Useful Tips

What will help extend the battery life in a laptop


In any case, the battery will lose capacity and keep charge less, the only question is the rate of degradation. The lithium-ion batteries installed in most laptops are rated for approximately 400 charge / discharge cycles, equivalent to 2-3 years. Lithium-polymer batteries that are used in Apple technology can last a little longer - up to 5 years.

A laptop battery is a consumable item. It cannot be repaired. Out of order - buy a new one.

But consumables can be treated so that they last longer. The battery loses its original characteristics due to a number of factors, including:

  • overcharge or high voltage,
  • overheat,
  • exposure to low temperatures
  • improper long-term storage,
  • mechanical damage.

If you minimize their impact, then you will achieve an increase in service life to a maximum level.

Proper charge

The main thing you need to know is that the battery should work. If you use the laptop only at home, connected to the network, the battery will quickly degrade. When using the mains, it is recommended that you remove the battery from the laptop. Do this before turning on the device. Instead of a battery, you can (and even need) to connect an uninterruptible power supply - it will ensure a safe shutdown of the laptop in case of loss of electrical power.

If you can connect the laptop to the network - do it. But do not forget to regularly switch to battery operation: at least once every 4-5 days, completely discharge and charge the battery, that is, perform one cycle.

Particularly important work for Apple batteries. They do not like long downtime, so use them more often: 3-5 times a week. In the end, this is a laptop, you do not need to constantly keep it on a leash. Apple also recommends that you calibrate the battery at least once a month: empty the battery, and then charge up to 100%. Thanks to calibration, the battery remembers its capacity, so it does not decrease so quickly.

Do not often discharge the laptop to zero. Make sure that the charge level does not fall below 20%. It’s easy: when this value is reached, the device saves energy.

If you know that you will not use the battery in the coming days, discharge it to 10% and remove it from the laptop. If the battery needs to be kept inactive for a long time (a month or longer), charge it at 50%. Manufacturers of devices use this: smartphones, tablets, laptops are always half charged. It is recommended to store the battery at room temperature - about 22 degrees.

Do not buy a battery for the future. The first battery has failed - only then go for a new one to the official manufacturer.

Temperature exposure

High and low temperatures are terrible enemies of the battery. Help him deal with them:

  • Do not place the laptop on a soft surface so as not to block the side gaps to remove heat and leave free space below. The table is the best place to work.
  • Do not keep the laptop in direct sunlight.
  • In winter, try to minimize the effects of low temperatures, even if you carry your laptop in your bag.

The battery does not like cold - from it the capacity is lost very quickly. At sub-zero temperatures, 15 minutes is enough for the battery to cool to ambient temperature. So if you constantly take your laptop out in the cold, do not be surprised that after a while it will stop turning on or will turn off spontaneously.

System settings

To extend the life of the battery and increase the battery life of the laptop, properly configure the system.

  1. Lower the screen brightness. This can be done by combining the Fn key and one of the buttons from the F1-F12 series (the sun icon will be on it). Brightness settings are also available in the Windows 10 Notification Center and in the power settings in the Control Panel.
  2. Turn off the display when not using a laptop. You can configure automatic shutdown in the "Power" section of the Control Panel.
  3. Turn off communication modules that you are not using. No need Wi-Fi - cut down the module. In general, turn on Bluetooth only manually to solve specific problems: it is almost never needed, and it also consumes a charge.

Recent versions of Windows have an automatic power optimization tool. To use it, open the "Troubleshooting" section in the Control Panel and find the "Energy Optimization" item. If the system utility cannot detect the problem detected during scanning, you will have to fix it manually.

Another important factor is the use of hibernation instead of standby. It is generally recommended to refuse the standby mode, since when it is used, energy is still spent on maintaining the current state of the system, albeit in a smaller amount. During hibernation, the current state is saved as a file on the hard drive, and the battery stops working as if you turned off the laptop. This allows you to increase battery life and in the long term the battery life.

Do not discharge the batteries completely.

Full battery discharge negatively affects its durability. Therefore, avoid cases in which your laptop shuts down due to a lack of energy.

Currently manufactured devices and operating systems themselves take care that the battery does not experience stress and shuts off until the energy runs out completely. The computer performs this action at a given charge level, but we can choose it ourselves.

We will find these settings in Windows in the Power Settings. This rule also applies in situations where the battery is not used for a long time. In this case, it is necessary to charge it to half the capacity and regularly monitor this level to prevent a complete discharge.

Avoid Full Charge

If left for a long time fully charged battery at high temperature - this will lead to the fact that he very quickly lose its effectiveness.

Due to the fact that the laptops and the batteries themselves become warm during operation, it is best to set the automatic shutdown of charging at the level of 70-80 percent.

Do not overheat the laptop.

Heat - This is one of the biggest threats to the battery and its battery life. The most suitable temperature for work is about 20 degrees Celsius. In this regard, do not leave the laptop in the sun or in the passenger compartment.

