Is your laptop making a clicking or buzzing noise when plugged in?
This isn’t normal and definitely not something you should ignore. So, let’s take a look at the main causes of these noises, and the steps you can take to fix them and prevent further damage.
Reasons Why Laptop Makes Noise When Plugged In
These are the top reasons your laptop makes noises when plugged in:
- Damaged Power Port
- Worn down or damaged hard drive
- Worn down or damaged speakers
- Damaged Power Cord
- Motherboard Damage
- Hardware runs in overdrive when plugged in to boost performance
How To Fix Laptop Making Noise When Plugged In
Kill Processes / Programs
Some laptops have a feature implemented where they will boost into overdrive when plugged in. They do this because power isn’t an issue when the laptop is being charged, so they can run the CPU and GPU at full capacity. Doing this will also increase the fan speed, and could be what you’re hearing when your laptop is plugged in.
To check if this is what is happening, and to hopefully fix the problem, you can close all programs and processes that aren’t necessary for your computer to run. Windows computers can do this through the Task Manager, while Mac and Linux users will need to kill their processes through the terminal.
Once you’ve killed the processes, and are only running the bare minimum software, if your computer is still making a noise then the issue likely isn’t performance based.
If closing those programs does fix the problem, then you have a place to start. If your laptop does boost into overdrive while plugged in, there is likely a place to change this setting. However, where this setting is will depend on your laptop’s model and manufacturer. It may even require opening the BIOS on your laptop.
Check The Charger Port For Damage
One of the most likely causes of the noise is that something is up with the charging port of your laptop. Especially if the noise sounds electrical as opposed to like a loud fan. Sometimes you may be able to spot the damage yourself.
Unplug your laptop, take a flash light and have a look at the charging port. Do you see any damage or cracks? If so, that’s most likely your answer and you should take your laptop to a professional to try to get ti fixed.
This isn’t an issue you want to leave alone because it could lead to serious damage to your computer’s motherboard, or worse, it could cause a fire.
I had a laptop during college that would make noise when I plugged it in. The charger itself would also get extremely hot very fast once I plugged it in to charge. Eventually, my laptop just stopped charging completely, so I took it into my school’s IT department.
Turns out, not only was my charging port damaged, it was actually completely missing. They sent the laptop in for a replacement, and I went back to my dorm and checked the charger.
Turns out, eventually the port was getting so hot that it just fused onto the end of my charger, and when I unplugged it, it had just ripped the port out. By that point, I was very lucky that I never started a fire, and that I didn’t cause permanent, irreparable damage to my laptop or its motherboard.
If the issue is your charger port, you may be able to just take a peek at it and check for cracks. However, sometimes there could be damage that is harder to see. Depending on how your laptop is set up, and whether it is in warranty or not, you may need to open up your laptop to really see the charging port.
If you’re comfortable doing so, and are not worried about the warranty, then you may be able to spot the damage yourself when you take the back off of your laptop and take a look at the port.
If you’re not comfortable with this, or don’t want to risk voiding any warranties, then go ahead and take your computer to an official repair shop or send it in, because the longer you wait, the more risk you’re putting your laptop in.
Try A New Power Cable
If you’re extremely lucky, then the issue may be your power cable and not your laptop’s actual port. The most common cause of an electrical noise when a laptop is plugged in, is that the charging cable’s connectors or the laptop’s charging port connectors are damaged. This causes a bad connection, which could lead to a number of potential problems.
These problems range from motherboard damage all the way up to a literal fire. So, you definitely do not want to keep plugging your laptop in if it is making noise, but you also do not need to jump straight to the repair shop, yet.
The first thing you should do when your laptop starts making noise, is to try a new power cable. You can take a look at the end of yours and you may see cracks or damage. If you do see damage, then chances are replacing the cord will fix the problem.
Even if you do not see damage, there could be some microcracks, or damage to the pins themselves that you can’t see. Buying a new charging cable is the cheapest option, and will hopefully fix the problem.
If it doesn’t fix the problem, it may be time to take your laptop to a professional who can take a closer look at your laptop’s actual charging connector and search the motherboard for damage.
Try A New Power Outlet
Yep, sometimes it can actually be this simple. I don’t know the actual science behind why some outlets suck and don’t work properly, but the bottom line is that they do. This goes beyond just noise when charging your laptop.
For about 6 months, my desktop PC would randomly shutdown during games and other activities. I tried replacing the power supply, I monitored my temperatures extremely close, and I replaced a couple of fans, but nothing would fix the issue.
Well, after doing some research I saw someone suggest just trying a new outlet. No way it could be that simple, right? A year later and what do you know…
If you haven’t tried a different outlet, then give it a shot. If the issue is the outlet, then the noise should go away immediately. If the sound persists once you try the new outlet, then that probably wasn’t the problem.
