Should I Remove My Laptop Battery To Increase its Life?
Pinterest Stumbleupon Whatsapp
Advertisement

We all spend a lot of time on the go. And these days, a laptop is a vital part of anyone’s travel kit. Squeezing those last precious ounces of power from your portable lithium cell is a defining battle of the 21st Century. But how do you do just that?

One eternal question relates directly to the battery. Does running your laptop on AC power damage the battery? Furthermore, should I remove the battery to increase its lifespan?

Read on to find out the answers, and a few more useful laptop battery life tips.

How Does a Laptop Battery Work?

Before we consider whether removing your battery is the best option, let’s consider exactly how your laptop battery works.

There are two main types of laptop battery: lithium-ion, and lithium-polymer. Nickel-cadmium and nickel-metal hydride laptop batteries have all-but been phased out by this point, replaced by their more reliable and efficient lithium cell counterparts. Lithium-ion and lithium-polymer function very similarly, despite being technological differences. They both have different strong points and weaknesses, too.

For instance, a lithium-ion battery will generally have a higher power density but suffers from compound degradation (the liquids inside the battery). Conversely, a lithium-polymer battery is more robust but generally stores less power.

In both batteries, there are two truths:

  • The battery cannot be overcharged. If you leave your battery plugged in all of the time, it won’t “overcharge.” When it hits 100%, it will cease charging, and won’t start again until the voltage falls below a certain level.
  • Fully discharging the battery will damage it. Unlike older Ni-Cad batteries, lithium-based batteries do not have a charge profile. Deep discharges could permanently damage the battery.

How a Battery Generates Power

In lithium-based batteries, lithium-ions are loosely embedded in the porous carbon of the anode (the negative electrode). When you flick the power switch, the ions flow from the anode to the cathode (the positive electrode) through the electrolyte (generally a lithium salt in an organic solvent).

This process releases energy and results in the discharge of the battery. When charging, energy is applied to the device, and the ions flow in the opposite direction, reversing the process. Thus, we end up with the ions back at the anode, ready for use.

Should I Remove the Battery?

Yes, with a “but.” Let me explain.

Modern batteries are vastly superior to their older counterparts. They don’t overcharge, and they don’t suffer from charge profile issues. However, they are still susceptible to some of the same issues. Heat is a particular issue. During an intensive session, a plugged-in laptop potentially generates more heat. Overheating a lithium-based battery is one of the top causes of long-term damage. In that, if you’re going to be using the laptop plugged into a power outlet for a long period while gaming or video editing Get More Runtime From A Single Laptop Battery Charge Get More Runtime From A Single Laptop Battery Charge Does your laptop battery charge not last long? This guide will offer tips on how to get more runtime from a single charge, using simple Windows settings. Read More (or other prolonged resource-intensive activities), it would likely be best to remove your battery before proceeding.

Here’s the “but.”

You need to decide when it is worthwhile taking your battery out, and when there just isn’t enough time to do so.

When to Remove the Battery

Like I said, if you’re going to use your laptop for an extended amount of time while plugged into an outlet, removing your battery is a great idea.

But when you’re just stopping in a café for an hour to send some emails, I would leave the laptop battery in. Grabbing some extra battery power might actually be really useful, especially if you’re on the move throughout the day.

Another reason to remove your battery is during a prolonged period when you will not be using your laptop. If you’re not going to be using the laptop for a few weeks, remove the laptop battery. Battery experts suggest charging your laptop battery to 40%, then remove the battery for storage. This gives the battery sufficient charge to remain stable, without damaging the chemical composition of the lithium cell.

(Others also suggest storing your battery in the fridge during an extremely long period of inactivity, but this has its own set of issues that can damage your laptop battery.)

Lithium-ion Batteries Can Age

Lithium-ion batteries are a central element in the continuing boom of portable consumer electronics Battery Technologies That Are Going to Change the World Battery Technologies That Are Going to Change the World Battery tech has been growing more slowly than other technologies, and is now the long tent pole in a staggering number of industries. What will the future of battery technology be? Read More . They’re in almost every smartphone you’ve ever owned, your iPad, your laptop, and so on. But they’re not indestructible, and over time the power generating ions become less efficient.

In practical terms, a battery has a limited lifespan. The ions get trapped and no longer flow effectively from the anode to the cathode, in turn reducing the battery capacity. In fact, lithium-based batteries start aging as soon as they’re produced, from that very first charge (many consumer electronics now come with at least partial charge).

Lithium-ion batteries charge to 4.20V/cell, amounting to a 100% charge. This amounts to around 300-500 charge/discharge cycles, although most manufacturers offer conservative estimates. Capacity loss is usually expressed as a percentage of capacity after a certain amount of cycles and is referred to as the Depth of Discharge. The Battery University has a pretty handy general discharge table to gauge charge/discharge cycles to overall capacity:

Should I Remove My Laptop Battery To Increase its Life? depth of discharge table battery university

Once the depth of discharge reaches 10%, there will be up to 15,000 discharge cycles available How to Check a Laptop Battery's Health by Viewing Battery Cycles How to Check a Laptop Battery's Health by Viewing Battery Cycles Your laptop battery runs through a certain number of cycles before it loses efficiency. If you're curious how many cycles you've used, here's how to check on Windows and macOS. Read More — but your laptop will barely function due to the extremely limited battery life.

What Causes Lithium-Based Batteries to Age?

Several things can degrade your lithium-based battery.

