Laptops are not truly silent. Different hardware produces various sounds when the laptop is working. Although, typically a healthy laptop doesn’t make buzzing, humming, or clicking sound.
Your laptop shouldn’t be noisier up to the level when you can’t work on it peacefully. During CPU demanding tasks such as gaming, editing you may hear the laptop’s fan’s noise, but not as loud to make you feel uncomfortable.
In this article, you will read about a few solutions when your laptop makes noise when plugged in. If you notice your laptop makes a grinding or whirring noise as soon as you plug in the power adapter, it could be a signal to a serious problem.
However, you should not be too quick to assume hardware damage and do not panic immediately. Instead, you can debug the issue step by step and this will help you find a better solution.
Why laptop makes noise when plugged in?
- Any noise emitted by your laptop immediately after plugging in the charger indicates it could be an HDD or speaker malfunctioning issue. The noise could probably be the fans are running at full speed too. In the worst case, the laptop motherboard might suffer internal damage.
- If the fans are rattling then it might be the cooling profile when plugged in is probably different. On battery power, the fan doesn’t go full speed but does rotate at max speed when it’s both plugged in.
- It could presumably be the dust clogging your laptop fans preventing them from cooling down. Or it can be a damaged charger or defective internal hardware.
- Mostly, when you are getting a buzzing sound as soon as the power adapter plugged in, it could be the charger has suffered some sort of damage, or the laptop battery might stop working correctly and for the worst-case scenario, part of the laptop’s motherboard is malfunctioning which preventing it from supplying proper power to the components.
Since the cause is quite unpredictable, it’s recommended to test the laptop entirely (both at the software and hardware level) and try to identify the actual reason.
The following part of this post is covering what to do if your laptop makes noise when plugged in.
Similar issue: Need help to fix sudden laptop FPS drop? Check my article on how to fix laptop FPS drop when plugged in.
What to do if your laptop makes noise when plugged in?
If you are encountering the noise immediately after plugging in the power adapter, try the following steps to resolve it.
- Remove the Laptop battery and see if that works
- Try a different AC adapter (Voltage & Ampere should match)
- Remove/replace Hard Drive
- Check your laptop fans
- Check your laptop speakers
- Test a new motherboard
Check all of these steps in brief below:
Step 1: Remove Laptop battery and see if that works
If your laptop makes noise when plugged in then you should first remove the battery or disconnect it from the motherboard. Plugin the power adapter, and turn on your laptop. Nevertheless, If the buzzing sound disappears after removing/disconnecting the battery then you should not be convinced that the battery is malfunctioning.
Apart from the laptop battery the charging circuit might have an issue and result in releasing the grinding/buzzing noise!
Now you first need to replace the battery and see if that fixes the grinding noise. But make sure to get a battery that properly matches your laptop’s profile. Unfortunately, changing the battery is the only way to confirm whether it is causing the noise while the power adapter is plugged in.
If the replacement of the battery does not resolve the issue it’s time to check the charging circuit and alter it if found malfunctioning (in case it’s not an integrated part of the motherboard). An integrated charging circuit means you might need to replace the laptop motherboard which you can read in this section below.
In both cases, don’t forget to inform the dealer or company if your product is under warranty period.
Step 2: Try a different AC adapter (Voltage & Ampere should match)
It is possible that the AC adapter suffered some sort of damage and the laptop is making noise as soon as you plugin that charger cable. Laptop chargers often suffer damage due to bad placement, overstretching, twisted, tripped over by people/objects which can prevent it to deliver proper current flow to your laptop can cause weird sounds coming out.
Minor damage to the circuit board inside the adapter prevents the proper current conversion of home current which is essential for the laptop. Such uncontrolled ampere can damage internal parts of your laptop may resulting in weird noise coming out when plugged in.
To debug your charger:
- First, you can replace it and see if that fixes the noise-making issue.
- Next, you can plug in the charger, wait for a few minutes, and check the charger brick whether it is getting hotter or not (should get hotter during the current flow).
- Third, use a voltmeter to measure the output of the charger. If you detect any reading that fluctuates more than the mentioned output in your laptop info indicate a faulty charger cable.
If your device is still under warranty you should contact the company for a possible replacement. Out of warranty laptop owners can buy a new adapter from online retailers or those can be found on the official product page of the company itself.
Most adapters are labeled with watts which can be calculated by multiplying voltage and ampere together. For example; 21V and 5A give you the 105W power required for healthy functioning.
