Home > Laptop > Laptop How To

Laptop won’t turn on – possible causes and how to fix

Last Updated on January 10, 2024
A laptop that won't turn on, in need of a fix.
You can trust PC Guide: Our team of experts use a combination of independent consumer research, in-depth testing where appropriate - which will be flagged as such, and market analysis when recommending products, software and services. Find out how we test here.

If your laptop won’t turn on and you’re looking for ways to fix it, then we have you covered right here. 

Usually, the main reason why your laptop refuses to turn on is a drained battery. Fortunately, you can easily fix power-related issues by charging your laptop, changing the power outlet, or using another power adapter. 

However, if charging does not seem to work, then there might be a hardware problem like overheating or malfunctioning internal components. Also, we cannot rule out the possibility of a software glitch caused by corrupted files or incompatible software. 

With that being said, some of these issues can be resolved with the troubleshooting ideas listed below. However, if you think there are other serious problems, then we recommend you consult the brand’s service centers. 

Why my laptop won’t turn on

There are quite a few reasons why your laptop might not be turning on – 

  • Completely drained battery
  • A faulty power adapter or other charging issues
  • Issues with the screen
  • Problems with newly installed components
  • Damage to hardware
  • Glitches in software

How to fix a laptop that won’t turn on



Try charging the laptop

One of the most common reasons why your laptop might not turn on is a drained battery. To make sure that this is indeed the cause, plug your laptop in for charging and let it charge uninterrupted for about an hour. Make sure that you use the genuine (the “official”) power adapter and cable that came with the laptop.



See if the power adapter and cable are working properly

There’s a chance that your power adapter or the cable may not be functioning properly, and that’s the reason why your laptop won’t charge and, in turn, won’t turn on. To check if the power adapter and cable are working, here’s what you can do – 

  • Check if the power adapter works with another laptop
  • You can also try connecting the laptop to another power adapter
  • Try a different power outlet
  • Try alternate sources of power like a power bank



Try removing the laptop’s battery

Now, this might vary depending on the model of the laptop you have and may not work, as not all laptops have removable batteries. But if your laptop has a removable battery, then you can remove it, put it back, and try to turn your laptop on.

This is a general rundown of what the process looks like and some tips. The actual process might differ depending on the model you have –

  • Unplug your laptop from the power adapter
  • Ensure that your laptop is off
  • Locate the battery for your specific laptop model
  • You might need special tools to remove the battery
  • Take the battery out and keep it in a cool, dry place away from flammable materials

After a few minutes, put the battery back into the laptop and try turning it on again. 

Note: We recommend getting professional help if you’re not comfortable with removing the battery yourself.



Check if there are any issues with the display

There is a chance that your laptop is working fine, but something is wrong with the display. Check if you see any signs of the laptop being active, like whirring sounds or any other sounds that indicate that the laptop is working. You can even try prompts for voice assistants if they’re activated on your laptop.



Unplug any external drives that are connected to the laptop

If you have plugged any external drives, like a flash drive, while trying to turn on your laptop, it might be causing the laptop to stutter. We recommend removing any peripherals that are connected and then trying to turn the laptop on.



Ensure that the laptop is getting enough ventilation

If your laptop gets overheated, then the excessive heat can cause damage to fragile components on the inside. Clogged fans or vents can cause the laptop to overheat. It is also possible that the cooling system is malfunctioning. 

If excess heat is the issue, you can try doing this – 

  • Clean the fans and vents with a soft, lint-free cloth
  • Ensure that the cooling system is working properly
  • You can try using laptop cooling pads for additional ventilation



Check for any beeps

In case there’s something wrong with the motherboard of your laptop, you will hear beeps. These beeps are actually codes that help you understand which part of the motherboard is malfunctioning. You can head over to the laptop brand’s website to see what the code stands for. Now, these beep codes may or may not be available on your laptop. But if you hear beeps, do check out what they mean.



Try booting your laptop with safe mode 

Sometimes, a software or a system glitch may be causing your laptop problems. For instance, a bug in the last system update, a corrupted BIOS, or any other glitch might be the reason why your laptop won’t turn on. You can reinstall the operating system, and it might solve your problem.

For Windows laptops (Windows 10 and 11)

  • If you see the sign-in screen, press and hold the Shift key. At the same time, click on Power > Restart
  • Your laptop should restart, and you will see a ‘Choose an option’ screen. Here, you have to select the ‘Troubleshoot’ option
  • Click on ‘Advanced Options’ to view more troubleshooting options
  • Click on ‘Startup Settings’ and then on ‘Restart’
  • After your laptop reboots, you should see a list of Startup options
  • Press the key associated with Safe Mode to start the mode

You should now be able to reinstall your OS and manage other settings in your laptop.

For older Windows versions (Windows 7 and older)

  • Turn on your laptop
  • Press and hold the F8 key (or any other specified key)
  • Repeat until you see the Advanced Boot Options menu
  • Choose ‘Safe Mode’ 

For MacBooks

  • Try turning on your MacBook
  • Press and hold the Shift key until you see the login screen
  • Log in to your Mac and then once again for Safe Mode
  • When you see ‘Safe Boot’ on your screen, confirming that you are in the Safe Mode



See if there are any signs of physical damage

If your laptop was recently a victim of any drops or water damage, then it is possible that the hardware might have sustained some damage. More specifically, one or more of the internal components might have been damaged, and that’s why your laptop won’t turn on.

Now, you cannot open up your laptop and see what’s wrong. However, you can check the exterior of your laptop thoroughly and look for any signs of visible damage, like a cracked screen or missing keyboard keys.



Get professional help

If charging the laptop or other troubleshooting tips don’t work, then you should get in touch with the manufacturer’s customer support.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why my laptop won’t turn on, but the power light is on?

If your laptop is not turning on, but you can see the power light, then it might indicate a hardware (like a malfunctioning motherboard) or a software issue (like a glitch). If your laptop refuses to turn on after multiple tries, we suggest you get professional help. 


To sum up, your laptop not turning on may be a minor problem, like a dead battery or a malfunctioning power adapter. However, if charging doesn’t help, then it might be a software issue or a hardware problem. In this case, you will have to get assistance from the brand’s service center. 

Nitisha is a content writer and editor and she has over 3 years of experience in writing about video games and tech.