Is it possible to use a laptop charger with higher voltage?

USB charging and laptops

You have probably already used USB connections to charge smaller devices either from your computer or from an outlet. That works well because past USB connections had enough wattage to successfully power up those smaller batteries. However, prior versions of USB could handle a limited amount of power, which is why laptop chargers have typically retained their larger, bulkier cables.

USB-C changed that. This type of connection now provides enough power to juice up most laptops (particularly the Type-C 3.0 version). That’s why laptop charging is a new topic of conversation for USB connections, especially now that more laptops are entering the market with USB-C charging compatibility.

So, how do you know if your current laptop has a U

So, how do you know if your current laptop has a USB-C port that also works with charging? You could always look it up, but the easiest way is to simply examine your charger. You can identify a Type-C charger by its unique features. USB-C’s connector is small and rounded, significantly different from the old USB version. It also works no matter which way you connect it to the right port, so there’s no need to flip it the right way around. If your charger uses this connection and plugs into your USB-C port, you have a winner!

USB-C chargers are turning up on many different devices, so it’s not strictly relegated to laptops. Newer phones use USB-C charging, car chargers may come with USB-C ports, and portable chargers (discussed more below) can have USB-C options. But laptops tend to have USB-C more frequently than other devices, at least for now.


Figure 2: Centre Negative

Indicates that the centre (tip) of the output plug is Negative (-) and the barrel of the output plug is Positive (+).

Consciousness about AC Adapter:

Since the laptops power adapter is connected directly to the electric power board, it would be damaged or lost its functional capabilities by this type of uncontrolled or unstable AC power source. For that reason, the user of laptop must go to search for the appropriate AC adapter to operate his/her laptop. In this competitive global market, manufacturer of laptops AC adapter has no shortage and growing up the organization of laptops AC adapter there are selling competition of low or cheap price. Meanwhile, the manufacturers of laptops AC adapter fail to control the quality of their products. As a result, it is being prepared the low category laptops AC adapter by cost-effective raw material which has no important and powerful filtering system and safety components. Initially these types of AC adapter can lead a laptop computer, but it has been destroying the internal components of laptop computer by the effects low- level raw materials for the long time. If you want to save your valuable Laptop computer from these types of vicious AC adapter, then you must need to keep the knowledge or ideas about laptops AC adapter and must be aware these types of nasty AC adapter and the seller of AC power adapter must gather knowledge or ideas about all aspects of good and evil of laptops AC adapter that will be informed to the customer with honesty and will reside in the interest of both. AC/DC power adapter as known as power supply or power brick converts the high voltage AC power from a wall outlet into the low voltage DC power needed for your laptop.

Comparative Analysis of Adapter:

At this stage, we will present a comparative analysis of the 02 pieces 90 Watts AC adapter of a laptop computer within their internal components which is the basic difference between the two images can be found in below:

Figure 1 : Internal Components of High Quality Pow

Figure 1 : Internal Components of High Quality Power Adapter

Figure 2 : Internal Components of Low-Quality Powe

Figure 2 : Internal Components of Low-Quality Power Adapter

If you look inside of these two adapters you will see quite a few differences that highlight how low-cost adapters cut corners on important protection and safety components to make a cheap product.

Input & Output Filtering

Surges, spikes, noise, and other power quality problems are found in most AC wall outlets. Surges and noise place extra stress on the internal components in your laptop that could lead to failures or cause strange transient problems in laptop operation. In extreme cases, the energy could be great enough to cause immediate damage. Quality power adapters include input and output filters that are designed to suppress surges and reduce the effects of poor AC power. Better filter circuits use a group of several components that work together to provide a higher level of protection. Low cost adapters use only the most basic filters that often have only a single component. Cutting corners on the filtering can save some cost, however it will also increase the chances that your laptop will be affected by a power quality problems.

Outside Appearance

For the most part a quality adapter and a low-cost adapter look pretty close from the outside. When you look at the adapters side by side, one clear difference is the size of the cable that goes to the laptop. Reducing the size of the wires is a common cost-cutting way. Thinner wires withless insulation separating them and less rubber protecting the wire to box connection will fail more quickly under day to day stress. There is also a safety issue involved. If the cable begins to break, the electricity must squeeze down a smaller path. This can cause the wires to overheat, melt, and possibly catch on fire. The heavier cable found on quality adapters will resist damage and if it is damaged, the larger wires will have less of a chance to overheat.

Vibration & Short-circuit protections

Laptop Adapters have a hard life. They are often dropped, kicked under desks, fall off tables, or otherwise treated roughly. The result can be internal components that shift or break. If these components touch it can cause to fail or even create a fire or electric shock hazard.

