[Fix] “The AC Power Adapter Type is Incorrect or Cannot be Determined” Warning Message at Startup in Laptops

This is an annoying error message which I always get at startup whenever I switch on my Dell XPS laptop connected with an old charger (AC power adapter). Actually I had a Dell XPS 1530 laptop in past which is not working at the moment but its charger is absolutely fine. Currently I have Dell XPS 15 laptop which is quite similar to the previous Dell XPS 1530 laptop.

The AC adapter which came bundled with my new laptop is fitted on my computer desk and can't be moved to any other place. That's why whenever I use my laptop in a different place such as outside my room, I connect it with the old AC adapter which came bundled with my previous laptop.

But it causes one slight problem! If I connect the old AC adapter with my new laptop, my system shows following warning message at startup:

WARNING: The AC adapter type is less than 130W or cannot be determined.
This will prevent optimal system performance.
Please check AC adapter connect properly, remove AC adapter and plug-in it again, thanks.

Press <F1> to continue......
Press <F2> to enter SETUP
Press <F12> to enter Boot Menu


The startup process stops at this screen and I always have to press "F1" key to continue the boot process. I know that the AC adapter is fine and can charge the laptop without any problem, so I don't want to see that annoying error message at every startup.

I looked into BIOS settings and found an interesting option "Adapter Warnings" which was set to enabled. I changed its value to disabled and it removed the error message forever.

If you also get this kind of error message each time you switch on your laptop and if you also want to disable the message, following steps will help you:

1. Switch on your laptop and press F2 key to enter into BIOS settings. Please note that different laptops provide different keys to enter into BIOS settings. If F2 key doesn't work for you, try to press Delete key. Most of the times, the correct key name is displayed on the BIOS boot logo.

2. Once you press the correct key, it'll open BIOS settings screen. If you have set a password in past, it'll ask to enter the password. Enter your correct password to access BIOS settings page. If you don't know the password or if you have forgotten the password, you can check our exclusive BIOS password recovery tutorial to reset or remove the password.

3. After entering into BIOS settings page, go to "Advanced" tab and move down to "Adapter Warnings" option. Press Enter key to change its value and select "Disabled" option from the list.


4. That's it. Save the changes and exit from BIOS settings and now you'll never get the annoying warning message about AC power adapter type at startup.

PS: Only use this method if your AC adapter is fine and in working condition. Sometimes this message may appear if your laptop battery or AC power adapter needs to be changed.

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Posted in: Troubleshooting

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  • VG, many Dell laptops (particularly older ones) do not have this option to disable. It is Dell's way of earning money, getting customers to buy a new adaptor or pay for a repair due to a bad design of the power adaptor.

    Some laptop models will prevent charging altogether, or will run on the power adaptor but will not charge it, similar to how it runs without a battery.

    However it does decrease the CPU clock speed which is why it says "Prevent optimal system performance.". You can see the different clock speed in System Properties. Some laptops will prevent overclocking software from increasing the clock speed back to its normal speed as well.

    Perhaps this could be added to the article.

  • How old is your computer?
    One of the customers I work for has Dell Latitude as a prerequisite for material.
    The warning also appears if I plug any other charger on the laptop, but there's out of the box an option to hit "f3" to not get anymore the warning.

  • And this is the reason why my cousin hated Dell laptops. My cousin is just a normal end-user...so yeah, these kind of messages can easily freak her out. Dell is definitely a "Hell" because this message alone is more than enough to trick or fool normal users into accidentally buying a new charger or worse, getting screwed in a Service Center by paying money they weren't supposed to pay.

  • Same thing happens with my XPS 15, I tried to use a 65W charger at school. However, my warning message had a button that said "Don't remind me again" ;)

  • hi vg, i am using dell studio, my laptop's battery is dead for a long time. is it ok to use laptop with a dead battery? is it safe? or shall i replace it?

    This will in MANY MANY Dell Laptops FORCE low performance od CPU!
    Instead of - for example - CPU working in 4x-10x 200MHz (for 800-2000Mhz range) your CPU will be locked to 4x-8x or even only 4x SPEED only!
    Use Cpu-Z to check - run some 1080p youtube video and check if you will have the same settings as in full power.

  • ^^Which is what I was saying earlier. You don't even need CPU-Z to look at it, just check out System Properties and you'll find the clock speed has been lowered.

  • thanks so much .VG

  • @ANON
    you mean to say that i should not use a dead battery and replace, or else my CPU performance may get impacted??

  • @Azz: no he is not saying that. I actually tried to reply to your post before but obviously it didn't get through.

    You should not use the dead battery. If you need to use a battery then it would be best to buy a new one. If you don't need to use a battery then take the battery out and just use it with the charger.

    Charging the dead battery could have disastrous consequences. Not only is it not good for the battery, it could explode or catch on fire which could cause harm. However this will only depend on how 'dead' the battery is. Just be careful.

