Tip & How-To about Computers & Internet

Make your Lithium Laptop Battery last longer.

Hello folks,

Although I usually offer advice on backing up files or recovering them, I have been asked a lot lately how my 3 year old laptop still runs 1:45mins on a standard battery when many peoples 1-2 year old laptops can barely last an hour.

Simply put, most people do one of two things wrong. Both are common misconceptions and easy to remedy. First I've heard countless people tell me they pop the battery out of their laptop and toss it in the desk drawer until needed, often months. Second I have been told by more people than I can count that they leave their laptop plugged in 24/7 for most of the year.

Bottom line, although popping it out and leaving it in the drawer is less harmful to it's lifespan, both ideas are wrong.

The shelf life of most unused lithium batteries is shorter when unused than ones being used properly. The lifespan of a battery that is constantly being trickle charged is even shorter.

Most batteries in modern laptops are 4-6 cells, designed to give about 2 hours of charge and should last 3-5 years with charge life starting to degrade in the third year.

A "stored battery" has only 3 years of shelf life due to extended times sitting discharged and one that is trickle charged 24/7 may burn out in as little as a year.

Many laptop manufacturers have taken measures to improve this but ultimately the best thing for your battery is to use it. If you currently run you laptop plugged in 24/7, unplug it every night after you shut it off, then when you start it in the morning, let it run an hour before plugging it back in. This will give the battery both down time and exercise.

If your battery is in a drawer somewhere for safe keeping, put it back in the laptop, run it down then charge it over night and run it down then recharge it one more time. Store it back in the drawer charged and repeat the cycle at least once a month.

These tips will help drastically improve you batteries performance over time. My 3 year old laptop only ever got 2 hours of battery life and still gets 1:45 with no power saving measures, give it a try.


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