Why Is the Battery Icon Grayed Out in Windows 10
If you’re on a laptop computer, the battery icon is an essential tool. It helps you monitor the battery levels and keep an eye on power consumption. However, the icon might sometimes turn gray and become inactive.
This can happen for a variety of reasons. Luckily, there are several things you can do before taking your laptop to a repair shop.
Reboot Your PC
Let’s get the most obvious of all troubleshooting methods out of the way at the very beginning – the good ol’ reboot. The reason it’s the most obvious one is that it’s helped countless Windows users sort out a myriad of minor software and hardware glitches, bugs, and errors over the years.
If the battery icon on your laptop’s screen is grayed out for some reason, you might want to first reboot your computer. There are two main ways to reboot a Windows laptop and we’ll cover them both.
- Click on the Start icon in the bottom-left corner of the screen or press the Win key on your keyboard.
- Click on the Power button in the menu near the left edge of the screen.
- Select Restart from the pop-up menu.
Here’s the alternative way:
- Close all programs.
- Press the Alt and F4 keys on the keyboard simultaneously.
- When the Shut Down dialog box appears, choose Restart from the drop-down menu.
Wait for the computer to reboot and check whether the battery icon is still grayed out. If so, move on to the next solution.
Check for Changes in Hardware
The battery icon might have gone gray due to recent changes in the hardware configuration of your computer. If that’s the case, you might want to check Device Manager to see if everything’s running smoothly. Here’s how to do it:
- Press the Win key on your keyboard.
- Once the Start menu launches, start typing Device Manager.
- Click on Device Manager in the results.
- When it opens, you should click on the Action menu (it’s located at the top of the window).
- Click on the Scan for hardware changes option.
- Next, you should move to the main section of the window and click on the Batteries
- Check if the Microsoft ACPI-Compliant Control Method Battery and Microsoft AC Adapter devices are on the list.
- Pop over to your computer’s taskbar notification area and check whether the battery icon is there and if it’s still grayed out.
Check the Drivers
The battery icon in the taskbar might go gray when the drivers stop working properly. To check whether everything’s fine with the drivers, you’ll need the help of Device Manager. Let’s look into how to turn them off and on again:
- Press the Win key to launch the Start menu.
- Start typing Device Manager.
- Click on it in the results area.
- When Device Manager opens, you should click on
- Find the Microsoft AC Adapter and right-click on it.
- Click on Disable in the drop-down menu.
- Repeat the previous two steps for Microsoft ACPI-Compliant Control Method Battery.
- After that, right click on each and click on Enable in the drop-down menu.
- Finally, give your computer the good old reboot for the changes you’ve just made to sync.
When the computer boots up, you should go to the taskbar’s notification area to see whether the problem is solved. If not, try the next solution.
Update Your PC’s BIOS
Sometimes, the grayed out battery icon in the taskbar might be a minor symptom of outdated BIOS. You might want to check for the available updates to your BIOS. Here’s how to do that:
- Click on the Start icon in the bottom-left corner of the screen.
- Next, click on the Settings (little cog) icon near the left edge of the screen.
- Click on the Update & Security icon.
- Click on the Recovery tab in the left-side menu.
- Click on Restart now in the Advanced startup section.
- The screen will turn blue and three options will appear. Click on Troubleshoot.
- Next, click on Advanced Options.
- After that, choose UEFI Firmware Settings.
- Click on the Restart button.
- Once you enter BIOS, look for the update section.
- If there are available updates, download them from the manufacturer’s site and follow the installation instructions.
- Restart your computer and check whether the problem is fixed.
Check the System Files
Corrupt system folders and files can wreak havoc on a Windows computer. Sometimes, the battery icon in the taskbar might get affected. If you remember when the icon became irresponsive and gray, you can try and restore the system to a date before the problem happened. Here’s how to restore Windows 10:
- Launch the Start menu.
- Type Restore.
- Click on the Create a restore point result.
- System Properties will open. It opens with the System Protection tab being active. Click on the System Restore button.
- After several moments, you will see a new window. Click on the Next > button.
- You will see Windows’ suggestion. It will most certainly be a recent date or the last major update. You can click on the Show more restore points to choose the date you want.
- Click on the Next button.
- Confirm your choice.
- Click on the Finish button.
After the process finishes, check whether the battery icon is active or not.
Bring Power Back to the Battery Icon
A grayed out battery icon can be unnerving and the sooner it’s dealt with, the better. If none of the above methods yielded results, you might opt for a system reinstall or call it quits and take your laptop to a repair shop.
Has the battery icon ever gone gray on you before? How did you solve the problem? If we’ve missed the fix that helped you, make sure to share it with the rest of the community in the comments section below.