If the device has become too hot, the best solution is to turn it off and wait for it to cool. Too low a temperature can also be harmful to the battery, so we should not put it in the cold or. in the fridge.

When using a laptop, remember that the ventilation holes must always be open.

Keeping the cooling system in good condition requires systematic dust removal and maintenance. Such actions can significantly speed up the computer.

With frequent use of the laptop on your lap, it is worth investing in a stand that will facilitate the flow of air into the case. If the cooling installed in the laptop is not powerful enough, a good stand would be a special stand with additional fans that will lower the temperature of the equipment.

Save energy

Energy savingstored in the battery is the easiest way to extend its life - fewer recharge cycles directly affect the long life of the battery. The use of energy-saving modes in laptops allows you to extend battery life on a single charge, and thereby reduce the frequency of charging.

We can reduce power consumption by lowering the screen backlight level. In everyday use, the maximum brightness of the display, as a rule, is not required, so it should be limited. Also, disabling unnecessary programs, a Bluetooth module, or peripherals will help reduce the laptop’s energy needs.

Laptop battery management

For the correct operation of the battery in each device, special software is responsible, so that additional battery management applications are not required.

If, however, we suspect that the components are not working properly, then we can increase control above them using appropriate programs. They will allow an accurate analysis of the charging cycles and control the process at the discretion of the user.

Battery removal

Many manuals indicate that when operating from a network, remove battery from laptop. Theoretically, this should protect against overcharging and extend the service life.

However, lithium-ion batteries cannot be "overloaded" because they take care of themselves. Modern laptops have mechanisms that, when operating on AC power, maintain a certain level of charge.

This method will only work with old nickel batteries. However, this type of battery is gradually becoming a thing of the past.

Battery Formatting

Nickel batteries used in older equipment had an unpleasant “memory effect” problem. For their correct operation required "formatting", that is, multiple full discharge and charging.

This operation for the currently used lithium-ion and lithium-polymer batteries not only does not help, but, on the contrary, is harmful. Of course, you should not, even at the beginning of use, subject the battery to additional loads.

Disconnecting the cable after charging

Cable disconnect does not affect battery life. In modern laptops, the charging process when it reaches 100% (or less, depending on the settings) is automatically stopped to reduce the risk of damage and excessive wear of components.

All useful battery care tips boil down to a few simple rules to remember. The energy level should be maintained in the range of 20-80%. Batteries do not have to be fully discharged and charged to the full level, and their operating temperature should not be too high or too low.

Unfortunately, even if we follow all the rules, sooner or later the battery will end its life. This is a completely natural process and arises due to technological limitations. Manufacturers classify batteries as “consumables”, the replacement of which is mandatory over time. Because of this, their warranty is usually much shorter than on the entire computer.

Replacing the battery in a laptop is not very expensive. In some devices, you can easily replace the battery yourself. In more complex cases, when a conditionally fixed battery is installed, contacting a service center is the best solution.

Configure built-in power saving options

This is actually easy to do: check out the power management features of your laptop. On Windows, these are “Power Options,” which you can call up by clicking “Start.” On macOS, this is located in System Preferences under the “Energy Saving” section. Do not forget about this and do not think that the default settings are designed to save energy. If you know that you will not be home soon with your laptop, set it up so that it consumes as little power as possible before leaving.

Moreover, you can easily switch these functions using hot keys (at least on Windows) and configure your laptop to warn you about the battery status, preventing you from being taken by surprise.

Use battery maintenance tools from your laptop manufacturer

Some of them offer their own battery maintenance tools. They offer the user information about the state of the battery, as well as recommendations for extending its maximum life. For example, Sony and Lenovo have battery service panels or their own utilities, depending on the version of Windows you are using.

They also contain information on important topics such as battery calibration and how often you should fully discharge the battery (or vice versa, how often you should charge it fully).

Battery Monitoring

If your manufacturer does not have a special tool for servicing the battery or it was removed during the last reinstallation or cleaning your PC of debris, do not worry. There are a number of free utilities that can tell you everything you want to know about the battery of your laptop, regardless of who made it (including MacBook owners).

MacOS users can try Battery Health, and Windows users can use BatteryCare. You can also check BatteryBar for Windows, SuperbarMonitor for macOS or BatteryDiag for macOS.

The best options will not only reflect the statistics of the built-in battery, they will also show you the exact information, for example, how many battery charging cycles have passed during the service life, the exact point in the charging cycle, and will offer some tips on how to squeeze out more energy from it.

Monitor brightness adjustment

If you understand that turning off your laptop is just around the corner, and you don’t have access to an outlet yet, the first thing you can do is to minimize the power supply to your PC’s biggest energy consumer: the screen. Obviously, when your laptop is not in use, it will sleep, but when it is in use, you can save some energy by keeping the screen brightness as low as possible.

At the same time, remember that the dark screen will give you a few more minutes of battery operation, but you will not get the extra hour that you need to return to the office or home. Consider this an emergency measure.

