Help! My Computer Won't Turn On

Written by Marc Enzor

Updated: February 21, 2023

When your computer is on the fritz, you'll likely have someone who can help you ask if you've turned your computer off and on. But what if your computer won't turn on at all?

This can cause a moment of utter panic. Most of us have our entire lives stored on our computers. From work documents to family photos, there is always something irreplaceable on your hard drive.

While not being able to turn on your computer can drive most people to the edge of a heart attack, there are a few tips and tricks you can try to see if you can't get it booted back up without professional help.

Read on for some at-home remedies before completely freaking out.

Check the Power Supply

This may seem like a no-brainer, but many people think their laptop is dead when is really just sleeping or out of power.

Plug in your laptop or computer and see if you can't get it going again. Leaving your computer unplugged too long might have made it impossible to turn on.

Check and Recheck You've Actually Turned Your Computer On

Again, this may also seem like a solution that is a little bit too simple, but you do need to ensure you have turned the computer on. Some people keep their computers on at all times, and may not be familiar with the buttons that they need to press in order to turn it on. This is especially the case if the computer turned off by itself.

Check everywhere on your computer to ensure that everything is switched on. You can also refer to your owner's manual or Google your computer's specs on Google via your tablet or another computer. This way, you can be positive you have pressed every button possible.

If Your Computer Won't Turn On, Check the Power Cords

Sometimes a fray in the power cords can render your computer unusable. Frays may not be the only issue with the charger, as sometimes they can become faulty or stop working over time.

If you suspect this is the issue, you may be able to take the computer into a store where they manufacture that model. Plug it in at the store and see if that won't turn it on. If it does, you'll know you need to replace the power cord.

Make sure that your power cords are not loose and are plugged in firmly. Falling out of the outlet or coming out of the computer itself are both common causes of a computer losing power.

Plug the Power Cord Directly Into the Wall

Some people use extension cords or plug their computers into an external outlet. If these are faulty, the computer might have issues turning on.

Plug the computer directly into the wall to ensure that there isn't a problem with anything you're plugging your computer in to.

If you are using an adapter or converter, this could also be part of the issue. Try using another adapter or converter to see if it was faulty and the cause of the issue.

Remove the Battery and Put It Back In

Removing the battery and replacing it is kind of a lower tech version of turning your computer off and on. Sometimes gunk in the batteries can cause the computer to have a hard time charging, or the battery may be faulty.

If the latter is the case, you will likely need to replace the battery. On some computer models, this can be a little bit more tricky. More modern computers, especially thinner ones, often don't have batteries you can remove easily.

However, you can go to your local repair place and have them take a look at your battery. They can also perform tests to see how well it is working. Often, this can be done without turning the computer on.

"Drain" Your Computer's Electricity

Described as an "electricity clog," sometimes computers can get stuck on an old electrical charge. You can remedy this by "draining" it of its power.

You can do this by disconnecting the power cord and pulling out the battery. Hold the on button down for at least fifteen seconds. If this doesn't work the first time, you'll need to hold it down for two minutes.

Plug the computer cord back into the laptop and reboot the computer without replacing the battery.

Remove the Computer From a Docking Station

If you put your device on a docking station regularly, the station could turn out to be the problem. Remove the computer from the docking station and then reboot it. If the computer works after that, the issue is with the docking station and you'll need to remedy that separately.

Unplug Anything That's Plugged Into the Laptop

Most of us have several things hooked up to our laptops at once. Whether your computer is connected to an external hard drive or have your USB card full of vacation photos, you'll need to remove them all.

Sometimes, a corrupt external device can cause the computer to have an issue starting up. If that's the case, the computer should work just fine after their removal.

Make Sure the Power Port Is Working Correctly

Sometimes, debris trapped in the power port can cause issues with the power source. If this is the case, the computer won't accept a charge and won't turn on. You need to ensure there is no leftover food or debris from a broken power cord inside of the port.

If there is debris, you can clean it using compressed air or a cloth that won't leave anything behind and possibly cause even more issues.

If there is something inside of the port you don't feel comfortable removing, take it to your local computer repair shop. They will be able to take out debris without your computer sustaining damage.

When to Take Your Computer in for Repairs

If you've tried all of the steps you feel comfortable performing by yourself and your computer won't turn on, it may be time to take it in for repair. A trained professional will be able to diagnose the problem. They can let you know if its an easy fix or if you will need to replace parts.

Chances are, if you can't fix the problem yourself, it might be a more serious issue that needs tending to.

For more information about computers, programs and tips and tricks for your person technology, visit our blog.


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