What to do to extend the laptop battery life

This article was modified on 2011-12-11 19:52:41


I`ve recently read a post somewhere on a website and someone from there claimed that it`s good to charge your laptop battery at 100%. Right after, let the battery in that state to sleep over night, let`s say 5-6 hours. If you want to extend the life of your laptop battery I would strongly advise you to skip such methods as if you will perform a complete discharge on a Li-On battery you risk to destroy it completely. Complete discharge was recommended in the past to old batteries with memory effects but it`s not the case here.

For a better understanding, let me provide you a short, understandable technical explanation. Nowadays ( at the time that I wrote this article ) all laptops uses Lithium-ion batteries. So this is a technology that is being based on ion movement between positive and negative electrodes. In theory they should work forever, however their life is being reduced by environmental conditions. If you`re going to perform a research you will see that the life cycle of a Lithium-ion battery is around 300-500 discharge/charge cycles. This would translate somewhere around 3-5 years for a battery that is being used under the guidance of the manufacturer but this is not always true because not everyone will be able to use their batteries in perfect conditions.


How do we extend batteries life at their maximum rate ?

For a better understanding, I will give you a couple of data of what`s going to happen with your battery, actually how much is going to lose at a given temperature and on a period of time.

If your battery temperature is 0°C and you are using the recommended storage charge level at 40-50 % your battery should lose 2 % of its power in 1 year.
If your battery temperature is 0°C and you are using the full storage charge level at 100 % your battery should lose 6 % of its power in 1 year.


If your battery temperature is 25°C and you are using the recommended storage charge level at 40-50 % your battery should lose 4 % of its power in 1 year.
If your battery temperature is 25°C and you are using the full storage charge level at 100 % your battery should lose 20% % of its power in 1 year.


If your battery temperature is 40°C and you are using the recommended storage charge level at 40-50 % your battery should lose 15% % of its power in 1 year.
If your battery temperature is 40°C and you are using the full storage charge level at 100 % your battery should lose 35% of its power in 1 year.

If your battery temperature is 60°C and you are using the recommended storage charge level at 40-50 % your battery should lose 25% % of its power in 1 year.
If your battery temperature is 60°C and you are using the full storage charge level at 100 % your battery should lose 40% of its power in 3 months.

If you will perform a detailed research on the Internet, you will probably see tables with the % of charged batteries and exposed to different temperatures and how well they perform ( performance losses and so on ). Instead of trying to show examples and pictures that are probably hard to understand, I will show you what you should do to improve your battery life:


- when you want to leave and you don`t intend to use your laptop for more than 2-3 days, make sure that your battery is charged around 40-50% and turn off your laptop. Now you can remove the battery from it. It is well known that 40-50% is the ideal charge for storage.

- try to discharge your laptop battery at least once per month, it means to run applications on your laptop without using the AC. When your battery dies, immediately recharge it to at least 50 % do not wait more hours. Actually this tip is quite radical, as if you will experience an electrical issue for more than 5-6 hours ( it happened in winter or any other type of storms ) you could destroy your battery so I am recommending this when the battery has 2-10% of life remaining, actually most of the laptops uses a red led when your battery is without too much power left.

- try to use hibernate function instead of standby, I know it`s more convenient to leave your laptop in standby and more comfortable as it starts exactly where you left him but hibernating will do the same, eg saving your PC state and completely shut itself down so the battery will no longer support any consumption.

- you also may want to clean your laptop from dust, take a good look at all his coolers and make sure that air vents are clean enough.

- most of the laptops comes with a better optimization for maximizing your battery life so you should go to ``Power Options`` ( In Windows 7 - go to - Control Panel - Hardware and Sound - Power Options ) and choose ``maximum battery``.

- some people says to defrag regularly your laptop hard drive but I personally don`t have the time to perform this operation as I don`t have the time, it takes forever, this is available only for Windows users not for Mac.

- when you`re running only on your battery try to close all programs that you don`t use as you will reduce the stress put on your battery by running any unnecessary applications. Don`t run multiple programs at once, only those that you really need. Don`t forget about any other external USB devices such as your mouse.

- there are other tips which I disagree such as turning off the autosave function of different programs and applications but in the end you will forget to enable them back and you will probably loose important information so it`s better not to mention them.

- a good idea would be to buy a second battery for your laptop when you`re buying it if you wish to keep a laptop for more than 3-5 years and to alternate batteries on a weekly or monthly basis. Rotate them, keep one battery for one month and when you`re replacing them, make sure that the one who is going to stay for one month is being charged at 40-50% and in this way you will be able to use your laptop for as much as possible and you won`t need to buy a new one after 3 years because your battery is dead and you can`t buy a new one.

- keep in mind that those are general tips and technology is faster than any article so you should read the instructions given by your manufacturer and follow their tips on how to deal with your laptop battery.

I guess I`ve covered most of the tips, some people call it laptop battery calibration while others will use a more common terms such as extend time/prolong of battery life but both of them means the same thing. If you think I forgot something important about laptop batteries please let me know, leave me a comment and I will add it here so that others can read about it.



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