Troubleshooting a Laptop AC Adapter

All laptop parts have the potential to fail at one point or another. The most likely components to fail are often those with a number of moving parts, as wear and tear will eventually take their toll. A laptop AC adapter failure, however, is common. Since the adapter has no moving parts, it is much less likely to encounter mechanical problems, but failures can still occur.

When troubleshooting a laptop AC adapter, there are a few steps that can help rule out other causes and narrow down the issue that is causing the problem.

1. Ensure you have the correct AC adapter

Ensure that you have the correct adapter for your laptop. Especially in a house or office environment with multiple laptops, it can be easy to grab the wrong one by mistake. Most laptop AC adapters are incompatible with other laptop models. In many cases, the tip will not fit into an incompatible laptop, but this is not always true.

2. Check for damage

If your AC adapter seems to be failing, check for signs of visible damage. Inspect the tip which inserts into the laptop, as well as the entire cord, looking for extreme kinks or frayed wires. Also check the transformer or “brick” for any signs of wear, such as cracks or bulging. If any of these signs are present, you should replace the AC adapter immediately to avoid any risk of electrical shock or damage to the laptop.

3. Try another adapter

If you have a second adapter or can borrow a compatible adapter from someone with the same model of laptop, you can rule out the possibility that the problem is caused by another component. Often, problems with the other internal system components can cause charging issues and other symptoms that aren’t caused by the AC adapter itself.

If you have tried these steps and believe your laptop AC adapter needs to be replaced, make sure you find a compatible replacement for your model. Many online retailers offer a parts locator tool for finding replacement parts specific to your laptop model. Many reputable sellers also offer customer support by phone to help you find a suitable replacement.