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    How to prolong laptop battery life?

    I seem to be the only person never to have owned a laptop - but that's about to change! I anticipate mostly using it around the house, so will usually have access to mains power. So do I run it off mains power, or use the battery, or a bit of both? Old answers to this question mention removing the battery - but someone mentioned to me that the latest laptops don't have removeable batteries - is that correct? Also, there seem to be differing views on when to charge lithium ion batteries to ensure the longest possible life - the guy in PC World (very helpful, but possibly biased and/or not very knowledgeable?) said to run them down to 20% and then charge back up to 80% - views on that would be welcomed. As a parting shot, the same guy also said that li-on batteries have a fairly long life nowadays, and I'd probably get sick of the laptop and change it before I needed a new battery - he didn't know I'm far too mean (and non-techy) to buy a new one until the old one explodes in my face!!

    18 Comments

    Don't keep the laptop on charging all the time. Let the Li ion batteries discharge to around 10-15% before going for another charge cycle. Btw this is what I have read on the internet and i do the same with my own laptop.

    if it's plugged in all the time anyway, then take the battery out

    If you are using it round the house go into the power settings and set a reminder for 15%, then as you are using it it will flash up with a warning. Plug it in as you are using it and keep a check on how long it takes to fully charge. Disconnect, rinse and repeat! Li-ion batteries are pretty forgiving of left on charge all the time. Depending on the laptop you get, some of them isolate the power supply when fully charged (much like most mobile phones) but I wouldn't worry. A little overcharging won't hurt. It's not going to go bang on you like the old, heavy, lead - acid batteries would.

    If the laptop is constantly plugged in the battery technically doesn't even get used so it should be fine. Heat kills batteries and discharging to 0%

    There is a trend to non-immediately-removable bateries on low-end laptops; this is a manufacturing cost reduction exercise not a technical development benefit. Consider virtually all tablets use this methodology.

    Four power cycles from new gives the battery its full capacity.
    Otherwise you will have less time on battery before another charge.

    My prime concern with portable devices connected to power supplies when not needed is the increased risk of potential expensive damage to the device's power socket if the device or charger is accidentally moved / knocked / tugged / tripped, etc.

    The 20 to 80% method is spot on. I'm surprised a PC World staff member knew this tbh.

    We have 3 laptops, toshiba, samsung and lenovo. They have lasted a while as I had intended to chuck them out after 4 years and get new ones but they keep on going so there is no point in throwing them out.

    I find the battery on them don't last long. You will be lucky to get even 4 hours from them on a full charge. One of the laptop is used as a PC so it is plugged in permanently (the battery is taken out). The other laptop sits in the drawer gathering dust and the third laptop I use with battery, which only lasts an hour on a full charge so I plug it in whenever I don't put it on my lap.

    If you don't need a laptop, a tablet will be better as their battery lasts much longer. I have an ipad air and the battery on that lasts for 2 to 3 days. I haven't tried a chrome book but I would guess the battery on them may last longer than a laptop and they are better value for money as they are cheaper and lighter than a laptop.

    You can reduce screen brightness and all apps that run in the background you don't need and make sure it's well ventilated, don't put them smothered on top of a cushion

    I heard a battery guy on a tech podcast say that you get 500 full charges out of a lithium ion battery, then it's will be around this time you may notice it's not as good as it was and time to replace.. Maybe. You can charge at any time and nothing you do will increase the life. Charge from 40%to100%=60% then charge from 60% to 100%= 40% so that will count as 1 change cycle. Working on that basis of heavy daily use you should get 2-3 years good use then some time after this it will start to show signs it needs replacing, by which time you maybe in the market for a new device anyway. Ever chance I get I plug mine in a charger

    Shakeyyy

    If the laptop is constantly plugged in the battery technically doesn't … If the laptop is constantly plugged in the battery technically doesn't even get used so it should be fine. Heat kills batteries and discharging to 0%



    ​discharging to 0% kills batteries eh X)

    some people do worry me, i never part charge my laptop battery at all that will kill it. Always charge to 100% then discharge to 0% still have the same laptop battery in my laptop from over 4 years ago still keeps on batteries for over 3.5 hours just like day 1 happy days .

    Lots of great advice here already!

    I'll add: don't sweat it too much.

    They're cheap and easy to replace.

    If it's an HP laptop chances are something else will fail before the battery does

    One thing I do know is never leave your battery for long periods either fully charged or fully discharged.
    When laptops, phones, tablets are shipped from the factory - their batteries are always at 40% charged.
    This is to cause the least amount of wear on the cells when stored for long periods of time.

    Just something to bear in mind.

    Also one of my old laptops (cant remember the make) had a battery saver option in the BIOS, which was designed to prolong the battery lifetime.
    It only let the battery charge to 80% max, and only let it discharge to 20% min.
    Edited by: "118luke" 17th Apr

    Some laptops have a feature where you can have it plugged into the mains without charging the battery. My Lenovo laptop is always plugged into the mains and it charges the battery up to 60% before it stops charging.

    cliosport65

    ​discharging to 0% kills batteries eh X)some people do worry me, i never p … ​discharging to 0% kills batteries eh X)some people do worry me, i never part charge my laptop battery at all that will kill it. Always charge to 100% then discharge to 0% still have the same laptop battery in my laptop from over 4 years ago still keeps on batteries for over 3.5 hours just like day 1 happy days .



    Lithium Batteries as used in laptops and other electronics are quite differently behaved to the NiCd and NiMH rechargable AA etc. batteries. There's no part charging memory effect.

    The big thing to avoid is having the battery always sitting at 100% as that can kill it within a few years, especially if it's sitting in a hot part of the laptop as heat speeds up the process.

    0% if probably less of an issue as most people put flat devices immediately on charge, although charging before it goes flat might eek out a little more life from it.

    Although there's no guarantee that 0% and 100% readouts match the battery manufacturer's spec. Electric car manufacturers will typically set their maximum charge value at lower than the maximum voltage corresponding to take advantage of the increased lifespan of not using the whole capacity. I'm not sure how common this is in laptops though.

    zip up and take a nap ?

    Original Poster

    That's great, guys - loads of useful info here (helpful to others as well, I hope). Many thanks for all your help :-)
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