Can You Charge a Chromebook with a Phone Charger?

If you own a Chromebook, sometimes it can be a hassle when you’re on 10% battery and can’t for the life of you find the charger to salvage what’s left of your Chromebook’s life. In those fleeting moments of you scrambling for the charger, this thought crosses your mind: what if I use my phone charger to charge it instead?  

What if we were to tell you, that you can use a normal phone charger to charge a Chromebook. Now you must be wondering just how to do so. 

The first thing to look out for is the phone charger’s pin type; it should be a c-type pin for it to be truly compatible with your device. Secondly, check if your device supports two-way charging (in case you want to directly charge your Chromebook by using your phone battery). The last step is to unplug your Chromebook if it’s attached to an adapter.  

While this may sound simple, there’s a lot more to look out for when using a phone charger as an alternative. Most people make mistakes while using alternative chargers and regret it later on, not knowing where they went wrong.  

Worry not, we’re here to tell you what cable is compatible with your Chromebook and what exactly to expect while using the phone charger as an alternative to the actual charger, as well as warning you of the dangers, what to do and what not to do.   

Using a phone charger as an alternative: Everything you need to know 

Step 1: First and foremost, check your battery status on the Chromebook, to see how many minutes of battery time you have left before you’re reduced to scrambling for the charger.

Step 2: The next step is to see if your phone charger is a C type one. To figure this out you can simply look it up on the internet and it’ll tell you what charger pins constitute as C types. Thankfully, most phones nowadays operate on a C type cable.  

When you’ve confirmed this fact, and before connecting the type C charger to your chrome book, go to the settings panel in the chrome book and click on power. 

Step 3: This will show you a couple of options plus a drop down option labeled ‘power source’. Next to it there will be an option for the type of cable you want to connect. From this dropdown, choose the type C cable option. 

P. S. If your Chromebook does not have the C type cable port option, we’re afraid it will be impossible for you to try and charge it with a normal phone charger. In simple words, you’re out of luck.  

Step 4: After you’ve made sure that the cable is compatible with the Chromebook, the next step is to find an adapter capable of delivering the amount of charge a Chromebook needs to power itself, and then connect the two together.  

P.S. Bear in mind that a weak adapter would only harm your Chromebook’s battery in the long run because it won’t be able to charge your device a lot in a short span of time, increasing the burden on the cable, the adapter, and the Chromebook.  

Alternative methods 

If you don’t have an adapter at hand, you can also use a power bank or any other devices you use to charge your phone, provided they are capable of delivering the amount of charge that the Chromebook needs. This again needs a C type port for compatibility.  

You can also use your car’s engine to power your Chromebook if the emergency is dire enough, you just have to have a cable with one side as a C type port while the other is an A type USB port. This will allow you to connect your Chromebook to the node underneath your AC, helping you power your device.  

Other than that, there’s also an option to directly charge your Chromebook using the battery from your cellphone. This can be done by checking if your Chromebook supports two-way charging, and by following the same method as stated in steps 2 and 3, but instead of choosing the C type cable from the drop-down menu, choose two-way charging instead.  

This will then allow you to connect your phone to your Chromebook using a C type cable port, and you’ll be able to charge your device using your phone’s remaining battery.  

Keep in mind that a phone’s battery is smaller than a Chromebook’s and hence would take a while to charge it, and that in order to charge your Chromebook you’ll just be depleting your phone’s battery. So it’s like a tradeoff.  

All the above methods can solve the problem of a dying, out-of-battery Chromebook. These methods are savvy in buying you a little bit of time before you find the actual Chromebook charger, and a little bit of time is just what you’ll need.  

What to do and what not to do  

Now, you must be wondering, how long should I charge my Chromebook for? Would it damage my battery permanently? Will it have underlying side effects that I should be wary of?  

We’re here to answer all that. First of all, you should only charge your Chromebook using these means if there’s no other option available i.e., these are all to be taken as last resort options.  

If you do end up using one of these methods, the next thing would be to check the temperature of the phone, adapter, or power bank you’re using to charge the Chromebook from time to time.  

This will tell you if the device is sustaining a lot of burden trying to charge your Chromebook. If the temperature of the charging device is a little too hot to touch, immediately disconnect your Chromebook.  

As for your Chromebook battery, you should make sure to check the charging speed as well, if it’s charging a bit too slow for comfort, this means that your Chromebook battery might be in danger and will sustain damages if you don’t disconnect it in a few minutes’ time.  

So for the moment, make sure to take your Chromebook charger everywhere you go, and if you do end up losing it somehow, make sure to use the methods we’ve mentioned with all the tips and steps.  

Steven Carr

Steven is a certified IT professional and gaming enthusiast. He has been working in the tech industry for over 10 years, and specializes in all things Tech-related. When he's not geeking out over the latest hardware or software release, he can be found testing out the latest video game.

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