Step 3: Remove/replace Hard Drive
If your laptop has a mechanical hard drive like most budget laptops do these days, then it can be the source of noise from your laptop. HDDs unlike SSDs have moving physical components that rotate at a very fast speed to read the data from the drive.
If you carry your laptop while it’s still running then you need to know that this is slowly destroying your hard drive life span. External forces on your HDD can cause the head of your HDD to scratch the magnetic platter. This is one of the most common causes of a noisy mechanical hard disk drive.
Or, it’s possible that the power supply cable of the HDD is being damaged and due to insufficient flow of current HDD can make weird noises.
You can not detect whether it’s the HDD or power supply cable of the HDD until you test a new Hard drive with the same cable. If the noise remains for the new hard drive you need to alter the power supply cable and check its status.
Sadly replacing the HDD/power supply cable is the only way you can confirm whether they are the reason your laptop is making noise when plugged in.
This only applies if you find out it’s the HDD section of your Laptop making the noise. You may inform the company about the HDD/power cable if your product is under warranty period.
Step 4: Check your laptop fans
This “Laptop makes noise when plugged in” issue can also be caused by the fans. Fans can make a buzzing or clicking noise for various reasons. Position of laptop or damaged fan blades can cause these weird sounds.
It could be possible either that on external power plugged-in mode the fan settings might be set to full speed, and working overtime at full speed is not good for the fan’s lifespan. A malfunctioning fan can create such awkward noise but it doesn’t necessarily need your laptop to be in charge. Ideally, fan noise is normal from laptops as long as it’s not a clicking or grinding noise.
But if your laptop is overheating on external power & fans are unable to push the hot air out of your system you definitely need to confirm that fans are not clogged by dust. Checking the fan’s status is under your reach so you should confirm your fans are working perfectly well.
You can put your ear near the laptop exhausts and check if the sound is coming out of the fans. Next, you can shine a flashlight inside the vents and check if you can find any sort of vibration of the blades or a broken piece.
It would be much better if you can diagnose your fan’s status from the inside. Google like “How to open [your laptop name]” and you should be able to find some well-made instructions on opening your laptop. Manually rotate the fans and in case the fans are damaged you can ask for a replacement if under warranty or take it to the repair center.
Tip: use a cooler to help the fans in cooling the PC more efficiently.
How to change Laptop’s cooling profile while charging?
- Search for “edit power plan” and open the power management window.
- Click on “Change advanced power settings”.
- The “power option” window will popup & unfold “processor power management” settings.
- Then expand the “System cooling policy” and make sure the “plugged in” profile is set to active.
When plugged in technically there is no chance to be cooled passively. Because the processor will heat up until a safety threshold is reached and the fan will start to spin at full speed.
Step 5: Check your laptop speakers
Overtime when speakers get older, components within the speaker assembly can deteriorate. Often speakers seem like the first thing you would verify if you hear a static noise from your laptop. But we often overlook it as the primary source of the problem.
In terms of speaker noise-making issue, it falls into a possible hardware/software problem. But if the laptop makes noise when plugged in then it
almost rules out the software issue here.
The easiest way to test the speakers is by uninstalling the driver and use a headphone instead as a source of sound output. Notice if the noise still coming out of the laptop then this indicates the speakers are fine.
On the other way take your laptop to service center and test it with new speaker while external power adapter is plugged in.
Step 6: Test a new motherboard
It can be expensive but sadly laptop can make a buzzing sound if your motherboard has suffered some sort of damage. You can’t really say which part of the board is having the issue, you need to take it to the repairing center for further testing.
It’s my personal experience with HP pavilion 15 sustained motherboard damage just after the first year of proper condition. I tested all possible parts such as HDD, SSD, power cable, battery, RAM finally HP suggested me to change the motherboard. The issue is same – it makes noise as soon as I connect the power adapter.
It’s an old video but you can check how to test charging circuit of laptop motherboard.
Luckily I had an extended warranty and got my board replaced without additional costs and the issue was resolved. You can take your laptop to a company authorized service center and ask them to check motherboard status. They can test your laptop with another board (of the same model) and it might sum up what you need to do ahead.
Again, if under warranty, do not hesitate to ask for replacement.
Note: The issue should be resolved after motherboard replacement, and usually it does. If this issue persists your laptop may need complete hardware checking by experts. For more possible reasons do check this page as I will update it with new possibilities and solutions.