Sometimes on Answers we get a question about a battery that refuses to charge. This is not surprising. Batteries are known to last a very long time and poor conditions can shorten their life significantly. Problems with chargers or excessive power consumption can also be a problem.
Let’s address this common problem. What do you do when your battery is charged? There are several answers, and they apply to most devices with batteries — laptops, smartphones, and even tablets.
Are you drawing a lot of power?
Every electronic device in your home, including your DVD player and microwave, has a power source. The power supply is designed to work with a certain amount of juice. In a device without a battery, there is a maximum amount of power that must be handled — but no more.
Batteries are different. They come with adapters designed to work with a particular power source, but what happens if you charge the battery and use every bit of juice that the device can extract? Your charging may slow down or stop.
The most extreme and popular example of this is the iPad 3, a device that far exceeds the adapter’s capacity. The latest Apple tablet sometimes drains the battery even when plugged in. The power supplied through the adapter exceeds the power consumed by the tablet.
Many phones and tablets exhibit similar behavior. USB charging is a common cause as a USB connection provides less power than a wall outlet connection. Laptops are less likely to have this problem, but I’ve used gaming laptops that charge slowly if they’re used for gaming and the battery is charging.
Is the battery connected securely?
This is the reincarnation of «is it plugged in?» For the wireless world, and just like that old awkward advice, this one is equally valid. In fact, I’m saying it’s more relevant than ever before — unlike plugs, batteries come in all shapes and sizes.
What can you do? Take a close look at the battery and if you still have the user manual for your device, refer to it. Make sure there are no gaps and that the battery is flush with its mount.
If so, remove the battery and check its connectors. This is rare, but the connection may be blocked by debris, part of the connection may be bent, or the connector may suffer corrosion.