How to Turn on Dell Laptop: 7 Reasons It Won’t Turn On

How to Turn on Dell Laptop

This article will teach you how to turn on Dell laptop computers when they just won’t turn on. If you’ve ever found yourself puzzled, specifically wondering why your Dell laptop won’t turn on, you’re not alone.

This can be a common issue among laptop users. In this article, we will walk you through a step-by-step process to troubleshoot and fix this problem, so that you can get back to your digital life without further delay. Whether you’re a tech novice or a seasoned expert, you’ll find this guide easy to understand and incredibly helpful. Also check out the best Dell laptops here.

How to Turn On Dell Laptop Which Won’t Turn On

Let’s start with the basics: turning on your Dell laptop. Simply locate the power button, which is typically marked with a universal power symbol and press the power button. If your laptop powers up, great! If not, don’t worry – we’ll explore some potential issues and solutions next.

Checking the Power Source

First, you’ll want to make sure that your Dell laptop is properly connected to a power source to ensure the power button has electricity. Check that the power ac adapter is securely plugged into both the wall socket and the laptop. You can try swapping out the original power cable. Also make sure the power cord is connected to the laptop’s charging port.

If you’re using a power strip or an extension power cord, try to plug the ac adapter directly into the wall to rule out any issues with the strip or cord. The laptop should also have flashing lights that indicate when it is connected to power. If this light is not on, try using a different power outlet or power ac adapter.

To eliminate any residual power, unplug the Dell laptop from the power socket and hold down the power button for about 15 seconds till the power led light stops blinking, then plug it back into a functioning power socket and attempt a restart.

Checking the Battery

If your laptop is still not turning on via the power button, it might be a problem with the battery. Take out the battery from your laptop (if it’s removable), then plug the laptop into the power supply, and try to turn it on. If the laptop powers on, this means the battery could be the problem. You may need to purchase a new battery, or if your laptop is under warranty, contact Dell support for a replacement.

Hard Reset

If none of these steps work, you may need to perform a hard reset. To do this, disconnect all external devices, including the AC adapter, and remove the battery (if it’s removable). Hold the power button down for about 15-20 seconds, then connect just the AC adapter and try to power on the laptop.

Reasons Why Your Dell Laptop Won’t Turn On

Before we delve into the troubleshooting steps, it’s helpful to understand some of the common reasons why your Dell laptop might refuse to turn on if you press the power button.

The cause can be as simple as a drained laptop battery or a more complex issue like a damaged motherboard. It might also be due to software problems, a broken power button or power supply failures.

Dead Battery:

A dead battery is often the primary culprit when a Dell laptop refuses to power on. The battery is the heart of any laptop, supplying the necessary energy for all functions, including starting up. When the battery is dead, it simply can’t provide this essential power, rendering your laptop unresponsive when you press the power button.

This can happen due to normal battery discharge after extended use, or if the battery health has deteriorated over time because of poor charging habits or natural aging. In most cases, plugging in the charger and allowing the battery to recharge will solve the issue.

However, if the battery is significantly degraded or faulty, it may not hold a charge, and a battery replacement might be necessary.

Faulty Power Ac Adapter:

If the laptop does not show any signs of charging, the power adapter or power cable could be at fault. Try using a different laptop charger and see if the issue persists. It could also be a faulty ac adapter cable or a problem with the power outlet supplying electricity.

A faulty power ac adapter is another common reason why a Dell laptop might not turn on. Power adapters serve as the conduit that supplies electricity from an external power supply to the laptop.

There are several potential issues with an ac adapter. For instance, the internal wiring might be broken or frayed, or the connector pin might be bent or damaged, thus preventing proper electrical contact. Also, an internal power surge could damage the adapter’s circuitry, rendering it incapable of delivering power.

To identify a faulty ac adapter, one can look out for signs such as the laptop not recognizing the charger or the charging indicator not lighting up when plugged in. Trying out a different charger can help diagnose this issue.

