How to Charge a Laptop Without a Charger

Introduction

How to Charge a Laptop Without a Charger

You have been planning this trip for ages and it is now finally time to go. You made sure that you brought everything. Your toothbrush is there, you got your laptop with you, and you even brought your umbrella. After countless hours of driving, you finally checked into the hotel and went into your room. After a short nap, you want to check your emails on your laptop. You notice that your laptop has no juice left. “No problem”, you think to yourself, “I’ll just plug it in.”

However, you quickly realize that you did not actually pack your laptop power adapter. You start to panic and don’t know what to do. You look at your phone charger and your power bank and wonder whether they can help you. You can calm down because we are here to show you how to charge a laptop without a charger. You will be able to answer all the important emails that you get even if you do not have your charger with you. So, let’s get started.

Using a USB-C Charger

If your laptop has a USB Type-C port, you can actually use it to charge it. This means that you will need to have a USB Type-C charger. If you have an Android phone, then you probably brought it with you. If you have multiple chargers, use the most powerful one that you can to get the fastest charging speeds.

Charging the laptop with a USB-C charger is self-explanatory. You just have to plug one end of the cable into your laptop and the other one into the charging brick. Next, plug the charging brick into the wall and you should see your laptop start to charge immediately. That’s all you got to do to charge your laptop, isn’t it amazing? But what can you do if your laptop does not have a USB-C port? Can you use the regular USB-A instead?

Unfortunately, your laptop can’t use the USB Type-A ports to charge due to the limitations of the technology. USB-A is designed for other devices, like mice and USB sticks, so that you can use them with your laptop. But USB-A was never intended to be used as a charging port. That is where USB Type-C comes in.

USB Type-C is the latest standard that was introduced a few years ago. It is used on all modern Android phones, tablets, laptops, and even the iPad Pro. Thanks to its popularity, you most likely have a USB-C charger with you and there is a good chance that your laptop has it as well if it is a newer model.

However, if you forgot to bring your phone charger as well, there are some other ways to charge your laptop. You will still need to have a USB-C port on your laptop, though. 

Charge It in the Car

Did you know that your car generates electricity that you can use to charge your devices and gadgets? If you are traveling, then you probably have your car with you. If not, you can also use a rental car for the same purpose. You just need to get an AC power adapter and a USB cable for this purpose. This method is simple too.

You just have to take the AC power adapter (with a USB port) and plug it into the AC port in your car. Then plug the USB-C cable into the power adapter and connect it to your laptop. Don’t forget that your engine must be running for this to work. You will see your laptop is charging as soon as you plug it in.

You may not even need a power adapter if you have a newer car as most cars come with multiple USB ports nowadays. This is great news for someone who forgot to bring their power adapter with them because you can just leave it in your car for a few hours or allow it to charge while you are driving around the city.

Remember that if you decide to leave your laptop inside the car, you should probably hide it somewhere. Leaving it out in the open will attract thieves because they can easily break the window and steal your laptop. They won’t care about the lack of a power adapter.

Use a Power Bank

If you are traveling, there is a huge chance that you also have a power bank with you. This is one of the most convenient ways to charge your laptop because you can do it wherever you want. Power banks are like a second battery for your devices, so it is a good idea to get one if you travel frequently. You can charge all your smart devices with it, not just your laptop and your phone.

You charge your power bank just like any other device. Once you have enough juice, you can use a USB cable to connect your laptop to the power bank. If there are multiple USB ports, use the more powerful one for a quicker charge.

Depending on the size of your power bank, you will only be able to charge your laptop once or twice. If you do not have any way to recharge the power bank or your phone, think twice before charging your laptop. You probably only want to use the power bank if you have no other way to charge your laptop.

Use Your Phone

Did you know that some Android phones will let you use them to charge your laptop? Just like with power banks, this is the last resort. Also, your laptop must be turned on for this to work. If your laptop battery is completely dead, you will not be able to charge it with your phone because it will not recognize the device.

To do this, get a USB-C to USB-C cable and plug it into both devices. You should see a pop up on your phone that asks what you want to do with the device. Select “Supply power” and you will see that your laptop started charging. If you do not see this option on your phone, it means that your phone does not have this feature, which in turn means that you won’t be able to charge your laptop with your phone.

Portable Solar Panel

How to Charge a Laptop Without a Charger

If you have one of those portable solar panels that can generate electricity wherever the sun shines, then you can use that to power your laptop. Your laptop probably uses around 50 W of electricity, which is not very much. An average portable solar panel can easily charge your laptop in 5-6 hours on a sunny day.

You may have to use the portable solar panel together with a power bank to get the correct voltage you need for your laptop. Using an incorrect voltage can fry your laptop, so be very careful. There are also power banks that come with built-in solar panels. You can use them to charge your laptop as well.

Get a Universal Adapter

Did you know that there are universal power adapters that will let you charge almost any laptop on the market? If your problem is not that you forgot your charger, but rather that you don’t have one in the first place, then maybe you should invest in a universal laptop charger. It comes with a few different interchangeable tips that you can use.

Also, if you lose one of the tips, you can easily find a replacement in any electronics store instead of buying a new adapter. Make sure that you get a good universal adapter and that it is compatible with your laptop.

