How To Charge A Laptop Without A Charger: The Potential Of HDMI, USB-C, Solar And More

Written by: Pete Luckhurst



Time to read 9 min

In today's digital age, laptops have become an essential tool for work, school, and entertainment. However, running out of battery power can be a frustrating experience, especially when you don't have access to your usual laptop charger. But fear not! There are alternative power sources and creative solutions that can come to your rescue. In this article, we will explore various methods to charge a laptop without a charger, including the potential of HDMI and more.

Charging your laptop without a charger

Exploring Alternative Power Sources

When you find yourself in a situation where your laptop's battery is running low and there's no charger in sight, it's important to stay calm and consider the available alternatives. One option is to rely on alternative power sources that can provide temporary charging solutions. These sources include HDMI, USB-C, power banks, portable chargers, and even solar power. Understanding how these sources work and how to utilize them can help you keep your laptop powered up in different scenarios.

First, let's dive into the potential of HDMI as a power source for laptops.

HDMI, short for High-Definition Multimedia Interface, is commonly known for its role in transmitting audio and video signals between devices. However, what many people may not realize is that HDMI cables can also carry power. This feature, known as HDMI Power Delivery, allows certain devices to draw power from the HDMI port. While not all laptops support this feature, it can be a convenient option for charging when compatible. It's important to note that the power output through HDMI is typically lower than traditional chargers, so it may not be suitable for rapid charging or heavy laptop usage.

Another alternative power source worth exploring is solar power. Solar chargers have become increasingly popular for their eco-friendly and portable nature. By harnessing sunlight and converting it into electricity, solar panels can charge devices like laptops on the go. These chargers are especially useful for outdoor activities or travel situations where access to traditional power sources is limited. While solar charging may take longer than conventional methods, it offers a sustainable way to keep your devices powered while reducing your carbon footprint.

Harnessing the Power of HDMI

Most people associate HDMI with connecting laptops to external monitors or TVs to enjoy multimedia content. However, HDMI has more potential than meets the eye. Some laptops have the ability to charge through their HDMI ports using a special adapter. This innovative solution can save the day when you're in a pinch and need to charge your laptop without a traditional charger. It's important to note that not all laptops support this feature, so check your laptop's specifications to see if it's HDMI charging compatible.

Another fascinating aspect of HDMI technology is its ability to carry not only audio and video signals but also Ethernet data. This means that with the right equipment, you can establish an internet connection through your HDMI cable. This feature can be particularly useful in setups where a stable and fast internet connection is crucial, such as gaming tournaments or video conferencing setups. It's a convenient way to streamline your connections and reduce cable clutter.

Furthermore, HDMI cables come in various versions, each offering different capabilities. The latest HDMI 2.1 standard, for example, supports higher resolutions, refresh rates, and dynamic HDR for an enhanced viewing experience. It's essential to ensure compatibility between your devices and HDMI cables to fully leverage the advanced features offered by the latest HDMI standards. Stay informed about the evolving HDMI technology landscape to make the most out of your multimedia experiences.

Understanding USB-C Charging Options

USB-C has become the standard for charging many electronic devices, including laptops. If your laptop has a USB-C port, you're in luck because it opens up a world of possibilities for charging without a charger. With a USB-C to USB-C cable and a power source, such as a power bank or even another laptop, you can keep your laptop running for longer. USB-C charging options have evolved significantly, making it easier than ever to charge your laptop on the go.

One of the key advantages of USB-C charging is its versatility. Not only can you charge your laptop using a power bank or another laptop, but you can also take advantage of fast charging capabilities. Many modern USB-C chargers support fast charging, which can significantly reduce the time it takes to recharge your laptop. This is especially useful when you're in a hurry or need to top up your battery quickly between meetings or while traveling.

Furthermore, USB-C charging is not limited to laptops alone. Many smartphones, tablets, and other electronic devices now come equipped with USB-C ports, allowing for a more streamlined charging experience. This means you can use the same cable and power source to charge multiple devices, reducing the number of cables and chargers you need to carry with you. The universality of USB-C is a game-changer in the world of charging, simplifying the process and making it more convenient for users on the move.

Making Use of Power Banks and Portable Chargers

Power banks and portable chargers are a lifesaver when you're away from a power outlet. These compact devices store electrical energy that can be used to charge your laptop. They come in various sizes and capacities, so it's essential to choose one that matches your laptop's power requirements. When selecting a power bank or portable charger, consider its capacity, output voltage, and compatibility with your laptop. Additionally, always ensure that the power bank is fully charged before heading out, so you have a backup power source when needed.

It's worth noting that power banks and portable chargers are not only handy for charging laptops but also for keeping your smartphones, tablets, and other electronic devices juiced up while on the go. Some power banks even come with multiple ports, allowing you to charge several devices simultaneously. This versatility makes them a must-have accessory for travelers, students, and professionals who rely heavily on their gadgets throughout the day.

When using a power bank or portable charger, it's essential to handle them with care to avoid any damage to the device or your electronics. Avoid exposing them to extreme temperatures, moisture, or direct sunlight, as these factors can affect their performance and longevity. Additionally, make sure to use the provided cables and connectors that are compatible with your devices to ensure safe and efficient charging. By following these simple guidelines, you can make the most out of your power bank and portable charger, keeping your devices powered up whenever and wherever you need them.

