How To: Extending Your Laptop’s Battery Life

Chris Myers is a field service technician for Tech Experts.

“Do I have enough battery for this?”

It’s a question that everyone knows well these days, especially if you need to use electronic devices for work.

Fortunately, there are many ways to increase the daily charge duration and extend the overall life of your battery. You can see how much the following tips help you by using a battery life monitoring application like BatteryCare (

Power Options
First, check the power settings on your laptop. In every version of Windows, you can find this by typing “power options” into the search bar in the bottom left of your screen.

In this area, you can change what happens when you press the power button or close the lid, when the display turns off, and how long the laptop will sit idle before going to sleep.

Then, most importantly, at the bottom of the power options window, there are sliders for setting the exact screen brightness on your laptop.

Lowering this is one of the easiest ways you can instantly extend your battery life. Just make sure you can still read text on the screen!

In Windows 10, Microsoft has built in even more control options. You can access these by clicking on the Windows Start Menu icon in the bottom left corner of your screen and then click on the “Settings” cog. Next, go to System, then Battery. Here, you can customize automatic battery saver mode and see exactly what programs are using up the most battery by clicking on “Battery Usage by App.”

System Maintenance
Computers get bogged down over time just like a car does. When this happens, a tune up is required to keep your PC healthy and running well.

Having professionals check it is always a great option since they have the knowledge and expertise to quickly diagnose any issues that they find. However, there are some steps that you can do yourself.

You can clean out temporary files ( that the computer doesn’t need anymore. Unless you have a Solid State Drive (SSD), then your hard drive will need defragmented ( as well.

A fragmented hard drive makes files take much longer for the hard drive to open, which causes performance and battery life issues.

Finish out your system maintenance by checking what programs are running in the notification area in the bottom right corner of your screen.

You can also see more detailed information by bringing up the Task Manager (CTRL+SHIFT+ESCAPE) and clicking on “Show more details.”

Even for applications you use often, you should exit them as soon as you are done with them to save power and memory space.

Heat buildup makes your computer try harder to get the same performance as before. You can mitigate this by blowing out the keyboard and air vents on your laptop with compressed air.

Take care not to work with the computer in your lap or on a soft surface that isn’t well ventilated. You can also take out the battery and wipe off the metal contacts where it plugs in.

If you are already doing most of the steps above and your laptop battery is still dying out on you far too early, then it may be time to buy a second battery.

The second battery should be identical to the first, but new from the manufacturer. This will ensure you get a healthy, compatible battery that you can swap out with your first battery whenever that one needs to charge. Make sure to label each of them.

My Laptop Battery Doesn’t Charge Fully. What Could Be The Issue?

If your laptop has not fully charged after being connected to a power source for a prolonged period of time, you will need to conduct some basic troubleshooting activities to identify what is causing the problem. Try one of the options provided below to identify what is preventing your laptop battery from charging properly.

Verify that the AC/DC cable is in full working order
Remove the battery and plug the power adapter into the laptop to verify that the device can power without a battery source. If not, the AC/DC cable may be faulty. Purchase a new cable and try again.

Service the battery
Once you have verified that the AC/DC adapter is not the culprit, you will need to check that the battery is working properly. An old battery may be inefficient and may need replacing or servicing. If you’re using Windows, an application like BatteryCare can help you to identify the total capacity of the battery. Connect the device to power for two hours and monitor how this affects the battery power levels. If the total capacity doesn’t shift much, now would be a good time to get the laptop serviced. In some cases, you may need a new battery.

Check the charger board
If you replace the battery and have checked that the AC/DC cable is in full working order but continue to experience problems charging your laptop, it may be that the charger board is broken. If that is the case, you will need to arrange for your laptop to be professionally repaired by a qualified IT service company.

What’s The Best Way To Prolong Laptop Battery Life?

While experts’ advice sometimes conflict, with proper care, your laptop’s battery should last you a few years; without it, it may quickly begin losing charge or need to be charged more frequently.

The confusion on this arises from the different care required for older, nickel-based batteries that lasted longest when completely drained and then completely charged. While it’s inevitable that you’ll occasionally use up all the charge or leave your laptop battery charging beyond reaching full capacity, there is a bit of finesse involved in getting the most out of your lithium battery.

