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Dell Laptop Battery Troubleshooting Tips

If you are having problems with your battery not charging or not charging fully, here are a few things to check for and possible solutions:

Bad laptop AC adapter

Test to verify the AC adapter is not bad. Remove the battery and check if the laptop will run solely from the laptop AC adapter. If the laptop does not work, then the AC adapter is bad and needs to be replaced.

Bad motherboard

The computer motherboard may be bad if your new and your old laptop battery won't charge and the laptop AC adapter is working properly. Also, if your laptop battery will charge in another laptop, then that could be a sign that you have a bad motherboard.

Battery is not charging at all or showing that it is not compatible

The problem may be with the computer BIOS and an update is required for the laptop to recognize and fully charge the laptop battery. The current software in your system is only set up to read an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) battery. If your BIOS has not been updated, and you have only used OEM batteries in your laptop, it can cause the replacement battery not to communicate correctly with the software in your system.

Check your manufacturer’s website for possible system BIOS upgrades for your laptop model. Some laptops have been prone to reject third party batteries if they have an old BIOS version installed. Once completing the BIOS upgrade, please recharge your battery for 12 hours and use as normal.

Battery stops charging before it is fully charged

New batteries come in a discharged condition and must be fully charged before use. It is recommended that you fully charge and discharge the new battery four to five times to allow it to reach its maximum rated capacity.

It is generally recommend an overnight charge (approximately twelve hours). It is normal for a battery to become warm to the touch during charging and discharging.

Dell AC Adapter Error: “The AC power adapter type cannot be determined…”

If you are getting this error message with your new Dell replacement battery, try the following steps:

  1. Tip #1
    1. Charge battery overnight.
    2. Start up laptop with AC adapter plugged in and battery inserted. Allow OS to boot up.
    3. Unplug AC adapter, then plug back in
  2. Tip #2
    1. Make sure laptop is completely shut down. Unplug AC adapter.
    2. Insert new battery then start up laptop (without AC adapter).
    3. When the Windows screen displays on your monitor, plug AC adapter in.

Dell Battery Error: “WARNING: the battery cannot be identified. This system will be unable to charge the battery.”

If you are getting this error message with your new Dell replacement battery, try the following steps:

  1. Tip #1
    1. Make sure laptop is completely shut down.
    2. Insert new battery then start up laptop. The battery must be inserted during start up so that it can be recognized.
  2. Tip #2
    1. Start up laptop with battery only, continue to use even with warning message
    2. Discharge battery completely
    3. Reboot laptop (with battery), system will warn you of the low battery – to press F1
    4. Press F1, plug in AC adapter
    5. Warning message should no longer appear

Dell BIOS Update

  1. Go to
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on “Drivers & Downloads” under the “Support” heading.
  3. Click on the green “Start Here” button under the “Support for Home Users” heading
  4. “Choose a Model” by clicking on the green “Select Model” button.
  5. Keep “Select Your Product Model” highlighted in green in 1st column of box.
  6. Click on “Laptops” under “Select Your Product Family” in 2nd column of box.
  7. Click on appropriate product (Inspiron, Latitude, etc) under “Select Your Product Line” in 2nd column
  8. Click on appropriate model number under “Select Your Product Model” in 2nd column.
  9. The 2nd column will now ask you to “Confirm your selection”. It will read: “You have selected _____ Laptop _______. If the correct laptop model is being displayed that matches your laptop, click on the green “Confirm” button.
  10. You will be taken to a ‘Drivers & Downloads for “Your Model”’ page. Scroll down until you see a gray box with horizontal boxes.
  11. Click on the arrow next to “Bios”
  12. Click on the blue “Download” button.
  13. Click on “Download” and follow the process through.

Dell Laptop Battery Status: “Plugged in, not charging”

If you are getting the “Plugged in, not charging” status on your laptop battery, please following the steps below:

  1. Shutdown laptop
  2. Remove battery,unplug AC adapter
  3. Hold down power button 5-10 seconds
  4. Replace battery
  5. Plug in AC adapter
  6. Turn on laptop, allow OS to boot
  7. Status should now say, “Plugged in and charging”

Dell Laptop Battery Status in Windows7: “Plugged in, not charging”

If you are running Windows 7 operating system and are getting the “Plugged in, not charging” status on your laptop battery, please following the steps below:

  1. Unplug AC adapter
  2. Shutdown laptop
  3. Remove battery
  4. Plug in AC Adapter
  5. Start Windows7
  6. Remove Microsoft ACPI-Compliant Control Method Battery:
    1. Go to START > Devices and Printers > Admin PC > Hardware
    2. Select Microsoft ACPI-Compliant Control Method Battery
    3. Click Properties > Change Settings > Driver > Uninstall > OK > Uninstall
  7. Shutdown laptop
  8. Unplug AC Adapter
  9. Replace battery
  10. Plug in AC Adapter
  11. Turn on laptop, allow Windows7 to boot
  12. Status should now say, “Plugged in and charging”

Laptop Battery stops charging whenever it reaches 96-98%

You might need to recalibrate your laptop for the new battery. You can easily recalibrate your laptop properly via the Windows Power Management.

With Windows XP, you can change the battery settings by navigating to Control Panel > Performance and Maintenance > Power Options. Once you find it change the “Power Schemes” to “Always On”. Under “Alarms”, uncheck “Low battery alarm” and “Critical battery alarm”. Under “Hibernate”, uncheck “Enable hibernation”, and then click on Apply.

This is the only time that we recommend taking the battery all the way down to zero %. You should also unplug the ac adapter and let the battery drain all the way down until your laptop shuts off. After that, plug the ac adapter back and charge it to 100%. You may need to repeat this process about 2-3 times before it actually reaches 100%.

My battery shows that it is fully charged, but it is not working

This is known as "False Peak" and is very common condition during first time battery use (or using a battery that has been discharged for several months). The charger light may go out after only 10-15 minutes, indicating that it is fully charged when it is not. Should this happen, simply leave the battery on the charger for about an hour. Remove it, and return it to the charger immediately. The battery will resume normal charging and the charger light will indicate when the battery is ready for use. This may happen several times during the first battery charge. Don't worry; it's perfectly normal.

New battery is defective, need to do a return or an exchange

If you have tried all of the troubleshooting tips and your battery is still not working, your battery may have been damaged during transport. Please call our Customer Service Department and we can help you with the return/exchange process.

If you have tried all of the troubleshooting guides, and your battery is still not operating correctly, you can submit for an exchange or refund by submitting for a Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) number by clicking the link below:

Quick And Easy Return/Exchange

If you would like to get more information on maximizing your battery life, go to and watch our videos.