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How to Extend the Life of Laptop Batteries

The life of a laptop battery can be maximized by charging the battery only when the battery is very low (i.e., less than 10%). Here is a suggestion for how to preserve the life of laptop batteries.

When using the laptop as a stationary device (for example, in a business or home office) remove the lithium battery and use the power cord/supply. While each laptop is slightly different, the battery is generally locked into place by two toggle switches on the underside or bottom of the device. The toggle switches generally have icons such as:

  • “Lock” to secure the battery in place.
  • “Unlock” to release the battery so that it can be removed from the laptop.

To remove the battery, slide both of the toggle switches to the position. The battery should slide out of the laptop. Plug the laptop in using the power cord. Some laptops may alert you that the battery is missing, but the laptop will work fine.

When you need to use the laptop as a mobile device, make sure the toggle switches are both in the position, then slide the battery back in place and lock the battery by moving the toggle switches to the position.

This practice prevents “overcharging” the battery, which, over time, causes batteries to fail to maintain a charge for more than 10 – 15 minutes, even when the charge indicator reports the battery is fully charged. Batteries should be charged when they drop below 10 – 15% of the full charge. Once fully charged, the laptop should be unplugged or the battery should be removed to prevent overcharging. Best place to store the charged battery is in the laptop case.

A fully charged battery can be stored at room temperature for 6 – 8 weeks without losing a significant amount of charge. Most laptops have a small icon in the lower right corner of the screen that indicates how much charge is left. Keeping the power supply cord in the laptop bag when traveling will ensure that a constant power supply when using the laptop on-the-go.

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