Quality adapters glue large components & structures together. This allows these components to support each other and reduces the chances of the components shifting or breaking as the result of a physical shock. These adapters also include insulation tape placed a key locations to prevent shorting in case some components do shift. Low cost adapters often omit these protections to reduce cost. Omitting these protections makes the adapter less durable and possibly subject to a safety problem.

How to Test an Adapter with a DC electronic Load meter professionally?

Now the question is, since buyer do not get a change to open the new or intact AC adapter for testing or comparative analysis, so as the seller of adapter must have to prove or to present the clear and transparent idea about his/her selling adapter with his/her business honesty, dedication and related knowledge of laptops adapter and he/she also provides the information about his/her selling adapter to the consumer based on users manual of the manufacturers and he/she must definitely confirm that his/her selling adapter is appropriate or accurate for the customers laptop which is supplied the perfect DC output voltage, ampere and watt verifying by the testing device of adapter which name is Global DC Electronic Load Meter. But noted here that you can measure only the DC output voltage by the standard or general measurement meter and it is not exact guidelines to identify the qualified adapter for your loved laptop computer. Otherwise , voltage is displayed on general measurement meter, it is not called the capable adapter for your laptop. Because correct ampere or current is very essential for any kind of adapter. A DC Electronic Load Meter is demonstrated in below which can be determined the exact DC voltage , ampere and watt of the adapter.

How to Test an AC Adapter with a Volt/Multi-Meter

How to Test an AC Adapter with a Volt/Multi-Meter personally?

If your laptop is no longer receiving a charge, or is only occasionally receiving a charge, there are a few different components that could be the cause. The adapter is a likely culprit, but it can be difficult to determine if a fault DC jack or another component could be causing the problem instead. By testing your adapter with a multi-meter or volt meter, you can determine if it is outputting power and eliminate the possibility of a failed adapter. On the picture below you are testing a 15V adapter and as you see the output is 15.45V. Its pretty normal and there is nothing wrong if the output voltage is a little bit higher but if you are getting 0V, the adapter is definitely bad.

Technique of adapter testing (okay or not)

Technique of adapter testing (okay or not)

Note: Turn off the laptop if necessary and unplug the adapter from the laptop. Leave the adapter plugged into the wall outlet.

Can the Wrong Charger Damage Your Computer?

The answer is yes.

You should know that there is a risk of damaging your laptop if you use a charger with a lower wattage rating.

The same thing is true if you use a charger with a different voltage rating.

The power supply or charger is likely the first element that will fail. It might not be an issue if you’re using an old charger, but a failing power supply can damage other components through power spikes and ruin your laptop.

Do All APPLE Laptops Use The Same Charger? 

The Apple power adapters come in a variety of power outputs, including 96W, 87W, 85W, 61W, 60W, 45W, 30W, and 29W. The adapters are designed in a way that can charge any laptop with lower or same power ratings.

You can use the power adapter of MacBook Pro on MacBook or MacBook Air. The MacBook Pro uses an 85W power adapter, which is suitable for charging any laptop that requires 45W and 65W power.

However, you cannot charge a high wattage power laptop with a low wattage power adapter. 

In case you use a low wattage adapter for your high wattage laptop, it will not provide sufficient power to your laptop to operate effectively. Also, using different chargers for your Mac laptops won’t make the charging run faster or make your device operate differently.

Mac notebooks can be charged through MagSafe and USB-C charger cable. Mac notebook charging with MagSafe comes with a detachable AC plug, AC cable, an AC adapter, and MagSafe Connector. And, the Mac notebook charging with USB-C includes a USB-C charge cable, detachable AC plus, and Apple USB-C Power Adapter.

Examples of Magsafe tips
Examples of Magsafe tips

Apple USB-C Charge Cable

To enjoy the best charging performance, you can use the USB-C charge cable included with Mac notebook accessories.

The USB-C charge cable cannot work well with a high wattage power adapter as it has a power rating of 29W and 30W. Therefore, you should either use a higher or same wattage USB-C cable to charge any Apple Laptops. 

Cord length

If you are already investing in a universal laptop charger, invest in one used in all or most scenarios. The point of a universal laptop charger is that it does not limit you. Hence, it is recommended to purchase a universal charger with a lengthy cord length. Its AC cord should at least be 6 ft. long. The reason for this is because a standard cable connection of 6 ft. will not compromise your comfort. Additionally, all power outlets will be well within your reach. However, frequent travelers do not want to sacrifice their baggage space for a lengthy charger cord.