  1. Higher voltages. While modern laptop batteries cannot overcharge, keeping them in a permanent state of full charge introduces another stress factor. Letting the battery discharge at a normal rate (but not to absolute empty!) is part of healthy battery use.
  2. Temperatures above 21°C/70°F promote chemical reactions in your battery. If you store your battery in or exposure your battery to a high-temperature environment, it will lose capacity.
  3. Low Temperatures. Temperatures between 0-5°C/32-41°F can damage battery components, reduce capacity, and cause significant issues when attempting to charge.
  4. Prolonged Storage. A lithium-ion battery will discharge at approximately 8% per month when stored at 21°C/70°F. This rate only increases at higher temperatures. Long periods of storage can lead to a state of deep discharge (battery specific, but modern batteries usually have a cut-off between 92-98% discharge).
  5. Physical Shock. Batteries are tough and are usually contained within your laptop. But they are fragile, and can physically break.

Can I Increase My Battery Lifespan?

You cannot actually “increase” the lifespan. As I mentioned earlier, a lithium-based battery is degrading from the moment of its first charge. But you can (and should) take active steps to protect your battery capacity and quality. Here is a summary of how to best use your lithium-based battery.

  • Never a state of deep discharge
  • Always partially discharge, then recharge
  • Avoid extensive exposure to high temperatures
  • Charge at a lower voltage (if possible)
  • Remove the battery during prolonged AC power connections
  • Only use partial discharge cycles — 20% to 80-85% is ideal
  • When storing for long periods of time, charge to 40%, and periodically recharge the battery

If you do choose to keep your battery in the fridge, use an airtight zip-lock bag to keep moisture out. Furthermore, allow the battery to return to room temperature before attempting to use it.

Lithium-based batteries are everywhere Disposable vs. Rechargeable Batteries: How They Work and Which to Buy Disposable vs. Rechargeable Batteries: How They Work and Which to Buy How do batteries work? What's the difference between a disposable and a rechargeable one? Why do both still exist? Does it matter which type you use? We answer all of this and more. Read More . One of the biggest irritations of the 21st century is a smartphone or laptop whose battery is dying Android Battery Killers: 10 Worst Apps That Drain Phone Battery Android Battery Killers: 10 Worst Apps That Drain Phone Battery Get rid of these apps if you want to have decent battery life. Read More (check out these 7 laptops with excellent battery life! 7 Laptops With the Best Battery Life 7 Laptops With the Best Battery Life What laptops offer the best battery life? It depends on your budget and what kind of operating system you need. We've rounded up eight of the longest-lasting laptops around! Read More ). Take these tips on board, and you’ll be able to use your laptop manufacturer issued battery for years to come.

What are your lithium-based battery tips? Should we always remove the battery? Or do you leave your battery plugged in at all times? Let us know your thoughts below!

Image Credit: jipen/Depositphotos

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Henry Lahore
    October 19, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    1) The slower that Lithium batteries are recharged the longer the life.
    Some portable electronics can be recharged at 1 Amp instead of 2 Amp

    2) When laptop battery has a short life, just replace it, rather than the laptop.
    I have been doing that for >15 years.
    The $10 battery extends the life of the laptop by about 2 years.

  2. Kapildev Neupane
    January 20, 2017 at 5:14 am

    What is the battery is unremovable? Also, is there a risk to damage your battery due to micro-charging if I mostly use AC outlets to power my laptop rather than depending on the battery? And is 40-80 cycle recommended than 40-100 cycles?

    • Tina Sieber
      January 20, 2017 at 12:10 pm

      Most modern batteries stop charging when they are full, so running your laptop on AC power is safe.

      If with 40-80 cycle you mean discharging to 40% and recharging up to 80%, then the answer is yes. The 40-80% discharge / charge cycle is preferable to the 0-100% cycle. However, what's worse than charging to 100% is discharging the battery to 0%. Few laptops will even let you fully discharge your battery because it's damaging.

  3. Dr H
    December 14, 2016 at 10:56 pm

    You have misnamed the electrodes. Li-ion cells are electrolytic cells. In an electrolytic cell the negative electrode is called the cathode, and the positive electrode is called the anode.

    • Tina Sieber
      December 15, 2016 at 11:38 am

      Thank you for your feedback Dr H. You're right, I relied on a mistaken source (Battery University). The article will be updated with an explanation shortly.

  4. Sumit Ekka
    August 29, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    when battery is taken out from laptop for storage, can we keep it at room temperature in an air-tight bag ?

    • Tina Sieber
      August 29, 2016 at 3:11 pm

      You can keep it at room temperature. If you do put it in a fridge, you must put it in an air-tight bag, otherwise it will attract moisture.

      • Sumit Ekka
        August 30, 2016 at 2:02 pm

        so which is better, to put in a fridge in an air-tight bag or openly at room temp.erature ?
        thanx in advance.

        • Tina Sieber
          August 30, 2016 at 6:56 pm

          As stated in the article above, in the fridge. It slows down the chemical reactions inside the battery.

  5. Princess Enaira
    August 18, 2016 at 3:09 am

    Hi there, I have HP15 Laptop. I just wanna know if which consume more electricity , with or without battery ?

    • Tina Sieber
      August 18, 2016 at 9:47 am

      Good question. My guess is that using A/C power is more efficient (no battery). I suspect that extra energy is consumed when charging a battery. Also, batteries get warm when being charged and discharged, meaning (heat) energy is lost during this process. By eliminating the battery as intermediate storage medium, you safe energy.

  6. Anonymous
    October 26, 2015 at 9:11 pm

    Sir, as you suggested that the battery when put out of the laptop must be stored in fridge at "4-8" what does this 4-8 means

    • Tina Sieber
      October 28, 2015 at 12:48 pm

      Hey Kashish, looks like the unit was removed over time. It's supposed to say 4-8 °C.

  7. Anonymous
    July 11, 2015 at 8:57 pm

    Hi there, reasonly I got myself a acer laptop and realize the battery was build in.
    I have wonder, can you do that on a build in battery.

