Getting More From Your Laptop Batteries & AC Adapters

Welcome to our laptop battery and ac adaptor tips. Here is where your most common questions are answered so you can get the most life out of your battery & adapter.


Installing Your New Laptop Plus Laptop Battery:


If you’ve recently purchased a laptop battery from us, thank you! Here are some tips on getting the most out of your battery.


Your battery arrives in a discharged condition. This means it must be charged before use. You may find that the battery requires two or three charge/discharge cycles before it gets to maximum capacity.


It is completely normal for a laptop battery to become warm during charging and discharging.


Storing Your Battery:


If your battery will not be in use for a month or longer, we recommend that you remove it from your laptop and store it in a cool, dry, clean place.


Even a charged laptop battery will eventually lose its charge if unused for long periods, so it might be necessary to recharge the battery after a storage period.


10 Tips To Make Your Battery Last Longer:


There are a number of popular activities that laptop users engage in that decrease battery life. Below we’ve outlined some ways to make your battery last longer.


  1. Turn off Wi-Fi- Most laptops have shortcut keys to instantly disable wireless networking.
  2. Disconnect all external device like PC Card modems, Firewire, USB devices and optical drives. Use the notebook touchpad instead of an external mouse.
  3. Adjust your screen brightness - Dimming your display saves battery power.
  4. Tweak Windows Power Options - Choose a Laptop power scheme that turns off the notebook monitor and hard disk after 10 minutes of inactivity.
  5. Decrease or mute the Laptop Speaker Volume.
  6. Turn off all scheduled tasks.
  7. Turn off Auto-save features in Microsoft Office and other applications.
  8. If your PC has Bluetooth, turn it off or disable it when not in use.
  9. Programs that are run from a CD or DVD can be copied to and run from the hard drive, which typically consumes less power than an optical drive.
  10. Don’t play computer games, music or DVD movies - Multimedia activities drain laptop batteries.


6 Ways to Improve the Life of Your Battery:


  1. If you do not use your laptop for extended periods of time (a week or more), remove the battery pack from the laptop.
  2. Do not expose the battery to high heat or freezing temperatures. Do not leave your battery in your car in the summer. Hot batteries discharge very quickly, and cold ones can’t create as much power.
  3. Completely drain and recharge the battery overnight once a month to maximize its capacity to hold a charge.
  4. Fully charge new battery packs before use. New pack needs to be fully charged and discharged (cycled) a few times before it can condition to full capacity.
  5. For laptops that work as Desktop Replacement, the battery should be re-installed every 3-4 weeks and allowed to fully discharge.
  6. Leaving a battery in a laptop while using an electrical outlet for long periods of time will keep the battery in a constant state of charging up and that will reduce the life cycle of the battery.


Figure 3: Longevity of lithium-ion as a function of charge and discharge rates.

A moderate charge and discharge puts less stress on the battery, resulting in a longer cycle life.


How Long Should My Lithium-Ion Battery Last?


Generally speaking, Lithium-Ion batteries live longer if treated in a gentle manner. High charge voltages, excessive charge rate and extreme load conditions will have a negative effect and shorten the battery life. This also applies to high current rate lithium-ion batteries.


Charging Lithium-Ion Batteries:


As mentioned above, it is better to charge your lithium-ion battery at a slower rate, high discharge rates also contribute the extra wear and tear.


Figure 3 shows the cycle life as a function of charge and discharge rates. Observe the good laboratory performance if the battery is charged and discharged at 1C.


Battery experts agree that the life of lithium-ion depends on other factors than charge and discharge rates. Even though incremental improvements can be achieved with careful use of the battery, our environment and the services required are not always conducive to achieve optimal battery life.


The longevity of a battery is often a direct result of the environmental stresses applied.


Simple Battery Care Guidelines:


  • Avoid frequent full discharges because this puts additional strain on the battery. Several partial discharges with frequent recharges are better for lithium-ion than one deep one. 
  • Recharging a partially charged lithium-ion does not cause harm because there is no memory. (In this respect, lithium-ion differs from nickel-based batteries.) Short battery life in a laptop is mainly caused by heat rather than charge / discharge patterns.
  • Batteries with a fuel gauge (laptops) should be calibrated by applying a deliberate full discharge once every 30 charges. Running the pack down in the equipment does this. If ignored, the fuel gauge will become increasingly less accurate and in some cases cut off the device prematurely.
  • Keep the lithium-ion battery cool. Avoid a hot car. For prolonged storage, keep the battery at a 40% charge level.
  • Consider removing the battery from a laptop when running on fixed power. (Some laptop manufacturers are concerned about dust and moisture accumulating inside the battery casing.)
  • Avoid purchasing spare lithium-ion batteries for later use. Observe manufacturing dates and do not buy old stock, even if sold at clearance prices.
  • If you have a spare lithium-ion battery, use one to the fullest and keep the other cool by placing it in the refrigerator. Do not freeze the battery. For best results, store the battery at 40% state-of-charge.


How Did You Go?



Hopefully these tips have helped you with your laptop battery. If you need any more information, please check out our blog.

If you think you need a new laptop battery, you can use our Wizard to help you find a suitable replacement.