4 simple tips to keep your laptop battery healthy

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Taking proper care of your laptop’s battery is important for ensuring your điện thoại machine can run as long as possible. Although battery giải pháp công nghệ has evolved in the background, outdating “best practices” from a few years ago, there are still a number of ways you can extend (or reduce) your máy vi tính battery’s health. We’ve rounded up the đứng top tips for how khổng lồ care for your laptop’s battery, from how long you should leave it plugged in to how low you should let the battery drain.

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Unlike many desktop computers, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to lớn laptops. Every machine is a little different, so finding out as much as you can about your máy vi tính and its battery is important. Our tips apply khổng lồ lithium-ion batteries, which are, by far, the most widely used batteries in modern laptops.

Save cycles, save your battery

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All máy tính batteries are built to handle a certain number of charge cycles, usually somewhere around 500 full cycles — and sometimes even more. Essentially, a charge cycle equals one full discharge down lớn 0% and then a recharge back up lớn 100%. A discharge down to 50% and then back to lớn 100% would equal half a cycle. Over time, each charge cycle decreases a battery’s capacity from its kiến thiết specifications, meaning that the fewer times you drain it, the longer the battery lasts — all other things being equal.

So, where vì chưng you start? You can begin by visiting the power settings corner of your máy tính and learning how your battery works and what battery settings lớn enable. Also, pay attention lớn hibernation modes. Ideally, you want your laptop to enter into hibernation before the battery is totally drained — as well as during downtime when you won’t be using the máy tính for a while.

To save even more power, take a tour of your apps and quit any that are running in the background and steadily eating into your battery life. On Windows 10, for example, we suggest you search for và enable the Battery Saver. This mode will automatically turn on when your máy tính xách tay reaches around 20% battery life (more down below on why this is particularly important). This will automatically block background apps, keep your features lượt thích Calendar from syncing or pushing notifications, lower screen brightness, and other various changes that will conserve your battery so you can get to lớn an outlet ASAP.

For MacBooks, look into enabling nguồn Nap so you can put your Mac to sleep without worrying about it skipping important tasks, allowing you to lớn save more battery life. Enabling automatic graphics switching can also help Macs save energy by switching lớn a lower graphics mode when engaged in simple tasks (like text-based work where graphics aren’t as important).

There are plenty of manual changes you can make here, too. You can safely shut down things like cloud storage và messaging applications that may be running in the background. You can also manually reduce the amount of power nguồn you’re using by shutting off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when you’re not using them, turning off optional features such as keyboard backlighting, & generally reducing the number of components burning power. Both Microsoft và Apple have guides explaining the process further.

Keeping your battery in zone

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In ancient, less enlightened times, there was a problem called “battery memory” that caused nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries khổng lồ “forget” their full charge capacity and start charging at lower and lower levels. This problem doesn’t exist any longer thanks to lớn modern lithium-ion batteries, but it has led khổng lồ a lot of poor advice and arguments about battery care based on outdated information. It’s time lớn clear the air.

Contrary to some recommendations, you don’t need to routinely discharge a lithium-ion battery completely và then recharge it khổng lồ somehow reboot or calibrate it — this is a destructive practice that’s very hard on your battery. Whether or not it’s a smart idea lớn perform a complete discharge a couple of times a year remains an unanswered question. Generally, the consensus seems to lớn be that letting your battery discharge (without bottoming it out — aim for around 20%) & then charging it when possible is the best practice.

Next, there was a time when users were advised to refrain from keeping their devices plugged in, based on the idea that letting a battery charge khổng lồ 100% could wear the battery out more quickly. Today, however, modern devices are designed to stop charging at 100%, so keeping them plugged in doesn’t impact the battery’s lifespan, according to lớn Battery University.

As with many battery-related questions, the issue of keeping your laptop plugged in when it’s reached full capacity is hotly debated, so there’s nothing wrong with turning your machine off and unplugging it if you feel more comfortable doing that. But generally speaking, the best thing you can vì for your lithium-ion battery is lớn avoid letting it discharge below 20%. Plug it in and charge it when you can, and then rinse & repeat. The good news is that with modern batteries và systems, there’s really not much else you need to bởi — outside of anticipating that your battery will eventually start losing its overall capacity.

Finally, if you’re going to store your laptop for an extended time without using it, then discharge or charge it to 1/2 before putting it away.

It’s getting hot in here, so hide your batteries

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When a máy vi tính battery gets too hot, the electrochemical reactions inside tốc độ up — but that doesn’t mean that the battery grows more efficient. Instead, the battery is now producing lots of energy that it cannot use & cannot safely route to any hardware. This creates even more heat, compounding the problem. Not only can this eventually damage the inside of the battery permanently, but it also wears the battery out with a bunch of chemical reactions that aren’t necessary but burn through a battery’s lifespan anyway.

