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How do I Extend My Laptop Battery Life?

To help the battery last longer, avoid running too many programs simultaneously when using the laptop.
Consider purchasing a long-life battery to power the laptop.
A properly defragmented hard drive can lower laptop energy expenditures.
A lithium ion battery should never be fully discharged.
A laptop's touchpad uses less energy than a USB mouse.
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  • Written By: Ken Black
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 20 August 2014
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The question of extending laptop battery life is one of the most vexing concerns of many of those who take advantage of mobile computing. A laptop battery can be a very expensive component to replace, with most costing at least $100 US Dollars (USD) and some costing considerably more than that. Therefore, it is to the computer owner's advantage to follow a few simple steps to extend battery life.

Of primary importance is to know the type of battery you have. For example, lithium ion batteries work differently than NiCD or NiMH batteries. The latter two should be fully discharged to avoid a memory effect, which will work to deplete the battery life of a laptop. The lithium ion battery should never be fully discharged.

Whenever possible, avoid needless recharge cycles. Any rechargeable battery has only so many of these. Discharging a battery for a few minutes, then plugging it in could prematurely cause laptop battery life to decrease dramatically. Rather, if you do not need the battery and it is charged or even if it is not charged, take it out and run off the cord.

Most laptop computers have power saving settings. Use them. Nearly every computer expert will tell you this, for a good reason. It simply may be the best way to extend laptop battery life. Dimming the screen, hibernation, not running the CD/DVD drive any more than absolutely necessary when on the battery all will help.

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Use the battery at least once every couple of weeks. While this may seem counterintuitive given the instruction to avoid needless recharge cycles, it is not. This is because in order to get the most battery life possible, you must use it. Rechargeable batteries need to be worked or they will lose their effectiveness. This does not mean recharging the battery after every 15-minute use, but rather using the battery for substantially longer periods of time.

For those who rely heavily on their battery, consider a long-life laptop battery. This will help extend times needed between charges, cutting down on the number of recharging cycles needed. While this may seem like an expensive option, it also provides the added benefit, if you already have a standard battery, of having a backup when away from a corded power source.

Watch the use of peripherals, which can substantially drain energy from the battery. If running on battery, use the touchpad instead of the USB mouse. Avoid other such connections as well, as these tend to drain laptop battery life.

Defragment your hard drive regularly. This is a good idea even for desktops, but it is especially important for laptops. Defragmenting should be done when on corded power as it takes a substantial amount of resources to do. However, a properly defragmented hard drive will help keep your hard drive from working harder than it has to when it is on battery power.

Also, don't run unnecessary programs or devices. This will also cause your battery to drain prematurely. When extending the laptop battery life is a concern, this may be one of the easiest things to do. For example, if there is no WiFi access where you are, having that component turned on is nothing but a waste of resources.

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dkarnowski
Post 4

Because the spirit performance varies so greatly between laptop models, the link in life of your battery in a laptop that you use will vary greatly depending on how to use and what she is for. It's a combination between your use of the laptop as well as the specification and hardware that is contained within the laptop that will make the difference in how well your battery performs for the functions that are asked of it.

The kind of processing and power consumption your computers using varies greatly for instance a gaming laptop battery life will be much different than someone who simply does word processing on their machine. Because of this power consumption difference, the trawl the batteries currently significantly different as well. Depending on the power output of the laptop battery this can mean a lot of different things but it surely means that your laptop battery is susceptible to the use that you put into your computer.

Burlap
Post 3

Laptop batteries can be extremely finicky in the way they operate in charge. Because of this fact, you take much precaution in the way you deal with your personal expensive devices. The best advice that one can take about how to condition their laptop battery simply read the owner's manual for the device they purchased.

another thing to consider is that even if you are using the manufacturers power cord or laptop battery charger to condition your laptop battery there is still damage that can occur from laptop battery chargers. It is good though however, to resist the urge to purchase lower-class and generic branded laptop chargers.

NightChef
Post 2

Just like my laptop battery, my professional digital single lens reflex camera also uses lithium-ion technology to power the device.

The technology is simply far beyond what nickel cadmium and nickel metal hydride batteries could offer for high demand and high energy devices.

It is actually the way that these batteries behave that is made the technology shift towards lithium-ion use. Its efficiency in both weight size and ability to recharge without having to be fully discharged is a great advantage that makes Lithium ion on the choice of electronic manufacturers today.

JoseJames
Post 1

I have had truly mixed results with trying to extend the laptop battery life in my devices. What I have found though is having the best laptop battery life is truly dependent undercharging habits. It seems like you've drastically change the routine your laptop battery is used going through the run into serious trouble with its ability to recharge and refresh appropriately.

As the author describes, the general rule of thumb is the difference between nickel cadmium and nickel metal hydride batteries and the methods used to charge them are drastically different than the method you would want to use to extend the life of a lithium ion battery.

Since lithium-ion batteries have truly taken over the market for almost every type of mobile device, is most likely that the device you have questions about whether the laptop were not use lithium-ion batteries. Because of this fact, people should never let their devices go completely without charge.

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