My Computer Won't Turn On

Introduction

Computer power button about to be pressed.
It can be an awful feeling to press the power button on your computer and for it to not turn on. If you don't hear any beeps or a startup chime, you don't hear any fan or drive noise, you don't see any indicator lights turn on and the screen is blank, then your computer may not be getting power. Do not panic! This guide will provide some basic troubleshooting steps that may get your computer up and running in no time.

1 Check Power

  1. Make sure you are using a working power outlet. You can test another electric device, such as a lamp, with the same power outlet. Bypass any power strips for troubleshooting purposes.
    Turned on lamp plugged into power outlet.
  2. Once you made sure the power outlet is working, firmly plug in your device into the working outlet.
    Power cable plugged into power outlet.
  3. If the device has buttons or a remote control, press the power button to turn the device on.
    Power symbol.

? What type of computer do you have?

  1. PC
  2. Mac

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Computer power button about to be pressed.
It can be an awful feeling to press the power button on your computer and for it to not turn on. If you don't hear any beeps or a startup chime, you don't hear any fan or drive noise, you don't see any indicator lights turn on and the screen is blank, then your computer may not be getting power. Do not panic! This guide will provide some basic troubleshooting steps that may get your computer up and running in no time.

  1. Make sure you are using a working power outlet. You can test another electric device, such as a lamp, with the same power outlet. Bypass any power strips for troubleshooting purposes.
    Turned on lamp plugged into power outlet.
  2. Once you made sure the power outlet is working, firmly plug in your device into the working outlet.
    Power cable plugged into power outlet.
  3. If the device has buttons or a remote control, press the power button to turn the device on.
    Power symbol.
To better assist you, please answer this question.
  1. A laptop PC has an external power supply and connects like below:
    • One connector (1) plugs into the computer
    • The other connector (2) plugs into a power socket
    • And sometimes, a third (3) connector plugs into the supply itself
    Laptop PC power supply with annotated connectors.
  2. Examine all cables and connectors for visible damage. If they are damaged, they may need to be replaced.
  3. Make sure all connectors are firmly plugged in.
  1. If you have a desktop computer, unplug the tower from the power outlet. If it is a laptop computer, unplug its charger.
    Power cable unplugged from power outlet.
  2. If you have a laptop with a removable battery, remove the battery as well. Flip the lock switch then pull the battery out. Certain laptops may have a second lock switch that needs to be held while removing the battery.
    Battery being removed from laptop.
  3. Press and hold the power button for 10 seconds then release it.
  4. If you removed the battery from a laptop, you can insert it back in it's place and lock it in.
  5. Plug the computer back into the power outlet and press the power button to turn it on.
  1. An All-In-One desktop PC has an external power supply just like a laptop PC has:
    • One connector (1) plugs into the computer
    • The other connector (2) plugs into a power socket
    • And sometimes, a third (3) connector plugs into the supply itself
    All-In-One Desktop PC power supply with annotated connectors.
  2. Examine all cables and connectors for visible damage. If they are damaged, they may need to be replaced.
  3. Make sure all connectors are firmly plugged in.
  1. This type of desktop PC has an internal power supply included in the PC case.
  2. The power cable looks like below. Examine the cable and connectors for visible damage. If you find any damage, the cable may need to be replaced.
    Desktop PC power cable.
  3. Make sure one end of the cable is firmly plugged into a wall outlet.
  4. Make sure the other end is firmly plugged into the power socket on the rear side of the PC case.
    Backside of a desktop PC with power connector highlighted.
  5. Some power supplies have an I/O switch. Ensure this is set to the on position. If the I (1) is pressed in, it means the power supply is turned on. If the O (2) is pressed in, the power supply is turned off.
    Power supply IO switch.

With a Mac that connects to an external monitor you'll need to check and make sure the monitor is properly connected and powered. A monitor that is disconnected can make it seem like your Mac is not turning on.

