Laptop Battery indicator icon showing battery as empty in spite of being full

I was rather surprised when, in spite of being plugged in and my Battery showing as being fully charged – 100%, the battery indicator icon showed the battery as being fully empty!

There are times we are confused about the actual state of our laptop battery. It may show battery power for 3 hours remaining, but drains within  2 hours of use. The accuracy of what the battery meter reports and what percentage of a full charge remains and how long you can use your laptop before you must plug it in, depends on several factors. But when this happened I was stumped!

There are a few things you could try to make the battery icon display the correct power status.

  • Shut off the power button and then ‘on’ it again and see if the icon refreshes
  • Turn the system icons on and off via Control Panel > All Control Panel Items > Notification Area Icons > System Icons and see if it helps
  • Change the Power Plan and see if the icon refreshes
  • Restart explorer.exe and see if it helps you

One of these is sure to refresh the icon. It is a minor irritant and temporary in nature and sure to go away when you restart your laptop. Hope something helps!

You can also create a laptop battery full charge notification.

How to show your Battery state under Mouse Pointer may also interest you.

Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
Anand Khanse is the Admin of, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.


  1. I think calibrating your laptop battery once or twice a month may prevent this from happening…

  2. Lowafrancis

    I changed my OS from Win 7 ultimate to pro and now I get this irritating message that I should replace my battery. Could you open a forum that discusses this issue in depth? Thanks.

  3. Rabindra Lamsal

    Thanks for the fix..This problem was seen on my friend’s laptop..

  4. JMJsquared

    Batteries showing incorrect charge or incorrect charging/AC-connection is often more than just Windows Registry’s “iconstream” data being off, as this article deals with. More often, it is an indication that something is really wrong with the battery or its calibration or the BIOS/UEFI or the motherboard.

    If the issue is one as simple as the one this article covers, this small utility will help:
    Notification Area Cleaner Tool v1.0
    Copyright © 2010 Igor Tolmachev, IT Samples
    It cleans up ALL incorrect Notification Area Icons (you may have to run it twice), including all of those for programs no longer running that should have been removed. And though it was not designed to do this, it can sometimes “un-freeze” Windows when an app has crashed and you cannot terminate with TaskManager… WITHOUT having to reboot. 🙂 And it’s portable. I love it.

  5. Angela T.

    Yes, “no battery detected” upon mouse hover as well. I was happy to find this article, which enlightened my state of “what’s wrong now”. I did solutions 2 & 3 (great thinking) to no avail. We’ll see how it does on startup. I’m going to go ahead and work with it today, as it shows plugged in with no battery detected.

    Some laptops will run w/ no battery but on AC power . . . I don’t have one of those :), so know that the battery IS actually working in my case as well.

    Thanks for posting.

  6. Angela T.

    Especially in my case, where I’ve been purchasing lower-cost batteries via Ebay, etc. Despite having used only U.S. dealers, my current battery indicates to be from China . . . not an inherent problem itself, but I have seen it printed around that batteries purchased in this way (and not from your local office supply store) can be risky to use in a laptop, as we all know the regulation need not match that to which we’re accustomed. It’s been stated that these items ‘unmatched’ to our standards can damage laptops if not corrected, and can start heat-related contact burns/ fires. So, great point you’ve made regarding whether “iconstream data” is throwing issues as us or actually a funny battery.

  7. Bein Frank

    Killing explorer.exe and restarting was the fix for me. Thanks.

  8. Double

    helped me too :]

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