If you’re a laptop user who wants to prolong your laptop’s life, you’ve probably wondered at least once if it would be a good idea to only charge your laptop when the battery charge is running low.
Well, first of all, congratulations – you’re not the only one who wants to know the answer to the question if you should keep your laptop plugged in all the time or not?
Many people say that it’s a good idea to unplug your laptop once the battery is 100% charged, arguing that it having your laptop plugged in all the time causes overcharging and overheating.
Well, the answer is: it depends. It’s a ‘Yes’ and a ‘No’.
It depends because different laptops feature different designs, different battery types and different integrated charging circuits.
But here’s what you need to know now: keeping your laptop plugged in all the time doesn’t shorten its battery life. What does shorten it is temperature. Dealing with overheating laptop and hot battery does shorten the battery life.
First of all, fix overheating issues in your laptop by either getting the dust out of it or replacing the fan (read more: How to fix overheating laptop).
Second of all, if the battery tends to get hot, remove it and keep it somewhere cool while continuing to use the laptop without the battery. Then plug it back in when the battery life is running low.
However, this approach could actually be harmful to your battery depending on its type. Li-ion batteries don’t like to be fully discharged. Lithium-ion batteries, meanwhile, don’t like to be recharged frequently.
So while in the case with a Li-ion battery you can remove the battery and use your laptop – but never getting it to fully discharge – in the case with a Lithium-ion battery, recharging your battery frequently can be just as harmful as keeping it hot all the time.
Either way, the perfect solution is to prevent your laptop from overheating. Period.
If you still want to maximize your battery life, here’s one thing you need to know to full understand how battery life works.
As soon as the battery charge reaches 100%, the battery itself stops receiving charging energy and this energy goes directly to the laptop. So keeping your laptop and battery plugged in all the time is not harmful, as long as it doesn’t get too hot.
If you don’t perform any heavy-duty tasks (i.e. playing games) and your laptop doesn’t get too hot (less than 40ºC), there’s no harm in keeping it plugged in.
If you do, however, perform heavy-duty tasks and your laptop gets too hot, removing your laptop from the socket is a good idea to prevent unwanted heating of the battery.
Here’s a brief conclusion for you: make sure your laptop is not overheating the battery. And keep your laptop plugged in all the time if you have a Lithium-ion battery, as it doesn’t like to be recharged frequently.