Why does my laptop not turn on?

Updated: 04/30/2020 by Computer Hope
Illustration: Laptop with no power.

If your laptop does not turn on, or does not boot when powered on, there are several steps you can take to try and resolve the issue.

Below are troubleshooting steps to help identify what may be preventing your laptop from turning on. We recommend going through each of them for the best results.

Note

These steps are specific to laptop computers. For a desktop computer, see: Why won't my computer turn on?

Note

Before following these troubleshooting steps, disconnect any peripherals connected to your laptop, such as a mouse or a USB thumb drive.

Connect the power cable

AC adapter

Although it may seem obvious, if your laptop is running on battery power only, connecting the AC adapter may solve the problem. Ensure the adapter cord is correctly plugged in on both ends securely. If the laptop works with the adapter plugged in, your battery is dead or defective.

Disconnect from the docking station

If your laptop uses a docking station, disconnect it and try connecting the power cord directly to the laptop. Then, try turning on the laptop.

Remove and reconnect the battery

Note

Many new laptops (especially MacBooks) are utilizing an architecture that does not allow their batteries to be removed. If your laptop does not have a removable battery, skip to the next section.

The laptop can also be in a power state that prevents it from booting. Disconnect the power cable and then remove the battery from the laptop. Leave both disconnected from the laptop for at least a minute. Then, put the battery back in the laptop, connect the power cable, and try turning on the laptop.

Drain the computer of electricity

Sometimes, a residual electrical charge can keep your laptop from turning on. You can think of it as an "electricity clog." By performing the following steps, you effectively drain your laptop of any electricity and start over, which often results in it powering up.

  1. Disconnect the AC adapter and remove the battery.
  2. Hold down the power button for thirty seconds to drain any residual power in the laptop.
  3. Without replacing the battery, plug the AC adapter back into the laptop.
  4. Press the power button to turn on your laptop.
  5. If the laptop powers on, shut down the laptop normally.
  6. When the laptop is powered down, put the battery back in the laptop.
  7. Power on the computer, and verify that it boots correctly.
Note

If this process does not work for you, repeat and hold the power button for one minute or longer at step two.

Bad hardware

After going through the suggested troubleshooting steps above, if your laptop still does not turn on, the problem is likely a hardware failure. The most likely hardware component to be at fault is the motherboard or processor. Unfortunately, more in-depth troubleshooting is required to determine the cause for the laptop not working. If faulty hardware is the root cause, repair or replacement of that hardware component may be necessary to fix the problem.

We suggest contacting the manufacturer of the laptop for recommendations on how to get it repaired. You can also take your laptop to a computer repair shop, as they may be able to diagnose the issue and replace the faulty hardware.

Additional information