Laptop owners know for a fact that the laptop’s charger is an indispensable part of the laptop because this is what will keep your laptop and its battery running. In line with that, knowing the wattage that your laptop battery needs is also just as important because you have to know how much power to supply to your battery. But what if you end up losing or breaking your laptop charger and you don’t have time to buy a new one right away? Can you use a laptop charger with a lower wattage?
You can use a laptop charger with a lower wattage for your laptop. However, the problem here is that the laptop charger with a lower wattage won’t be able to supply enough power to keep your laptop running at its maximum capacity or might not even allow your laptop to run and charge at the same time.
So, when you only have a different charger with a lower wattage than what your laptop requires, don’t worry too much because this won’t end up damaging your laptop. But you do have to worry about the laptop’s performance because a lower wattage means that less power is passing through to your laptop. That said, let’s talk more about how a lower wattage charger can affect your laptop and its performance.
Is it safe to use a laptop charger with a lower wattage?
There is no doubting the fact that your laptop’s charger is one of the most important components that come with your laptop. Without the charger, you won’t be able to actually keep the battery charged or provide your laptop with the power that it needs to perform at its best or even function at all. That’s why you need to keep your laptop charger with you whenever you are carrying your laptop around.
Still, there are some cases wherein you might have forgotten to bring your laptop charger or may have lost or broken it. When that happens and you don’t have enough time to buy a new one or get it fixed, you may have found a spare laptop charger lying around in your home. You realized that the laptop charger actually fits the port of your laptop.
However, the catch here is that the spare laptop charger that you found comes with a wattage that is lower than what your laptop requires. For example, you have a laptop battery that requires 90 watts but the charger you found only supplies 45 watts.
That said, is it safe for you to use a laptop charger with a lower wattage? Or is it even possible for you to use the said laptop charger to charge your laptop even though the latter has a higher wattage?
The good news here is that, yes, it is safe for you to use a laptop charger with a lower wattage and it is also okay for you to charge your laptop with a charger that comes with a lower wattage. There is nothing wrong as far as safety is concerned here because it is completely okay for you to charge your laptop with a charger that comes with a wattage that is lower than what your laptop requires.
What happens when you charge a laptop with a charger with a lower wattage?
So, while we did indeed say that is safe for you to charge a laptop with a charger that comes with a lower wattage, there is still a catch that you need to know if you try to charge your 90-watt laptop with a 45-watt charger.
Before we get to that, let’s get to know more about how wattage works in laptops and their chargers so that you can get a better picture of what is happening here. And we are going to discuss this in the simplest way possible.
The wattage on a laptop charger is the power that your charger can supply to anything that needs power. So, when you see a laptop charger with 45 watts on its power adapter, that means that it can supply up to 45 watts. Meanwhile, the wattage that you see on your laptop is the power that it requires to function well or to charge its battery. So, when a laptop comes with 90 watts, that means that it needs to draw out 90 watts of power from the charger or the power adapter for it to have enough power to function well.
But what if the charger has a lower wattage to the wattage of the laptop? What happens here? So, basically, what happens is that the laptop will still draw out power from the power adapter but only up to what the charger can supply. As such, it will only draw out up to 45 watts even though it requires 90 watts.
In that case, the laptop and the battery will still function well enough but the power they are getting from the charger won’t be enough to actually allow the laptop to function near its maximum capacity because of how the power adapter can’t supply the power it needs.
Think of it this way. Suppose that your body needs 2,500 calories a day to function at its best but you only ate 1,200 calories that day. While you are still alright and you will still function well enough throughout the day, your body might have enough energy to actually perform at its best because you only ate half its daily calorie requirement.
Going back to your laptop, when you give it less than what it needs in terms of wattage, it won’t be able to function at its best. There will also be cases when the battery won’t even charge well at all and would continue to go down but at a slower pace because the charger is still providing power to it but only at a rate where it drains slower.
It’s just like someone who is earning a thousand dollars a week but is spending $1,500. That person is bound to end up emptying his bank account at that rate if he can’t earn enough money to make up for his expenses.
So, in your laptop’s case, if you are using your laptop while it is connected to a charger with a lower wattage, it is bound to empty out unless you put your laptop in a low-power state or if you shut it down and allow the charger to charge the battery slowly.
This is why using a charger with lower wattage can affect laptop performance as you won’t be able to supply your laptop with the power it needs to function well and to keep its battery charged all at the same time.
In short, there are no dangers or harms involved in using a laptop charger with a lower wattage. The only catch here is that you won’t be able to use the laptop in its full power or you might not even keep it charged while using it.