    Unless your computer is showing the "Incorrect Power Adaptor" message then your CPU performance should not have an impact.

  • Best just to remove the battery when using your laptop as a desktop (if you have the option.) If your battery is dead, it can put too much of a drain on the charging system--more heat (equates to the 'catch fire' warning in previous comment.) Read a couple studies that indicated you had the least battery degradation if you stored it at a 40% charge level.

  • @macpro622776 and @Scott
    thank you so much guys for this helping me out. I'll remove my battery right away!!!!!

    This will in MANY MANY Dell Laptops FORCE low performance od CPU!
    Instead of - for example - CPU working in 4x-10x 200MHz (for 800-2000Mhz range) your CPU will be locked to 4x-8x or even only 4x SPEED only!
    Use Cpu-Z to check - run some 1080p youtube video and check if you will have the same settings as in full power."
    - This was about using power adaptor that is not Dell or not original replacement that does not send "I'm Dell adaptor" info. (Not reply to "dead battery" comment.)
    Your Dell laptop will give you info and even if you disable it your CPU still will be working on lowest setting.
    So buy used Dell power adaptor or some copy if you feel lucky.

  • I have a dell precision laptop its old but it works great for internet searching and playing media but it has a charger problem I thought it was the adapter so I purchased a new one but I got the message that the adapter was unrecognized and that the laptop only charges with a 90 w charger or higher and press f1 to log off.It doesn't let me get into the laptopor start windows just log off .So I unplug it press power to reset it then I put the batterey in ,then after the battery is in,ii press power again and pc boots normal then once windows starts, I plug the adapter into the laptop and remove the battery to save it for the next time I need to start the laptop. And once the adapter is pluged in it says Not charging,so it still has a problem, so I need to save all the charge I have left on the battery for the next time it boots . But since I bought the adapter and it was not the problem I purchase a new battery and still it is not charging and adapter still wont start the pc So any suggestions as to why the adapter is good enough to keep the pc going but not good enough to start it up?and why it wont charge a brand new battery? .

  • if you switch off the warning tab for adapter this will not charge your battery and eventually kill the battery charging. Try replacing the adapter it should work in most cases

  • There must be a way to disable this ac adaptor warning at startup since there is nowhere in BIOS on my dell 1501 laptop, maybe in the registry? Someone has to have an idea how to get rid of this annoyance. PLEASE!!!! LOL

  • As some people has said previously, hiding the warning message at BIOS does not prevent that the CPU will work always at 1/3 of its full speed and the battery will not be charged.
    Until you replace the AC/DC adapter by a new Dell one you can bypass the CPU speed limitation by disabling SpeedStep at BIOS. Unfortunately there is no bypass to allow charging battery.

    ps. this is because Dell puts an ID chip into their AC/DC adapters and the one you're using does not have the chip, or it is broken, or the pin is broken or...

  • I have a Dell Precision M6300 I am having the same problem with, AC power adaptor type cannot be determined...... 130w ac adaptor or grater...

    It will not allow me to enter setup, to disable warnings, what should I do?

  • Yes. Hiding the warning message only masks the issues. You will be running at a very slow rate. You'll get choppy video, slow scrolling, etc...

    I'd recommend not buying dell products in the future. Teach them a lesson.

  • I have a older dell laptop, the battery won't charge so use ot plugged in. When I turn on I get warnong message saying press F1 to continue then I go to windows start up screen. Busted screen and have to use hooked on tv monitor with HDMI cord. When I turn on I know to press F1. Tonight however it comes on and I press F1 as always. This time it doesn't work. I tried thirty times or more NOTHING. there are words that I can see on the busted screen but they disappear wishing few seconds. I cannot see anything on tv monitor until windows start up comes on.. Is there anything I can press that will bypass these issues and take me to new screen. I could care less about fixing it because gonna by a new one in few weeks when inhave the money. Until then I am stuck with this issue and have tons of homework and other work to do on computer. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  • if problem is like this:

    5 minute fix:

    the pins (4 nos) in jack lose with time (due to wear and tear of in bed usage)
    take pin, clear them and try picking them out so that they can again touch the adapter part!

    hope it helps,
    Trust me, I'm an engineer!

  • Thanks a lot. I tried and it worked....Many Thanks.

  • hello i have a dell inspiron n5010 , with power adatper error on boot, the bios is recognizing the adapter shows 65 w adapter , my battery is on 0 % and isnt charging (battery voltage with aida64 is 7.9 v critical low)

  • Hello, i have dell inspiron n5010, I am getting this message “The AC Power Adapter Type is Incorrect or Cannot be Determined”..I am using the original 65w adapter original...it is working fine with that adapter till now..when i removed my battery once after shutdown the computer and put it back, when i'm again restarting the system it is showing the above warning..and i'm gone to F2 page also(setting page in BIOS) in that it is showing the "AC adapter is unknown."

    please help me with this issue..

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