  1. Examine all cables and connectors for visible damage. If they are damaged, they may need to be replaced.
  2. Make sure one end of the power cable is firmly connected to the back panel of the monitor and the other end into a power socket.
    Monitor being connected to power and video source.
  3. Make sure one end of the video cable is firmly connected to the back panel of the monitor and the other end into video source device, such as a computer, gaming console, media player, etc.
  4. If the monitor has an external power supply, make sure all connectors are firmly plugged in:
    • One connector (1) plugs into the monitor
    • The other connector (2) plugs into a power socket
    • And sometimes, a third (3) connector plugs into the supply itself
    Monitor power supply connectors annotated.
  5. Monitors can be connected to video source devices through a variety of connection types. The most common ones are shown below:
    Video connector types.
  6. Make sure the monitor is powered on and set to the video input source matching the connection type. This varies greatly by brand and model. If you're unsure how to do this please refer to the monitors documentation.
To better assist you, please answer this question.

There are two ways to power up a MacBook:

  • Using the power supply without the extension cord:
    MacBook being connected to power with power supply without extension cord.
    1. Examine the cable and connectors for visible damage. If they are damaged, they may need to be replaced.
    2. Make sure the power supply is firmly plugged into the power socket and power connector into the computer.
  • Using the power supply with the extension cord:
    MacBook being connected to power with power supply with extension cord.
    1. Examine all cables and connectors for visible damage. If they are damaged, they may need to be replaced.
    2. Make sure the power supply is firmly plugged into the power socket, the extension cord into the power supply and power connector into the computer.

  • The power adapter shapes and way of connecting them have stayed the same over the years, however the connector types that plug into the computer have changed somewhat and can be of the following types:
    1. Magnetic T style
    2. Magnetic L style
    3. USB-C style

    Different types of MacBook power connectors.

A capacitor is a small electrical part that holds a charge even if the power is disconnected. You may need to discharge your capacitors inside your Mac to reset them.

  1. Unplug the computer from the power outlet.
    Power connector being unplugged from outlet.
  2. Press and hold the power button for 10 seconds then release it.
    Power symbol.
  3. Plug the computer back into the power outlet and press the power button to turn it on.
  1. An iMac is powered up by plugging it in directly into a power socket.
    iMac being connected to power.
  2. Examine the cable and connectors for visible damage. If they are damaged, they may need to be replaced.
  3. Make sure one end is firmly plugged into the back panel of the iMac and the other end into a power socket.
  1. A Mac Pro has an internal power supply included in the case.
  2. The power cable looks like below. Examine the cable and connectors for visible damage. If you find any damage, the cable may need to be replaced.
    Mac Pro power cable.
  3. Make sure one end of the cable is firmly plugged into a wall outlet.
  4. Make sure the other end is firmly plugged into the power socket on the rear side of the case.
    Power socket highlighted on rear side of Mac Pro.

With a Mac that connects to an external monitor you'll need to check and make sure the monitor is properly connected and powered. A monitor that is disconnected can make it seem like your Mac is not turning on.

  1. Examine all cables and connectors for visible damage. If they are damaged, they may need to be replaced.
  2. Make sure one end of the power cable is firmly connected to the back panel of the monitor and the other end into a power socket.
    Monitor being connected to power and video source.
  3. Make sure one end of the video cable is firmly connected to the back panel of the monitor and the other end into video source device, such as a computer, gaming console, media player, etc.
  4. If the monitor has an external power supply, make sure all connectors are firmly plugged in:
    • One connector (1) plugs into the monitor
    • The other connector (2) plugs into a power socket
    • And sometimes, a third (3) connector plugs into the supply itself
    Monitor power supply connectors annotated.
  5. Monitors can be connected to video source devices through a variety of connection types. The most common ones are shown below:
    Video connector types.
  6. Make sure the monitor is powered on and set to the video input source matching the connection type. This varies greatly by brand and model. If you're unsure how to do this please refer to the monitors documentation.

Mac Mini with internal power supply

  1. Some Mac Mini computers have an internal power supply:
    • One connector (1) plugs into the computer
    • The other connector (2) plugs into a power socket
    Mac Mini being plugged into power.
  2. Examine all cables and connectors for visible damage. If they are damaged, they may need to be replaced.
  3. Make sure all connectors are firmly plugged in.

Mac Mini with external power supply

  1. Other Mac Mini computers have an external power supply and plugs in like below:
    • One connector (1) plugs into the computer
    • The other connector (2) plugs into a power socket
    • A third (3) connector plugs into the supply itself
    Mac Mini being connected to power.
  2. Examine all cables and connectors for visible damage. If they are damaged, they may need to be replaced.
  3. Make sure all connectors are firmly plugged in.
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