Do not overheat equipment

Heat is the killer of a battery, and it not only increases energy consumption, but also shortens its battery life. Avoid restricting air access to your laptop as much as possible when you use it on the go. Take the stand on your knees, try so that nothing lies close to it.

As improvised tools for additional cooling, you can use a variety of items - from egg boxes to water bottles, baking coasters and stylish trays for DIY laptops.

Take care not to discharge the battery completely.

There are different opinions about whether its full discharge is useful or harmful to the battery. However, one thing is certain: most batteries have a finite number of charging cycles, after which their efficiency is significantly reduced.

In addition, the problem of completely discharging the battery itself, and then the need to charge it to such an extent that your device can work again, is quite troublesome. If your battery is nearly dead, stop working and close your laptop. Do not let the battery run out completely.

Disabling energy-intensive applications and processes

Along with minimizing the brightness of your laptop’s display, another step will save energy. Before it shuts down completely, at a time when the battery is low, turn off all energy-intensive applications or tools that run in the background while you work. This is another old tip, it appeared back in those days when you could have tons of background processes consuming energy, once there actually were more of them than today. But in any case, it is worth following them.

This rule is even more important for mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, than for Windows and macOS, but the last thing you really need when you have only 45 minutes of battery life left is to find that you have all this time the torrent application was running in the background and Photoshop was filling up or continued to work because you did not close the program after you finished working with it.

Disabling Unnecessary Equipment

In addition to energy-intensive applications, if you try to squeeze out as much battery life as possible while traveling, it is best to turn off any unnecessary equipment or features. Now is the time to turn off Wi-Fi if you do not need it, or Bluetooth.

Do not go crazy by disabling every little hardware function that you need to just win a little more time, but if at the moment there is no need to work some of these energy-intensive functions, be sure to turn them off.

Use hibernation mode whenever possible.

You might be tempted to just close your laptop screen every time you don’t use it to save as much battery power as possible, which is a good idea. But if possible, use hibernation mode instead. The difference is simple - in this mode, your laptop does not consume energy at all, and during sleep, it is still consumed, although much less.

On macOS, there is no difference between the two modes, for Windows 8 and 10, thanks to modern power management, this can be a little less important. The difference in these two modes will not matter if you close it for a short period of time, but if you turn it off between work sessions, using the hibernation mode will save some energy even on Windows tablets.

Close all unnecessary tabs or try another browser.

Few people pay attention to this, but, in fact, your web browser is probably the most energy-intensive application that you use, and many browser developers are aware of this. First, if you like to keep a billion open tabs, find out how easy it is to manage them, or try an add-on like Great Suspender that can unload them from memory when not in use, which also saves your battery.

Indeed, opening too many tabs consumes a lot of energy. Storing them in memory or closing them will give you an extra charge for other, more important things that you need to do.

In the worst case scenario, you can use a different web browser. Many love Chrome, Firefox, or even Safari, but the best browsers for battery life are Edge on Windows and Opera on Windows and macOS. Both manage memory a little better, and Opera even has a low power mode designed to extend the battery life of your laptop.

Battery Types

Ni-Cd, Ni-MH (nickel cadmium and nickel metal hydride) - to prevent a drop in the charge capacity, it is recommended to discharge up to 0% before charging. Otherwise, the enlargement of the cells that carry the charge, then leads to a drop in the total battery capacity. At the moment, it is already used in a very small number of devices.
For long periods of storage, it is recommended to completely discharge.

Li-ion, Li-Pol (lithium ion and lithium polymer) - a new generation of batteries that are completely different. These batteries do not tolerate deep discharge (0%) and can simply fail. If you noticed, then all new devices are sold already half charged (50%), this is done specifically so as not to spoil the battery.
For long-term storage, it is recommended to charge up to 70%.

- disconnect the battery

If your laptop is used 90% of the time from the network or you do not plan to use it for a long time, it is recommended to disconnect the battery from the device. If a lithium-ion or lithium-polymer battery is used, then connect the battery from time to time, once every few weeks, to maintain a charge in it. And in the case of a nickel-cadmium and nickel-metal hydride battery, completely discharge before storage.

When working with heavy programs, a lot of heat is released, which during long-term operation does not affect the battery quite well. Which once again proves, if you want to increase the battery life, it is better to avoid high temperatures and simply disconnect it.

- Decrease screen brightness and speaker volume

The main consumer is the screen. A lot of energy goes to the backlight. Simply lower the brightness and you can significantly extend the battery life.

Not a significant, compared to the screen, energy consumer - dynamics. But by lowering the volume, you can win a little time.

- Disabling unused options

Disable all unnecessary processes (programs), services, and external devices. All this loads the system and it needs more energy to process all processes.

As I said at the very beginning of the article, that everything has its expiration date. These recommendations and tips help keep the battery in good condition over its entire shelf life.

Good luck to all!

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