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Is It Safe To Use Another Laptop’s Charger On Your Laptop?

The short answer is; No. You should never intentionally use another laptop’s charger on your laptop. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a pinch or if your battery is about to die. Plugging a different charger that isn’t meant for your specific model will not lead to anything good. In fact, it may immediately, if not eventually, fry your battery and you will have to get a new one. Now that you know you shouldn’t use another laptop’s charger on your laptop, let’s look at why not.

Power Requirements

All laptops are not created equal and neither are their power requirements. Some laptops require more power; think gaming laptops. Their chargers are built for that specific power need. If you use a charger that doesn’t provide enough power, or that provides too much power to a laptop, you risk damaging the battery beyond repair. There’s also the possibility that you damage other hardware on your laptop so really, just don’t do it.

The battery fry may happen immediately or the damage might surface eventually. Usually, it manifests in the form of the ‘plugged in, not charging‘ message.

Proprietary Hardware

Laptop chargers are not meant to mix. If you have a Dell laptop charger and you plug it into an HP laptop, it will damage your battery. It won’t matter if the charger supplies the right amount of power, mixing chargers from different manufacturers is never a good idea and laptop batteries might reject it simply because it’s not from an approved manufacturer. You might be able to get away with it if you’re using chargers from the same manufacturer that can supply the right amount of power but this is a big ‘if’. It’s best to err on the side of caution and avoid it.

Cheap Knock-offs

Some chargers come cheap while others can cost quite a bit. If you’re looking to replace your laptop’s charger and you’re tempted to buy a cheap knock-off know that it is the same as using a different brand’s charger except worse. There is no way to determine the quality of a knock-off charger and while it may claim to supply a certain amount of power, you can’t be sure if it actually does. Stay away. Spend the extra money and get an original or you will be replacing your battery very soon.

MacBooks

MacBooks are a somewhat exception to this rule. You can probably use one MacBook’s charger with another MacBook provided the power requirements are met but you should never use a knock-off charger or attempt to use a non-Apple charger. You might not only fry your battery it’s possible you void a warranty or two.

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  • Vlad Tepes

    Sorry, but there is no such thing as too much power. The only thing that one can assume is that one power supply can or cannot provide the requested power (for charging the battery and/or running the notebook). Hence the power rating of them.
    As a side note, the electronics responsible with charging the battery are inside the notebook/laptop. So the term of charger is so wrongly used.
    From “electrical” point of view, things that are requested for proper functioning are: voltage level and maximum rated amperage. Of course that manufacturers, for the real sake of protecting their businesses, put another layer of “security” using signaling and/or firmware/software for identifying their own device and most of the time different type of connectors.