Using a universal adapter is the same as using your laptop charger, with the exception that you will have to spend a minute to figure out which tip to use. Other than that, you just have to plug it into your laptop and then plug the power adapter into a power source and it will immediately start to charge your laptop. You may have to change the voltage or amperage on the power adapter, so make sure that you do not exceed the recommended limit that is written on the label on your laptop. 

Read Related Article: How to Fix a Laptop Power Jack Without Soldering

Stop Forgetting the Charger

Now that your laptop is fully charged using one of the aforementioned methods, it is time to discuss the reason why you forgot the charger in the first place. You probably do not use a laptop bag or case. Getting a laptop bag and always keeping the charger in it means that you will never forget to bring it with you. Your laptop probably came with a laptop bag already, so just use it.

If your laptop did not come with a bag or case, then you can get one pretty much anywhere. You can either order online or get it from a store. Just remember to double-check the dimensions to make sure that your laptop will fit in there. Keeping your laptop inside the bag will make sure that you will never forget your charger, but it also means that your laptop is protected and won’t get damaged when traveling. This is especially true if you keep your laptop in the trunk.

You can also use the laptop bag for your other accessories. Most laptop bags have multiple compartments that are designed to hold your computer mouse, pens, paper, USB dongles, and all other devices that you may want to bring with you. You can also get a power bank and another laptop battery and keep it in the laptop bag.

If you decide to get batteries, you need to check on them occasionally to make sure that they are fully charged. After all, what use is a second battery or a power bank if it has zero juice in it?

Some laptop bags are made to be extremely durable and also have RFID protection. This means that you can bring your laptop wherever you go and you can even keep your credit and debit cards in the bag without having to worry about your information being stolen.

If laptop bags are not your style, you can get a laptop backpack instead. Laptops backpacks are much easier to carry and usually have more space, so you can pack even more stuff into the bag. Again, use the laptop bag whenever you want to put your laptop away and always put the charger in together with the laptop. You may not even have to unplug the charger if that will help you remember, but we would advise against that because you can damage your charging port or scratch your laptop. 

How to Charge Without USB-C

If your laptop does not have a USB Type-C port, the only other way that you could charge it is if it supports USB charging in general. There are only a few laptops that do that and most of them are low-power devices. If you do not have USB-C and your laptop does not support USB charging, the only solution that will work for you is to get a universal adapter.

A universal adapter has many different tips that allow it to work with a range of different laptops. You can check if the charger will work with your laptop by checking the label on your laptop and making sure that the voltage and amperage are the same. 

What to Put Into Your Laptop Travel Bag or Backpack

How to Charge a Laptop Without a Charger

If you have been convinced that a travel bag or backpack is the best solution, creating a list of the most useful things to pack in the bag is helpful. Having a list will allow you to quickly check if you got everything you may need. 

Here is everything that you will need to put into your bag:

  1. The first and most important item to put into your laptop backpack is the laptop itself. It does not matter how many chargers and accessories you bring, they are useless without the laptop itself. If you like to toss your backpack around, then make sure that you got a rugged one that will protect your laptop. Still, you should be as gentle as possible whenever you put the backpack down and always make sure that it is as secure as possible when traveling. If you put it in the car trunk, try to put it in a place where it won’t slide around and get hit by other objects.
  2. Always bring your laptop charger with you when you travel. Having only one charger for all your devices is convenient, but if something happens to that one charger, you will not be able to charge your laptop. And now that you have a laptop backpack, carrying the charger with you is not that hard anymore.
  3. Bring a charged power bank. You can use the power bank not only for your laptop but for all your other gadgets. If you travel frequently, a big power bank is essential and it is a true life-saver.
  4. Bring a second battery. Most laptop manufacturers will make it as easy as possible for you to buy a second battery because they make extra money from it. This also means that you can easily find the battery that is designed for your laptop. Just like with the power bank, make sure that the battery is fully charged before your trip.
  5. Don’t forget to bring a mouse with you. While you can use the built-in trackpad, using a mouse is much easier and it will make you significantly more productive. While you are at it, don’t forget to bring the mouse pad too because mice do not work well on most other surfaces.
  6. Get a USB hub with a card reader. If you need a card reader but your laptop does not have one, you can easily find a USB hub that has a built-in card reader. Also, if your laptop only has one or two USB ports, a USB hub will allow you to connect other gadgets and use them as usual. You can also charge your laptop via a USB hub.

Conclusion

Even if you left your laptop charger at home, there are many ways that you can charge a modern laptop that has a USB-C port. You can use pretty much any USB-C charger, an external power bank, your car, or even a solar panel. If your laptop is a bit older and does not have USB-C, then you are limited to using a universal power adapter.

If you get a universal power adapter, make sure that it is compatible with your laptop. Using a charger that is not designed to work with your laptop can make your battery catch fire or burst into flames, which is not something that you want.

Still, it is best not to forget your charger in the first place, especially when traveling. Getting a laptop bag, case, or backpack will make it much harder to forget it. Also, you can put other gadgets that you need into the backpack and you will be good to go.

About the Author Marcus

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