You can easily take your computer’s power button for granted since it rarely fails us.
However, computer power button issues can be frustrating and even scary because they may indicate severe underlying causes.
One of these issues is that your computer won’t turn on the first time you press the button, and you need to push it several times before the computer boots up.
Fortunately, this issue is easy to fix.
Read on to see which of the solutions apply to your case.
Have To Press Power Button Multiple Times To Start My PC (Causes, Fixes)
1. Failing Laptop Battery
If your laptop doesn’t start with the first attempt when you press the power button, the culprit could be a faulty battery.
Like all kinds of batteries, laptop batteries have a certain lifespan and can fail if they’re old or you don’t take care of them properly.
You may even notice fast discharging, overheating, or slow charging time.
However, unexpected power issues are also prevalent symptoms of a bad laptop battery.
How To Fix
If your battery is ready to bite the dust, the chances are high that Windows will warn you.
However, you could also check for yourself.
All you need to do is take it out, plug your laptop into the wall outlet, and see if it boots up normally.
If you become certain that your battery is past its good days, you need to replace it.
2. Fast Startup
Fast startup is a feature that allows your computer to boot up more quickly after a shutdown.
This feature comes in handy when you turn off your computer after installing updates, for example.
This way, Windows will go into a hibernation-like state to boot up faster.
When you press the power button to shut down your computer, it won’t truly shut down, but instead, it will go into a state between hibernation and shutdown.
Fast startup is enabled by default on Windows 10, but it’s known to create several power issues for many users.
In addition, it will take up too much hard drive space and will increase the CPU uptime.
How To Fix
If your power button doesn’t work properly due to the fast startup feature, you must disable it.
Here’s how to do it:
Go to the Control Panel and click on Power Options.
Click Choose what power buttons do on the left-hand side panel.
Remove the checkmark next to Turn on fast startup (Recommended).
Click Save changes to disable Fast Startup.
Now, you can check if disabling this feature has solved your issue.
If it hasn’t, and you want to enjoy the fast startup feature, you could enable it again as it doesn’t harm your system in any serious ways.
Note: Disabling the Fast Startup feature in Windows 11 is the same as in Windows 10.
The only difference is that Power Options are under System and Security.
3. Problematic Power Plans
Windows has specific power plans to help your system run more smoothly by using power more effectively.
In addition to Windows, your PC manufacturer may also add some other power plans specific to that design.
It has Balanced, Power Saver, and High-Performance options, each with specific settings to address different power components.
While changing power plans can help you run your system more effectively, it may cause problems like power button issues.
How To Fix
If you’ve changed your power options for any reason, such as overclocking or curiosity, it’s better to change them to default and see if it solves your issue.
In addition, changing these settings isn’t necessary in most cases, and you’ll be better off with default settings.
To remove customized power plans:
Search Command Prompt in Windows search bar.
Choose Run as administrator under the first result.
Type powercfg –restoredefaultschemes in the box and press Enter.
Close the command box.
4. Faulty Power Button
Like any piece of hardware, a power button can go bad with prolonged use.
If it’s worn out, the power button may not recognize a press on the first attempt.
You have to press it several times to respond.
In other cases, the power button simply doesn’t work because of dirt and debris that make it stuck and not work correctly.
Before taking any drastic measures, clean the power button with a piece of microfiber cloth dipped in rubbing alcohol.
You could also use a toothpick and run it around the edges to get to the hard-to-reach spots.
Then, try turning on the computer and see if it starts normally.
If it doesn’t, you can try the following solutions.
How To Fix
The first thing you should do is make sure the power button is working properly.
Here, you can do the screwdriver test to see if your computer powers on normally.
To do so, open the case and unplug the power button from the motherboard.
You can see two pins labeled Power and Ground on the power button panel, and the computer turns on when these two pins are connected.
You can connect them by placing the tip of a screwdriver between them.
If the unit turns on, you can make sure that nothing is wrong with your PC and the only issue is a faulty power button.
Note: Opening a computer case while plugged into a power supply can be highly dangerous.
You may want to leave it to a certified technician or take safety precautions like grounding yourself and wearing rubber gloves to avoid potential electroshocks.
This process can be tricky on a laptop because it involves opening the back panel and removing the keyboard to access the power pins.
Here’s how to do it:
- Unplug the laptop and open its panel.
- Take out the power button and locate the pins under it.
- There could be between three and six pins depending on the make.
- Now, use a screwdriver or wire to connect pins 1 and 3.
- If the laptop turns on, the culprit is the power button, and you should replace it.
5. Unknown Hardware Or Software Issues
Sometimes you can’t find the root cause no matter how hard you try.
The best solution would be to leave things to Windows and see if it can identify any underlying issues.
Windows has a built-in troubleshooter that you can use to find any possible issue or corrupt system files that create the power problem.
To run the power troubleshooter, type Settings in the taskbar’s search box and hit Enter.
Click on Troubleshoot and select Additional troubleshooters.
In the new window, scroll down to Power and click on it.
Click on the Run the troubleshooter button to start the process.
Follow the on-screen instructions and see if Windows finds any issues.
If there’s a system or software issue, Windows will automatically resolve it, and you can check if it helps with the power button problem.
Alternatively, you could run the troubleshooter for hardware, following the same process mentioned above.
If Windows detects any issues, you need to take your computer to a technician to resolve the hardware issue.
6. Bad Cables And Connections
Although the power button issue seems scary and serious, the root cause may be as simple as damaged cables and wires.
