I mean this icon here, in the bottom right system tray thing:

enter image description here

Sometimes when a laptop / tablet / whatever is plugged in, it animates. Sometimes it just sits there like this. In both cases, it appears to be charging just fine.

There's no obvious pattern that I can see in when it animates and when it doesn't, no obvious difference in what it says when moused over.

I've tried searching for information on this and just found a reddit thread full of speculation and contradictory answers. One user speculates that the animation might be the fallback if Windows hasn't yet figured out how full the battery is, but other users give contradictory suggestions.

What's Windows telling me if the icon starts or stops animating?

I'm on Windows 8.1 but I think it's like this in other versions too.

  • 2
    I always thought it only animated for a few moments after the initial plug-in, but I could be wrong.
    – Ben N
    Aug 23, 2016 at 22:11

2 Answers 2


It only animates for a few moments after connecting it. So there is nothing to worry about. Its charging no matter whether its animated or its static.

  • Its really simple. It charges no matter what Aug 24, 2016 at 3:19

Just let it run on the battery when its about half drain, then plug it in. if there is no increase in battery power level then the charger is faulty

  • 1
    Welcome to Super User! IMO, this does not answer the OP's primary concern: Why is the icon misbehaving?
    – jpaugh
    Jan 6, 2018 at 0:31

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