Leveraging Solar Power for Charging

Are you an outdoor enthusiast or someone who frequently travels to remote locations? If so, harnessing the power of the sun might be an excellent option for you. Solar power has advanced significantly over the years, and now you can find portable solar panels designed specifically for charging laptops. These panels are lightweight, easy to carry, and can generate enough energy to charge your laptop's battery. Just make sure you position the solar panel under direct sunlight and follow the manufacturer's instructions for optimal usage.

Additionally, solar power is not only beneficial for charging electronic devices but also for powering various camping equipment such as lights, fans, and even refrigerators. By investing in a solar power kit, you can create a sustainable and eco-friendly camping experience. Imagine being able to light up your campsite without worrying about batteries or fuel, all thanks to the power of the sun. With advancements in solar technology, these kits are becoming more efficient and affordable, making them a practical choice for outdoor enthusiasts.

Tips for Extending Battery Life

While finding alternative power sources is crucial, it's equally important to optimize your laptop's battery life to make it last longer. Here are some tips to help you extend your laptop's battery life:

  1. Lower the screen brightness.
  2. Close any unnecessary programs or browser tabs.
  3. Turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when not in use.
  4. Use a power-saving mode.
  5. Disable background apps and automatic updates.
  6. Avoid running resource-intensive tasks.

Implementing these simple practices can significantly increase the time your laptop can run on battery power alone, reducing your reliance on alternative charging methods.

Another effective way to extend your laptop's battery life is to manage your power settings. By customizing your power plan settings in the control panel, you can optimize your laptop's performance based on your usage patterns. For example, setting your laptop to hibernate when the lid is closed or after a certain period of inactivity can help conserve battery power when you're not actively using your device.

Additionally, keeping your laptop cool can also contribute to longer battery life. Overheating can put a strain on your laptop's battery, causing it to drain faster. Make sure to place your laptop on a flat, hard surface to allow for proper ventilation and prevent overheating. You can also consider using a laptop cooling pad to help dissipate heat more effectively, further extending your battery's lifespan.

Creative Ways to Charge Your Laptop in Emergencies

Emergencies can arise when you're least expecting them, leaving you with a dead laptop battery and no access to a charger. In these situations, you need to tap into your creativity to come up with innovative solutions. For example, if you have a compatible smartphone with a USB-on-the-go (OTG) feature, you can use it as a makeshift charger by connecting it to your laptop with an OTG cable. Additionally, some cafes, airports, and public spaces offer charging stations where you can juice up your laptop while taking a break.

Keep in mind that these solutions might not provide a full charge but can offer enough power to keep your laptop running until you find a proper charging source.

If you're out in nature or facing a power outage at home, you can explore alternative energy sources to charge your laptop. Solar chargers are a great option for harnessing the power of the sun to keep your devices running. Simply place the solar charger in direct sunlight and connect it to your laptop to start charging. This eco-friendly solution not only helps you in emergencies but also reduces your carbon footprint.

Another unconventional method to charge your laptop is by using a car charger. If you have access to a vehicle, you can plug your laptop charger into the car's power outlet to give your device the boost it needs. This can be especially handy during road trips or when you're stranded with a dead laptop and a working car.

Safety When Charging

While exploring alternative ways to charge your laptop without a charger, it's crucial to prioritize safety. Here are some safety tips to follow:

  • Only use adapters and cables that are compatible with your laptop.
  • Check the voltage and current ratings to ensure they align with your laptop's requirements.
  • Avoid using damaged or frayed cables.
  • Do not leave your laptop unattended while charging.
  • Avoid extreme temperatures and moisture during the charging process.

By following these precautions, you can minimize the risk of damage to your laptop and ensure your safety while charging in unconventional ways.


Q: Can any laptop be charged through the HDMI port?

A: No, not all laptops have this feature. Check your laptop's specifications or consult the manufacturer to confirm if HDMI charging is supported.

Q: Can I charge my laptop with a regular power bank?

A: It depends on the power bank's specifications and your laptop's power requirements. Make sure the power bank has a sufficient capacity and suitable output voltage to charge your laptop.

Q: How long does it take to charge a laptop using solar panels?

A: The charging time may vary depending on various factors such as solar panel capacity, sunlight intensity, and laptop battery size. It's recommended to check the manufacturer's guidelines for estimated charging times.

With the potential of HDMI and other alternative power sources, charging your laptop without a charger is no longer an insurmountable challenge. By exploring these options and preparing for unexpected situations, you can ensure your laptop remains powered up wherever your adventures take you.

Alternative Power Sources: HDMI, USB-C, power banks, portable chargers, and solar power offer temporary charging solutions for laptops in various scenarios.

HDMI as Power Source: HDMI Power Delivery enables charging through HDMI ports, albeit typically at lower power outputs compared to traditional chargers.

USB-C Charging: USB-C ports provide versatile charging options with fast charging capabilities, suitable for laptops and other devices.

Power Banks and Portable Chargers: Compact devices storing electrical energy for charging laptops and other electronics, available in various sizes and capacities.

Solar Power: Portable solar panels harness sunlight to charge laptops, offering sustainable and eco-friendly charging solutions, especially useful for outdoor activities.

About the author

Pete Luckhurst is a Website Manager at Maplin.

After getting an early start in the world of computing with C64 & Amiga computers, Pete now spends much of his spare time in PC VR and dabbling in game development. He also has a strong interest in film, photography and music.

Among other endeavours, he previously worked in a Maplin store, so it was a no-brainer when the opportunity arose to work on the modern incarnation of Maplin online. Besides writing for the blog, Pete works alongside the Maplin team to help keep the online store running smoothly.