Even a small tear in the cable can cause disconnections that prevent the computer from starting properly.
It’s worth it to make sure your connections aren’t faulty.
How To Fix
Making sure the cables are Ok can be tricky because you need to inspect everything carefully so that you don’t miss small damages.
In addition, both external and internal connections should be inspected.
First, check all the ports and jacks and see if the connections are firmly in place.
Then, run your fingers along every cable and carefully inspect for physical damage.
The next step will be opening the case and inspecting all the internal connections, especially the hard drive, SSD, PSU, and power button.
If you see any physical damage, change the cable and see if it helps.
7. Faulty PSU
The power supply unit is an essential part of the power system that can cause a wide range of issues if it doesn’t work properly.
Suppose the computer turns off immediately after the motherboard logo comes on, and you have to press the button several times to make it stay on.
In that case, you should consider a faulty power supply a possibility.
Other issues that can arise due to a bad PSU include:
- Black and blue screen
- Random crashes
- Random computer restarts
- Feeling of slight shocks when touching the panel
- Random screen freezes
- The fans spin, but the screen won’t turn on
How To Fix
To become 100% certain that your power supply is faulty, you need to run a couple of tests in addition to physically checking it for any broken parts and cables.
However, before performing any tests on your PSU, you should know that touching this component even when the PC is off can be dangerous because it always carries some level of electric current.
You should only perform these tests if you’re certain you can take safety precautions properly.
Here’s what to do:
A. Paperclip Test
The paperclip test is a method to jumpstart your PC when it doesn’t turn on, but it can also be a diagnostic tool to see if your PSU works properly.
In this test, you trick the system into believing that everything is fine and force it to turn on normally.
Before doing the test, take a paperclip, bend it into a U shape, and set it aside.
Now, turn off the computer, hold the power button for a few seconds to discharge any remaining current, and unplug all the connections.
These connections include all the peripherals, power supplies, and even USB devices.
If the PSU has an on/off (I/O) switch, put it on Off (O).
Plug the power supply back into the wall outlet (and not the surge protector or power strip).
Look at the 24-pin connector and the 4 and 5 pins (green and black).
Make a short between these two pins by placing one end of the paperclip into pin 4 and the other into pin 5.
Turn on the PSU and press the back switch to I (on).
If your PSU isn’t faulty, you should hear its fans spinning.
B. Swap Test
Another test that can help you narrow down your problem is the swap test.
You may want to perform this test because a paperclip test may not be adequate in certain circumstances.
That’s because the paperclip test confirms the PSU is functional without any internal failures.
There might be some other factors at work that don’t show up in this test, though.
You need a spare PSU to perform this test, so you should have it prepared before running the test.
The swap test involves the following steps:
Unplug your current power supply unit and leave it inside the case.
Place the other PSU next to your case and connect your motherboard.
You should connect the GPU and the boot drive, too.
Plug it into the wall outlet and see if it turns on.
If the computer turns on on the first try, your PSU is faulty, and you need a replacement.
C. Wrong Voltage
Getting the correct voltage is crucial for the proper functioning of the PSU.
If it gets too high or too low voltage, it doesn’t work properly and even damages your components.
You could use a third-party app to constantly monitor the voltages and warn you if it detects any anomalies.
The Open Hardware Monitor is a great free app that keeps many system functionalities and hardware pieces in check.
You need to constantly take note of voltage spikes or drops and see if they can be the root cause of the power button issue.
Another thing that you should check about the incoming voltage is that the power supply voltage switch is set to the right value.
While many PCs have an automatic voltage detector that sets the incoming voltage to the right value, others may have a manual switch on the back of the case under the power supply.
The incoming voltage varies across different countries: some will accept 110 V while others take 220 V.
First, you should make sure the voltage is allowed in your country and then check the manual switch (if there is one).
It’s in the shape of a toggle that you can spin to set at the correct value.
While insufficient or too much voltage isn’t likely the cause of this issue (because it can damage your PC components quickly), it’s worth considering it while looking for possible causes.
8. Outdated Drivers
If it’s been a while since you haven’t updated your drivers, glitches and errors could cause different issues.
It’s better to update your Windows and related drivers to make sure you have all the latest drivers.
You can update your drivers in Device Manager.
You could also update your motherboard driver by visiting the manufacturer’s website, entering your motherboard’s model number, and downloading the latest version of its driver.
However, while outdated drivers can be a possible cause, recent updates can equally create power issues.
If you notice that the issue appeared after a recent update, you could roll back to a previous update and see if it helps.
9. Faulty Hard Drive
A faulty hard drive may not directly lead to power button issues, but it can affect your system performance so that it can’t boot up properly.
A faulty hard drive can create frequent bad sectors, damaged system files, and crashes.
In addition, when the hard drive platters can’t move properly, they may prevent the system from booting up.
How To Fix
You can check your HDD disk in different ways, including the CHKDSK tool.
It’s a built-in Windows function that allows you to scan your disk for bad sectors, corrupted files, and other errors.
It also fixes the minor issues and informs you if it has detected unresolvable problems.
To use this tool, type cmd in the toolbar’s search box.
On the right side of the window, you can see Command Prompt and Run as administrator under it.
Select Run as administrator and enter CHKDSK in the window.
This command runs a basic scan, but if you want to scan for bad sectors, you could enter chkdsk / f / r.
You could use other commands provided by Microsoft to check different aspects of your disk’s health and see if they can solve your issue.
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