How Long Does A Laptop Battery Last

how long does a laptop battery last

When buying a laptop, one of the important things being considered is the battery life. Longer battery life means more things you can accomplish without the need to charge in between. You don’t want your laptop to be shutting down in the middle of crucial work.  Laptops allow users to have better mobility since it’s portable, battery-operated and compact. That’s why most students and workers on the go highly prefer using them for their day-to-day operations. But why do we really need to consider how long a laptop battery lasts? We answered some of the commonly asked questions about laptop batteries. 


Battery life after charge vs Overall battery charge cycle

Is your laptop battery acting up? Is it losing its capacity to hold a charge like it used to? What used to be a 4-hour capacity now drains just 1 hour? This is actually a very common scenario once your laptop reaches its 1-2 year mark. It’s inevitable that your laptop’s run time becomes shorter. On average, a standard laptop battery lasts for 1.5 up to 4 hours after a single charge. This, of course, depends on the usage, battery type, and battery’s charge cycle.

A battery’s average lifespan is 400-1000 charge cycles. This means you can charge your battery this many times before it wears out. Every time you reach to recharge your laptop, you are taking up one life cycle. The charge cycle counts every time you recharge regardless of the percentage. 


What is the most ideal battery time?

As mentioned, battery runtime on average lasts 1.5 to 4 hours on a single charge. However, this can be extended depending on your usage and laptop performance. Laptops with wider screens typically take more battery. Nowadays, many laptops especially in the mid-range category offer good battery runtime of up to 6-8hrs. This is sufficient to last you a day’s work, study, browsing, and video playbacks. High-performance laptops on the other hand often offer 10hrs up to 22hrs which are preferred by digital artists, gamers, and alike who are considered heavy users. 


Habits that shortens the laptop  battery life

As aforementioned, batteries have charge cycles ranging from 400- 1000 times on average. It is typical for laptops to slowly lose their battery capacity after 2 years. However, some users might be experiencing this issue early on, or sometimes, just months after buying their device. The reason is their bad habits that shorten their battery life. These bad habits are not from how often or how much you use your laptop but oftentimes come from the neglect of caring for it.  


Shutting down multiple times in a day

One of these bad habits which are pretty common to happen is completely shutting down the laptop multiple times in a day. You might think it is best and saves your battery to last the day, but shutting down your computer too many times in a day actually stresses out the battery, and other components due to the fluctuation of temperature. 


Completely draining the battery/ Leaving it fully charged

Do you drain your laptop’s battery to zero then recharge it to 100%? If yes, then you’re putting your battery even closer to its demise. Although laptops have charge cycles, this doesn’t mean you have to completely drain the battery or have it still on charger despite being 100% fully charged as well. The battery percentage should not go below 20% capacity. When your laptop battery goes below this point, it stresses the battery because it needs to keep up running the apps, drivers, and other programs you opened or are running in the background. The same thing happens when you leave your laptop fully charged. The constant use and recharge strains the battery for going back and forth could potentially shorten your battery life. However, this is still up for debate because a lot of manufacturers claim that battery material can play a factor in the lifespan of the battery when it comes to charging. Lithium-ion is currently the best in the market. It has high power density and has quick charging capability which is great for people on the go. Plus, it doesn’t have the Dreaded Memory Effect which makes laptops harder to charge overtime. 


How to extend your battery’s lifespan?

A laptop when well taken care of can make the lifespan of your battery longer. A good 1000 charge cycle should last you a solid 2 to 4 years. One of the first things to do to extend the life of your battery is to charge it up to 24 hours during its first charge. This will allow the battery to fully reach its 100% power capacity and determine its runtime. Also, one should practice good habits when using their computer. 


Putting your laptop on hibernation

Putting your laptop in hibernate mode means allowing your programs to run in the background when not in use for a couple of minutes. Do not shut down your laptop multiple times a day especially when you have to resume quickly. Perhaps once when you’re not going to use it for hours or shut it down before you sleep is enough. 


Charge before the battery completely dies

Don’t work your laptop until the battery is completely drained. This is more detrimental to its charge cycle. Charge before your battery reaches 20% capacity. If you’re near a power source, it is best to remove the battery and directly connect instead. This lowers your charge cycle count and you don’t have to worry about your laptop being overcharged. 


