Dell Laptop Won’t Turn On: 12 Simple Ways to Fix

If your Dell laptop won’t turn on, don’t panic. It’s a common problem, and there are many potential solutions. I once encountered this problem in the middle of a project, and it was a relief to find that I could fix it without taking my laptop to the repair shop. 

In this article, I’ll explain and provide all the steps necessary to troubleshoot and solve this problem. I will also explain why this could happen in the first place and what you can do to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

By the end, you should better understand why your laptop isn’t turning on and what you can do to fix it.

Dell Laptop Won't Turn On
Dell Laptop Won’t Turn On

Why Dell Laptop Won’t Turn On

Battery or Power Supply Issues: These issues can be caused by a faulty power supply or battery.

Damaged Internal Hardware: Malfunctioning hardware components can prevent the laptop from turning on. They are caused by physical damage to the device, such as a cracked screen or exposed wires.

Incorrect BIOS Settings: If the laptop’s BIOS settings are incorrect, it may cause the laptop not to power on.

Incompatible Software: The laptop’s software may be incompatible with its hardware, leading to it not starting up.

Viruses or Other Malware: A virus or malicious software may prevent the laptop from booting up. A virus scan may be required to fix this issue.

Corrupted System Files: Outdated or corrupted system files can cause the laptop not to turn on. You can experience this mostly if another person previously used your Dell laptop.

Physical Damage to the Laptop: Physical damage to the laptop, such as cracks on its case or water damage, can cause it not to turn on.

Read Also: How to Restart Dell Laptop When Frozen

Ways to Fix Dell Laptop Won’t Turn On

If you are stuck with your laptop, there are a couple of ways to fix the Dell laptop that won’t turn on. Below are the easiest methods you can try and continue with your projects, typing or watching your series:

1. Flashing Lights or Beeps Sounds

You are just there frustrated, and when you press the power button, nothing happens except you hear one or more beeps or see some flashing lights. This is an indication that something inside the laptop has gone wrong.

Usually, the flashing lights come from the Caps Locks, Num Lock, or Scroll Lock keys, signaling that the laptop has a hardware issue.  Mostly the lights indicate system’s self-test, known as POST, has failed.

Pressing the power button, the fan or hard drive starts spinning and then stop. This indicates that power reaches the laptop but won’t turn on. 

So, the problem is with the hardware configuration or BIOS settings. In this case, a reboot of your laptop may fix it. The best methods you can use are:

1. Shut down and Restart the laptop – This is the basic solution to help you fix this issue. Shut down your system and turn it back on after a few seconds. 

You do this by pressing the power off button for 10-15 seconds to ensure your laptop is shut down completely. Then press the power button again, and if it works, you are good to go.

2. Disconnect the Power Supply and Battery – Remove the power cable from your laptop, remove the battery and wait for at least 30 seconds before reconnecting. Replace it properly and try to turn on your laptop again.

Related Article: How to Restart Dell Laptop with Keyboard

2. Reset BIOS Setting

Do you know that the bios setting of a laptop can cause it to turn on or off? Resetting the BIOS settings is one of the steady steps toward fixing the Dell laptop that won’t turn on. 

The process sets up boot settings and configures the hardware. You will need to locate the battery or coin cell of your laptop and then commence with the following steps;

– Access the Security Menu & uninstall the password. 

– Locate the BIOS jumper, move it to a different position for some minutes, and then return to the original position. 

– Boot the laptop and enter BIOS setup by pressing “F2”. 

– Set default settings in BIOS, save, and exit.

– Reconnect the power cord to turn on the laptop. 

3. Factory Reset

If your Dell laptop won’t turn on, try performing a factory reset. This will restore the laptop to its original settings and may solve the issue. 

It helps eliminate any issues caused by misconfigured settings or malicious software.

To do this:

1. Press and hold down the power button for at least 20 seconds. Release the button and then press it again to turn on the laptop.

2. Boot into the BIOS setup screen by pressing F2 when the Dell logo appears on your screen.

3. Select the “Reset to Default” option in the BIOS setup and save the changes.

4. Reboot your laptop and check if it turns on.

You will need to use data recovery software to recover your data if you have not backed it up.

4. Power Cycle 

Try performing a power cycle if the laptop still doesn’t turn on. This will reset all the connections in your laptop and help to solve the issue.

To do this: 

1. Disconnect the power source and remove the battery from your laptop.

2. Press and hold down the power button for at least 20 seconds.

3. Reconnect the battery and power source to your laptop and turn it on. 

4. Check if the laptop is turning on.

The power cycle is essential for solving issues related to the power connection or battery. 

5. Run a diagnostic test

All Dell laptops come with a built-in diagnostic tool. You can use this to test your laptop’s system and check if any hardware problems are causing it not to turn on. 

To access the diagnostic tool, press the “F12” key when you first turn on your laptop.

Within a few seconds, you should see a screen with the Dell logo and “Diagnostics” written along the bottom. Use the arrow keys or trackpad to select the diagnostic test, then press “Enter” to start it. 

It will run the test, check your laptop’s hardware, and alert you to any problems. Note any issues it finds and use them for troubleshooting further.

6. Check the Battery

A drained battery means the laptop is not getting the power it needs to turn on. To check if your laptop’s battery is drained, connect the AC adapter and attempt to turn on the laptop. 

