What affects laptop battery life?
Question by Sham /

Does leaving the laptop charger always plugged in reduce battery life, because my battery is now dead only after less than a year of use.

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Answers (10)
  • Laptop Battery

    There are many ways to extend laptop’s battery life, for example, defrag regularly, cut down external devices,add more RAM, keep operating temperature down and so on.

  • Gumacep

    i damaged my li ion battery from full discharging it … now the laptop wont turn on without being plugged in

  • otunba

    the current that do or normally enter my battery is between 23% and 25% everytime i charges it. what is the problem?

  • ænon1mus

    It’s my opinion that nowadays, battery technology has come a long way. They aren’t what they used to be and most of the myths you hear about batteries dying due to constant charging doesn’t apply anymore. Newer laptops have a built-in regulators that start and stop the charging cycle automatically. With MacBooks for example, charging stops when the battery reaches full charge; when the battery discharges to 95%, it triggers the charging mechanism. So even if you leave your laptop on 24/7, it isn’t actually charging all the time.

    Plus, laptops have batteries so that you can use them. I’ve seen some people take out the battery from their laptop to conserve the battery’s life. What for? It’s safer to let the battery die, rather than lose your data due to hard disk failure from power outages.

    So, what I’m trying to say is — it’s not such a big deal nowadays.

    • Tina

      The thing is, while constant recharging should no longer be an issue, heat definitely is because it does damage the laptop battery.

      So the options are spending €70 on a new battery every 12 – 18 months or taking it out as often as possible and eventually lose little bits of data.

      Most essential programs save data automatically anyways. But I guess it depends on how frequent power outages are where you live as it is quite annoying to be interrupted when you work on something.

    • ænon1mus

      Of course, Tina! Extreme temperatures can affect the operation of the battery and its ability to hold a charge. Although, I would say that within normal operating conditions and the amount of stress that the CPU is put under, the battery is probably not the first thing to go kaput.

      Shall we agree to disagree?

    • Tina

      Unfortunately, I have first hand experience with a Li-Ion laptop battery breaking after 18 months. The CPU has not been damaged. *fingers crossed*

    • ænon1mus

      Yikes! Then I guess something else that you have to bear in mind, Sham, is the brand of the battery in your laptop. I remember a couple of cases there Mac/Sony batteries spontaneously exploding. When buying a laptop, you should always research about these kinds of things.

  • Anonymous

    I read a couple of articles sometime ago all pointing to YES. Before then, I was fast losing my new battery. What I did was to remove the battery since I always(almost) use AC. But don’t do this if your power source is not 100% reliable or without UPS so you don’t damage the laptop itself from incorrect shutdowns.

  • Tina

    Hello Sham,

    the short answer is: yes it does.
    The reason why depends on your type of battery.

    Modern Li-Ion batteries, those that are typically found in current laptops, should not have a memory effect. That means they will not lose capacity because they were recharged without being discharged first.

    What does damage Li-Ion batteries is heat. If you have a power horse of a laptop, which gets very hot while you’re using it, that’s probably the reason your battery is going flat.

    For Li-Ion batteries it is recommended to run a full discharge (5%) / recharge (100%) cycle every 2 to 4 weeks. In the meantime you should recharge them before they are fully discharged.

    For more information, also on Nickel-Cadmium batteries, please refer to these websites:
    http://www.buchmann.ca/article23-page1.asp
    http://www.laptop-battery.org/batterytips.html

    Finally, Saikat wrote an article on how to increase the life of your laptop battery:
    http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/20-ways-to-increase-the-life-of-your-laptops-battery/