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Batteries make laptops such a versatile device but they will not last forever. Every battery has a lifespan after which you have to replace it. Now, the question is, how do you find out that your laptop battery needs to be replaced?
There is a feature in both Windows and Mac OS where it notifies you when the laptop battery needs replacing. Click on the battery icon (Windows) or go to the Apple Menu (Mac) and see the current status of your laptop’s battery. You can also create a battery report on Windows with PowerShell or CMD.
Typically, a well-made, fresh laptop battery will last for 2-4 years. This amounts to about 1,000 charge cycles, give or take. After this period, it is best to get replaced with a new one.
Obviously, several factors determine how every individual battery is going to perform. Not every battery is built the same way nor will it have the same durability.
How long it lasts primarily depends on your capacity to take care of it properly.
There are a few ways you can get the necessary information. I will explain the ones that are easy and you can do it yourself anytime.
First, let’s talk about the simplest method. For user convenience, both Microsoft and Apple have installed features into their product that will great insight on this subject.
If you are running Windows
- you will see a battery icon located on the taskbar at the bottom of your screen.
- Clicking on this icon will provide you a summary of your battery’s current condition.
- If the battery capacity becomes too low, it will tell you to “try and replace the battery”.
For a MacBook, you need to follow this step-by-step process:
- Apple Menu > System Preference > Click Battery > Click Battery (again) > Battery Health (lower right corner). Once you have done this,
Normal – If the battery is functioning properly, then it will show “Normal”. This tells you that your power storage capacity has not diminished significantly.
Service Recommended – This tells you that the capacity of your battery has diminished to a noticeable degree. It can still hold power and give a serviceable performance. But you will encounter issues. So, you may want to consider replacing it.
For Windows users, there is an alternative way of confirming the status of your laptop’s battery. This is done by creating a self-generated report that details the current condition of your power storage.
Follow these steps to create a battery report –
- Press Windows Button + X
- From the resulting menu, select “Command Prompt”. If it is a recent version of Windows OS, select “Windows PowerShell (Admin)”.
- A pop-up window will appear. Select “Yes” to proceed and you will see a brand-new window come up. This is the “coding window”. You may have to wait a bit for everything to start properly.
- Here, type in “powercfg /batteryreport” and then press “enter”. You will notice a report has been generated and has been sent to a specific location.
- You can access that location any time to see the full report.
- If you want to store it in a specific folder or with a particular name, add “/output*FOLDER NAME*\*file name*.html” to the end of the previous command.
Now you have generated a detailed report of your power storage and usage. Open it with your file explorer and view it with your default browser.
This report will tell you a few things. It will inform you of how well your battery has been doing. It will also inform you of the expected lifespan remaining for the battery.
You can also see the recent usage statistics for your power storage. You will see how long your battery has lasted over the last few days.
This gives you an idea of whether the capacity of your laptop’s battery has depleted or not. If it has, you need to consider changing it soon.
This is an alternative to the battery report you created. There are ready-made apps available for any platform to get a detailed account of your battery.
All you have to is download and install the app. Then open the app and you will get your info. The bonus here is that you will get a more comprehensive look at your battery’s health.
There are several options available for you to try. I recommend using the “BatteryInfoView” or the “Save Battery” apps. They are simple, convenient, and thorough.
Sometimes your intuition is your most reliable guide. There are some signs you can look for to know if the battery is on its last breath.
Most people agree that the runtime of your laptop is the best indicator. After you fully charged your laptop, note how long it lasts.
Do this a couple of times and keep track of the results. If the runtime is considerably down compared to when you first used it, it is usually a clear indication that the battery is faltering.
Another tell-tale sign is the failure to charge properly. You may notice the number is fixed on a certain percentage and will not move regardless of how long you charge it.
Other times, you plug it in and the laptop instantly reaches 100%. Neither of these two occurrences is good and you should take your laptop to service.
It is absolutely worth it and recommended to replace your battery when it has passed its duration. It will cost you some money on a new product and a possible servicing fee. But trust me; you want this for your laptop.
Laptops are such a flexible tool that can be used anywhere at any time. This is possible mainly due to the battery giving it prolonged run-time. Without it, you are basically running an inferior desktop in practically every way.
Always running your laptop on a direct power supply may lead to certain issues. First, the power has to be on constantly or you cannot run it. The voltage may fluctuate which may damage your laptop’s internal hardware. Because the consistent on and off will lead to problems inside the circuits.
So yes, you should replace it when the situation calls for it, especially if your someone who uses a laptop on the move. In the meantime, you have to use it properly so that it lasts for a long period.
Usually, a dead battery will not harm your laptop if you leave it in. If the battery is completely ineffective, then no electricity will flow through it.
And without electricity, there is not much of a chance for it to overheat or bust and cause you damage. So, you can leave it in and not worry about it too much.
I have operated my old laptop only on an AC power supply for years. It did not lead to any issues relating to performance or hardware. Of course, it always needed a stable power connection and I could not bring it with me wherever. So, I was limited in that sense.
In rare cases, the battery may start to leak. At that point, it is a considerable threat to your pc and your own health. Battery acid is very corrosive and will burn your skin on contact.
It may also seep into the interior of the laptop itself and cause damage.
This depends on the brand of laptop you are using. Different brands price their batteries differently and there are variations within the same brand. For instance, the 13-inch Mac Pro costs about $129 to get its battery change while the 16-inch Pro costs $199.
The cost for the HP series of laptops can range between $79 to $99. Lenovo charges anywhere between $30 to $200 depending on the model.
There is also the issue of relevancy. It may be harder and therefore more costly to replace the battery of an older version of laptops. This is because not many stores will have that model’s parts in their stock.
As for the service fees, it depends on if you have a warranty or not. Under warranty, the service fee will be zero. For older laptops, you may have to pay extra.
Of course, you can try to replace it on your own. But sometimes that is not advisable and you might end up damaging it.
Your battery will become unusable eventually but you can delay that inevitability. By taking proper care you can ensure that you get the maximum from the battery before it dies.
The basic idea here is to increase the battery’s runtime. Every battery has a definite number of charge cycles. So, the less time you charge it, the more it will last.
There are two ways you can do this. First, keep the brightness level low unless you really need it.
Go to your settings and also turn off the keyboard lights. This will save you plenty of power and prolong your battery runtime.
Open your task manager and you will find a lot of programs running that you do not need. These programs take up memory space and slow down your laptop.
They also cause excessive use of power and you find yourself at zero percent charge in no time. So, close these apps before it does any harm.
Also, turn off the Wi-fi and Bluetooth when you are not using them.
This is a recent feature introduced by Microsoft. It allows you to regulate just how much of your battery power will be used. You can slide the bar to different settings.
I recommend you keep it on “battery saver” during downtime. And unless you are pushing your pc, keep it on balanced mode for most of the time.
Sometimes we can forget to turn the laptop off and it keeps running in the background. This consumes a lot of power. To fix this, go to settings > systems > power & sleep. Here, you can customize your laptop’s power consumption when you are not using it.
You can set it so that it turns off after a certain period of inactivity. Other times, you can have the screen turn off to save you power.
Overheating is a reliable way of damaging any PC hardware. So, ensure that there is proper ventilation for the heat inside the laptop to come out. If you can, clean the cooling fans and other parts periodically so that dust build-up does not happen.
Laptops are best used when it has a functional battery. Take proper care of it and it will give you solid service for multiple years. Then when the time comes, change it with a proper replacement and you will be good to go.