If it turns on, you will need to leave your laptop plugged in for a few hours before attempting to turn it on. 

If the laptop does not turn on, you must check if the battery is working.

Remove the battery. Connect your laptop to the AC adapter and attempt to turn it on. If it turns on, then you will need to replace the battery. 

Check every battery detail, such as the model number and size, before purchasing a new one.

7. Check the Power Cord and Adapter

Sometimes the reason why your laptop won’t turn on is because of a loose connection. If you have tried resetting the laptop, check the connections between the power cable and battery. Make sure both are securely plugged into their respective sockets. 

If you’re using a power adapter, check the socket and ensure it is free of any obstruction. Additionally, try to use a different power outlet if possible.

Check your power cord from end to end for any frayed wires. Replace the cord if necessary.

Try to use another AC adaptor if the above steps don’t work, as it might indicate a problem with your current adapter.  You can borrow an extra adapter from your friend. If it works, then it is time to replace your AC adapter.

8. Perform a Hard Reset

A hard reset is the most drastic measure you can take to try and get your laptop back up and running. 

It will reset all of the hardware inside the computer, as well as the settings. The process drains all the electric current from the laptop and forces it to start up again. To perform a hard reset:

1. Unplug the laptop from power and remove the battery if possible. Disconnect all the peripherals.

2. Press and hold the power button for 30 seconds or more to drain any residual electric charge in the laptop.

3. Plug the power adapter again and insert the battery if applicable.

4. Press the power button to turn on the laptop.

9. Boot on Safe Mode

Faulty software is often the cause of a laptop not turning on. If, after pressing the power button, the laptop freezes after the logo appears, booting into safe mode can help. This will allow you to identify any software issues that may be causing the issue.

To identify if this is the case, boot it into Safe Mode and see if it works. To do this,

1. Press and hold the F8 key while turning on your device. 

2. Hold it until the ‘Advanced Boot Options” menu appears. 

3. Select “Safe Mode” and press Enter to boot into Safe Mode. 

If your laptop can start in Safe Mode, you likely have a software issue. Run the antivirus and malware scan to identify any specific issues. You will need to uninstall any recently installed applications and check if the problem persists. 

10. Reinstall Windows

After trying everything and the laptop still won’t turn on, reinstalling Windows could be a last-ditch solution. Before attempting, back up all your important data to an external storage device. 

To reinstall Windows, you will need to use the recovery partition on your laptop or an installation disk. Follow the instructions carefully and reinstall Windows, ensuring you keep all the latest drivers updated.

If, when installing Windows and the hard disk is not detected, the issue could be with a failing hard drive. Replacing the hard drive should resolve this issue. This is the best way to identify and resolve any hardware issues.

11. Repair the Laptop Hardware Issue

Has your warranty expired? If yes, then we have the perfect solution for you! Let’s try to fix everything at ago. The steps:

1. Unscrew the laptop’s back panel and check for loose connections. If you find one, reconnect it securely.

2. Check to see if the laptop’s battery is still connected. If it isn’t, reattach it and try turning your laptop on again.

3. Do you have an extra hard disk drive or RAM? If so, try replacing it to identify which component might be faulty. 

4. Clean out any dust build-up inside the laptop with a can of compressed air.

5. Change the thermal paste if the existing paste is too old. 

6. Check for any other physical damage on the laptop. 

If there’s a problem, take your Dell laptop to a professional repair service. They will diagnose the issue and fix faulty hardware components, such as damaged power cables, batteries, or motherboards. 

12. Contact Dell Support

This should be your last resort if everything else fails. Dell Support can help you identify the issue and resolve it. You must provide them with your laptop model number so that they can diagnose the issue correctly.

They might even be able to suggest a repair or guide you through troubleshooting the laptop yourself. They can also provide the warranty information and help you get a replacement if your laptop is still under warranty.

How to Prevent Future Problems of Dell Laptops Won’t Turn On

Dell laptops are popular for many users but can be prone to technical issues. One common problem is that the laptop won’t turn on. To prevent this from happening in the future, there are several steps you can take.

1. Check the Power Supply

The first step is to check the power supply. Make sure that the power cord is plugged into a working outlet and that it is securely connected to the laptop itself. If you use a battery, ensure it is charged and properly connected.

2. Run a Diagnostic Test

Run a diagnostic test. This will help identify any potential hardware or software issues that could be causing your laptop not to turn on. 

You can do this by booting into Windows Safe Mode or using a diagnostic tool such as Dell Diagnostics Tool.

3. Keep Your System Up-to-Date

Ensure that your system is up-to-date with the latest updates and security patches. Outdated or corrupted drivers can cause problems with your laptop, so ensure you’re running the latest version of Windows and any other software programs you use regularly.

4. Avoid Overheating

Overheating can cause serious damage to your laptop and should be avoided at all costs. Ensure adequate ventilation around the device and avoid placing it in direct sunlight or near heat sources such as radiators or stoves. 

Additionally, consider investing in a cooling pad if you plan on using your laptop for extended periods.

Related: How to Fix CPU Over Temperature Error


If your Dell laptop won’t turn on, don’t panic. There are several potential causes and solutions that you can try to get it up and running again. 

The above information will help you determine what could be causing your laptop not to start and how to fix it.

Just ensure that you follow each method for the best chance of success. With little patience and technical know-how, you can quickly get your laptop running again.

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