How To Fix The Top 10 Most Common Dell XPS 13 Issues

The Top 10 Most Common Issues

The Dell XPS 13 has to be one of my favorite laptops of recent times. It’s small, ultra-portable, has decent battery life and plenty of power. What more could you need? Oh wait, I forgot to add the QHD touchscreen and Windows 10! All that said, living with the laptop hasn’t been without its challenges. That’s why I put together this list of the top 10 most common Dell XPS 13 issues and how to fix them.

1. Battery life
While the battery in the Dell XPS 13 is impressive, running a QHD touchscreen is energy intensive. To get a little more out of the battery you can do two things. One, update the BIOS as Dell released a fix that can achieve up to 25% more life from the battery. Two, dim the screen a bit to reduce power draw.

2. Display driver issues
My XPS 13 had a few display glitches when I first got it. They were clearly software so I decided to troubleshoot it myself. Dell also recognized an issue and released an updated graphics driver back in January.

    1. Navigate to the Dell Product Support website and download the latest graphics drivers.
    2. Install, click yes to make changes to your PC and let the wizard install the new drivers.
    3. Reboot your laptop and retest.

3. Fix the webcam
The webcam on the XPS 13 is oddly positioned and was best at taking nostril shots rather than selfies. Fortunately, you can do something about that although it is a little clunky.

    1. Press Ctrl, Alt, left arrow and the Home key on your XPS. The screen should rotate 90 degrees.
    2. Turn your laptop onto its side when you use your webcam.
    3. Press Ctrl, Alt, right arrow and the Home key to return it to normal.

4. Fix the audio
One common XPS 13 issue I keep hearing about is problems with audio. Whether it intermittently cuts out or crackles or doesn’t work when you wake the computer. A simple driver install will fix that.

    1. Right click on the Windows Start button and select Device Manager.
    2. Highlight the audio device within the window.
    3. Right click and select Update device drivers. Let Windows do its thing.
    4. Or visit the Dell Product Support website and manually download the driver.

5. USB-C disconnecting
USB-C is a great upgrade in the new Dell XPS 13 but it has an issue with intermittently cutting out. Dell are aware and have a workaround until a patch is released. By reducing the Wi-Fi output to 75%, it stops this happening.

  • 1. Right click on the Windows Start button and select Device Manager.
    2. Right click on your Wi-Fi card and select Properties.
    3. Select Advanced options and reduce the Wi-Fi output to 75%.

6.Weak Wi-Fi signal
Another issue with the built-in Wi-Fi card in the laptop is that it is pretty weak. It seems even moving a few feet away from a router can lose the signal altogether. There are two ways to fix this. Either, update the driver direct from the Dell website as above or replace the Wi-Fi card. We will be doing a tutorial soon on changing the card.

7. Not charging while connected to the mains
Another common issue with the Dell XPS is not charging while connected to a mains charger. This one is easy to fix though.

    1. Unplug from the charger, turn off your laptop and remove the battery.
    2. Hold down the laptop power button for 15 seconds.
    3. Replace the battery and boot the laptop.
    4. Plug back into the mains charger and retest.

8. Scrolling issue using the touchscreen
I did have an issue where the touchscreen seemed to lose concentration and would occasionally ignore my gestures. An update of Dell drivers fixed that issue, so repeat the steps described in item four and update the drivers.

9. LCD flickering at low brightness
One way to get more battery life out of your laptop is to lower your brightness. But if you use the lowest setting the screen can flicker. I experienced this earlier this year but a BIOS update released in July 2016 fixes it.

10. Excessive heat
The final issue common to Dell XPS 13 laptops is that of heat. The machine can become very hot, even when not using it for gaming or that intensely. The fan does kick in when required but takes a while to cool things down. This is one issue I haven’t been able to fix aside from not using it on my knees and using a laptop cool pad instead.

Looking for the most common Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 issues? Here's our handy guide for Dell's hybrid convertible.

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