    The instruction also said battery reset pinhole. Simulates removing and reinstalling the battery. Insert a papper clip into the hole and pres for for second. (So should I remove the battery?,also sorry for bad English)

  8. Anonymous
    June 8, 2015 at 6:29 pm

    Well this is a good article. but there is something that i don't agree.
    You don't have to remove your battery when running on AC. In fact all new batteries and the circuits responsable to charge your laptop are "Smart" so they will never overload the charge.
    And the battery will not be always in 100% full charged. At 100% the battery will not receive more charge, in instead only the pc will receive power. The other points are valid. Nice article

  9. Ahmed
    April 27, 2015 at 1:00 pm

    Thank you for answering me , Actually I'm talking about Heat and if it will affect in battery or not when playing intense games.

    • Tina
      April 27, 2015 at 1:16 pm

      Oh yeah, of course! It will affect the battery, but I'm not sure to what degree. Depends on where the processor is located relative to the battery and how cooling works. It could be marginal.

  10. Ahmed
    April 27, 2015 at 4:57 am

    If I want to buy laptop for general uses and gaming , can I buy laptop with unremovable battery or I should buy another laptop with removable battery to remove before open intense games

    I'm talking about ( ASUS TP500LN ) , I like this laptop because its touch screen and I want it very bad but I want to protect its battery and I don't know how!

    • Tina
      April 27, 2015 at 11:32 am

      Properly designed laptops turn off battery charging and switch to A/C power once the battery is fully charged. Actually, if the battery hasn't been discharged much and you plug it in, the laptop may switch to A/C power, but not charge the battery.

      Not sure how the ASUS laptop handles these situations, but since it's a high end laptop, I'm sure it can handle those loads without killing the battery in the process. I'd recommend consulting a hardware expert. You can try asking at MakeUseOf Answers.

  11. WotAnob
    March 21, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    Dear Tina, thank you for a very informative, well researched article. It is such a shame that some numpty feels the need to be antagonistic.
    HammerSchlag, your attitude is beyond belief!
    This article is not "how to handle and store batteries to prevent leakage"!! You are pathetic, have you no common sense? Do your shoes come with a warning to 'tie the laces before use to prevent potential trips/falls'? No? Better call your lawyer eh? As for you sustaining injury from Tina's re-telling of ideas from elsewhere on the web, I fear it is too late! Your judgement has been disastrously impaired and your intelligence disfigured beyond comprehension. Maybe you should sue Steppenwolf for the song 'Born to be wild'? for telling you to 'Get your motor runnin', head out on the highway' without advising you of the correct health and safety personal protective equipment(Helmet/hard-hat, gloves) I bet you throw your old batteries in the bin and keep all your cleaning products like bleach, detergent and the like under the kitchen sink - not keeping them out of childrens reach is it? Stop being cantankerous and heed my advice; take the first part of your name and use it to knock some sense into yourself as, just like the latter part of your name you are well and truly f______!!!!!

    The battery on my HP Pavilion g6 was working fine, no loss almost two years after purchase. But after a faulty AC Power lead went into meltdown, overheated and started chucking out sparks and smoke, the battery no longer held a charge for more than 10 minutes!
    HP have since recalled six million faulty AC Power leads and replaced them free of charge but refuse to admit or even agree that the power lead was directly responsible for the damage to the battery, which is now useless. Do you think I should ask HP to replace it for free as it was their faulty part which caused it to fail?
    Thank you

  12. Michael
    February 8, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    Sometimes I use my laptop with and sometimes without the battery - but there is always power supply which is UPS. I resuscitated my old Acer Aspire 9300 by totally dismantling it, dripping some liquid flux on the MoBo around the CPU and Graphics Adapter then applying an electric paint stripper to those solder joints. This an old Laptop - about 10 years old - now it's working 100% again! But it'll only take Windows Vista.
    Anyone have an answer to this: I need to leave this old Acer laptop unused for several months at a time and wondered "Should I leave the battery IN or OUT" when I do so?.

  13. harish
    June 26, 2012 at 11:27 am

    I have a laptop with very low battery backup. Can the remove the battery & use directly.

  14. Ben
    June 21, 2012 at 7:27 am

    My 2 year old laptop's battery performance has decreased from 2 hours to 45 minutes. I have always thought that you are supposed to let the battery discharge fully. Now I know better.

  15. Vishwanath
    June 18, 2012 at 7:10 am

    Hey wassup with my battery on a toshiba L510?
    I never removed my battery; never bothered to do many of the things described in this article (except taking care that it doesn't deep discharge). I randomly use the notebook on battery even if there is power. etc. etc. I still get the manufacturer rated 3.5 hours ... after 30 months of continuous every day 9:00AM to 9:00PM use.

    Things have changed so much or what's wrong with my battery? Please help. (This is probably the only time someone is paranoid when things are right?)

    Thanks for a great article though!

  16. Count
    June 13, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    Hmm, why not just read manual for specific lap-top and follow manufacturers recommendations. Most of them state exactly what Tina said. Another thing, lithium in the configuration and state in this kind of battery is only a catalyzer in a chemical reaction that is taking place in it, there is very small amount of it, Take it from a chemist ( me ) , lithium, in different configurations is used in great number of chemicals like suntan lotions, antiperspirants etc. , even medicines. You'd have to literary eat the battery to get poisoned. I, personally buy an extra battery at same time as a laptop and carry it with me fully charged to the cottage or longer trips, wouldn't need a laptop if i can't have full use of it.

    • Count
      June 13, 2012 at 7:56 pm

      PS. @hammerschlag, Please sue ME, I need a good laugh !!!. Lawyers at Dow Chemical would just love taking you on You sir are dipstick.

    • Tina
      June 16, 2012 at 6:40 pm

      Thank you for the expert insight, it is very much appreciated! :)

  17. John
    June 4, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    Hi there,
    I have a Lenovo y470 laptop (i7 core, 8gigs of RAM). After about 11 months of use, the battery wear is right around 31%. Obviously, that’s not a good sign. I use my laptop pretty regularly (3ish hours a day) and play some pretty intensive games on it too. I believe the problem lies in overheating, as I am playing some demanding games on the machine. Should I be taking the battery out in my case? And how do I “fix” my battery?
    I always have the brightness at 30% max, And have my volume on minimal (headphones) too.
    Thank you

    • Tina
      June 5, 2012 at 2:49 pm

      John,

      You can't really fix your battery. I would recommend to leave it an as a backup. You don't want to have your computer shut off in the middle of a game in case of a power cut.

