How to Turn On a Dell Laptop

Here's how to power up your new laptop

What to Know

  • The laptop must be plugged in or have a charge.
  • Press the power button, usually located between the screen and keyboard.
  • It could take up to a few minutes to power on fully.

This article details where to find the power button on a Dell laptop so you can turn it on and off.

How to Turn On a Dell Laptop

This is how nearly all Dell laptops are turned on (exceptions are noted below):

  1. Plug the power cable into the laptop's charging port and the other end into an outlet. You can skip this step if you're confident the laptop battery has enough charge.

  2. Open the laptop lid.

  3. Locate and press the power button.

  4. Wait while the laptop powers on.

See the bottom of this page if you can't get the laptop to turn on after pressing the power button.

Where Is the Power Button on a Dell Laptop?

The power button should be pretty easy to locate no matter what kind of Dell laptop you have. Look for a circular or rectangular button below the screen and above the keyboard.

The button could be anywhere along that area but is usually on the right or in the middle. It often fits with the device's color scheme, so it could be challenging to spot at first glance. It's especially true if the power button is built-in to a touch control bar above the keyboard.

Here are some examples of the power button on various Dell laptops:

Inspiron 15 3000 Laptop with power button highlighted.


Dell G3 15 Gaming Laptop with power button highlighted.


Dell XPS 13 Laptop with power button highlighted.


Some older Dell laptops (not pictured above) have a power button on the edge of the computer. In this case, you don't need to open the lid because it's accessible from the right side even when the laptop is closed.

Turning Off the Laptop With the Power Button

If you need to force the computer off, pressing and holding the power button should do the trick (be sure to save your work first!). It will look like nothing is happening for a few moments until the screen suddenly goes dark. At this point, the laptop will have quit making noise and will be powered down.

However, forcing the laptop to power down isn't the preferred way to turn it off. Depending on what's going on when you force it off, you could end up with corrupted files or lost data.

Pressing the button once usually won't even turn it off unless you change the default setting for what the power button does. A single press will usually sleep or hibernate the laptop instead. Learn how to change what the power button does if you want it to turn off your computer when you press it.

The best way to shut down a laptop is through the operating system. You still need to save and close any open files, but it's considered safer than forcing the computer off with the power button. To shut down Windows 10, use the power button in the Start menu and choose Shut down.

Shut down option in the Windows 10 Start menu.

Dell Laptop Won't Power On?

Dell recommends performing a hard reset if the laptop won't boot into Windows. New laptops shouldn't have this problem, but here's what to do nonetheless:

  1. Disconnect the power cable and remove the battery.

  2. Unplug all peripheral devices, like flash drives, USB mice, webcams, etc.

  3. Press and hold the power button for 20 seconds to release any residual power.

  4. Reconnect the battery and power cable.

  5. Try turning on the laptop again by pressing the power button.

See How to Fix a Computer That Won’t Turn On if you need more help.

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