As a laptop owner, you already know that the device makes various sounds while working. Whether it’s buzzing, whirring, or hissing, you’ll be able to hear the laptop working quite clearly. However, the same cannot be said for your laptop charger, as it’s usually supposed to do its job in complete silence.
So, if you can hear any type of noise coming from your plugged-in charger — especially buzzing or hissing — you can be sure there is something amiss. I’ll explore what might be the cause below and give you some tips on how to fix it. Follow along!
Is Your Laptop Charger Buzzing Dangerous?
Generally speaking, buzzing sounds usually signify some sort of electrical connection mishap. Therefore, you should never ignore them, as they can only worsen over time.
For instance, a faulty charger can damage your laptop, especially if it short circuits. Even worse, you could get hurt while handling the charger. Thus, getting to the bottom of the noise is essential for keeping both yourself and your laptop charger safe.
With that said, don’t panic. The problem might be smaller and require little to no action on your end. Let’s see the possible causes and fixes so you can get a better idea of what you might be dealing with.
Causes Behind Buzzing Noises in Your Laptop Charger
Before you can begin diagnostics, it’s essential to see whether the buzzing is coming from your charger or the outlet you’re using. So, unplug the charger and try using a different one.
If the noise is gone, the problem is actually in the outlet in your wall — which is a whole different story. But if the buzzing persists, you can proceed to the next step.
In this case, that’s plugging the charger back out and reading up on the possible causes for the buzzing in the sections that follow.
Regular Electricity Sounds
As you already know, chargers transit electricity to your device, which powers up its battery. Now, electricity is never quiet, as it’s a high-frequency type of sound. So, it should come as no surprise that a short buzz can be heard as you plug the adapter in.
However, the noise you hear should be brief. So, it should only last a second or two, as the adapter makes contact with the electricity and the current reaches your device. After that, the noise should cease, and your charger should be fully quiet.
Sometimes, you might hear a slight buzz or hiss a long time after you plug the adapter in. However, this sound comes and goes with power surges, and it lasts only a few seconds.
So, if the noise is short and not overly loud, you can rest assured that everything is fine with your charger. Just continue on as usual, and both your charger and laptop will be fine.
But if the noise persists and gets worse as time goes by, you can move on to the next possible cause.
Kinks and Loose Connections
With time and regular use, chargers can suffer damage. That is especially the case around the spots where wiring and cables are connected to the adapter itself. Most of the time, these elements loosen, and wires break, which can cause a lot of buzzing.
Now, if the damage is truly extensive, you’ll likely see visible kinks or exposed wires hanging from the adapter. However, there might also be loose connections and breakage that you can’t openly spot.
In case all connections appear to be holding up well, the adapter itself might be damaged. The biggest giveaway of such an issue is overheating, so you’ll have no trouble checking for it.
So, next time you plug in the charger and it starts buzzing, gently touch it with your hand. If you can feel that it has gotten significantly hotter — so much so that touching it is unbearable — you can be sure that it is working overtime. As such, it is at risk of giving out and leaving you hanging.
Besides checking the temperature, you should also look for obvious signs of damage on the adapter. These usually include cracks and burn marks. If you notice any, you can be sure that the adapter is at fault.
Finally, your charger might be buzzing simply because it’s too old. If you’ve been using it for many years and have had no issues at first, age is most definitely the cause of the noise.
In this case, you likely won’t see any visible damage. The charger will look decent, but its internal components might be fried or close to breaking down.
How to Fix a Buzzing Laptop Charger
Now that you know all the causes, let’s tackle all the possible fixes for a buzzing laptop charger.
Use a Different Outlet
If you notice that the buzzing is connected to a specific outlet, avoid using it. Even better, call an electrician to check it out, as it’s most likely making noise due to loose wires.
Besides stopping the noise, dealing with the faulty outlet will help preserve both your charger and your laptop. Even more importantly, it will ensure you stay safe and aren’t in danger while using the outlet.
Replace Your Charger
Most of the issues I covered above have one simple fix — you should get a new laptop charger. Luckily, they are usually inexpensive and widely available, so doing that shouldn’t be too big of an issue.
Buying a new charger is a definite must if it’s visibly damaged or old. Also, it’s a smart idea if you notice your charger is overheating when it’s plugged in.
Now, if your laptop is new, you should be able to contact the seller and use your warranty to get a replacement. However, that will only be possible if you can prove that you didn’t damage the charger yourself. Sadly, that is typically quite difficult.
However, as I mentioned already, you can get a new charger on Amazon without ever leaving your couch. And the best thing is, you don’t have to splurge on an official model.
Namely, third-party adapters work just as well, and using them isn’t likely to damage your laptop. Thus, you can get one as long as it matches your particular laptop model, especially in terms of the required wattage. Namely, you can get a charger with a higher wattage than the one needed for your laptop, but a lower one won’t work.
Finally, to avoid similar problems in the future, you should treat your new adapter with care. I’ll give you some tips on how to achieve that below.
Charger Maintenance Tips
For starters, it’s smart to keep your charger safely tucked away whenever you aren’t using it. So, make sure to put it in a safe space (whether it’s your bag or a drawer) to prevent damage. Also, try not to twist the cable too much, as that could cause breakage and wires coming loose.
Next, it’s important to ensure the cables and adapter are safe during charging as well. For instance, you can easily damage them by stepping on the cable or accidentally pulling the charger out of the laptop or the outlet too forcefully. Also, you could spill liquid on it, drop or bump it, or damage it in any other similar way.
So, to ensure the charger serves you for a long time, try to treat it with care. Keep it against the wall if possible so as to avoid stepping on it and pulling too hard. Plus, be careful when plugging it in and out, as unnecessary force can result in breakage.
By taking these precautions, you’ll likely erase the need for another charger purchase for at least a few years. Plus, you’ll keep your laptop safe, which is even more important.
Although a slight and short buzzing sound is to be expected when plugging in a laptop charger, persistent noise is usually a sign of trouble. For one, it could mean that your outlet is faulty. Aside from that, the adapter might have loose connections, broken wires, or visible cracks and burn marks.
In the first instance, it’s best to contact a professional to take a look at the outlet for you. And in the latter, getting a new charger is the way to go. When you do, make sure to use it carefully to avoid any potential damage, and you’ll be golden.
Also, if you’re experiencing issues with your laptop’s fan, make sure to check out our article on that topic.