Laptop power problems are among the most frustrating that any user can face. It gets worse if they happen when you need the laptop the most. If you’re facing this issue, hopefully, it’s one of those malfunctions that a simple fix can clear.

Be that as it may, we’ll also walk you through the complex aspects of this problem. This guide will show you different ways to fix the underlying issues preventing your Dell computer from turning on. 

You can follow our guide on fixing computers that won’t turn on if you use a desktop computer or a different laptop brand.

Why Won’t My Dell Laptop Turn On?

Your Dell laptop may have encountered one or more of the many problems that cause computers not to turn on when users want them to. These problems include:

  • AC power adapter: Your battery may be drained because your AC adapter is faulty or incompatible with your computer. 
  • Battery problems: Your laptop will struggle to turn when your battery health is degraded.
  • Overheating: Overheating can be another reason for the “Dell laptop not turning on” issue. Some internal components, such as your RAM, may malfunction due to exposure to excessive heat and prevent your computer from powering on. 

Also read: Ultimate Guide: How to Stop a Laptop from Overheating

  • Operating system errors: If the issue you’re experiencing is Windows’ inability to boot, it may be caused by operating system issues, such as corrupted system files, driver errors, and software application conflicts.
  • Hardware issues: Faulty RAM sticks, defective hard drives, and problematic peripherals can cause different versions of the “Dell computer not turning on” problem. 
  • BIOS issues: Your laptop firmware may be out of date or corrupt, causing it to fail to initialize your internal components.

Solutions for the Dell Laptop Which Is Not Turning On

Since the “Dell computer won’t turn on” issue manifests in several ways, knowing the exact problem can help you find the most effective solution.

You can go straight to the fixes below, depending on how your Dell laptop responds when you try to start it:

My laptop won’t turn on

If your laptop shows no sign of life when you press the power button, then it’s not receiving any power. You can follow the fixes below to resolve the issue.

No POST issue (My Dell laptop won’t turn on but the power lights are on)

POST stands for Power-On Self-Test. It’s a startup process where the BIOS checks and initializes your hardware devices. The following will occur if your laptop cannot get to the POST phase:

  • Your system shows power indicators but your screen appears blank and nothing else happens.
  • Your computer turns on but is stuck on the Dell logo screen.
  • Diagnostic codes beep in repeating patterns.
  • The power button flashes repeatedly.
  • The hard drive turns on and then goes off immediately.

You can troubleshoot the computer in this case using the following solutions:

My laptop turns on but Windows doesn’t boot

You can try the following steps if Windows fails to boot after your computer comes up and passes the POST phase:

You can also follow our guide on restarting a Dell computer if Windows keeps restarting.

Now let’s get started.

Perform a hard reset

A hard reset removes residual electrical charges, preventing the laptop from turning on. The process works if your computer does not turn on or refuses to go past the POST stage. Here’s how to do it:

  • Turn off your Dell laptop. 
  • Disconnect the AC adapter and remove the battery.
  • Disconnect all external devices, such as USB drives, printers, webcams, and media cards. 
  • Press and hold the power button for 15 to 20 seconds to drain residual power. 
  • Reconnect the AC adapter, and then insert the battery back into the laptop. 
  • Press the power button to check if the “Dell laptop won’t start” issue has been resolved. 

Check your power adapter

If your power adapter is damaged, it will no longer charge your battery, leaving the battery drained. If the adapter has a power indicator, confirm whether it turns on after plugging it into your wall socket. You can also plug it into another power source.

If nothing works, use a different power adapter to charge your battery or turn on your laptop.

Check your battery

A faulty battery could also be the problem if your Dell laptop shows no power indicators. Follow these steps to troubleshoot the battery:

  • Try to power the laptop without the battery. Unplug the charger, remove the battery, and plug the charger back in. 
  • Press the power button to see if the laptop turns on. 
  • If it does, then the battery is faulty and should be replaced.
Follow our battery-saving tips and guide on reversing battery drain to keep your battery healthy.

Disconnect peripherals

Some peripheral devices, such as printers, SD cards, and external mice, keyboards, and webcams, can also prevent your computer from turning on, going past the POST stage, or booting Windows.

So, disconnect them and try turning on your Dell laptop. If your laptop turns on after disconnecting the peripherals, one of them may be responsible for the issue. Now, plug one device back in and try restarting your computer. Continue the process until you identify the device that caused the issue.

Confirm that your laptop screen is not faulty

If you see light indicators signaling that your computer has power, it’s possible that your laptop is working fine but your screen isn’t producing pictures.

While screen issues manifest in different ways, such as washed-out displays, lines, and artifacts, the screen may remain blank. 

Confirm whether your screen is faulty by connecting your laptop to an external display. If your Dell Latitude won’t turn on or it’s your Dell XPS that’s not turning on, most of these models allow you to connect to external displays using HDMI cables. That said, you can also use the regular VGA ports, if available.

Check your RAM

Random Access Memory modules are one of the most common causes of laptop startup failures. If your RAM is faulty, your Dell laptop computer may not turn on, show symptoms of the no POST problem, or not boot into Windows.

You have to unscrew your device to get to your RAM modules. Ensure you are careful and read your PC’s manual, as opening it up may void your warranty. If you’re not comfortable, you can seek expert help.

