My Dell inspiron laptop wont turn on

Your Dell Inspiron laptop wont turn on? Don’t panic. Lets figure out how fix it in the steps below.

A while back I had the same problem.  I woke up, Pressed the power button on my Inspiron laptop and to my surprise it wouldn’t turn on.

I had watched a movie the previous night until the computer had hibernated when the battery was low. I had been too lazy to charge it so I left it like that.

Thinking maybe the battery had been completely drained. I connected the laptop to the charger but still the computer showed no signs of life. No fan blowing. No lights blinking. It was just dead. Tried a couple of tricks I knew and eventual had a chat with Dell customer service who were very helpful.

Today I will share a couple of things I learned you can do if your Dell laptop won’t turn on before taking it to the repair:

NB: A lot of users have also added helpful suggestions on the comments section

Power supply and charger

The first thing to check is to see if the laptop is getting any power.

  1. Change the power source where the adapter is connected.
  2. Next check the charger. On Dell Chargers there is green / blue  light indicator which shows its transmitting power. The light is usually on the tip of the charger. Check if the light is on
  3. If no lights try different charger which you know works.
  4. Also on the front or side of the laptop depending on model there are LED lights one which turn on when the laptop is charging.
Power adapter

I also have a Dell 5420 and have noticed if the battery runs out and you don’t connect it to the charger it wont turn on even when you connect to the connect it to the charger. I have to wait for it for 3 to 5 minutes for it pick up some charge.

The same might be the same for your laptop. If it shows signs that its charging wait for a couple of minutes for it to charge a bit then turn it on.

Flea power

This is the electric current that remains on your circuits or power supply even when you have not connected your power supply or battery. When you use your computer flea power also called static electricity may collect on the circuits this can disrupt how the laptop normally works and may cause your laptop not to power on.

You can clear flea power in a few easy steps

Computer motherboard

To drain the flea power you do these simple things:

  1. Unplug the laptop from the charger
  2. Careful remove the battery
  3. Press the and hold the power button for 15-20 seconds
  4. Now connect the AC adapter back  and try to power on the laptop without the battery. If it was the flea power problem it should turn on now.

You can read more about flea power here

If your laptop has a battery that is not easily removable you can try even with the battery on.

Ventilation or overheating

When the processor or graphic card is overheating the computer will suddenly shutdown to prevent any further damage to the system.

Computer fan for cooling your system
Computer fan for cooling your system
  1. Make sure you your laptop is in a properly ventilated place, nothing is blocking the air vents interrupting the cooling system.
  2. Blow it. You can use a can of compressed air to blow vents to the fan which might dislodge the dust

NB don’t blow directly as this might cause the fan to spin faster than intended and cause more harm than good.

The fans spin whenever the computer turns on, if you don’t hear the fans spinning that might be signs of trouble. If the fans are not working then your might fry the motherboard if you manage to turn it on and work on it without the cooling sytem fully functional.

On showing Black screen

Another occurrence is when the laptop seem to be on but the screen is black. For example the fans are spinning and the lights are on but for some reason it wont switch on or display.

This might be a display issue. If you have an HDMI cable connect the laptop using the HDMI cable and see if it will switch on on the secondary monitor

You may need to press Fn+F8 key to switch the display to the secondary monitor.

Dell Customer Service

Sometimes it may be an internal error and the problem may persist then you may need to take it to back to the Dell expert. You can call the customer care or chat with them on Facebook, they had me try a couple of things when I contacted them. Just have your service tag (a 7 character code) ready when you call. It’s normally found on the bottom of the laptop. If your Inspiron is still under warranty you can take it back to have it fixed or replaced.

Other helpful articles

Dell Laptop no boot device found

My computer wont turn on, the ultimate guide

Please share your  experiences with us below.


  1. My cell Inspiron 15 3000 series won’t turn on. When I press the power button it feels like it’s going to start, the power light comes on, I hear the fan, then it immediately stops. Doesn’t get past black screen. I have removed power cord and battery, pushed and held power for 60 seconds, didn’t work. I see by the bazillion complaints a lot of people have this problem. Obviously a Dell defect. I don’t know what to do and I really need to use it.

    1. Hi Susan
      This is a really frequent problem and we get lots of people looking for solutions who have the same problem. You mention that you have held the power button for 60 seconds and it didn’t work.
      Does it load up to the Dell splash screen or there is no visual input whatsoever?
      Has the fan been functioning normal before? Overheating may cause you computer to shutdown immediately shutdown as in this article Dell computer turns on and off
      Check if there is anything disrupting or blocking air flow.
      When the power cord is connected does the light that indicates that the computer is charging on?
      Check on these and share your findings and how you manage to solve it.

      1. I’m having this exact same problem, my inspiron 11 2-in-1 3000 series was working fine yesterday. This morning I press the power button and it won’t turn on. When it feels like it’s going to start, the power light comes on, I hear the fan, then it immediately stops. Doesn’t get past a black screen. I have removed the power cord and battery multiple times, pushed and held power for 15-60 seconds to remove residual power, didn’t work. No dust in the fan or elsewhere. No evident short-circuits. No loose connections.

