Is your Chromebook not charging? Are you frustrated?
You don’t want to send it in for repairs.
Who wants to pay for service and deal with shipping costs and the inconvenience of not having a laptop for a bit?
Who even knows if it’s still covered under warranty?
You’ve plugged in your Chromebook. The LED light stayed solid orange. It’s supposed to be charging, right?
You leave it alone for a few hours.
You pop open the lid ready to get something done.
You notice that the battery indicator is red with about 1% of battery left. You may even get the low battery notification warning.
What’s going on?
There’s an easy fix for that. Keep reading for your solution. Save yourself the trouble.
Last updated: 3/3/23. Updated for accuracy.
Why does this happen?
It’s likely because your Chromebook “forgot” about the connection between the chipboard and battery.
Why it exactly happens? I have no idea. I just know that some brands and models get this issue more so than others.
Regardless, the fix is the same. There’s one universal blanket fix that should take care of the problem and get your Chromebook charging again.
It should work for the majority of Chromebooks.
Sometimes the motherboard can’t detect the connection to the battery and unplugging it and then re-plugging it “fresh resets” the connection. Other times, the battery connector gets loose and the mobo doesn’t see an active battery.
Nowadays, Chromebooks are equipped with a robust battery. So you shouldn’t have any issues that aren’t covered under the warranty from the manufacture.
But if you max out those cycles, it’s time to do some work to get it holding a charge once again like when it was new.
If your Chromebook won’t charge…
Here’s what you need to do.
Warning: This involves plugging and unplugging cables.
Be sure to take proper precautions when working with electricity.
In other words…exercise common sense.
Things you’ll need:
- Small Phillips screwdriver
- Clean work area
- Optional: Anti-static gloves and grounded mat
Step 1: Turn off your Chromebook.
Unplug it from the power outlet if you have it plugged in.
Make sure you take the actual power cord out of the laptop body itself.
So now all you should have is the Chromebook without any wires, USB drives, SD cards, headphones, power cables, or anything else attached to it.
And it should be shut off.
Step 2: Place the laptop on your workstation. Flip it upside down.
You should also put on your anti-static gloves and ground you anti-static mat at this point. Electrical components are extremely sensitive to static discharge, which can ruin the internals.
Step 3: Get your screwdriver.
Remove all the small screws and keep them somewhere safe so they don’t get lost. Put them into a container so they don’t roll off.
Step 4: The Chromebook’s bottom panel should now be unlocked.
Use your fingers (no tools) and pop the panel out of the laptop. It’s secured by small clips all around the body, but a little force (from your fingers) will pop it open.
Step 5: Remove the bottom panel very slowly and gently with your fingers.
There’s wiring that connects the motherboard and power supply that can be easily damaged if you remove the panel too quickly.
Be extremely careful when you’re taking it apart. Place it somewhere safe.
Step 6: You’ll now see a few parts that look completely foreign if you’re not used to computer’s internals.
A lot of people will get scared at this step. Don’t worry. I’ll keep this simple.
Look for a bunch of wires that are multicolored. It almost looks like a rainbow of wires grouped together.
On this image, they’re the multicolored wires to the very right (circled in red):
You can refer to this picture to help you locate it. Look at number 7 on the image. It’s directly to the left of it. Keep in mind that your layout may look different, but should be somewhat similar. It’s the only bunch of wires connected to the battery.
Step 7: After you’ve found these wires, you’ll have to unplug them.
It’s very easy to damage it, so be very gentle.
Slowly pull the white connector out of the chipboard (motherboard). The connector is where all the wires combine into that white brick that houses them. This is what you need to unplug.
This will disconnect all of the wires at the same time (and the only way you should be doing it). Don’t pull each individual wire out of the connector. Pull the entire connector out of the motherboard. Never pull on any wire. Only pull on the connector. Nothing else.
See the image below for the connector (circled in red):
Step 8: This is where you may get confused since it goes against popular belief.
Don’t be afraid. I mean, you already made it this far, didn’t you? You can do it. Take a break and get back to it.