If another charger works fine with the laptop, then it’s likely the original adapter is at fault and needs to be replaced. It’s advised to only use manufacturer-approved chargers to avoid potential damage to the laptop’s hardware.

Power Button Issues:

The power button serves as the primary interface for turning Dell laptops. If the button becomes faulty, it could prevent the laptop from starting up.

Power button issues can stem from various causes such as a mechanical failure, where the power button is physically stuck or doesn’t spring back after being pressed. There could also be an electrical issue, where the circuits connected to the power button aren’t correctly registering the press command.

Software problems could also result in power button failures. For instance, if the system software, BIOS or firmware that interprets the power button input is corrupted or misconfigured, the Dell laptop might not respond when the power button is pressed.

For a temporary workaround, Dell laptops often have secondary power-on methods like opening the lid or pressing a specific key combination.

They can carry out a proper diagnosis and repair, which could involve replacing the power button, power cable or resolving the software issue causing the problem with the Dell computer.

Corrupted Operating System:

Corrupted operating systems can hinder Dell laptops from turning on due to reasons like improper shutdowns, disk errors, incompatible software, or malware. This corruption disrupts essential files and boot processes, leading to issues like the ‘blue screen of death’ or restart loops.

Hardware Failure:

Hardware failure, such as a malfunctioning motherboard or defective RAM, can also be a reason why your Dell laptop won’t power on. You may have experienced this issue on a desktop computer before.

The motherboard, being the central circuit hub that connects all the components of the laptop, when faulty, can cause a total system failure. Its malfunction can be due to various factors, including electrical power surges, physical damage, or heat damage from insufficient cooling.

Similarly, faults in the Random Access Memory (RAM) could prevent the laptop from booting up. RAM is responsible for storing temporary data needed for the functioning of the operating system and other software. If the RAM is faulty or incompatible with the system, it could cause startup problems.

In both instances, diagnosing the issue involves complex processes like component testing or swapping out parts which can be challenging and risky without the appropriate technical knowledge.

Therefore, in case of a suspected hardware failure, it’s highly recommended to seek the assistance of a professional who knows their way around a Dell computer.


Overheating is a common issue that can prevent your Dell laptop from turning on. When the internal components of a laptop generate excessive heat, it could lead to automatic shutdown as a safety mechanism to prevent hardware damage. This is because high temperatures can cause serious damage to sensitive parts of the Dell computer such as the processor and graphics card.

Blocked or malfunctioning cooling systems, such as fans and heat sinks, are often the culprits. The Dell computer may fail to dissipate the heat efficiently, causing the system temperature to rise beyond safe limits. Dust and debris can block the vents, impeding the airflow, leading to inadequate cooling.

Additionally, improper usage, such as placing the laptop on soft surfaces that block airflow, can also contribute to overheating. Continual overheating might lead to more severe hardware issues, causing the Dell computer not to power on.

Therefore, regular cleaning and maintenance of the cooling system, along with mindful usage practices, are essential to prevent overheating issues and ensure the longevity of your laptop. In cases of persistent overheating, professional help should be sought to diagnose and rectify the problem.

BIOS Issues:

Sometimes, a problem with the Basic Input Output System (BIOS) can prevent the Dell laptop from turning on. This can be fixed by doing a BIOS recovery and troubleshoot the system. This may be accompanied by an error message.


In conclusion, you can turn on any Dell computer if you simply press the power button.

However, common issues like laptop battery trouble, overheating, faulty power cable, broken power button and BIOS problems often lie at the root of the problem.

Should the problem persist, don’t hesitate to seek professional help from Dell manufacturers. These steps can work on a Dell desktop computer as well.

With over 12 years of experience with laptops, Grayson Uppington has delved deep into the tech world, always learning and sharing. His top pick is the Lenovo Legion Slim 5, blending performance with style. Formerly a pro gamer in CS:GO, those tournaments sharpened his skills and heightened his appreciation for laptop potential.