9 Tips for When My Laptop Is Not Turning On

Reading Time: 4 minutes

There are few things more frustrating than telling your boss, co-worker, or remote-learning teacher, “My laptop is not turning on.” Obviously, this delays your work until it can turn on again, plus, you could also lose important data.

Sometimes a quick assessment and easy fix are all you need, other times it’s a little more involved. But here are are eight tips and tricks that you can use to find and fix the problem if your laptop won’t start.

1. Remove External Drives

If you have a USB stick, DVD, or another data source connected to your laptop when you try to boot it up, this could cause issues.

So, if your laptop won’t boot up, certain things may be interfering with the process. Be sure to remove any external drives and disconnect anything like a smartphone to see if that helps your computer turn on.

2. Check the Power

A laptop that won’t start often needs charging. Therefore, making sure you’re using the right power supply for your laptop is an important step.

Here’s how you check the power supply on your laptop:

  1. Check the adapter and the label on the bottom of the computer for the correct voltage and amps.
  2. Plug in the power adapter and make sure that both ends are secure.
  3. Press the power button on your laptop. If pressing the power button still doesn’t start your computer, look at the power cord for any breaks or kinks that could keep power from reaching your laptop.
  4. If the power light on your device is on, it’s probably getting the electricity it needs to function.

If you see any damage to the power cable, you can buy a replacement laptop charger that’s compatible with your device.

The Insignia universal laptop charger provides 90 watts of power, and it comes with several adapters. And if you don’t get the adapter you need in your kit, you can order another one for free.

3. Try a Hard Reset 

The last time you told your IT department or computer expert friend, “my laptop is not turning on,” they probably asked if you’ve tried turning it off and back on again. This is because a hard reset sometimes can be just what you need to reboot your laptop to get it functioning well again.

Follow these steps to perform a hard reset:

  1. Check the lights on the side of the device. If they’re lit, the computer has power. If you see two lights, that usually means the computer is at least trying to run. 
  2. Perform a hard reset by pushing the power button down.
  3. Hold the power button for at least 30 seconds. You should see the lights go out, and then the computer may restart on its own. 
  4. If your laptop doesn’t restart, keep reading. 

4. Get the Battery Tested

A malfunctioning battery can keep some laptops from turning on. If possible, remove the battery and check if your laptop will work with the power cord plugged in.

If it works, you probably need a replacement battery. With some laptops, you can replace the battery yourself. Meanwhile, other devices require help from a professional.

5. Look for Overheating

Most laptops have thermal protection systems that shut them down automatically if internal temperatures rise too high for safe operation. So, when you use your laptop while keeping it in your lap or on a pillow or blanket, it could overheat if you’re blocking the vents. Next time you find yourself crying out, “my laptop is not turning on,” check if it feels warm and that could be your answer.  

You usually can’t start a computer that’s too hot until it cools down again. Luckily, a separate cooling system can help you prevent this problem. The Targus Chill Mat laptop cooling system has two high-speed fans and four USB ports. Its height is adjustable as well.

But if your laptop keeps overheating, you may need to get the internal fan replaced by a professional.

6. Connect a Different Monitor

If your laptop screen is malfunctioning, you might think “my laptop is not turning on” when it only looks that way. If all the lights are on, and you still can’t see the screen, try connecting your computer to a different monitor. 

You can also use an HDMI cable to connect your TV or a projector screen. A professional can sometimes repair a screen issue, or you can keep using your laptop with the new monitor.

7. Try a New Hard Drive

Some types of malware or computer viruses can overload your laptop’s processor and keep it from booting up. Others tell your computer to shut down immediately after it comes on or create slow computer operation

Since you can’t use an antivirus program or look for software issues manually if your laptop won’t stay on, you’ll need to replace the hard drive and the software loaded on it.

Most laptops have lots of small components, so it’s a good idea to get help from a professional. This is especially true because you may need special tools to remove the hard drive and install a new one. However, this is a great opportunity for you to upgrade your laptop’s hard drive and increase its storage capacity.

8. Check Other Hardware Components

If another essential piece of hardware malfunctions, this could cause your laptop to have issues as well. 

Random access memory (RAM) stores the information that the processor is currently using. Without it, your laptop can’t process data properly.

A video card or graphics card controls output to the screen or monitor, and your laptop can’t produce an image you can understand and interact with if your video card malfunctions.

When your laptop starts, software conducts a power-on self-test (POST). If the computer encounters an error and it hasn’t booted enough to display an error message, it uses beeps instead. 

Beep patterns can vary depending on the manufacturer, and discovering what these tones mean can help you find the problem with your laptop.

9. Consider a Protection Plan for When Your Laptop Isn’t Turning On

You can avoid many expenses by choosing a protection plan for your laptop. These programs can pay for some or all of the cost of many types of repairs. They can also improve your peace of mind by preventing sudden repair costs, and helping you keep your laptop working smoothly.

Protection plans make laptops more sustainable by increasing their lifespans as well. 

Follow These Tips Next Time You Say My Laptop Is Not Turning On

By following these tips, you can get your laptop working again as soon as possible and reduce any downtime. You’ll also keep your device in good condition and avoid future issues, so you can be as productive as you need to be.