      If you need a battery with a good battery life, I would advise investing in a high quality replacement that you use only when really needed and otherwise treat as recommended.

  18. Apple battery cheap
    May 14, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    Heya i am for the first time here. I came across this board and I in finding It really useful & it helped me out much. I'm hoping to present one thing again and aid others such as you helped me.

    • John
      June 4, 2012 at 5:45 pm

      Hi there,

      I have a Lenovo y470 laptop (i7 core, 8gigs of RAM). After about 11 months of use, the battery wear is right around 31%. Obviously, that's not a good sign. I use my laptop pretty regularly (3ish hours a day) and play some pretty intensive games on it too. I believe the problem lies in overheating, as I am playing some demanding games on the machine. Should I be taking the battery out in my case? And how do I "fix" my battery?

      I always have the brightness at 30% max, And have my volume on minimal (headphones) too.

      Thank you

  19. Khoji
    April 25, 2012 at 4:41 am

    Tina, while your statements may be technically true they are also a little impractical and there are downsides.

    To begin with, the battery in a laptop is an uninterruptable power supply, and the power cord is very easy to unplug. Remove the battery and your laptop is no longer protected against power cord removal or power failures.

    Secondly, any high-priced device like a laptop that needs the kind of treatment you describe is defective by design. If batteries suffer when the power is left plugged in then it is the manufacturer's problem, not the user's problem.

    Conclusion: Yes, your battery will wear out, just like your shoes and your car's tires. You will also have to pay taxes, sometimes you will get the flu and eventually you will die. Deal with it and don't obsess about it, you have better things to do. Leave the battery in the laptop and get on with your life. Occasionally run your laptop on battery only to cycle it, but anything else is a waste of time you could be using for living.

    • Tina
      April 25, 2012 at 7:40 pm

      Khoji,

      Of course you are absolutely right. Taking out the battery may not be practical and when using an unreliable power source or when unplugging the chord is a concern, then it may not even be smart.

      The article specifically addresses whether the battery should be taken out to increase battery life. So in case battery life is a concern, then the answer is yes, take out your battery and treat it as described above. Unfortunately, the average manufacturer does not provide the same warranty on batteries as on the rest of the hardware, so in most cases it is the problem of the user if the battery breaks prematurely.

      However, if you couldn't care less about battery life, then why bother reading this article? Live your life! :)

  20. cheap
    April 11, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    Excellent article

  21. hammerschlag
    April 10, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    Tina are you a member of the Jewish tribe?

    If you are, I will forgive you for your liabilities of criminal sanctions, as we members of the tribes do for one another. Because if I didn't, it would be contrary to the teachings of the talmud.

  22. subai adewale malema
    April 10, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    I want my twenti dollass

    • Josh Grauber
      April 10, 2012 at 2:51 pm

      What has 20 dollars got to do with a question pertaining to the removal and replacement of laptop batteries?

      • subai adewale malema
        April 10, 2012 at 2:55 pm

        I desarve twenti dollas because i passed woodwork

  23. hammerschlag
    April 10, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    When i got up to the part where it says put the battery in the fridge, you lost all your credibility.

    Do you know batteries contain lithium? Fridges are for storing food. And you say you have a strong interest in sustainability.

    • James Bruce
      April 10, 2012 at 1:40 pm

      Not sure I see a connection. Lithium doesn't magically leak out of a sealed battery and into the food, does it?

      • hammerschlag
        April 10, 2012 at 1:51 pm

        You are not able to confidently say that it is impossible for batteries to leak poisonous content. So until you can, 'putting batteries alongside the food people consume' advice is a safety hazard. It's a breach of the occupational health and safety.

        If I sustain any sort of impairment or disfiguration because of this I will take legal action in a court of law.

    • Tina
      April 10, 2012 at 1:47 pm

      What James said.

      However, you do have a point. I should have added that the battery should be sealed in a plastic bag. Not because of Lithium escaping and leaking into food (highly unlikely), but because of moisture and condensation, which could potentially damage the battery.

      • hammerschlag
        April 10, 2012 at 2:14 pm

        Basically what you are communicating here is that you are ruling out all potential for any type of leakage.

        You have written a guide and are giving advice in a topic of your interest, yet you don't have the sensitivity to take the necessary precautions to keep your readers safe.

        In fact, for you it appears, maintaining the state of the battery is far more important than the safety of your readers. You can't prove there is significant benefits to doing such a thing, and even if there were such benefits it's still a very obscure thing to do that very people sane people would practice.

        I suggest you write a completely new article emphasizing that the fridges used for storing batteries should be separately maintained from the ones used for food.

        I also question your integrity.

        • hammerschlag
          April 10, 2012 at 2:18 pm

          I meant sane people would NOT practice.

          I'd like to stress that by ruling out all potential for any type of leakage that this has severe implications. Sure, it may not happen like you say, but it may, and while this is the case, you are blatantly encouraging irresponsible practices with no concern for the well-being of your readers.

          Also James, please don't tell me that is your wife?

        • James Bruce
          April 10, 2012 at 2:26 pm

          Sorry, what? Is who my wife? Tina?

        • Timothy Yehuda
          April 10, 2012 at 2:34 pm

          Actually if you grind beans and place them within the enclosing bag containing the lithium, it therapeutically enhances the chemical properties of all other foods in the fridge!

