My Dell Laptop Turns Off when Unplugged

Dell Laptop Switches Off when Unplugged? Read on for our top tips! Why Does My Dell laptop Turn Off When I Unplug It? If you are experiencing problems with your Dell laptop shutting down, here are some helpful tips on what to do.

Your notebook is unlikely to turn off when unplugged due to a faulty power supply. Your laptop’s battery may be unable to charge due to overheating or a faulty power cable that isn’t providing the correct voltage.

In addition, the BIOS may need to be updated or the cooling fan may need to be repaired on your computer. What causes my Dell laptop to turn off when I unplug it? The laptop turns off when unplugged if the battery is not providing power, which means there could be a charging issue.

When you unplug your laptop, it may have a problem with its power plug, power adapter or battery. Connecting your laptop directly to an outlet is better than using an extension cord or surge protector. If you don’t have a Dell laptop then check out our general laptop power issue article.

Table of Contents

My Dell Laptop Turns Off when Unplugged
My Dell Laptop Turns Off when Unplugged

Dell Laptop suddenly turns off not charging

When your laptop stops charging and shuts down suddenly, you might have a few problems. The laptop charger port might be dirty, or you might have a bad contact on the power cord or the power plug.

You will notice that the battery icon keeps going between charging and disconnected if these are the issues. As a result, the laptop’s battery will never be fully charged while it is charging. 

If you don’t fully charge your battery, you may start experiencing random power outages.

You will need to check the charging capabilities of your laptop with different power adapters in order to resolve this issue. Your battery may not have been damaged by incomplete charging cycles since this started happening recently. 

You may need to replace your battery if you’ve noticed this happening for some time.

What if my Dell laptop turns off when it is unplugged and I know that there is no problem with the power cord?

If this is the case then you probably have a faulty battery or charger/power adapter. If your laptop shuts down when unplugged then you could have an issue with your battery or your power management profile.

If you unplug your device and you notice that the battery suddenly drains, or when you unplug your charger cable the notebook asks you to power down the device before it switches off on its own.

Why does my Dell laptop only work when the charger is plugged in?

This is normally due to a flat battery, which would also reveal itself as your laptop shuts off when unplugged

It is not normal for your laptop to power off when you unplug it, so if this is happening then you are looking at a serious issue. The reason your battery is not charging could be for one of the following reasons:

  • Faulty Battery
  • Faulty Laptop Charger
  • Faulty Power Cord
  • Bad Charging Circuitry on Your Laptop’s Motherboard.

Why does your Dell laptop shut down unexpectedly?

Why is my Dell laptop just shutting off?

Several possible problems could be causing your laptop to randomly shut down: Windows corruption, power supply problems, and hardware problems. 

Some laptops can shut down even when you don’t unplug them, which may indicate a problem with overheating (thermal shutdown or hardware component failure).

You may also experience random shutdowns and reboots if you have driver problems.

Your laptop will go into hibernate mode and wake up again if your power management settings are incorrect.

To get the best performance from your laptop, set up its advanced power settings properly

There may be moisture on your laptop’s components due to environmental humidity, liquid spills, or even insect infestation in extreme cases. This could cause your laptop to power off randomly.

Regardless of how good you are at using computers and laptops, a random problem can still catch you off guard. Checking the basics of a sudden laptop shutdown will help you fix it.

Most of the time, thermal overload is caused by the motherboard’s thermal overload controls. In other words, critical components on your laptop’s motherboard can usually detect excessive heat and either warn you with a beep or alarm, or shut down entirely in extreme cases.

The issue with cooling and notebooks is that there is an area within the device, which makes airflow a problem.

Most electronic components are very close to one another to save space, which is not always great for system thermals. Our top 5 tips should help you to narrow down the issue, and hopefully, fix it yourself.


When your notebook powers off unexpectedly, there is probably no worse feeling in the world. Occasionally, this is just an inconvenience that happens only once in a while. Sometimes it can be disastrous as you can lose the progress you had made on your work.

As soon as the issue starts occurring on a regular basis, it is time to start troubleshooting. You can use our quick guide to figure out what is causing your sudden laptop shutdowns, as well as how you can fix the problem yourself. Here we go!

Dell Laptop Troubleshooting Starting Point

The first thing to do in the event of a sudden laptop shutdown is to check your cooling system. If your laptop was running for a prolonged amount of time, it is possible that you have issues with your cooling fans or ventilating unit.

Review the location of the fan and/or ventilating unit and look at it for dust build-up, sticker residue, water damage, or anything else obstructing its airflow.

Make sure that the blades are not broken, or bent. If a fan is weak, it will cause your laptop to overheat.

