A laptop battery isn’t perfect. It can wear down over time, just like other electronic components. Improper charging practices can shorten the lifespan of your laptop battery, decreasing the length of time a charge lasts. As evolved as battery technology has come, this common issue continues to be a concern for many laptop users.
When you charge your laptop, take your battery into thoughtful consideration. Optimizing your laptop battery’s health is necessary if you want a charge to run as long as possible. When charging your laptop, there are several questions to keep in mind:
- How long do you leave the laptop plugged into the power source?
- How far should a laptop battery drain before you recharge?
Assuming your laptop uses a lithium-ion battery, here are the laptop charging best practices to remember.
Save your battery power.
Do everything you can to extend how long a battery lasts. The average laptop battery can only handle a certain amount of charge cycles. A ‘charge cycle’ indicates a full recharge from 0% battery to 100%. Most batteries have 450-550 full cycles in them before a battery potentially starts to experience serious issues.
The fewer times you drain the battery, the longer the battery will last. Here are a few guidelines to help you do so:
- When running the laptop on battery, look at your power settings and take steps to enable any battery-saving settings.
- Put the device in hibernation mode during downtime or when you aren’t at the laptop.
- Close any software or apps that are running in the background as well.
- Lower your screen brightness when you have enough lighting in your surroundings.
Also, the ‘Battery Saver’ mode can help save your battery power. It will automatically enable somewhere around 20% battery life remaining. However, you can also manually turn it on to provide relief for your laptop battery.
Keep your battery charged.
There used to be the belief that you had to wait for a battery to drain to 0% before charging. This rule applied to the old nickel-metal hydride batteries, which would charge at lower levels over time. It happens due to a problem known as battery memory. Yet, modern laptop batteries are lithium-ion and do not face this issue. The old advice is tremendously outdated.
You do not need to discharge a lithium-ion battery to zero and recharge it. This process is very hard on a lithium-ion battery. If you can help it, the best practice in laptop charging is to allow your battery to drop down to around 20% without bottoming it out. That said, you can charge a laptop battery anytime before it depletes.
When choosing laptops, pay attention to how fast the battery can recharge. The sooner the depleted battery can revive itself, the more convenient it is to bring your laptop back to speed. ASUS has prioritized fast-charge technology in its Zenbook line of products. You can rely on ASUS Zenbook laptops to restore the battery life quickly, allowing users to resume work without disruptions.
Keep your laptop plugged in.
Years ago, a piece of old advice suggested against keeping devices like laptops plugged in. It was recommended based on the fact that some believed you could overcharge a battery. After reaching 100%, a plugged-in device would continue charging and ultimately wear down the performance more quickly.
However, modern devices have an automatic shut-off at 100%. You can keep your laptop plugged in all day, but it won’t impact the battery’s lifespan. If anything, reducing charge cycles is preferable since a laptop battery only has a finite amount. If you feel more comfortable unplugging your laptop once it’s fully charged, there’s nothing wrong with doing so.
Be careful with heat and hot temperatures.
A laptop produces heat when the CPU or graphics processor works too hard. The heat amplifies when you are in a hot environment. That’s because your laptop’s vents are not open and cannot circulate enough air. The more heat there is, the faster the electrochemical reactions inside a battery happen. A battery will end up overproducing with more energy than it can use, creating more heat and potentially damaging it with burnout.
You can minimize heat by shutting down the laptop periodically. Consider shutting your device when it gets excessively hot and letting it cool down. Also, never leave your laptop in a hot car, in direct sunlight, or near a heater.
Your battery will still gradually wear out.
Even after doing everything right, your battery will unfortunately still wear out. Here are some tips to prevent laptop battery failure and maximize the discharge-charge cycles available:
- Do not run any intensive applications on battery. Always have the laptop plugged in for tasks like editing programs or gaming. This way, your battery will not drain.
- If you have to store your laptop for an extended period, it’s better to discharge it down to 40-50% than to keep it at 100% capacity. Degradation happens faster on a fully-charged, unattended battery than on a partially charged battery.
- You can download battery health software that will look at temperature and discharge cycles. The information helps you better monitor your laptop charging and battery best practices.
At some point, your battery could wear down to such an extent that it’s worth purchasing a replacement. If your old device is no longer adequate, many new laptops have excellent battery life and charging capabilities.