Dell offers some of the best productivity laptops thanks to their consumer-friendly price and sleek design, all while packing enough power to accommodate the most demanding working professionals.
Many users, such as students or office workers who are on the go a lot, will often take their Dell laptops with them and, as such, rely a great deal on the laptop’s battery during their day.
But unfortunately, quite a few users have reported that when they try to recharge their laptop, the battery indicator LED is blinking orange.
This indicates that there is potentially a problem with the battery, which needs to be addressed asap as the last thing you want is your laptop to die in the middle of your work day.
Why does your Dell laptop is blinking orange?
While this light indicates an issue with the battery, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s inches away from not holding a charge anymore, and you should immediately replace it.
So let’s first look at all the factors that may cause your Dell Laptop battery power light to blink orange, and then we’ll go through some nice and simple fixes you can perform at home to rectify this issue.
These are well worth trying before rushing out and buying a new battery!
Low charge remaining
While the orange LED can indicate that the battery charge is no longer being properly held. Sometimes, you will find that it starts blinking simply because the current charge is low – yet the battery charge can still be held ok.
Before doing anything else, especially if you’ve been using it on battery for the day, it’s well worth charging it for a few hours, as this can often fix the issue.
A non-battery related-issue
This amber light serves more purposes than simply letting you know about the battery life. Depending on the rhythm and color combination of the blinking, it can give you information about many different things to do with your machine.
The number of ‘blinks’ in each orange or white color could indicate an issue with the CPU, BIOS, RAM, or even the PCI/Video card. It’s worth checking your LED blinking combination against the Dell LED blinking pattern table to get an idea of whether the blinking pattern has anything to do with your battery.
There are many reasons why, over time, your battery may become dislodged or be unable to make a solid connection with your laptop.
This could be due to it being knocked, heavy dust, or debris building up in the connectors.
Sometimes simply removing the battery, visually inspecting the connection point, and then reseating the battery ensures a nice and solid connection to return it to working order.
Unfortunately, no battery lasts forever. As they age, their ability to withhold a charge lessens. Eventually, this low-charge retention hits a point where your Dell Laptop will notify you that the battery health isn’t performing as well as it used to.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to change it either. Suppose you don’t need to use your Dell battery without the mains lead attached for extended periods. In that case, many people can happily continue using the machine without changing their working habits.
Low power supply from the wall or power brick
If there is an issue with the power brick or the power being supplied from the main outlet, this will result in a warning that the battery is not charging adequately.
In this scenario, it’s not the laptop’s fault or the Dell battery itself, but the power provided to it from the outside source.
We need to try changing our charging location to see if that solves the issue. It’s also necessary to check the power cable itself for any damage (such as signs of burning) or dirt and debris that may prevent it from providing adequate power to the laptop.
A ‘drive’ is essentially a small piece of software that instructs a piece of hardware on how to work and communicate with your machine. Most hardware components in your laptop have a piece of driver software, including the Dell battery.
Sometimes the blinking amber light isn’t caused by a physical problem with the battery itself but by the software associated with its functioning.
Some users have reported that uninstalling the old Dell battery and reinstalling/updating it to a new one has fixed the issue for them.
CMOS/BIOS battery and RAM not seated correctly
As we already mentioned, depending on the blinking order and colors of the LED, it can indicate issues with another piece of hardware within the Dell XPS.
Users on the Dell forum have reported that removing the BIOS/CMOS battery (the small circular battery attached to the motherboard responsible for holding system information) and reinserting it into the machine has fixed the issue.
You can also do this with your RAM, as some of the LED blinking combinations are RAM related.
How to fix a Dell laptop blinking orange
Now we’ve established that this blinking amber light doesn’t necessarily mean that the battery needs to be replaced and that there are several things we can do to restore it to working order.
Now let’s go through all the steps you can take to fix the issue so you can get back to using your laptop without this distracting blinking amber light!
Charge the laptop
As we mentioned, sometimes this indicator is simply present because the battery is low on charge.
Try ensuring it’s securely plugged into the mains and receiving power from the wall, and leave it for a good few hours to charge first to see if that fixes the issue.
Check other hardware components
The blinking orange light doesn’t always indicate an issue with the battery, especially if there is a white LED included in part of the blinking sequence.
To understand exactly what problem the blinking light refers to, look at how many times it blinks orange and then how many times it blinks white and use the LED FLASH SEQUENCE table detailed here on the Dell website.
If the issue is related to another hardware component, then that can be addressed accordingly, but if this has confirmed that it’s a battery-related issue, then continue reading.
Reseat the battery
As we mentioned, there are a few reasons why over time, your battery connection to the laptop may have been compromised, and a simple reseat can sometimes kick it back into working order.
To do this, follow these steps:
- Firstly, completely power off the laptop and ensure no power cable is plugged in.
- Remove the eight screws from the bottom of the machine.
- Remove the XPS flap in the middle and remove the cover. It’s worth holding down the power button for about 30 seconds to ensure all the capacitors have been discharged of residual power.
- Disconnect the battery connector and remove the screws holding it in place.
- Remove the battery and lightly blow on the connector to remove any dust or debris.
- Reinsert the battery making extra sure that the connection is solid.
- Reverse the process and reinstall the battery into the Dell XPS laptop.
Replace the battery
If the battery is simply old and isn’t retaining enough charge to be useful, you can always use it through the mains lead instead.
However, if you need to take it on the go with you, the simplest solution is to purchase a new replacement battery from Dell or a third-party dealer and install it using the steps mentioned above.
Poor power supply from the mains or charging cable
If your mains outlet is not providing enough power, or if the power brick/cable is damaged and not supplying enough power, your laptop will not charge properly, resulting in the blinking orange light.
Double-check that the laptop’s charging cable is working by either trying it on a different machine or using a new cable on the laptop to see if it yields different results. You should also use an alternative mains outlet here too.
If the cable is at fault, you can source a new one from Dell or a third-party retailer to fix the issue.
Update the Dell battery driver
You can open the device manager using the search function in the windows toolbar and searching for ‘device manage.’
Once here, navigate to ‘battery,’ right-click on the dell battery drive, and click ‘uninstall drive.’ The battery will disappear from the device manager at this point – this is normal.
Next, you can scan Windows for new hardware, automatically detecting and reinstalling the battery drivers.
Research the CMOS battery/BIOS battery
Sometimes reseating your BIOS battery will also help to eliminate this error.
Firstly power down the laptop and unscrew the back panel to gain access to the motherboard.
Locate the CMOS battery (it will look like a small, silver, circular disk). Remove it and wait for about 10 seconds.
Reinsert the Dell battery and reattach the back panel. Then boot the computer up.