Maximizing Your Laptop Battery?s Life

Like most technology these days, batteries – specifically laptop batteries – have a relatively short lifespan.  However, not because their “options” have become obsolete, as is the case with many “gadgets” available in the marketplace, but rather, because they simply do not last.  Generally speaking, manufacturers warranties for notebook batteries ranges from three to twelve months; a lithium ion laptop battery can last anywhere from two to four years.  For any battery, however, the correct use and proper storage of it can significantly extend its life.  Some tips for the proper care of your laptop battery are listed below.

1.    Check your “battery charge” settings on your laptop.  Many of us, while using our laptop at home, have our settings so that we are “charging-while-working.”  Change this!  When your laptop is plugged in, and you are working on it for hours, the battery is constantly charging; this will shorten your battery’s life!

2.    According to Apple, lithium batteries should be charged “early and often”, verses allowing them to drain completely.  For the purpose of battery wear, several “partial charge cycles” count as one full cycle charge; your battery should still have approximately 80% capacity after the equivalent of 500 full charge cycles;

3.    In order to preserve your battery – particularly if you do not use your laptop often, it is a good idea to keep it charged up to 40%.  (Never store a laptop battery that is fully charged!  This will significantly reduce its lifespan.);

4.    Proper storage of your battery is essential to lengthening its useful life.  Wrap your battery with a clean cloth and store it in a place where it will remain undisturbed by light, heat or water.  Although most batteries work just fine under tropical conditions, the heat also causes them to age prematurely. (It goes without saying that leaving your laptop in a hot, parked car does not help to extend its battery life, either!) Keeping your stored battery cool (optimum temperature: between 50-90°F) and dry is a must for battery preservation!  (Some people even store their batteries in the refrigerator; that’s up to you!);

5.    While storing your battery for both protection and longevity is a good idea, there is such as thing as “overstoring” your battery!  Whether or not it is in use, your laptop battery ages; (time stops for no one – or no thing!)  So, DO use your battery at least once a month to “keep the electrons flowing!”

6.    Additionally, once a month, allow your laptop battery to totally discharge; this will extend its lifespan.  Once your battery is completely empty, charge it to an electric outlet;

Sadly, nothing lasts forever; including your laptop battery!  But there are steps you can take to extend the useful life of your battery.  Just remember, the two aging factors you must be most diligent about are the temperature (keep it cool) and the fully-charged battery.

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