons.

    Maybe you’re pressing the ‘on’ button, but that’s exactly the problem. The button is non-responsive or faulty. It’s quite common to have a broken power button since we press down on it so much for rebooting or powering off. You can try turning it on through the motherboard or BIOS while the button gets repaired. Alternatively, sometimes the light on the power button won’t work, but the button is just fine.

My laptop screen won’t turn on but has power.

It could be due to some external damage to the screen. If you think you could have dropped or hit your bag anywhere, that could be it. Several other factors could cause a broken screen.

The backlight could be malfunctioning which could be leading to the screen not being visible. There could also be the issue of an outdated driver. Cables and connectors could have been messed with and might need repairing or replacement.

If you’ve got a lid sensor that makes the laptop light up as you open it, try closing and reopening the laptop. You’ve probably got a malfunctioning lid sensor if the laptop is not lighting up.

You could also try updating your video drivers. One way to check if the video driver is the issue is to see if you have a blurry or defective display.

If you’ve just got a black screen on booting, here’s what you can do. Check whether the windows are working by pressing Windows + Ctrl + Shift + B. Beeping sounds will indicate that your windows are responsive. No sounds will mean your computer isn’t booting. You will need to call a professional for help here.

You could also plug it into an external monitor. That way, you can ensure whether it’s the screen or other components like the motherboard or the RAM that are problematic.


Here are some frequently asked burning questions by customers.

How do you force-turn on a laptop?

There is a simple way to do the hard reset if your laptop won’t boot. Unplug the charger and remove the battery. Now press down the power button for 30 seconds. Now that all residual charge has left the building, you can plug the charger in and start it up again. It is working now, and you can replace the battery when you see fit.

How to turn on a Dell laptop without a power button

Dell users often face difficulties with their laptop power buttons. A good way to get over this is to change the BIOS settings. To go into BIOS settings, press DEL or F12 right after turning it on. Now find the ‘Power on Lid open’ button. Set the switch to the ON position. Now apply changes or Apply to all and save. It should make it automatic for your laptop to be on as soon as you open the lid.

Is it worth fixing a broken laptop?

It depends on both the age and the level of damage. On average, it will lose 30% of its value with every year it puts on. And if the damage consists of heavy repair or replacement, it might not be worth the cost. For instance, a motherboard or new RAM will cost you hundreds of dollars, not to mention the cost of installation the expert will charge you. Don’t go repairing it if it’s costing you 1/4th of the original cost.broken laptop

What could be slowing down my laptop?

A slow laptop could be the victim of many culprits. This could be a virus that attacked your software or even hardware. That’s why it’s important to have a good anti-virus in place. You could also have an outdated hard drive or hardware that may not be supporting the software or new Windows you get installed. The footprint may be too much to handle. It could also be due to your heavy usage that background apps may be slowing down your computer. Too much data could also be the reason for the same.

What are some good laptops?

If you’re a corporate employee or businessperson, a good laptop is often (in) your right hand. You want something tough and reliable to endure the long hours and high data volumes. A good budget model for that purpose is the HP Probook. It’s lightweight but also very powerful.

The Notebook 445 PC is a great place to start, and it’s customizable. You can dive right in with your favorite attributes. You could also try the Acer Aspire series or the Lenovo Ideapad. They are so light but mean some serious business. The HP Zbook workstations are also game-changers when it comes to power-packed features and battery life. If you are looking for an all-rounder, the HP Pavilion series is great.

What is a Chromebook?

Chromebooks are different from laptops in terms of their Operating Systems. While they mostly run on Windows or Mac OS, these Chromebooks run on the Chrome OS. They are more suited to working with other Google products. They have great battery life and offer high protection from viruses. They are not good for the average gamer, however.

Chromebook is not ideal for editing photos and videos due to limited hardware specifications. There’s also less convenient when you’re multitasking. Whereas on Windows and Mac, multi-tasking is a cakewalk. While they offer great battery life, they have very little storage in return.

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