        • Dylan Weisseiner
          April 10, 2012 at 2:41 pm

          YOUR A HATE MONGER

        • Tina
          April 10, 2012 at 3:21 pm

          Hammerschlag,

          I'm afraid I can not take you seriously. Your speculations are very far-fetched and this discussion has become ridiculous. Your personal attacks further weaken your credibility.

          Note that we do not tolerate offensive comments and will remove them.

        • James Bruce
          April 10, 2012 at 2:24 pm

          Lithium-Ion batteries do not contain the poisonous metallic form of Lithium, and very little toxic anything in fact. The danger posed by lithium-ion batteries is from overheating and subsequent explosion, not the possibility of poisoning.

          However, placing a battery in a fridge increases the risk of explosion due to short-circuiting the battery, another reason to place it inside a sealed container or bag.

        • hammerschlag
          April 10, 2012 at 2:33 pm

          If the potential risks are so disastrous why would you still encourage it?

          Do you realise that within most people's households there is a potential for people to be curious about things? People aren't static robots. For example, children may open the fridge and open the 'sealed' bag and all kinds of harm may be brought upon others when the battery is merely left on its own in the fridge without it's sealed bag. There are potential circumstances that you seem to be overlooking.

        • hammerschlag
          April 10, 2012 at 2:38 pm

          You seem to be too far-removed from the potential disasters that may occur to be credible in the slightest for encouraging these kind of practices.

        • hammerschlag
          April 10, 2012 at 2:55 pm

          So I guess you people aren't even capable of answering my finer points after all. Yes, you drone on about how people can protect themselves, but there is no way for you to get away with failing to recognize that you have been and still are encouraging irresponsible and dangerous practices.

          I maintained a polite fashion of communication with you and nicely pointed out that maybe you should slightly altar the article. Then I pointed out that you have no way of guaranteeing this is a safe practice, but enough if enough.

          I will be following up on this and reporting you to a suitable authority.

          [offensive statement removed by moderator]

        • Tina
          April 10, 2012 at 2:59 pm

          Lithium is a metal. It has a melting point of +180°C. Under normal circumstances it tends to be solid. What can theoretically leak from a damaged battery is the electrolyte.

          Any type of theoretical leakage poses a greater health hazard while the laptop is in operation and the battery is 20 to 40°C warmer than in the fridge. The substance could leak onto your lap, evaporated into the air, or cause other damage. So if this was a serious concern, manufacturers would have to issue a safety warning.

          The safety, well-being, and satisfaction of our readers is our primary concern.

        • hammerschlag
          April 10, 2012 at 3:10 pm

          Even so, would you say the chances are increased for the battery to leak if it is at the end of its lifespan?

          You say it could leak onto your lap or just evaporate and so on, yet that is a totally different situation to it leaking onto food, something that is consumed and enters the body.

          I think your also playing down the chances of it leaking in the fridge. If chances of this were so low, you would not be putting it in a sealed bag. This leads us back to the same point as before: we can safely presuppose that there is at least some potential for the battery to be displaced from its intended position and hence you CANNOT guarantee it is safe to do such a practice.

        • Cedric
          April 12, 2012 at 3:09 am

          Obviously, this reader does not understand the text. The bag is not because its a danger. The bag is a precaution for that freak incident that happens. I could not find one news artice on that topic even.
          Lithium is used in milions of batteries. If it was a hazard, then they would have warnings printed on the container with the said battery about storing them in a fridge.

          According to the U.S. government, lithium ion batteries aren't an environmental hazard. "Lithium Ion batteries are classified by the federal government as non-hazardous waste and are safe for disposal in the normal municipal waste stream," says Kate Krebs at the National Recycling Coalition. While other types of batteries include toxic metals such as cadmium, the metals in lithium ion batteries - cobalt, copper, nickel and iron - are considered safe for landfills or incinerators (Interestingly enough, lithium ion batteries contain an ionic form of lithium but no lithium metal).

    • Be practical
      April 21, 2012 at 12:37 pm

      Just dump the battery when it runs out. You may need to spend $70 every 2-3 years, which to most folks is peanuts. Just use the hell out of battery and screw all this drama.

  24. Yoni Reshef
    April 10, 2012 at 8:00 am

    That's a well written article, if you want to find more ways to extend the life of your battery here's a nice one as well:
    http://www.laptopbatteriesplanet.com/batterytips.html

    Cheers!

  25. umar khan
    April 5, 2012 at 3:46 am

    Hi, I am using dell xps15 (L502x) with 9 cell battery, my daily work on laptop is around 8hours, so what i do, if im in home i plug out my battery and use my laptop on AC from the inverter, so that if electricity goes it don't turn it off, and when i m in university, i use my battery.
    So my first question is, is it safe to use laptop on AC from the inverter?
    and secondly, how much i need to charge before i plug out my battery?
    and thirdly, where i must put my battery like in room, or air tite jar or fridge, so that i remains save while it is out of the laptop.
    thanks

    • Tina
      April 5, 2012 at 3:40 pm

      Umar,

      I'm not sure what inverter you are talking about, but running your laptop on AC power is safe and where the AC power comes from should not matter as the charger will convert it to the input your laptop requires.

      Your other questions are answered in the article.

      • umar khan
        April 6, 2012 at 3:17 am

        Inverter is a device which converts DC voltage to AC voltage

        • James Bruce
          April 10, 2012 at 1:41 pm

          So you're converting DC -> AC -> DC. It sounds a little pointless, but I dont see why it wouldnt work, as such.

  26. Sid Bezzo
    April 2, 2012 at 9:53 am

    isn't there a way to set our computer to go into hibernation if there is accidental ac power loss and the battery isnt in? where i live the power cannot be trusted and it comes and goes at its own time so i take out my battery and use the laptop on ac power and put the batteries in when the power goes but my whole system restarts when that happens. it would be alot easier if the computer just goes into hibernation. i have an hp 630.

    • Tina
      April 5, 2012 at 3:42 pm

      Sid,

      I'm afraid I don't know of such a feature. In your case I would say it's best to just leave the battery in.

