Windows 10 Laptop Not Charging After Enabling Airplane Mode


One of my colleagues emailed with an issue on their laptop.  After travelling to the customer location, his power supply had “died” as it was not charging the machine.  This was a Lenovo W541 with the new rectangular power connector, which meant there were no spares readily available.

Later that day when I arrived at my hotel, my W541 did the same thing.  Chances of two laptops from different batches failing with the same issue on the same day are low.

Unfortunately, I could not blame this on the networking team so the next question asked was what did I change?  The only thing was that I worked on the airplane, and put the laptop into airplane mode using the Network Settings popup from the system tray.

Surely that would not prevent the laptop charging?  Don’t call me Shirley!

 

Enabling Airplane Mode

Let’s enable airplane mode from the network icon’s pop-up menu.  No bonus points for guessing where I’m staying this week….

The left Image shows we are initially connected to the Wifi.  Clicking Airplane mode, as the expected result of disabling Wifi. This is the right hand image below.

Initially Connected To WIFI Airplane Mode Enabled - WIFI Now Disabled

All good so far.  If we look at the power plans specified in the Control panel the Airplane power plan was also activated. 

Airplane Power Plan Is Now Active

We can also look at the command line to verify the current power plan :

Powercfg.exe /GETACTIVESCHEME

Using Commandline To Determine Current Power Plan

Taking the laptop out or airplane mode allowed it to start charging as before. 

 

Bootnote

Just in case you find your laptop not charging, double check to see if it is still in airplane mode.  What my colleague noted was that if the laptop lid was closed, then the machine would charge, but would stop charging after opening the lid and Windows 10 would resume.

In the above situation this was a fully patched Windows 10 RTM build, and the hardware was also fully updated (BIOS, drivers etc.). 

Update 22-10-2015: Lenovo has an article on the W540 with the reason for the behaviour.

Cheers,

Rhoderick

Comments (6)

  1. turbomcp says:

    wow
    what a catch
    crazy

  2. Ed says:

    So you’re staying at a Sheraton. which city? 🙂

  3. Somewhere in Canada Ed 🙂

    Cheers,
    Rhoderick

  4. Rhod, I just realized that happened to me while in an engagement on the West Coast. I was freaking out. After figuring it out, I decided to bing this issue out to see if it was a known issue….and had to stumble on your blog as the first result 🙂 That airplane power plan got me stressed out for a bit, but now my Lenovo W540 is charging again. 

    1. You can thank Shawn for being the chap who forgot he had enabled this Nik 🙂

      Hope you have having fun in LA. Yes the – correct L.A.

      Cheers,
      Rhoderick

  5. Harris Haase says:

    This also worked for me. When I called Microsoft for help they tried to get me to reinstall Windows.

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