How to troubleshoot “The AC power adapter wattage and Type Cannot Be Determined” alert: 4 user-friendly ways

Updated: February 17, 2023
6 min read
How to troubleshoot “The AC power adapter wattage and Type Cannot Be Determined” alert: 4 user-friendly ways
by Christine Tomas
Tech Expert & Writer
Checked by
Quality Control team

Rechargeability is an essential laptop feature. Once it starts to have charging problems, the device immediately loses its mobility. The most common problem with laptops is the inability to identify the plugged charger. That’s why you get the “AC power adapter wattage and type cannot be determined” alert on your screen.

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In most cases, you can solve this issue at home. All you need is a fine troubleshooter. Check this 5-step guide from Howly experts that can help you fix this problem in less than an hour.

Why does the “The AC power adapter type cannot be determined” message appear: 3 common reasons

This message notifies you that the laptop can’t identify the charger. Power connectors usually have at least three pins. The two of them are the “Power” and “Earth” (they are mandatory to any electrical system). And the last one is the signal line which helps your PC identify PCU as compatible.

When the laptop doesn’t get the signal from the third line, it blocks the charging process. It also protects the computer from voltage ups and downs.

If you ignore the “AC power adapter type cannot be determined” memo, your device will continue charging. But system performance will go down in a few months (or even weeks). You can restore it to its original meaning once you find and fix the power adapter issue. Here are the most common causes:

  • software issues;
  • broken adapter;
  • issues with the power jack.

Some people consider that the “AC power adapter wattage” alerts outcomes from the broken battery. While in reality, accumulators have nothing to do with it. You’ll get the same memo with or without inserted battery.

How to fix AC power wattage cannot be determined alert: 4 efficient ways

You have four ways to solve this issue at home. If this alert is too annoying for you, you can temporarily disable it. But beware that power issues will continue to influence the workflow.

Once you are ready to fix the issue, power cycle the laptop and switch off external devices.  Plug them one by one to see which may cause the malfunction. If the laptop still glitching, find a new charging cable and try to charge the laptop with it. Check the device for dust, it may be just a clogged port.

But if you still see the “AC wattage” notification, it’s mostly a broken power jack. If you want to fix it at home, you need a personalized hardware guide. Contact Howly to get a tailored troubleshooter. But if you are unsure about your skills, go to the nearest repair service.

Disable power warnings

Disable power warnings on your laptop

If you can charge your laptop but continue receiving the  “AC Power adapter and wattage cannot be determined” memo, use this temporary trick. Just disable this warning.

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Note that this action doesn’t solve your issue. But it allows you to finish your work without this annoying notification. Here is the tutorial:

  1. Turn down your laptop.
  2. Boot it again and hold the F2 (or Fn+F2) to enter the BIOS settings. If your laptop doesn’t respond to it, press F8, F10, F12, or Delete.
  3. Once you enter the BIOS, move to the Advanced tab and open the Adapter warning settings.
  4. Tap Disable.
  5. Save adjustments and exit the BIOS by pressing F10.

Reboot the laptop as usual. It should hide the AC power adapter wattage and type alert at least for the next few days. But don’t let this silence trick you.

There is still a charging issue with the device. And you should fix it as soon as possible, otherwise, the laptop won’t get enough power to fully supply its hardware. It leads to a fast wear-out, so your laptop will break earlier than it should.

Power cycle your laptop

Wired external devices often consume energy directly from the PC. But sometimes those devices are too powerful, so laptops can’t give the needed power.

At the same time, the laptop tries to receive energy from a power grid as much as possible. And it leads to various glitches, including the “AC power adapter wattage” alert. Power cycling could fix this issue:

  1. Remove external devices from the laptop, including the mouse and the keyboard.
  2. Unplug the charger from the laptop.
  3. Shut down the device.
  4. Pull out the battery for 1-2 minutes.
  5. Mount the battery back to the laptop.
  6. Charge your laptop for 1.5-2 hours and boot it again.
  7. Plug external devices one by one to find out which is causing the issue.

If your laptop has a non-removable battery, discharge it until it shut downs automatically. Charge it, as usual, to check if you still have the “AC Power adapter” alert.

