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Chromebook Won’t Charge [Try These Fixes]

Posted by Joseph on May 20, 2019

We tend to only acknowledge that the battery in our laptop is dying once it reaches that critical point right before it decides to turn off on us. You know what I mean. That annoying pop-up to let us know that our battery power has reached 10% and will shut down if we don’t find a power source. At this point, you’re frantically looking around for the plug, or in my case, fumbling with it wondering how it got loose in the first place.

But what happens when you do connect the laptop to a power source and it still fails to charge? More often than not, this is where the panic begins to set in. No more YouTube, no more online gaming, no more pirated movies. What are you to do in this situation?

In this article, I’ll be focusing on solutions to this problem specifically geared toward those with HP Chromebooks. You’ll receive some guidance on how to troubleshoot a laptop that still has some battery life left in it and for situations where the laptop is void of all power but still won’t charge.

 

Solutions To “My Chromebook Won’t Charge.”

Chromebook owners who have uttered the phrase, “My Chromebook won’t charge,” will find this article quite helpful. There are few things more annoying than being in the middle of watching the season finale of your favorite TV series only for the laptop to cut off during the most exciting parts. Sure, you get the 10% warning, but anyone who owns a laptop knows that it’s just a formality. Might as well say “We’re shutting down now. You’ve got 60 seconds to save whatever you were working on before…” and it’s dead.

The worst part about it is that you likely already had the laptop plugged in to begin with, so what gives? First, we’ll deal with what to do when your laptop shows zero life and still just doesn’t seem like it wants to charge.

 

Lifeless Chromebook Won’t Charge

Chances are good that for your Chromebook to have reached “lifeless” status, it was probably left on overnight, draining the battery completely. Then you wake up, go to turn it on, realize what has happened, attempt to charge it up while you brew the morning coffee or take a shower. Unfortunately when you return the laptop still has no pulse.

You’ve lifted the lid, mashed on the power button, screamed a few profanities, and are now in panic mode. Living without your Chromebook is like being deprived oxygen.

If this is the scenario you find yourself in, here’s what you need to do:

1. Check The Charger Cables and Connected Outlet

The physical layer is always the first stop on the road to troubleshooting. This means that you’ll want to take a look at the charger itself, especially if this problem is a first-time occurrence. You can begin by ensuring that the AC adapter is correctly plugged into the wall outlet. It’s not uncommon for the prongs to wiggle loose from the sockets, especially if you move the laptop around often.

If the connection checks out fine, then it could be a case of the outlet not functioning properly. Thankfully, most outlets come with two sockets so, unless you have a tester to check if the outlet is actually providing electricity, just go ahead and plug the AC adapter into the neighboring socket. If you have to, you can unplug whatever is currently taking up space in order to test if the original socket your laptop’s AC adaptor was plugged into, is in fact non-functioning.

Something to remember is that the AC adapter is actually composed of two cables. There’s the one you’re fiddling with now that plugs into the wall outlet. This cable has a second end that plugs into the adapter itself. The second cable is the one you’ll find that begins with the adapter and ends with the connection your laptop. Make sure that every one of these is properly plugged in snugly to their correct entry points.

2. LED Indicator Light Functionality

When the charger is properly connected, the battery indicator LED should be lit up and visible. While charging, the color of the light is usually amber. However, if you happen to see a lit green light, you’ll want to wait for it to turn amber so that you know that your battery is actually charging. If you reach this point, just allow your laptop some time to charge before attempting to turn it on. Thirty minutes is the preferred time frame.

The problem is if and when the indicator LED doesn’t light up. Don’t panic though. Sometimes it’s best to play it safe and allow it to sit, with the charger connected, for approximately ten minutes as there are times when the battery doesn’t respond right away. This is especially true when the battery has been totally drained of all power.

However, if the LED light still doesn’t come on, we’ll have to dive deeper into our troubleshooting. Also, pay close attention to the bottom of the laptop. if the LED light won’t turn on but the bottom of the laptop begins to heat up anyway, disconnect it immediately to prevent further complications.

3. Embedded Controller (EC) Reset

It’s possible that your Chromebook isn’t responding to the charger connection because it may just be frozen. In this case, you can perform an Embedded Controller reset in an attempt to unfreeze it, just make sure that you do so while the laptop is still connected to its charger.

To perform an EC reset, simultaneously press and hold the refresh and power buttons for around three seconds. If the laptop boots up, you can breathe a sigh of relief as that was the problem and it’s solved now. Should the laptop still be as cold as a corpse on a slab, it may be time to call in the experts. Either contact the manufacturer directly or take the Chromebook to your local tech repair shop. The laptop’s life is in the hands of the professionals now.

