One of the peeves laptop owners have to live with is short battery lifespan. Am not referring to how long the battery can power a laptop before recharges, rather, how long it lasts before failing.
While it is a fact that laptop battery failure is a question of when and not if, there are a few strategies you can employ to make it last a little longer. Here are proven ones.
Keep it Cool
Heat is one of the causes of rapid laptop battery decline. The most common reason for laptop overheating is obstruction of air vents.
Ensure that the air vents are always unobstructed by keeping objects away. Regularly clean the fan and vents to eliminate dust build-up.
Remove the battery and let it cool down whenever it gets hot, either from charging or from an overworking processor.
It is also good practice to avoid exposing your laptop to heat, such us direct sunlight or near a hot surface.
Ideally, the recommended temperature range is 10-30°C.
Use laptop on firm surfaces
Avoid placing your laptop on soft surfaces such as on a pillow. Soft surfaces obstruct the air vents and retain heat coming from the laptop.
Use your laptop on firm surfaces such on tables and desks where there is unobstructed airflow.
Reduce recharging frequency
Laptop batteries are made to last about 500 charge cycles. A cycle is when the battery charges from zero to 100 percent.
This means every time you charge your laptop; its lifespan reduces by a fraction. To ensure you do not charge as often, employ the following measures:
- Shut it down when not in use
- Enable Battery Saver mode (Windows 10) or Power Nap (MacBook) to kill background apps on and reduce graphics processor power on low battery
- Reduce screen brightness where necessary
- Turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when you are not suing them
Charge before Zero
A few years ago, it was best practice to let batteries run to zero before recharging them. However, you do not have to do that with current lithium ion batteries.
Actually, it is best practice to charge the battery before it goes down to zero. Experts recommend that you recharge once it reaches 20 percent.
If you are planning on not using your laptop for a long period, discharge/recharge it until the battery is at 50 percent.
Use compatible chargers and adapters
This may seem like conventional wisdom but you would be surprised at how often it is ignored.
Always use your laptop’s original charger and adapters.
Where necessary, only use compatible chargers from reputable vendors.
Most laptops have energy rating stickers at the back that will provide more details on required voltage and amperage.
Using incompatible chargers not only harms your laptop’s battery but also increases the risk of fire.