    • James Bruce
      April 10, 2012 at 1:43 pm

      There is no way to initiate hibernation after power has been lost. If you had a battery in, it would work though. Why take out the battery? If anything, having a sketchy power supply is even more reason to leave it in!

  27. John Nicole Dagamat
    April 1, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    This is my daily doing to my laptop first I fully charged it and then when i played games, *when the battery is going to be low bat. i plug the ac charger then when it is fully charged I unplug it...*then i do it again

    Is it OK to the battery??Do you think that it will affect my battery?

    • Tina
      April 2, 2012 at 7:16 pm

      This is an OK practice and similar to what I am doing. Just don't let the battery run too low. Start re-charging when it gets down to around 30% capacity.

      • Sid Bezzo
        April 3, 2012 at 9:34 am

        My computer doesn't alert me until my battery gets 14%. I usually wait for the warning. Is that ok or should i just plug it into power at 20%?

        • Tina Sieber
          April 3, 2012 at 6:46 pm

          Sid,

          if you run Windows, you can change at what battery level your computer alerts you. Click Start and search for "Power Options". In Power Options, click "Change plan settings" next to the power plan that is checked (the one you are using). In the bottom right, click "Change advanced power settings". Scroll down to "Battery" and expand that item. Then expand "Low battery level" and "Critical battery level" and adjust the percentages, for example low to 30% and critical to 10%. Also make sure the "Low battery notificaton" is set to "on". OK all your changes and you're set. :)

        • Sid Bezzo
          April 4, 2012 at 6:41 am

          thanks =)

        • Sid Bezzo
          April 4, 2012 at 6:42 am

          thanks

      • John Nicole Dagamat
        April 3, 2012 at 6:37 pm

        THNX..But I do is I plug in the charger when the battery gets 10%-8%

        hmmm..actually i brought my laptop a few weeks ago..

        • Tina Sieber
          April 3, 2012 at 6:47 pm

          John,

          10-8% is a little low.

          If you do this because that's when you get a low battery notification, then see the response I left to Sid above about how to change that notification.

        • John Nicole Dagamat
          April 3, 2012 at 8:12 pm

          THNX A LOT!! ^_^

        • John Nicole Dagamat
          April 3, 2012 at 9:41 pm

          OH!I forgot!It is ok that I will not unplug the ac charger even though it's already fully charge??

        • Tina
          April 4, 2012 at 5:57 am

          John,

          you can do what you want, but if you run on AC power, I would recommend to remove the battery.

          If your AC power is not reliable, it should be OK to leave the charger plugged in. Really depends on your laptop model. If it continues charging the battery although it's already charged, then that can be damaging. But most newer laptop models don't do that.

        • John Nicole Dagamat
          April 4, 2012 at 8:37 am

          Ok!THNX! ^_^

  28. Jonathan Maingot
    January 24, 2012 at 7:26 am

    (imho) there is one very important thing missing from this article: HOW MUCH extra life you get out of your battery by taking care of it.

    If doing all the above save me (using my $450 Acer for an average of 6 hrs a day) - after two years - from having my laptop's battery last 50% as long as when it was new... that's significant. 

    If however, it's 5%: meh.

    Any data on this?

    • Tina
      January 24, 2012 at 9:09 pm

      Good point, Jonathan.

      Depending on how much you "abuse" the battery, I'm sure you can get over 50% of extra battery life out of it, e.g. make it last 3-5 years instead of 1-2. If, however, your laptop doesn't overheat and has a charge threshold, which most laptops do, then you may be looking at only 5-10%.

      Unfortunately, there is no simple standard answer. It simply depends...

    • Anonymous
      May 16, 2012 at 5:16 am

      3 years later and i'm getting 95% out of it. In contrast with my other friends' laptop which can only last 5 to 30 mins, all comparison of laptops are bought 3 years back, similar specs.

      • Tina
        May 17, 2012 at 8:19 am

        Would you mind sharing which brand of laptop you own?

        • Anonymous
          May 17, 2012 at 10:16 am

          Me > HP Pavilion dv2 and Dell Studio 1555

        • Tina
          May 17, 2012 at 1:53 pm

          Thanks! The battery of my first HP laptop (2003) hardly lost any capacity until I sold the laptop in 2010. The battery of my next HP laptop, however, essentially died within a year. I suspect overheating.

  29. Kael_snip
    January 21, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    removing battery can increase its life. how about your laptop without battery.. then accidentally. loss power.. what will you choose? battery? or internal parts? some manufacturer include auto stop charging.  and direct it from current. maybe your pc is an pentium 2 or pentium 3... nice post.

    • Tina
      January 22, 2012 at 11:21 am

      As stated above, if reliability of AC power is an issue, there is no other way but to keep the battery in. In this case I would strongly recommend investing in a passive laptop cooler and make sure your fan is clean and the CPU heat sink working properly. Although I would recommend that in any case...

  30. Meena Bassem
    January 21, 2012 at 10:55 am

    do these things apply to a phone battery too?

    • Tina
      January 21, 2012 at 12:51 pm

      Principally yes. However, you typically can not run your phone on AC power. Also, I would say phones don't get as hot as laptop CPUs and cool off easier because they are smaller. So I gues it is less of a problem.

  31. Asif Ahmed
    January 19, 2012 at 11:18 am

    I don't agree with this at all..If any of your point would be tru, I wouldn't be able to use my 1.5 Year laptop on a battery which still gives me an hour of backup. I have been using it on AC with the batteries in it.

    It's been a decade since these laptops are being manufactured and sold by Computer Companies. And they must have found a way to keep the batteries from overcharging.

    I have used over 5 Laptops from Different companies and I have observed that there is very less you can do about saving battery life. The only thing you can do is, use it when you don't have access to AC power.