We recommend going for a compact & lightweight charger. Still, the length of the cord should be a maximum of 6 ft., including the measurements of both the AC power cord and DC cable.

Can You Use a Charger with a Higher Voltage?

The answer is no. There is a strong possibility that a charger with a higher voltage will cause serious damage to your laptop.

Your laptop’s voltage regulator will more than likely fail or cause power spikes.

It’s best to avoid using a charger with the wrong voltage, and some manufacturers use different plug sizes for different voltage ratings, so you don’t damage your laptop accidentally with the wrong charger.

About Me

Hi, my name is Stellar and I’m an Electrical Engineer. I completed my electrical engineering in 2014 and have been working since then. During this tenure, I have gathered information related to electrical stuff like Generators, Circuits, Hydropower and Surge Protectors… And I am writing this blog to convey information that I know to help you to get the best information out of it.

The IC 555 Design

The proposed car laptop charger circuit is actually a simply boost converter unit designed for generating the required laptop charging voltage.

A simple boost converter can be made using the IC 555, I probably have discussed it through many other posts in this blog.

As may be witnessed in the following figure, a simple yet very efficient boost converter circuit can be constructed for using with laptops from any high current source having a lower voltage than the laptop charging level.

Circuit Diagram for the Boost Converter

The  various stages included in the above 12

The  various stages included in the above 12 V laptop boost charger circuit may be understood as follows:

IC1 which is a 555 IC is configured as a standard astable for generating a stable predetermined frequency at the rate of 12 kHz which is acquired at pin3 of the IC.

The above high frequency output is fed to the base of a driver BJT T1 for inducing the above frequency with high current in L1.

Due to the inherent property of the inductor L1, during every OFF time of T1, an equivalent amount of boosted voltage is kicked back from the inductor L1 and supplied to the load connected at the output via the fast recovery diode BA159.

The load here is the laptop which accepts the boosted voltage for charging its internal battery. Since the laptop may require a precise 19 to 20V for the operations, the output from L1 must be regulated and stabilized in order to make things safe for the connected laptop battery.

The above criterion is taken care of by introducing T2 and the associated R4 and Z1 components. Z1 is selected to be exactly equal to the laptop charging voltage that is at 20 V (17V is wrongly shown in the diagram).

Whenever the output tends to drift away from this value, Z1 gets forward biased triggering T2, which in turn grounds pin5 of the IC.

The above situation immediately reduces the IC 555 pin3 voltage to minimal levels for that instant until Z1 stops conducting and the situation is restored to the safe zone….the switching is sustained at a rapid speed maintaining a constant voltage for the laptop.

This car laptop charger circuit can be used for charging a laptop in any car which uses a 12V battery.

Adding a Bridge Rectifier at the Output

The above design can be much improved by employing a bridge rectifier at the output instead of a single diode, as illustrated in the following diagram:

Using MOSFET Voltage Doubler Circuit

Using MOSFET Voltage Doubler Circuit

The following post explains a simple circuit which may be incorporated for charging a laptop while driving in car or some other vehicle. The circuit runs without incorporating an inverter or inductors in its configuration Let’s learn more.

Can I Use A Different Brand Charger For My Laptop?

When it comes to buying a replacement charger, you can select an OEM charger, universal charger, or a third-party charger. OEM charger is the charger that came with your laptop when you first got it. OEM chargers are made by third-party entities that are working on behalf of the laptop manufacturer.

If you get one, it will work just like the original charger. However, OEM chargers are expensive and difficult to come by. While an OEM charger is designed to work with a specific machine, the same universal charger can work with a wide variety of laptop brands and models.

Universal chargers are cheaper and easier to acquire. This is true for third-party laptop chargers as well. Unlike universal chargers, third-party chargers are typically designed to work with specific laptops.

In fact, they are supposed to act as a replacement for OEM chargers. But they are not made by OEM manufacturers. The existence of universal chargers proves that you can use a charger from a different brand to power your laptop.

However, the response you will get depends on the type of laptop. Some laptops come with chargers that have unique sizes and designs. Therefore, you cannot replace them with chargers from other brands.

But if the specs are the same, and the connector pin of the charger can enter the charging port of the laptop, you are free to use a charger from a different brand to power your laptop, unless your laptop’s manual says otherwise.

Some laptops have mechanisms that can determine whether or not the charger you have selected is appropriate. If you connect a charger from a different brand, they will reject it.

Final Thoughts

Laptops require a desired wattage and voltage to work and operate effectively. The charger comes with the laptop is designed to provide the desired power output. Many laptop models can use the same charger; however, they always risk slowing and damaging your system.

Before you use any charger with your laptop, make sure you read the specifications carefully.