 

Power Is Fading But Chromebook Won’t Charge

This section is for those with Chromebooks that have power but won’t for long because the battery still isn’t charging. So long as the laptop is working properly, we can dive into the troubleshooting steps. Just be sure that you first attempt the instructions provided above for Check The Charger Cables & Connected Outlet before you move forward.

Once that has been taken care of and you still need to move forward, you can start by doing the following:

  1. First, completely power down your Chromebook and then close the lid shut.
  2. Next, unplug the charger from the wall outlet and disconnect your laptop from the charger.
  3. You can then reconnect your charger to the Chromebook and then plug in the AC adapter into a functioning wall outlet.
    • Ensure that the lid remains closed throughout this process.
    • Look for the LED indicator light. If it does not turn amber, it means that the Chromebook is currently charging. You’ll want to allow it to charge, undisturbed, for approximately one hour before lifting the lid.
  4. Attempt to turn on the laptop.

If these steps worked then you’re in the clear. However, if the issue is still unresolved, and the laptop will still not charge, we can jump into some troubleshooting.

1. Embedded Controller (EC) Reset

We’ll be doing the last resort step from the first troubleshooting section, first. What you’ll want to do is simultaneously press and hold the refresh and power buttons for three seconds in order to reboot your laptop (so long as you still have enough juice to do so). If it doesn’t boot up, and the battery is now drained, attempt to charge it again. Of course, do this even if it does boot up or this would be a pointless step.

If after the reset, the laptop still won’t charge, it’s time to move on to the next step.

2. AC Adapter Charge Verification

Chromebook comes with a nifty way to tell if the AC adapter is actually pushing current to your laptop’s battery. Pretty nifty if you ask me. The charging process is generally pretty straightforward so if the battery isn’t being charged there are only so many parts involved that could be the problem.

If you’d like to know your AC adapter isn’t one of those malfunctioning parts, all you have to do is:

  1. Plug the AC adapter into a functioning wall outlet and ensure that the other end is connected to your laptop. It should fit snugly, no wiggling.
  2. If the laptop is currently off, you can now go ahead and turn it on.
  3. What you’ll need to do now is press the Ctrl+Alt+T keys simultaneously in order to open Crosh.
  4. Type the following: battery_test 1 into the provided area in crosh, and then hit the Enter key.
  5. The results displayed will inform you on if the AC adapter is or is not allowing current to run through and charge up your Chromebook’s battery.

What should be displayed, if the AC adapter is fine, is “Battery is charging”. If this isn’t what is shown, then the AC adapter is not charging the battery and is likely the source of the problem. Immediately unplug the AC adapter from the wall outlet and thoroughly inspect the cables and adapter for any breaks or nicks.

Having another charger on hand would be helpful in this situation as it would provide a better perspective on if the current AC adapter is in fact failing. For those who don’t have an extra adapter laying around, it’s likely time to put your Chromebook into the hands of professionals. Take it to the nearest tech repair shop, provide them with all of the troubleshooting steps that you’ve already taken, and see what they can do for you. Or…

…You can try this one last troubleshooting step before you head out.

3. Battery Rate Discharge Check

We’re only trying to be thorough here. This may do nothing or it may actually fix the problem. Afterall, isn’t that why you’re here? It may be time to check the health of the battery itself. If the battery is dying it should be pretty obvious why it’s not charging.

The results you’ll be looking for are:

  • A battery with a health percentage of greater than means that it is within the expected wear limits.
  • A battery that is less than a year old with a health percentage of 50% or less is considered outside expected wear limits and your Chromebook would benefit from a replacement.
  • A result displaying “Unknown” when testing the battery means that it will more often than not, require a replacement.

To perform a battery health check using an HP Chromebook, perform the following steps:

  1. Begin by disconnecting the charging cable currently connected to your Chromebook.
  2. Boot up your Chromebook by turning on the power, and sign in to your account.
  3. If any apps are currently open you’ll need to close them. This includes any and all tabs that are automatically opened upon launch, as well.
  4. Next, reduce the screen brightness down to the lowest level.
  5. Launch the Chrome browser and in the address bar, type in chrome://extensions/, and then press Enter.
    • You could also click on the More… icon at the top-right corner of the screen. The one that looks like three vertically stacked dots. From there, select More tools and then Extensions.
  6. Disable every single one of the extensions by toggling every blue switch, located at the lower-right of each extension, to gray. The toggle will show as gray when it is disabled.
  7. Open Crosh on your machine by simultaneously pressing the Ctrl+Alt+T keys.
  8. Just like in the step you took to verify if the AC adapter was allowing a current to run through to your battery, enabling it to charge, type battery_test 1 into crosh, and then press Enter.

You’ll get the same screen display as before, only this time focus on what the current battery health shows you. Depending on the results that are shown, the battery may be the cause for your woes and you may need to have it replaced.

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