First of all, don’t drain your battery level below 40 to 50% on a regular basis. A partial discharge is far less stressful on your battery, ultimately prolonging its life. This is for your regular charging activity. Once every month or so, however, you should use up every bit of battery life. Since most lithium batteries these days are “smart” ones, they are able to relay information about the remaining amount of charge. By completely draining the battery periodically, it recalibrates this system, making it more accurate in the long run.

Secondly, you should not regularly charge your laptop battery to full capacity. The longer your battery charges, the higher its temperature gets. This adversely affects your battery’s capacity to hold a charge.

Once that capacity is lost, it is gone forever. So, taking this all into account, the best way to prolong laptop battery life is to maintain a charge between 40 and 90% at all times, except for a complete drain monthly.

Consider A Spare Or Second Battery

One option you may not have considered when you bought your laptop was getting a spare  battery. This item is a must for someone who is seriously on the road or in a remote location, where a long time is spent away from the power socket. Before you use a spare battery, ensure that it’s fully charged.

If your laptop has some type of quick-swapping ability, when the power gets low, you can just eject your laptop’s original, spent battery and quickly insert the spare battery.  But be sure that your laptop can survive such a transplant before you attempt it! Perform a test swap in a noncritical situation, just to be sure.

If your laptop doesn’t have the ability to hot-swap batteries, just turn off (or hibernate) the laptop when the original battery is nearly spent. Remove the old battery, insert the fresh one, and then turn the laptop on again. Keep the following points in mind:

• Label the batteries so that you don’t get the two (or more) batteries confused and accidentally insert a dead battery.

• You can buy a spare battery from Tech Experts, or from online stores that sell extra batteries, such as iGo or

Be wary of generic batteries! Always try to get a manufacturer’s (or manufacturer-approved) battery for your laptop. Get anything less, and you run the risk of setting your laptop ablaze!

Make Sure You Condition Your Laptop Battery

When you purchase a new laptop, make sure you condition the battery or you’ll end up buying a replacement in the very near future.

The conditioning process varies among laptop manufacturers, so make sure you read the instructions that came with your new laptop. Some manufacturers recommend that you completely drain the battery before allowing it to fully charge, and then repeating that process two or three times before you do a partial charge.

Others have different instructions so, again, be sure to ask your Tech Experts team member, or follow the directions that came with your new laptop.

After you’ve conditioned your battery, we recommend that you allow your laptop battery to completely drain once every 3 to 4 months, and then fully recharge it to refresh all cells.

A well-maintained battery should accept hundreds of recharges and last for a long time.

Dell and Apple Recall Millions of Laptop Batteries That Could Suddenly Explode or Burst Into Flames

(Or, Why We Don’t Sell or Recommend Dell Computers for Our Clients)

Dell recently issued a recall of 4.1 million Sony-made laptop batteries sold between April 2004 and July 2006 because of a fire-hazard risk.

Following Dell’s announcement, Apple has also issued a recall for 1.8 million laptop batteries for the same reason: the batteries can overheat and cause the laptop to ignite.

If you own a Dell or a Mac laptop, check to see if your battery is on the recall list. If it is, remove the battery and run the laptop from an electrical outlet until you receive a free replacement.

How To Know If Your Laptop Battery Is At Risk
If you own a Dell laptop and want to see if it is affected, visit You will be prompted to enter the product number written on the inside of the battery.

If you own an Apple laptop, go to: and type “battery recall” in thesearch option.

This recall is for laptops with PowerPC chips. Newer Mac laptops with Intel chips are not affected by the recall.

Dell confirmed that it worked with Sony over the last few months to improve the battery manufacturing process.

However, Sony batteries are used by many different laptop manufacturers, which means the problem may be more widespread than Dell laptops.

Battery recalls are nothing new, but this recent recall is considered the largest in consumer electronics history.

Not Sure What To Do?
If you have a laptop and you’re concerned about the battery overheating, give us a call. We’ll be more than happy to investigate whether or not your battery needs to be replaced. Just don’t delay!