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How to increase laptop battery life

Updated on May 27, 2013

As with many products related to computing, batteries are surrounded by myths. Remove or not the battery when using the notebook connected to the plug? Is there a problem by using "counterfeit" battery?

To address these and other questions, I decided to write this article, in Q & A format.

Is it true that we should take the charger off when the battery of the notebook is fully charged?

No. If you have a plug near you and you donĀ“t need mobility, it is preferable to keep the notebook plugged. Every battery has a life span limited to a certain number of charges. So, using it without real necessity will result in unnecessary detrition that will contribute to shorten battery life.

If I want to use the laptop plugged should I remove the battery?

No. Currently, lithium-ion batteries have no memory effect - or "vice", as it is popularly known. This phenomenon was common in ancient nickel cadmium batteries, that needed to be fully discharged before a new refill. Also, keeping the battery in the computer protects you from losing your work in case of power outage.

Leaving the notebook ON, all the time, reduces battery life?

If your computer is always plugged in, do not. The battery life is measured by the number of times it hits 100% load, ie, the number of loading and unloading - or cycles, if you prefer. If your computer is always connected to the grid without the charge level of the battery is changed, this will not cause any detrition on the battery.

Can I damage the battery if I let it lose all its energy?

Yes. When the operating system informs that the laptop needs to be plugged because the battery is running out of energy, in fact, the battery still holds a minimal amount of energy to keep it functional. If you leave the battery stored for a long period of time, this minimum operational load may be lost. If this happens, the battery becomes unusable.

Why my laptop does not "secure" battery charge?

The battery span life should be reaching its end. Probably, it has reached the number of cycles (recharges and discharges) supported - any value between 300 and 400. Span life varies depending on the use, but the batteries usually do not last more than two years running at full capacity. After a few years, natural detrition causes the battery to cannot stand more than a few minutes away from the plug. At this point, the only solution is: substitution.

How to properly discard the useless / dead battery?

Look at your notebook's manual. In it, the manufacturer is obliged to specify where the battery - and computer - should be discarded. If you no longer have the manual, this information can also be found on the company website. The disposal location is usually an authorized service center. Never disassemble a battery nor throw it on domestic garbage.

Is there a problem by using counterfeit battery?

If the battery meets all the technical specifications of the manufacturer, no. To find this data, you should remove the original battery from your laptop and check the voltage and the electric current (both incoming and outgoing), and compare with the specifications of the analogous battery you intend to buy. If all the data match, the battery is fully compatible. Otherwise, best not to risk it.

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