Keep your laptop cool

When your laptop overheats, it also damages the battery. It causes your computer to work harder and causes your battery to drain faster and in turn shortens its lifespan.  Working on multiple apps and programs and using your computer for longer periods of time can overheat the core. Use a lap desk with a cooling fan or put a gap beneath your laptop to allow air ventilation.


How to make your laptop battery last longer?

Conserving your battery makes the runtime longer. Eliminate unnecessary programs and adjust your laptop according to your usage. 


Use power saver mode

Customize your power plan and use power saver mode so your laptop uses less power. You can opt on your power usage when you’re on battery or when plugged. 


Avoid opening multiple apps and programs at the same time 

Multitasking is good and efficient. However, this strains the battery and drains it faster. Instead of letting some programs run in the background until use, close them down. If possible, use 2 or 3 programs max. 


Remove or disable external devices and ports

Mouse, Wi-Fi, speakers, and Bluetooth drain the battery. Remove them or turn them off when not in use. 


How to know when it’s time to replace your laptop’s battery?

As your battery is depleting its charge cycle, there are going to be noticeable changes and issues that you will encounter while using your laptop. These are common signs that indicate the battery is nearing its end and it’s time to replace your battery. 


Failing to charge

Charging issues are one of the most common signs of battery failure. You will notice that there are times your laptop won’t charge no matter how many times you plug and unplug. Remove the battery and directly connect your laptop to the power source. If the direct connection powers your laptop, then something is wrong with your battery. Clean out any possible dust build-up in the battery chamber and reinstall your battery then recharge. If it’s the same issue, then time to replace your battery.


Draining fast

A battery’s lifespan on average can last 2 to 4 years with a running time of 4 to 10 hours when fully charged. If you reach this mark and notice that your battery’s capacity is draining real faster than normal, then it’s time to consider getting a replacement.


Shutdowns

Another common sign of a defective battery is when your laptop suddenly won’t start up or just shuts down. Remove the battery and plug it directly to the power source. If your laptop turns on, then your charger and laptop are still working fine. Reinstall the battery and recharge. If your computer suddenly shuts down or has trouble reading your battery, it’s time to get a replacement. 


Overheating

Your laptop getting slightly warm is pretty normal when running on battery. However, when your laptop becomes hot to touch and the built-in fans are struggling to cool it off, it is an indication that your battery is defective. When this happens, shut down your computer and unplug the charger. Overheating can damage your laptop when neglected.  


Battery Warnings 

Windows and Mac operating systems have indicators of your battery conditions whether it’s charging, not charging, the battery is not detected, or when your laptop needs replacing. If you click on the battery icon and click on the info, you will see the battery cycle counter and the remaining lifespan. There is also an indicator of when your battery needs to be replaced.

A laptop’s battery is a very important factor to consider when choosing a new unit. It should last you hours to complete your day-to-day operations and needs. However, remember that a battery is supposed to be used and has a limited cycle and lifespan. Although you can extend its life, a need for replacement is inevitable. 

Sources:

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www.lonelyplanet.com
web.archive.org



Comments

  1. Power option -> advanced power setting -> processor power managment -> maximum processor

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  2. I do sometimes forget this: Charge before your battery reaches 20% capacity. Especially when I am in the zone already! Thanks for the reminder!

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  3. My new laptop is barely two years old and it's already plagued with problems, its battery included. Thanks for the informative tips though. I'll keep these in mind the next time I buy a laptop.

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  4. I changed my old laptop since the battery was worn out and I couldnt use it for long. Thanks for this I now know how to prolong my new laptop`s battery

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  5. My laptop always plugged in charged and surprisingly, its been more than 2-years but the battery is still in good condition. But I am preparing for its (soon) replacement.

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  6. Wow i just understood my laptop battery more. I guess this is one of my issues with laptop. I guess it’s too old now and it run out if battery quicker

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  7. Ugh, I tick almost everything in your list, waaah! I'm so bad at maintaining my lappie's batteries. I actually need to replace this one now.

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  8. thank you so much for the tips. my laptop is already more than a year old minsan parang ang bilis na nya ma drain. why nga pala better na nakasleep sya instead na papatayin?

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  9. Why does a laptop battery last so much less after just 12 or 16 months? I don't understand. Can't we make laptops that are more powerful when it comes to battery life? Can't we reach a constant battery life for 3-4 years? Why is this so difficult? Or do companies just don't want to invest in such a thing?

    It seems like almost every PC brand out there has great laptops but none have great batteries. And I’m certain that in 2021 we could do much better.

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