Maintaining Your Laptop’s Fixed Battery: Tips for Proper Care
The majority of modern laptops, whether they are MacBooks, Windows 11 computers, or Chromebooks, are now equipped with non-replaceable batteries. Regardless of their price range or operating system, fixed batteries have become the standard. In some aspects, this development is advantageous. These laptops are now slimmer and more stylish than ever before, featuring low-power processors and fanless designs that greatly extend their battery life compared to their bulkier counterparts. However, this advancement also means that the laptop’s overall lifespan is limited, with the possibility that the battery may deteriorate even while the rest of the hardware remains in good condition. So, what measures can you take to ensure that your integrated laptop battery remains functional for as long as possible?
Prevent Excessive Heat Buildup in Your Laptop
Temperature plays a pivotal role in determining the lifespan of your laptop’s battery. While low temperatures can pose challenges, especially in colder climates, it’s the high temperatures that warrant more significant attention.
Elevated temperatures are a concern for several reasons. Firstly, the environmental temperature itself can impact the battery. Additionally, the laptop’s internal components, including the processor, generate heat during operation. Furthermore, leaving your laptop in a car on a scorching day can have detrimental effects on its battery health. It was once a common recommendation for users to remove their laptop batteries when engaging in resource-intensive tasks like high-end gaming or video editing. However, the ability to remove batteries is now limited to only a few gaming laptops, making this option unavailable for most users. In many ways, this no longer poses a significant concern. Modern chipsets are engineered to produce less heat, and some laptops, like MacBook Air models powered by Apple Silicon, are fanless and highly efficient. Nonetheless, it remains essential to ensure proper airflow around your laptop. Keep vents unobstructed and avoid placing the laptop on soft surfaces like cushions. Maintaining a temperature below 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 degrees Celsius) is advisable. If you use your laptop in bed, consider using a stand to help dissipate heat effectively.
Managing Battery Charging and Discharging
A frequently asked question concerns whether it’s advisable to leave your laptop plugged in continuously. In short, the answer is no. Laptop manufacturers typically recommend a mixed usage pattern, which means it’s okay to keep it plugged in for extended periods, but it’s also essential to occasionally run it on battery power and let it discharge to around 40%. It’s important to note that laptop batteries cannot be overcharged, so there’s no direct risk of damage from keeping them charged to 100%. However, constantly maintaining a full charge can subject the battery to greater stress, potentially reducing its overall lifespan. To address this concern, Windows 11 offers a Smart Charging feature, while macOS includes Optimized Battery Charging. These features help maintain the battery at around 80% capacity until the system determines that you need the remainder of the charge. Enabling this feature is advisable, but it’s important to be aware that the availability of the Windows 11 option may vary depending on your laptop manufacturer. Therefore, it’s a good practice to check whether this feature is supported on your specific machine.
Avoid Letting the Battery Deplete Completely
When using your laptop on battery power, it’s advisable to steer clear of letting it fully discharge or even drop below approximately 20% on a regular basis.
According to tests conducted by batteryuniversity.com, subjecting a laptop battery to about 600 complete discharges can reduce its capacity to 70%. In contrast, if you consistently recharge the battery when it’s around 50% depleted, you can achieve over 1500 discharge cycles before the battery’s lifespan diminishes to the same level. Nevertheless, it’s worth noting that some laptop manufacturers recommend performing a full discharge every few months to maintain battery calibration and ensure accurate reporting of battery statistics. To prevent the battery from dropping below a certain level, you can adjust the power plan settings in Windows. In Windows 11, this option can be somewhat concealed, but here’s how to access it:
- Go to Settings.
- Under Find a setting, type Power Plan and select Choose a power plan from the results.
- Click Change plan settings, followed by Change Advanced power settings.
- Select Battery > Critical battery level and click On battery. Set a new minimum percent level.
Maintain Battery Charge During Inactivity
The state of your battery charge is a critical consideration even when your laptop is not in use. HP advises storing batteries with a charge level between 50-70% at temperatures ranging from 68–77 degrees Fahrenheit (20–25 degrees Celsius). If you plan to leave your laptop unused for an extended period, strive to keep it within these recommended conditions. It’s essential to avoid storing a device with a completely depleted battery for an extended period, as this can lead to irreversible damage, rendering the device inoperable.
Estimating Laptop Battery Lifespan
It’s a well-established reality that the capacity of a laptop battery gradually diminishes with each charging cycle. ASUS provides guidance indicating that their batteries generally have a lifespan of approximately 300 to 500 charge cycles. Beyond this point, the battery’s capacity is expected to decrease to around 80%. A charge cycle can be defined as fully recharging the battery’s capacity through various combinations, including a single 100% charge, two 50% charges, one 50% charge followed by two 25% charges, and so forth.
Hence, after approximately one to one and a half years, you might start noticing a decline in your laptop’s battery performance compared to its initial capabilities. It’s at this juncture that you may want to shift your attention towards various techniques for prolonging your laptop’s battery life. To determine your laptop’s battery cycle count, you can follow these steps on both Windows and Mac operating systems:
On Windows 10 and 11:
- Open the command prompt.
- Type the following command: `powercfg /batteryreport`.
- Use File Explorer to navigate to the directory specified in the command prompt, where you’ll locate a file named “battery-report.html.” This file provides comprehensive details about your battery’s usage and capacity.
Caring for Your Laptop’s Integrated Battery
Whether you perceive it as a strategy for planned obsolescence, a means to enable sleeker designs, or simply the phasing out of a feature that many people rarely used, non-removable batteries have become the standard for modern laptops. This shift isn’t necessarily detrimental. It merely necessitates a heightened awareness of how you manage your laptop’s battery compared to practices in the past. No major overhauls are required; instead, adhering to some common-sense precautions and staying informed about factors that can affect a laptop battery’s lifespan will ensure that your battery enjoys a lengthy and robust existence. If you happen to have concerns about your laptop battery’s health, rest assured that there are numerous essential tools available to help you assess its condition.
We offer a battery replacement service for most laptops, including those with non-removable batteries. Our skilled technicians have the expertise to safely and efficiently replace your laptop’s battery, ensuring it regains optimal performance and extends its lifespan. If you’ve been concerned about your laptop’s battery life or have experienced a decline in performance, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Our team is here to provide you with a reliable solution to keep your laptop running smoothly. Feel free to contact us for more information or to schedule a battery replacement service. We look forward to assisting you with your laptop’s needs.