    • Tina
      January 19, 2012 at 8:32 pm

      Maybe your laptop doesn't get hot, meaning your battery is always relatively cool.

      Overcharging isn't an issue with laptops that don't keep charging when the battery is full and most have such a mechanism.

  32. Jack Cola
    January 19, 2012 at 1:08 am

    I have a laptop that is always connected. I left the battery out when I first purchased it because of the reasons mentioned above, but found the AC source wasn't that reliable. As soon as there was a small flicker in energy, the laptop shutoff, while a desktop still had enough power to continue running.

    It happened quite often, so I put the battery back in. I don't see the laptop being used as a laptop, so the battery is still in there.

    However, over a year, there as been a decrease in the battery life.

    • Tina
      January 19, 2012 at 8:30 pm

      As mentioned below, power fluctuations or power cuts definitely warrant leaving the battery in as a backup.

  33. seb
    January 18, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    You ARE joking, right?
    Baterries are known to have a cycle period, mostly about 600 (approx 14-24 months), as they wear out (that afaik can be changed by Polish coders, but its a bit pricey, therefore useless). You can care about them, store them at fridge (lol), take them to bed, they WILL wear out no matter.
    And for crying out loud, i bear not a laptop for storing a baterry, and in case of power failure - losing my data. Duh!
    And yes, totally discharging and charging doesnt increase the life of a Li-Ion battery.
    And no, the battery cannot be overcharged. While using AC, ure not using a battery.
    Relax, 'its not like you killed someone' (couldnt help myslelf), its just a replaceable item. For some - right, Apple users? rotfl
    Oh, Tina, where did u hear about 20% discharge point? Besides that weird "let me tell you, that you need to replace your battery soon" site?
    rgds
    seb

    • Tina
      January 19, 2012 at 8:18 pm

      Seb,

      the lifetime of batteries is measured in charge/discharge cycles, Li-Ion batteries are no exception. However, this is not an absolute number, this is an estimation. If used with care, the number of cycles can be increased.

      Of course using Li-Ion batteries wears them out. But even while not used, e.g. when sitting fully charged in a laptop that's connected to AC power, they age. Fact is, they start aging the moment they are produced. Hence you should not buy a Li-Ion battery that has been sitting on a shelf for a year or two.

      What can slow down the aging process is keeping the battery cool, i.e. storing it away from a warm laptop in a cool place. I didn't say you could stop it from aging or wearing out, however, you can extend or increase its lifetime.

      Studies have shown that a depth of discharge of 100% (i.e. no charge left) reduces the amount of possible charge/recharge cycles to 500 compared to 1500 for a 50% depth of discharge. Generally, it is recommended not to discharge Li-Ion batteries below 15-20%. 

      You have a point regarding power failures. If power failures or power fluctuations are a problem, then by all means use your battery! Once you have to get a new battery, use the old one to bridge a few minutes of power cuts and treat the new battery with care. That's my advice. You can do whatever you want of course. :)

  34. M.S. Smith
    January 18, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    I've found this site to be a good source for battery information:

    http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/ 

    • Tina
      January 18, 2012 at 10:52 pm

      That's where I got my information. ;)

  35. M.S. Smith
    January 18, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    I'm not aware of any safety concerns related to removing a laptop battery when it is running. 

    As far as life goes, this is all correct, removing a battery when you aren't using it will improve life. 

    With that said, though, I don't see much point in doing it. Okay, it will last longer - but batteries aren't that expensive and laptops usually are getting long-in-tooth within 3 years. I'm just don't think it's worth the hassle. 

    • Tina
      January 18, 2012 at 10:04 pm

      Cheap? I disagree. Sure, a new battery is affordable, but it's not cheap. Much more importantly, treating your hardware well also means it won't end up on the mountain of trash as quickly, which is an overall good thing.

      • M.S. Smith
        January 18, 2012 at 10:10 pm

        You're right, cheap isn't the proper word to use.

        It does depend on your perspective. I'm going to buy a new laptop every 3 years anyway. So taking out my battery to increase life isn't worth the hassle to me.

        • Dave Parrack
          January 18, 2012 at 10:49 pm

          After mine crapped out I looked at the price of replacing it and decided it wasn't worth it when I'd be buying a new laptop in a couple of years time. I'd still rather it had lasted the life of the laptop though!

        • Tina
          January 18, 2012 at 10:52 pm

          Ever cleaned the heat sink? Try it, you'll be amazed!

          Centrino CPUs actually throttle their performance when they get too hot, so you'd be well advised not to let them overheat.

        • Jonathan Maingot
          January 24, 2012 at 7:43 am

          Actually a reply to Tina's comment to this the reply this one's branched as a reply of.

          I cleaned a laptop out once. Was great fun, and very thrilling putting back together wondering whether or not it would work again.

          It worked better for a couple of months, then it started sucking again.

          So, reinstall OS, still sucked a lot, WiFi didn't work with some networks that it worked on before, so I got a new computer for two days wages. Gave the old one to a kid for Christmas. He was stoked.

          (ps sorry for the distracting email Dave)

        • Tina
          January 19, 2012 at 8:29 pm

          So what do you do with the laptop after 3 years? 

          If the battery still worked and had acceptable capacity, it would surely increase its re-sell value! From personal experience I know that re-selling is totally worth it, even for a 5 year old laptop that is in good condition.

        • James Bruce
          April 10, 2012 at 1:45 pm

          Resale value of a pc laptop is zero after 3 years. Only MACS maintain their value!

  36. Dave Parrack
    January 18, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    Experience tells me you should your battery when not using it. Mine died on me after 12 months, and that was after using my laptop plugged in with the battery in for up to 12 hours a day.

    • Tina
      January 18, 2012 at 9:59 pm

      I've had the same experience with a laptop that got rather hot.

      • Dave Parrack
        January 18, 2012 at 10:50 pm

        Yes, my fan is constantly working overtime. It's my fault for working my laptop too hard I guess.

