Geek Computer Logo
Geek Computer
Creating better technological experiences!
Author: Ian Musyoka
Category: Hardware

How Do I Keep My Laptop Battery in Good Health?

The health of all batteries decreases over time with repeated charging and use, but this does not happen at the same speed. If you are given the same brand-new laptop on the exact day as someone else, the battery life of both laptops could highly vary after two years. Many factors come into play to support this, such as type of usage, frequency, and level of maintenance. Through several healthy laptop practices, you can extend the amount of time you spend with your laptop. Apart from avoiding physical damage and keeping it from dust that blocks air vents, many factors come to play to extend battery life. Creating some minor changes in how you utilize your laptop could go a long way in preventing you from charging your device too often. With a healthy laptop battery, we can finish our projects, stream movies, listen to music, and much more. In this article, you will find tips on how to check and maintain your battery health. Laptop Maintenance Tips Keep it Somewhere Cool It is not a good idea to place a laptop on your lap. Laptops are compact and do not have large cooling fans. Therefore, they can get quite hot. This can result in ‘toasted skin syndrome’ or gradual skin burns if you place it on your lap. If you place a pillow on your lap and skin burns are not a threat, the trapped heat and blocked vents will destroy your laptop battery. Extreme heat leads to chemical changes and physical expansion in batteries. If they are exposed to too much heat over time, they will not last long. When your laptop is running hot, and you decide to switch it off, keep the lid open a bit longer. Make sure also to keep it off pillows or cushioned areas. Locate the vents of your laptop and avoid blocking them. Keep your laptop somewhere cool, away from heating vents and direct sunlight if you are not using it. Maintain a Charge of Between 40 and 80 Percent If you are the type of user who likes staying away from the charger, try maintaining a charge of 40%. When you want to top off your computer, charge it to about 80%. Apart from being the best habit, it is a recommended method to extend your laptop's charge capacity and longevity. Sadly, this is the toughest advice to follow. If you are a road warrior, the type that suffers from charge anxiety or overscheduled, this may not be practical for you. If you are usually equipped with a charger and don't face any problems with battery life, these are the recommended limits to observe. According to Battery University research, a battery charged to its extremes (empty to full) can only last 300 to 500 times before it becomes obsolete. This margin increases to 850 to 1500 cycles when a laptop battery is charged to 80%. Luckily, this plugged-in problem has been solved by some laptops. A good example is the Lenovo Vantage app, which ThinkPad laptops can use to set a threshold for maximum battery charge. Some Sony and Samsung laptops have this capability as well. Avoid the Zero Mark It is advisable to keep your battery charged between 40% and 80%; it is a tragedy when it gets to zero. Many of us have the habit of letting our batteries get to zero before we decide to charge them. This habit is bad for your battery. Keeping your battery charged between 40 and 80% not only extends your battery life but also puts less strain on the battery to maintain its charging capacity. The only time it is recommended to fully recharge a battery is when you are installing a new one. This is usually for the sake of the laptop itself, not the battery. In lithium-ion batteries, no ‘memory’ needs to be reset compared to previous nickel-cadmium batteries. you are advised to drain your laptop battery completely for the battery gauge to be calibrated. To the longevity of a battery, this is a small hit. However, your device will get a better estimate of the remaining battery life. This will also prevent false readings and unexpected shutdowns. Prevent Overheating if Left Plugged In Contrary to popular belief if you keep your laptop plugged in while it is 100% full, it will not cause damage to your battery. Modern laptops have been created so that, once the 100th mark is reached, charging stops, and power is sent to the system instead. There is an exception. However, your laptop is running hot. Intensive work such as rendering, compiling, or using your device in a hot environment can make your device run hot. A battery that is at maximum capacity combined with serious heat exposure is likely to get damaged and lose a life. Replace Your Battery When your battery’s health capacity gets below 80%, make sure to replace it. This is the recommended threshold. Unfortunately, despite following all the right methods to keep your battery in good health, it will eventually become obsolete. The internal resistance builds up to a significant degree once the health capacity drops below 80%. As a result, charging will take longer than usual compared to when the battery capacity was full. When the charge percentage and the time remaining seem to get less reliable, this may be a sign that your battery has begun the journey downhill. The returns only keep diminishing. On most laptops, a battery is one of the easiest things to replace. This point still applies in modern-day Ultrabooks that have no push-to-release lever to remove the battery. If you come equipped with the right set of screwdrivers and the right instructions, you will manage to pull it off successfully. Battery Saver Mode and Brightness When you check the windows taskbar, you will see your laptop's battery level. To activate any power-saving features, click on the battery level indicator and turn them on. A noticeable performance loss may be experienced if you edit videos or photos, gaming, or using high battery power. Otherwise, you will not notice any major difference. Most of the time, when using a laptop, you do not need a super bright screen. To save your laptop's battery power, consider lowering the brightness levels of your screen. The display drains most devices. You can also change your display settings to dim the screen after a set time of not being used. You can do this by going to Windows Settings and changing the values of ‘Power and Sleep. ’ However, some of these settings may be active in power saver mode. Checking Your Laptop Battery Health in Windows Click on the ‘Start menu and search for ‘PowerShell.’ Once you see the result from the options, click on it. In the window that appears, type in ‘powercfg /battery report and hit ‘Enter.’ After that, Windows will generate a report that will be accessible to you via your user folder. You can find this at C:\Users\ [YourUsername]. To view the contents, double-click it. It is an HTML file. To view your current battery capacity history, scroll down to the bottom and check out the ‘Battery Capacity History’ section. On the right and left in megawatts, you can see the initial capacity of that battery and the full charge capacity in that order. The battery’s original strength is the design capacity, and the performance you are currently experiencing is the full charge capacity.