Check the back vents on your laptop for dust or obstructions. Sometimes a small speck of dust can have an adverse effect if your cooling system is not working properly. 

Remove any excess heat sinks, and check the thermal paste between each surface and its corresponding chip. If there is no thermal paste, then it’s time to add some in.

My Dell Laptop Turns Off when Unplugged
My Dell Laptop Turns Off when Unplugged

Windows Corruption

Windows corruption is not fun. It can be a real headache to remedy, and it can cause all sorts of problems for your computer. Windows corruption issues are usually caused by long periods of high CPU usage, or maybe your hard drive is starting to fail.

If you have a sudden shutdown issue while playing video games, then the beginning of the end of your gaming session is probably a good idea to shut down your device.

If you are getting random restarts while using programs or applications, then there might be some corruption in Windows that is causing the problem to occur. You can resolve Windows corruption by running a chkdsk scan on your hard drive. This is a quick and easy tech solution that can get you back into Windows without needing to call anyone out.

If you are having problems with the scanner tool, then you will need to check that the computer is being recognized by your Device Manager (Control PanelSystem & SecurityDevice Manager). If not, then you will need to update your network card and/or sort out any issues there.

Hardware Issues: Dell Laptop Battery and Charge Problems

If you have a hardware issue, the shutdowns may be related to the graphics card. The power cord going into the device may also not fit snugly in the outlet or have loose pins inside of it.

If your notebook is shutting down randomly while plugged in then try checking with another power cord or by using a different one to plug into.

Other hardware issues such as motherboard or video card issues can be another cause for your laptop to randomly shut down. A video card issue might have an effect on the CPU, which could also contribute to a shutdown.

If your laptop is shutting down when you are playing games or performing other CPU-intensive tasks then you should try running a virus scan and defragmentation of your hard drive.

You should also check that you do not have any overheating issues with a laptop cooling pad or by adding more fans to your computer.

There are many reasons why laptops randomly shut down, but most of these issues are easy to fix. It does require some attention and persistence, but it is usually worth it in the long run!

Power Supply Problems

To check if your laptop is suffering from faulty power supply issues, you will need to plug the laptop into a different outlet. If it starts working again then that was the problem! It may be time for an upgrade as well.

You can also check that the power cord is securely plugged into the laptop and the electrical socket. If there is a loose connection anywhere, then you should be able to see it or feel it with your hands.

If your laptop still thinks that it is not getting any electricity, then you will need to look at replacing some of the internal parts.

If your laptop still thinks that it should be getting electricity even when you are sure that all parts are properly connected, then there might be a fault with the motherboard.

That is not to say that this will happen in every case. Some motherboards might have electromagnetic interference issues from something like a cordless phone or a wireless router.

It’s a good idea to try running your laptop on battery power and checking if it is still shutting down.

Software Driver Problems

Due to their nature as computers, laptops can have many of the same issues as desktop computers. The drivers on your laptop can cause huge problems without you even knowing it.

Installing new drivers is necessary. There are times when they come preinstalled on the laptop, but more often than not, you will need to download them yourself.

If you ever wish to uninstall your drivers again, make sure you store them in a separate folder on your computer. You will be able to find the right drivers and uninstall them much easier if you ever run into problems with any of them.

The drivers on your computer may not be performing their duties correctly if they are outdated or corrupted. You could experience random shutdown issues as a result.

Many people are unaware that your Microsoft Windows installation has a lot of power management settings that make your laptop more efficient when it is not connected to a charger. 

Checking your device’s power profile is a good idea if you need to use it in an area where it needs to be unplugged.

Why Does My Dell LaptopTurn Off When I Unplug It?

If your laptop is powering off when you unplug it then it is unlikely to be a power management misconfiguration, but it is worthwhile finding out what your current power profile is.

To find out what your laptop is currently running, do the following. Click on Start, type in “Power” and select the Choose Power Plan option. Then once you have that window open, you can see what your current plan is.

Most people find that the “Balanced” profile is sufficient, so double check what you have selected and turn on the profile that suits your needs the best. 

From this area, you can edit your power profile and decide what your laptop shut screen action does. This can be set so that the device goes into hibernate, logs out, or even does nothing.

A Final Thought

These tips should help you narrow down the reason why your Dell laptop is turning off when unplugged, and hopefully you’ve now fixed the problem.

Please let us know if you have found a way to diagnose and resolve random shutdown issues without having to pay someone else to fix it for you if you have done so.

We hope you have learned how to prevent problems, and that your laptop will no longer shut down when it is unplugged from the charger.