Extending the life of a laptop battery

Here are a few tips on how to keep the lithium ion battery in your laptop, tablet or other mobile device working well for as long as possible (these have been recommended to me by colleagues who are hardware geeks):

  • Do not keep your battery at 100% charge at high temperature for a long time. This is the worst possible thing you can do for your battery and will shorten its lifetime considerably. Instead, stop charging it when it reaches 80% of capacity. Note that the capacity decreases over the lifetime of the battery, so this 80% figure is a moving target.
  • By the way, this also means that if your device automatically charges its battery whenever you plug the device into an AC outlet, it’s best if you don’t leave the device plugged in when you need to work on it. Instead, run it on battery power whenever you need to do your work on the device, and only plug it into AC when the battery needs to recharging.
  • Don’t let the change fall below 10% of capacity. Charging more than 80% or less than 10% both cause chemical stress that can shorten the battery’s lifetime.
  • Don’t keep topping off the charge of the battery by leaving it on the charger whenever the device isn’t in use. Instead, charge it when it’s charge level is low, and disconnect it from the charger before it becomes fully charged.
  • Operate the device so that it discharges the battery at a moderate rate. This might mean turning down the brightness of the display a bit, or lowering the volume when channeling audio through built-in speakers.
  • Keep the temperature of the device between 15 and 20 degrees Celsius. If you live in the tropics, use a pen and paper and send people letters instead of emails. If you live in the arctic, just try to keep warm and don’t worry about keeping in touch with friends. Just kidding!

The above tip was previously published in an issue of WServerNews, a weekly newsletter from TechGenix that focuses on the administration, management and security of the Windows Server platform in particular and cloud solutions in general. Subscribe to WServerNews today by going to http://www.wservernews.com/subscribe.htm and join almost 100,000 other IT professionals around the world who read our newsletter!

Mitch Tulloch is an eleven-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award and a widely recognized expert on Windows Server and cloud computing technologies.  Mitch is also Senior Editor of WServerNews. For more information about him see http://www.mtit.com.


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