Laptops are portable for a reason, so you can get work done while you’re on the go. Whether it’s at your local coffee shop or flying to the next business meeting, your laptop is an invaluable tool. But a laptop computer is as only as good as the battery. With a short battery life, you’re tethered to the nearest electrical outlet, defeating the purpose of your computer’s portability.
So how can you protect the life of your laptop’s battery so it gives you years of good service? Here are a few good ways to care for your battery.
- Make Laptop Battery Stay cool.
Heat can have a serious negative effect on a laptop’s battery life. Over time, excessive heat will drastically shorten the battery life. All laptops without a solid-state drive (SSD) will have moving parts that require a fan. Make sure to keep the fan vents clear from dust and debris. And never use your laptop on pillows, blankets or cushions, as they prevent air from being able to circulate around the computer to help keep it cool.
- Don’t completely drain your laptop battery.
While most laptops will shut themselves down before the battery is drained, it’s good to make sure you don’t drain your battery past about 5%. Lithium ion batteries, which are standard in today’s laptop computers, aren’t designed to be drained all the way. Doing so strains the battery and can greatly reduce their usable lifespan.
- Let your Laptop battery take a break.
Sometimes when working in your home or office, you’ll keep your laptop plugged into the power for several days at a time. When doing this, give your battery a break and remove it from the computer. Leaving the battery in while the computer is plugged in for several days will continuously charge and discharge the battery, wearing it down. The battery will also be heating up, which also can greatly reduce the battery’s life.
- Give a new laptop battery a full charge.
When you get a new battery, keep it charged for a solid 24-hours. This will ensure that it gets charged all the way and will help with the battery’s life expectancy.
- Conserve Laptop battery power when using your laptop.
When using your laptop on battery power, you can conserve the battery life by doing a few simple tasks. First, dim the screen. If you’re working on a document, for example, do you really need the screen on 100% brightness? The screen is one of the biggest battery hogs on a laptop. Also, run only one program at a time. While multitasking is very convenient, it can drain your battery much faster. And finally, avoid running multimedia if you can. Like the screen, multimedia is a huge battery hog and will greatly reduce your battery life.
The above tips are just a few ways you can extend your laptop’s battery lifespan, saving you money on having to replace the battery and the hassle of always looking for a power outlet. When in doubt, always refer to your laptop’s user manual for the best way to care for the battery.