      • james fife
        June 2, 2012 at 6:43 pm

        thanks for the info. 1 thing not mentioned is the use of a laptop cooling pad. they have 1 or more fans which really assist the cooling of the battery and electronics. I purchased one at xs cargo for less than $10 canadian. I found that with this item the internal cooling fan would either not operate or at at a lower speed thus helping ameliorate the current draw of the cooling pad itself.

  37. Gregb7677
    January 18, 2012 at 7:36 pm

    I read one article it says no need to remove, and then another says to do it. ugh!

    • Lee
      January 18, 2012 at 8:40 pm

      Me too. And I've read some articles saying it wont hurt the battery to leave it plugged in all the time, and others saying it's bad (or that it's bad to charge it to 100%).

      One interesting thing though. What if you have a Macbook without a removable battery? You can't exactly take that out when you aren't using it...

      • Tina
        January 18, 2012 at 9:58 pm

        As long as the ventilation / cooling is efficient and the battery doesn't get hot it's not a big issue. Apparently, heat is what kills the Li-Ion battery.

        • Anonymous
          January 19, 2012 at 11:34 am

          And overcharging too, some poorly designed products continue to maintain it at 100% even when full.
          Which is a bad thing for lithium ions.
          So don't blame the product if it goes into discharge once it hits 100%, it is to save your battery.

        • Anonymous
          May 16, 2012 at 5:08 am

          Exactly. Most of the newer laptops now disengage the charging procedure once fully charge, hence no need to remove battery, while for others, you still need. You can easily verify this when using your laptop when it has fully charged.

  38. Joel Lee
    January 18, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    Are there any data sources or experiments that show the effects of these battery-prolonging measures? For example, what is the lifespan of a battery that is constantly plugged into AC vs. the lifespan of a battery that is carefully tended to?

    That sort of information might be useful for determining whether these prolonging measures are even worth pursuing! :)

    • Tina
      January 18, 2012 at 10:06 pm

      Joel,

      excellent questions. These studies do indeed exist. The Battery University discusses some of these data. No joke! :)

      • Jonathan Maingot
        January 24, 2012 at 7:45 am

        Beh! Their data isn't specific enough to this very simple issue. 

        We need data of people testing actual computers.

        I know! I'm gonna go do something else and just keep using this laptop until I get another one! Yay problem solved!

  39. Scutterman
    January 18, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    I tend to find that the laptop packs it in before the battery does

    • Tina
      January 19, 2012 at 8:26 pm

      What do you mean it packs it in? It breaks or you replace it because you want to upgrade the hardware?

      • Scutterman
        January 19, 2012 at 9:36 pm

        Usually the laptop starts to slow down without an easy cure (my past two laptops didn't come with install cds), until it's almost unusable. After that, the bluescreens start.

        My last laptop is still going at the moment, I switched to a computer because I wanted a bit more power, but before I switched I found it was getting a bit unstable. It was starting to find it hard to run skype and watch youtube at the same time, and even playing Minecraft was almost unbearable. The battery, however still seems to be doing all right when I use it.

        I guess it all comes down to the quality of the hardware, the quality of the battery, and how you use the laptop.

        • Tina
          January 19, 2012 at 10:12 pm

          Did you just say that you rather buy a new laptop than to re-install!? I hope not!
          Even if the laptop doesn't come with an install CD/DVD, it should have a recovery option / partition.Unfortunately, with Windows it's normal to re-install every one to two years. More often if you test a lot of software like I do.

          Anyways, try Linux if there is no way to re-install Windows. Might be a revelation, who knows. :)

        • Scutterman
          January 20, 2012 at 6:47 pm

          I wouldn't rather buy a new laptop than re-install. My first laptop's charger port broke (it melted two power jacks) and my second one is still in use, though less so because I got a desktop for the extra hardware power.

          I I tried Ubuntu twice. Both times I was faced with driver and other issues. Then the first time the partition managed to corrupt itself, and the second time it refused to boot after updating to 11.10

          When I try linux again I'll probably go with Fedora or CentOS, but until then I'm happy with a computer that works without fighting it.

        • Tina
          January 20, 2012 at 10:36 pm

          Thanks for clarifying! :)

  40. Francisco José Peralta Pastor
    January 18, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    Not even once since I bought it. Ok, maybe once, but only when I was cleaning the thing. And the battery life remains as it was when I bought it.

    • Tina
      January 18, 2012 at 10:07 pm

      What laptop model do you have?

      • Francisco José Peralta Pastor
        January 19, 2012 at 3:04 pm

        Sorry for the long delay on my reply. Lot's of work and no time for other stuff =(

        My laptop is a Compaq Presario CQ40.

        • Tina
          January 19, 2012 at 8:20 pm

          Interesting.

          My best experience with a battery so far was with a HP Compaq. It went 5 years with only a little loss in capacity (from 3.5 to 2.5 hours in the beginning) before I sold it. Not sure it had a Li-Ion battery, though.

    • Koplak
      March 24, 2012 at 12:13 am

      @iTzCodzillaa lol i gots a ps3 and ive never had ANY problems with it at all, the lcrtnoolers are nice and sturdy + run on built in battery , free online play and loads more freedom to customize your console, it may just be my opinion but ps3 is better than xbox. but i like how you can play music on xbox while your playing your games, i love hearing my game through the same speakers as music

  41. Toby
    January 18, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    Don't run a MacBook Pro without a battery - your processor will be reduced to about 1GHz

    • Tina
      January 18, 2012 at 9:57 pm

      Ha! Interesting, I didn't know that. That seems pretty silly. Why would it do that?

    • seb
      January 18, 2012 at 11:52 pm

      lol, amazing, what if you took ur hdd out? would it run at 500mhz? and wonder about ram, maybe without one, it still boots up, but lets say at 16mhz, like my first pc?