Plug the power cable (the one that connects to the Chromebook and the wall outlet) back into the laptop. Then plug the other end into the wall.
Yes, you’ll be charging your Chromebook with the bottom panel off and the wires unplugged. Be careful when working with any electricity.
Don’t touch any wires, chips, your Chromebook, or anything else while it’s charging.
Let it charge for about 1 minute.
Look at the LED light. It should change color to solid red or orange (amber). Different brands and models show different colors, so there’s no universal color guide.
But most Chromebooks should have the same color signal.
The color signifies that the Chromebook can’t detect any battery. What we’re doing here is “refreshing” the internal memory to re-detect the battery again.
Step 9: After you’ve seen the LED color change, unplug the power from the wall outlet and remove the cable from the laptop.
Step 10: Now, you’re going to connect the wiring you unplugged before.
Gently grab the white connector and plug it back into the motherboard.
It should sit into place snuggly. Make sure it’s plugged all the way in by giving it a firm, but gentle, push.
Step 11: Take your bottom panel cover and place it back on.
It should clip back into place as you use some force with your fingers to get it to snap around all the edges.
Step 12: Use your screwdriver and drive the screws back into place.
Step 13: Take your power cable and plug it back into your Chromebook.
Plug the other end into the wall outlet.
Step 14: Turn it on.
It should now be charging and showing the correct LED light status.
Let it charge completely before you unplug it. You can use it when it’s charging. It should now be ready to go.
Replacing the battery
Sometimes even after reconnecting the cable to the battery doesn’t fix the charging. You may have a depleted battery that needs to be replaced.
All laptop batteries are made to last for a few years, and over time electrical resistance will make it hold less charge or take longer to charge.
The laptop may also drop battery percentage quickly. It can also charge abnormally.
This is when you’ll notice that your Chromebook takes forever to charge or the battery barely lasts.
If your laptop is new, I’d suggest getting in touch with the retailer where you bought it from and exchanging it. You can also use the manufacturer’s warranty, which typically runs for a few years after you bought it.
The battery could be a dud, or it could’ve been poorly assembled with a loose cable.
Practicing good usage habits like powercycling your battery can help maximize performance.
A note on the LED power indicators and what they mean
Your Chromebook is equipped with those solid or blinking lights to tell you what’s going on with the power status.
- A solid yellow orange or amber light means means that your Chromebook is charging.
- A solid blue light means that it’s done and the battery is full.
- Both the amber and blue lights mean that it’s on and charging at the same time.
This varies depending on the model.
You can use these light indicators to help identify the current power state of the laptop. If you plug it into an outlet and no lights come on, there could be a problem with the battery, battery cable, or device itself.
You can try these alternatives to diagnose and resolve the problem:
- Try a different wall outlet
- Borrow an identical charger and use it
- Make sure that the Chromebook is fully powered off (hold down the Power button for 6 seconds to force shut down)
- Turn up the brightness using the hotkey command (it could be on the lowest setting)
- Close the lid, plug it into the charger, and then open it
- Ensure that the battery cable is properly connected between the power supply and battery (it can get lose)
The 20-80 rule
You’ve heard the saying of keeping it between 20% to 80% charge for preserving the battery health. If you’ve done any research, this is the common belief.
Batteries don’t like to be fully charged or fully depleted. A middle range is ideal. This keeps the battery happy.
You basically charge it when it nears the 20% mark. Then you pull out the charger at 80%. Some devices do this automatically nowadays, including Macs or Lenovo computers.
It takes you a few seconds each time. But it compounds. One day of charging it to full or fully draining your battery won’t do much harm (actually it depends on how long you keep it in that state- read up on “deep discharge.”). But constantly doing it will wear it down. It’s the compounding effect of optimizing the battery over time that pays off.
But then again, some people don’t have time for it. When the battery wears down, it may be more time efficient to just replace it or get a new Chromebook! Weigh the time you spend optimizing the battery life compared to just replacing it when it’s out.
Get up and get going
Your Chromebook should now charge. You did it.
If you’ve found this helpful, please consider leaving a comment or telling a friend. If you have any questions, leave a comment and I’ll get back to you ASAP.