Today’s lithium-ion batteries are durable, but they can only take so much heat. For example, if you are charging your battery & it starts khổng lồ get overly warm, perhaps because the CPU or graphics processor is working hard or the environment is overly hot, then shut the device down and pop the battery out if possible. Give it a break so that it can cool down, or you can move it khổng lồ someplace with a lower temperature. Many modern laptops have sealed batteries, in which case shutting the machine down and letting it cool is highly recommended if maximizing the battery’s lifespan is your concern.

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Likewise, keep the máy tính off of your lap. If discomfort isn’t a good enough reason, with many machines, you’re also making the problem worse by blocking vents. You’ll want to lớn make sure that both vents that pull in cool air and those that expel hot air are able to do their jobs.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you should avoid placing your laptop anywhere it might become hot. That includes your car on a hot summer day, beneath a window that gets direct sunlight, or near a space heater. Unusual conditions such as these can bởi vì a lot of damage lớn a battery in a short period of time, though you may not realize it immediately.

Cold temperatures usually aren’t a problem down to lớn a certain point, & storing a battery in a cool place is recommended, but don’t leave your máy tính in freezing temperatures. Too much cold can also kill the battery permanently or reduce its lifespan.

If you want khổng lồ watch temperature even more closely (say, you live in a particularly hot climate), then there are a number of apps you can run that will monitor máy vi tính heat. This includes CoreTemp & Real Temp for Windows, which you can download for free.

Leave it plugged in (but not all the time)

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It’s safe to lớn leave most modern laptops plugged in. In fact, most high-powered gaming laptops work best when plugged in. The most important aspect of battery health is the discharge cycle. No matter how cautious you are, your battery will degrade over time as you discharge và recharge it. Whenever you’re running an intensive application — such as a game — you can run it while your máy vi tính is plugged in to lớn reduce the number of discharge cycles on your battery.

You shouldn’t leave your máy vi tính in this state all the time, though, just when you’d drain the battery very quickly. As mentioned, it’s better lớn store your battery at 40% to 50% capacity than it is khổng lồ store it at 100% capacity if you don’t plan on using it for a bit. Degradation is faster on fully charged, unattended batteries, especially at high temperatures.

So, if you’re not moving around & running an intensive application, it’s a good idea khổng lồ leave your máy vi tính plugged for the duration of that time. If you’re handling day-to-day tasks that don’t consume as much power as quickly — lượt thích browsing the internet — you can rely on the battery alone.

Download software lớn get battery health reports

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It can be tough to know at a glance just how your battery is doing. Devices lượt thích iPhones come with native battery maintenance settings và alerts that provide at least some information, but these diagnostics are harder lớn find on laptops unless you install them yourself. Here are a couple of battery-monitoring app options for you to lớn consider.

BatteryCare: This extra-lightweight ứng dụng — designed for Windows computers — provides notifications, CPU/storage temperature readings, discharge cycle monitoring, và lots of handy information all in one place.

Battery Monitor: Made for MacOS, this app shows battery charge in a friendly interface with info on battery health và cycles, alerts, battery temperature readings, & current total capacity.

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If you don’t want to tải về any dedicated apps, you still have options available. For example, you can mở cửa up PowerShell on your Windows computer và run the command “powercfg /batteryreport,” which will provide you a tệp tin path khổng lồ this somewhat secret report. Copy or drag it to a browser window, & you’ll get a page with full information on your battery, including recent usage, cycle counts, usage history, and more. It doesn’t have the smooth interface of a monitoring app, but you don’t have to tải về anything extra khổng lồ get it.

Enable battery-conscious modes on your computer

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Windows 10 operating systems provide a battery saver mode under their nguồn settings. If you turn on the battery saver mode when your power is running out, you’ll be able lớn extend the battery life until you can get to a charger. By activating the battery saver mode on your computer, you will safeguard your battery from the damage that comes with letting it reach a 0% charge. MacOS has similar abilities.

Adaptive brightness modes are also a good idea khổng lồ enable. These modes adjust your screen’s brightness according to ambient light khổng lồ help save battery life when you are in a well-lit spot. You can also activate your laptop’s dark mode, which saves energy & also might be easier on your eyes. Any option that helps you save energy will prolong your laptop’s battery life.

Update your operating system

For optimal functionality, you must consistently update your computer’s software. When the manufacturer releases a new update, it not only has patches & upgrades but can also help programs run more efficiently, which will conserve battery power. The same operating system on a later patch could use significantly less battery power, giving your battery a longer lifespan without changing anything else. Và so, review your OS & keep your machine — và its battery — on a healthy diet of updates.