If you have two RAM sticks, remove one and try turning on your computer. You can then remove the other one if the problem persists. While rare, both RAM sticks can be faulty at the same time.

Consider using a working RAM module from a different computer to check. If your laptop still doesn’t turn on, move on to the next fix.

Some modern Dell laptops now come with soldered RAM modules. So, if your Dell Inspiron won’t turn on but has a soldered RAM stick, you may have to consult a technician. But first, go through other fixes here.

Run the Dell PC diagnostic tool

Dell computers have built-in diagnostics that can help you dictate problems when the computer fails to load your operating system. The tool is called the ePSA (Enhanced Pre-Boot System Assessment). It tests your system memory, hard drive, screen, and other components to check for errors. 

Follow these steps to run the tests: 

  • Turn off your laptop.
  • Turn on your laptop and press the F12 button repeatedly until you see the boot options screen.
  • Select Diagnostics under Other Options.
UEFI diagnostics
  • The computer will now start the series of tests and provide the results. The utility may ask to run an extended memory test, which may take up to 4 hours.

Reset the system BIOS

As mentioned, the BIOS may be corrupt or outdated. It could also be running on incorrect settings. When the BIOS is faulty, your computer will be unable to initialize or boot into Windows. You can resolve the problem by loading the BIOS defaults.

If your computer does not go past the POST stage and you can’t get into the BIOS environment, you can open up your laptop and reseat the CMOS battery. The CMOS is a small battery on the motherboard that stores BIOS settings, and reseating it will restore your BIOS’s default settings.

You can also enter the BIOS environment to restore its default settings. Here’s how:

  1. Press your power button.
  2. Once you see power indicators, press the F2 key repeatedly until the BIOS environment appears.
  3. Go to the screen’s bottom-right corner and click Restore Settings. 

You can also reset your Dell laptop’s Real-Time Clock to reset your BIOS. While the method doesn’t work on every model, it can be effective for some Dell Inspiron, Latitude, XPS, Vostro, Precision, and Alienware laptops. Follow these steps:

  1. Turn off your laptop and connect your power adapter.
  2. Press and hold down the power button for 30 to 35 seconds until you notice the laptop’s LED blink three times.
  3. Release the power button and the process is complete.
  4. You may have to return to the BIOS environment to set your time, boot sequence, and other settings.

Check your hard drive

A faulty hard drive means your computer will fail to boot your operating system since Windows resides in the storage device. You can run checks to confirm whether your hard drive is the cause of the “Dell laptop won’t start” problem.

First, go to the BIOS environment to check whether your computer recognizes your hard drive. If it doesn’t, you have to open your laptop to check whether the drive has not been dislodged.
If the drive is damaged, replace it.

The Dell hardware diagnostics tool should report errors within the hard drive if there are certain logical issues. However, you can always use the Windows CHKDSK tool to find and remedy bad sectors that may be preventing Windows from booting.

You can follow our CHKDSK guide to learn how to repair hard drive errors on Windows.

Find and fix corrupted system files

Corrupted Windows files can also prevent your operating system from booting. You can resolve this problem by running the System File Checker (SFC) tool through the Command Prompt interface in the Windows Recovery Environment.

Restore Windows

Some major changes, such as newly installed updates, drivers, and software programs, may prevent your computer from booting into Windows. You can easily resolve the problem by using the system restore utility to undo those changes.

You can follow our system restore guide to take Windows to the previous state when you did not have to worry about startup problems.

Run the Startup Repair utility

The Startup Repair utility focuses on fixing problems within Windows’s boot sector. These include corrupted boot files and wrong configurations. You can follow our guide on how to fix Windows Startup problems to run the utility.

Reset Windows

If your Dell laptop still fails to boot, consider resetting your operating system. You can perform the reset without deleting your files. However, you will lose your installed applications.

You can follow our Dell laptop factory reset walkthrough to reinstall your operating system and get your Dell laptop working again.

Seek help from experts

If you have tried the various troubleshooting methods above, but your Dell laptop won’t turn on, you may need to contact Dell’s technical support for assistance.

Dell Laptop Won’t Turn On? Fixed!

Checking your battery and power adapter, hard resetting your laptop, and fixing operating system issues are different ways to bring your system back to life.

Always ensure you keep your laptop properly cooled, prevent unexpected shutdowns, and adequately update your drivers and operating system to avoid asking yourself, “Why is my Dell laptop not turning on?” in the future.

Let us know if any of the methods we explained helped you resolve the problem.


You can restart your Dell laptop by performing a hard reset, disconnecting peripherals, checking your RAM modules, and resetting the BIOS. You can also fix corrupt system files, restore Windows, and reset the operating system if your computer turns on but fails to boot into Windows.
This may be caused by a loosely connected power cable, a faulty power supply or power strip, or a defective RAM module. To solve this, ensure cables are properly connected or fit for use and check your hardware devices. 
Your Dell laptop not powering on could be caused by a faulty motherboard or a faulty device that can stop your laptop from turning on. A loosely connected cable or a faulty power supply could also be a reason why your Dell laptop is refusing to power on. 
Try removing your battery and powering your laptop with the AC adapter alone. If your computer turns on, connect your battery and check if it starts to charge. You should replace your battery if it no longer charges or no longer holds a full charge for long. You can also check your Dell laptop battery health by entering the BIOS (press F2 when you see the Dell logo on startup) and opening Battery Information under General.