Rechargeable batteries practically have their own mythology regarding how they should be treated. Odd tricks and tweaks continue to promise everlasting batteries that are all but invincible. Laptop batteries aren’t an exception to this, and are especially vulnerable to the wrong types of use.
They way that we treat our batteries, and the habits we use in charging them, can greatly affect the rate at which they break down. Following a few loose rules when charging a laptop battery can result in greater longevity than you might otherwise find.
The First Charge
A new battery should be allowed to charge for as long as eight to ten hours without interruption. You can use your computer during this time, but the battery should be in place and the AC adapter should remain plugged in. Even though current lithium-ion battery technology has become quite advanced, this initial charge remains important for calibrating the battery’s internal sensors. Properly treated, the laptop battery will give extremely accurate readings for the duration of its life.
The most popular myth about lithium-ion batteries is that they somehow benefit from being completely drained, and then fully charged. Not only is this almost entirely wrong, it’s a poor way to treat and charge a laptop battery. Your battery will potentially benefit from being allowed to drain quite low (5%-10%) before charging back to full capacity. However, the laptop battery should never, for any reason, become completely drained. You’ll only be making the battery age faster!
Nor is a laptop battery somehow damaged by being at full capacity while the laptop is plugged in. Most laptop batteries have an on-board meter that indicates when they’re full, allowing AC power to bypass the battery and power the laptop directly.Even if the battery is charging up, there’s no reason to pause your game or your workflow.
Properly Charging Your Laptop Battery
Users on-the-go are actually able to charge their laptop batteries in the healthiest recommended way—in brief intervals, after brief depletion. There’s no need to milk every last drop from your battery. There’s also no need to wait until you’re home or at the office to recharge it.
Have an hour-long break for lunch? Plug your laptop in at the café. Only in the office briefly, before you head back out on the road? Charge up! Interval charging has proven time and again to be the healthy for active batteries, and laptop batteries are nothing if not active.
There are only two times that you need to remove a battery from your computer: when it’s damaged, or when your laptop becomes very hot. Gamers and graphic designers are well-acquainted with the high temperatures that a laptop can reach, and while the internal components are designed to withstand this, such heat can make your battery’s cells break down faster. The solution? Keep your laptop on AC power when it’s running hot, and take the battery out.
That’s all! If these simple steps are allowed to become good battery-usage behaviors, a laptop battery can last for years before you have to replace it. Inversely, giving in to myths the commonplace myths and falsehoods surrounding battery care can actually burn your battery faster! Keep your laptop battery healthy, and charge up well, often, and smart!