      2. Zibanany, my dell won’t power on, no lights on laptop, power cord has light, drained battery, took it out, did all that…what else???

        1. If the laptop doesn’t show lights for battery, ram,network and so on then you might be having a motherboard issue which is not receiving power, dat would be my guess but cant confirm 100%, seems it needs a physical check and test of the components.

      3. You are now my new best friend!! My Dell Inspiron wouldn’t start up this morning-only the screen saver would come on, but nothing else. I am an retired disable teacher on social security & my laptop is the one thing that keeps me sane. So like everyone else I Google it & got your site. I couldn’t find a visible battery to remove. So I disconnected the battery & turn it off. I held down the power button for 20 seconds & it worked. I would have never thought to that. Thx so much, Oneita

        1. Wow! I just had the same problem with it not turning on.
          I tried your method first- holding down the power button for 20 sec, then it powered up as expected. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. Pingback: INSPIRON 14 5000 SERIES WON’T TURN ON
  3. I have had this happen twice in the last year. My tech guy said the motherboard had failed. It took 3-4 months for a new motherboard to come in from Germany (September 2016). July 2017, the motherboard failed again. I’m really angry at Dell about this. Now I’m buying a new laptop. 🙁

  4. Hi Zibanany,
    My Dell Inspirion wouldn’t turn on, even when plugged in. I followed your instructions for draining the flea power, and it worked!
    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

  5. Thank you. It was a bit difficult to remove the back (I cracked it slightly while trying to pry it open). I removed battery, held power button for about 20 seconds and it ‘s now working great. Thank you again!

  6. Brilliant solution. It fixed my Dell XPS 13 9350 i7!!!
    My laptop was ‘pretending’ to have a LCD failure and wouldn’t boot (i.e. 2 Orange LED flashes, 7 White LED flashes). I managed to check my LCD by pressing the power button and the ‘D’ key to force the inbuilt screen diagnostic test. I was surprised when the screen came on and displayed the 3 RGB colours in sequence.
    So I tried you FLEA power solution 3 times, but it didn’t work. So being seriously miffed, I didn’t bother to put the battery back in and put my laptop in the draw for 24 hours.
    I then reluctantly phoned Dell to arrange an expensive out-of-warranty repair. As I was boxing up the laptop I decided to give it one last chance. I held the power button for about 1 minute, then put the battery back in, screwed the base back on and pressed the power button.
    It powered up first time as if nothing had happened!! Works perfectly and all diagnostics are fine.

    Unbelievable. I was looking at a £400+ repair job and its now not needed. Can’t thank you enough. Never heard of FLEA power before, but I do now.

    So to anyone in the same situation, leave your laptop for 24hrs with the battery removed. Then follow the instruction in this article. It brought my stone dead very expensive laptop back to life. All Good! Very, very Happy.

    1. Very interesting Manicski! One question, when you left your Dell for 24 hours without the battery, did you unplug it from the charger as well? My laptop is only six months old and is having this issue. Unfortunately I did not have it backed up. Had all my old data from my old Asus laptop on there which lasted several years before it failed! Dell thinks it’s the motherboard and will replace it but says have to pay to have my information retrieved!! Ridiculous!!; What a racket!
      Thanks for your help!

  7. I had this problem this morning. I disconnected the power/AC cord and held down the power button for about 15 – 30 seconds. It came back on! I’m not sure why this occurred. I have reluctantly plugged the power/AC cord back in via a different wall outlet, and all lights are on.

    My question is, if this happens again and I need to “remove the battery,” how is this done? I looked at the rectangular box on the cord and I assume this is the battery? But it doesn’t look like there’s any way to open it. I’d appreciate knowing for the future. Thanks.

  8. Sorry that I can’t answer your original question, BUT … The battery is inside the laptop, definitely not on the power cable. That ‘box’ you refer to is the transformer that reduces the mains power to the power needed for the laptop. DO NOT TRY TO OPEN THAT BOX.!!
    Hope you can soon resolve the other problems.

  9. I have a dell inspiro 17 7000 series and there is no current, the charge turns on but my laptop swims, please can someone help me, I have tried everything to disconnect battery power up 15-20 sec nothing, fan nothing. in advance Thank you

  10. I have a Dell Inspiron 17R. It had a power issue (battery not charging) a few months ago. I replaced the motherboard, battery and power cord and it has been fine since. I have been gone on business for a week and it was home unplugged sitting in its normal spot. Today when I got home, I plugged it in and it won’t turn on. I have tried the flea power suggestion, but wanted to see if you have anymore thoughts on how to get it to turn on. Of the lights on the front, the 1st is the power and it is lit up but still nothing is happening. Thanks for all ideas before I call and fight with Dell to fix it.

  11. worked for me, not sure if root cause ins battery or power adapter; BIOS occasionally says adapter is not recognized and may not charge correctly even tho it’s a DELL original part

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