This is literally the easiest and most simple test you can do. If the issue is the outlet, and the problem goes away, I’d probably avoid plugging anything into that outlet, and maybe even have an electrician come take a look at it. The last thing you want to do is accidentally cause a fire, or completely fry one of your devices due to a faulty power outlet.
Monitor Your Temperatures And Fans
There are many programs out there that can monitor the temperatures of your hardware and the speed of your fans. Your laptop may even have a program like this built in. You want to keep an eye on the temperatures of your CPU and GPU.
You can find safe temperatures for your specific hardware online. You can find out what kind of CPU and what kind of Graphics component your laptop has by going to System Information, and taking a look around.
Now, do a quick Google search of what the safe temperature range is for those specific components. Now, check the temperatures via your software of choice and see if your components are within the safety range or if they’re getting way too hot.
If your components are getting hot, then it’s likely that it is causing your fans to work way too hard, which could be causing the noise. There is also a good chance that something could be damaged.
My computer used to make quite a bit of noise, and my temperatures would spiral out of control. I took a look inside and saw that the heatsink of my CPU was actually cracked. This caused uneven cooling on the CPU, which lead to overheating, which lead to noise.
Thankfully I spotted the problem before permanent damage was done to my CPU. Overheating is an absolute killer in laptops, so you should keep a close eye on your temps, especially if you’re noticing loud noises.
If these loud noises only happen when your laptop is plugged in, it could mean that your laptop is running much hotter when it’s plugged in. The only way to check is by monitoring the temperatures.
Replace Your Fans
Fans can be loud. Broken fans can be even louder. If you’re comfortable doing so (and it won’t void any warranties), open up your laptop and take a look at the fans. Do they look damaged, cracked, old, etc? If so then there’s a good chance that they could be the main cause of your noise problem.
When your laptop is plugged in, it may be giving the green light to its components to run faster. If so, then those components are going to get hotter, which means the fans are going to run harder. If the fans are broken, damaged, or just poor quality, this means they will get much louder.
Not all laptop fans can be replaced, unfortunately. At least not easily. The best way to figure out whether you can replace the fans in your laptop is to do a quick Google search of the model and its fans.
The chances are that if the fans are an issue, someone else has already asked whether or not they can be replaced and how to do it. You could also take your laptop into a repair shop, who will quickly be able to identify whether the issue is its fans or not and know exactly how to replace them (or if they can be replaced).
Replace Your Hard Drive
Depending on your laptop’s model, you may actually be able to replace the hard drive. Hard drives are notoriously loud, especially once they start breaking down. If your laptop is only loud once it’s plugged in, this could just mean that your hard drive draws more power when your computer is plugged in, thus leading to it being louder.
This is probably one of the last things I would check, because chance are your laptop would be loud whether it was plugged in or not, if the issue is your hard drive. However, it’s still a possibility.
Now, whether you can actually replace your hard drive or not comes down to your laptop and your warranty. Sometimes the hard drives are not replaceable. Either the manufacturer uses a weird hard drive that you wouldn’t be able to get a replacement for, or replacing the hard drive would require crazy technical skills or even soldering.
On top of this, trying to replace the hard drive may void the warranty, so it is definitely a last resort.
If you’ve exhausted all other options, and you know how to open up your computer and aren’t afraid to do so. Go ahead and take a look at the hard drive. If it’s replaceable, and you can find a cheap replacement, it may be worth taking a shot at it.
Take Your Laptop To A Professional
At the end of the day, laptops are very weird and it might take a professional to fix them. The most likely cause of a laptop making noise when plugged in is a damaged charger port / connector.
If that’s the case, only a professional is going to be able to fix it or give you advice on your next steps. If that isn’t the case, then a professional will be able to save you a lot of headache and maybe even money since they’ll be able to identify the actual problem much faster.
Is It Normal For Laptop To Make Noise While Charging?
It is not normal for a laptop to make noise while its charging. If your laptop is making a buzzing or clicking noise while it’s charging, then there is probably damage to the charging port. The issue could also be the charging cable, so unplug and examine the cable and port for cracks or physical damage ASAP.
Your laptop shouldn’t make any extra noise when it’s plugged in. The last time my laptop made a noise while charging, the issue was charging port damage.
In fact, it was so damaged that the charging port melted and completely ripped out when I unplugged my charger. I was lucky there was no permanent damage to my laptop and that it never caused a fire.
If your laptop is making any kind of noise while plugged in, unplug it immediately and look at the cord and the port for damage. There may be some damage that you can’t see, in which case you should take your laptop to a professional before permanent damage is done.
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