How to Maintain Your Laptop’s Li-Ion Battery

Newer laptops typically come with Lithium Ion (Li-Ion) batteries. This newer technology means that you have a smaller, lighter battery: one that is capable of holding more power despite the reduced size and weight.

If you take proper care of your laptop’s Li-Ion battery, you’ll have hundreds and hundreds of hours’ worth of power. But if you mistreat your power source, you risk hurting yourself and damaging your laptop. You’ll also have to replace the battery sooner. Here’s how to protect yourself, safeguard your expensive computer and save money on replacement batteries.

-When you buy your new laptop, make sure that the battery charges to 100 percent before you unplug the AC power cord.

-You should keep the battery in a cool, dry place. This is especially true when you aren’t using your laptop.

-If you aren’t going to use your laptop for a few weeks or months, take out the battery and store in a cool, dry place. A box in the top of your closet is a good spot. Be sure to re-insert the battery and boot up the computer about once a month to keep all the cells fresh and useable.

-Do not perform a “deep discharge.” Other types of batteries benefit from being completely drained on a regular basis, but Li-Ion types do not. You should use the battery, of course, but not until there is no power left at all.

Tip: If you’re running Windows XP on your laptop, the default power-management settings prevent deep discharging. The notebook shuts down before you completely drain your power source. If you’ve changed these settings in the past, you should restore them to their defaults.

-You will need to replace the battery at some point. When this happens, buy the newest Li-Ion battery possible. The less time the battery spends between being manufactured and being used, the longer its life will be. So, buy the freshest battery you can and start using it as soon as possible.

-Avoid cheaply-made replacement batteries. Shop through your computer maker to find approved, official products. You’ll get a quality product – and if something goes wrong, you haven’t voided your warranty by using a non-approved battery.

-Never try to refresh or otherwise “fix” your dead laptop battery. You could hurt yourself seriously – and you risk damaging your expensive computer. Just take the battery to the appropriate recycling center and buy a new one. Ultimately this is cheaper than risking everything, including your safety, to get a few more hours out of the old battery.

You can find additional information in your owner’s manual or by visiting your computer manufacturer’s Web site. FAQ pages or a live chat with technical support should give you any answers that you still need.

The manual will also give you brand-specific information so that you can take the best possible care of your laptop’s battery.

With all this on your side, you and your laptop can enjoy a long and productive life.