Often, it’s enough to fix this problem. If everything is fine, don’t plug back all external devices immediately. Connect them one by one to see which gadget led your laptop to this alert.

If this solution helps, the charger cord and port are completely fine. There is no need to worry about them. But if you still see this alert, check the charger and power jack.

Find a new charger or repair the existing

Find a new charger for your laptop

If you frequently catch this alert, check the charger. It can be the issue’s source. Plug the existing adapter into the other suitable device.

If it declines to charge, the problem hides in the adapter. For those who don’t have a spare laptop — go to the nearest shop and plug your device into the new charger. If it starts to charge without alerts, your current charger is the problem. Buying a new one will be the fastest resolution to the issue.

If you don’t want to buy a spare charger, try to fix yours. Contact the Howly technicians to get a tailored hardware troubleshooter. If you don’t have repair skills, please bring a charger to the service center.

If you decide to buy a new charger, take into account the wattage (like 40W,110W, 160W), the voltage (11V, 14V), and the current (1A,2A, 2,5A) of your present charger. Make sure that your new charger fits the same numbers.

Otherwise, it won’t let your laptop charge properly. In the best-case scenario, you’ll see the same AC alert. In the worst case, the wrong cord could break the laptop’s hardware the second you plug it in. It would be better, to spend extra 10-15 minutes to double check, rather than buying a new device.

Change the power jack

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A broken jack may be a reason why your laptop is not charging and showing you the “AC Power adapter wattage disabled in BIOS” alert. It’s a common issue with old (4+ years) devices. If you use a laptop in challenging circumstances (e.g., airports, bars), its charging port may wear out quickly.

The easiest way to point it out is to observe how the laptop acts in different circumstances. Look for the following signs:

  • Check out the power light. Put the charger block to the socket and the notebook simultaneously. If it blinks, you have issues with the cable or charging port in the laptop. If the power adapter is working, the laptop has a broken jack. But if it flashes orange — the device is in Sleep Mode.
  • Move the charger from side to side. If under some odd position, the laptop starts to charge, you have a broken cord.
  • Check the power jack. If you are working at some dusty place, it can clog a laptop.

Follow the troubleshooter to repair AC power adapter issue from excessive clogging:

  • Take your hairdryer and turn it to minimum power and the coldest temperature.
  • Direct the airflow from it to the jack for 15-20 seconds.

Warning! Fix a jack only if you have strong repair skills. If you are unsure about them, go to the closest service center. If the device is under warranty — reach the manufacturer.  You may get a free repair if your situation falls under the warranty case.


Why do I see the alert “The AC Power adapter wattage and type cannot be determined” and the battery may not charge?

Your laptop can’t identify this cable as compatible. Power cycle the device and eject external devices. Try to charge the computer with another wire. If you still see this memo, your laptop has a broken power jack.

Can I use an adapter from another laptop of the same manufacturer to fix the “AC power wattage cannot be determined” alert?

Only if it has the same wattage, voltage, and current. Otherwise, it won’t work and may break the laptop.

How can I disable the “AC power adapter wattage and type cannot be determined” alert on a laptop?

You should open BIOS settings. Turn it off. Restart the laptop and press F2 while booting. It may be also F8, F10, F12, or Delete button. It depends on the manufacturer. Go Advanced → Adapter warning → Disable. Press F10 to confirm adjustments and restart the device.

Final thoughts

There are four ways to troubleshoot the “AC power adapter cannot be determined” issue. Temporarily disable the alert, if it's too annoying. Power cycle the laptop and unplug every external device.

If this didn’t help, check out a charger. There may be problems with the cable. Fix it or buy a new one. In some cases, purchasing a new cord is a more profitable solution compared to repairing an old one.

Check the power jack. It may be clogged or wobbly. If the jack is full of dust, turn on the hairdryer and direct a cool airflow from it to a port. But if it’s shaky, you should replace it. Repair it at home only if you are confident in your restoration skills. If you are unsure about it, go to the nearest repair station.

Howly expert is ready to help you with your Laptops problem


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