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Chromebook not charging? Stuck at 1%? Here's the fix.


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Just adding this to the folds of the internet, should someone else have the same issue.

I took my new-ish Chromebook out the other day and it wouldn't turn on. The orange battery LED stayed solid orange, not flashing.

Thinking the battery had died, I plugged it in and it successfully loaded up. I left it for an hour and looked at the charge. It hadn't moved from 1%.

Unplugging the laptop from the power supply made it turn off. It got no power from the battery.

The fix was simple, but took me a short while to find on the net, hence this post. Written in Layman's terms, should someone non-techie find this post.

  • Unplug the laptop.
  • Turn it over and remove all of the small screws. Keep them safe.
  • Gently 'pop' the edges of the laptop's cover open. They have tiny clips around the outside.
  • As you remove the cover, do it slowly. There is a cable between the power supply (not the battery) and the motherboard that is quite short, you could damage it if you pull the cover off with gusto. You will need to leave this plugged in to follow a step below, so leave it connected.
  • Locate the small connecting wire between the battery and the motherboard. It's located between 6 and 7 on this image
  • Unplug this connection. It's small and delicate, so be gentle. Treat her like a lady.
  • Contrary to what you may have been told before, plug the power supply back in to the laptop and turn the power on. Leave the laptop itself turned off, just supply it some power. Don't touch anything inside the laptop and don't electrocte yourself, please. This step is to get the laptop to pick up the fact that the battery has been disconnected.
  • Wait around 30 seconds. The LED for the battery indicator should change to red. The Chromebook is stating that it can't find the battery.
  • Turn the power back off again.
  • Plug the battery connection back in to the motherboard, the one that was pictured above.
  • Put the cover back on, gently clipping it back in to place.
  • Plug the laptop back in once more and turn it on. Boot it up.
  • Hopefully, it should now be charging, as it's picked the battery back up again. If so, put your little screws back in and off you go.


*edit* Amended spelling.

Edited by haze1434
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Is the chromebook one of those devices like an iphone, that you can't remove the battery like a normal device?

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Not really. A chromebook is the cheapest laptop money can buy that can still run Chrome and ONLY Chrome.

It uses ChromeOS which is like Android Light for laptops. It's got a puny SSD, a few USB ports (2 in my case, one of which is USB3) but an okay screen, keyboard and trackpad.

You can get them to run Linux most of the time, but it takes a bit of effort. No idea if you can get any version of Windows on it.

I got mine because it's effectively a cheap ARM laptop and I just really like most things ARM.

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You can use Chroot nicely on it, for loading Linux. Works well and is quick and easy to set up;

I use Kali on it - https://github.com/dnschneid/crouton/wiki/Kali

Not as good as using a proper laptop, but it can be convenient sometimes.

Essentially, yes, this is the equivilent of taking the battery out of your phone and putting it back, except you have to boot the Chromebook without the battery in it, to get it to error due to not finding the battery, then put it back.

Edited by haze1434
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  • 7 months later...
  • 1 month later...

Yes!!! this worked for me on a Toshiba CB35 C3300 (Chromebook 2016) US Model.

I tried to do it on a second one (as I have 3 CBKS with same issue) but no light at all appears beside the Power port.

Tried to reseat the PWR to MBD cable too but FAIL.

Thinking of calling toshiba support *cringe* for a replacement.

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1 hour ago, Ray188 said:

Yes!!! this worked for me on a Toshiba CB35 C3300 (Chromebook 2016) US Model.

Good to hear :)

As a forewarning, I still get this issue with my Chromebook on occasion (once every couple of months usually). Must be bad manufacturing.

If it happens again, just do the same thing. I personally CBA to go through tech support etc. when the workaround keeps me going for a few months and only takes minutes.

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  • 2 months later...

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