Take care of your laptop battery and ensure that it will be ready to work properly when you need it most. Some general tips for laptop care include: avoid extreme temperatures, don't leave a laptop outside in cold weather or leave it in a hot car. Cold batteries can't create very much power and hot batteries will discharge very quickly. Use electrical power when available to keep battery charged. Don't let your laptop go for long periods of time without using the battery.
Smaller Is Better
Consider an ultraportable or thin-and-light rather than a desktop replacement laptop. Smaller displays use less power. Going with a hard drive that runs at 4200rpm uses less power than a hard drive running at 5400rpm.
Use as little power as possible by adjusting laptop settings. Use the Power Options to set to the laptop to go inactive after a set amount of time. Set adjustments so that the display goes off first, then hard the hard drive stay active a bit longer and store the system content's to the RAM.
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Turn Down the Lights
Adjust the display brightness to a lower setting, make sure you can view the screen without squinting. You can also adjust the brightness of the display to suit the conditions you are working in.
Watch Your Battery Use
Keep an eye on your battery consumption and know how much power you have remaining. Use the battery power icon on the system tray or you can purchase batteries which have LED gauges on the outside of the battery itself.
Charging It Up
Whenever you have access to a power source, charge the battery. Before you leave on any trips, fully charge the batteries, especially if you don't know where or when you might have access to any electrical outlets.
Get Another Battery
Some laptops are capable of running with two batteries. If you cannot run two batteries, check with the manufacturer to see if there are high capacity batteries available. External batteries can also be used to extend operating time.
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Drain the Battery
The first time you use your laptop with battery power, allow the laptop battery to completely discharge. Do this at least twice and don't try to charge the battery when it is half discharged.
Keep the battery and its connections clean and free of debris. Clean your battery terminals on a regular basis using a cotton swab with rubbing alcohol on the tip.
CMOS Battery Check-Up
The backup battery is a CMOS battery which is a secondary battery to power the clock and can drain a main battery if it is dead. Check with your User Manual or manufacturer's web site for the location of the CMOS battery and where to get a replacement.
Turning It Off
Don't run programs or devices that you aren't using. Remove PC cards and turn off Wi-Fi software. Using your laptop to watch movies or play games will drain the battery quickly as well.
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Overcharging a Laptop Battery
First it's important to understand what overcharging is:
Over-charging occurs when the charger keeps the battery at a temperature that is warm to touch (body temperature) while in ready condition.
Li-Ion laptop batteries have built-in controller chips which prevent it from overcharging, as they can explode if overcharged. Overcharging does not affect the life span other than potentially destroying the battery.
A lithium-based battery should never be allowed to get warm in a charger. If you have this happen, the battery is no good or the charger is not working properly. Don't continue to use the battery or charger if this happens.
A Lithium-ion battery may be damaged by extensive overcharging (continuously on a charger for more than 24 hours). Damage to the battery from overcharging would only occur in the very unlikely event of a malfunction of the charging system.
Extending Laptop Battery Life
Laptop batteries have finite life spans. Whether you use the power cord and remove the battery it will lengthen the life of the battery.
Li-Ion laptop battery lifespan is approximately 1000 charge cycles, or 2-4 years under normal operating conditions.
Keeping the battery in a cool place can prolong its life but not in a period of extended storage. The Li-ion battery should be stored at 40 percent rather than full-charge state.
The battery ages even if not used. For best results, keep the battery cool. In addition, store the battery at a 40 percent charge level. Never fully charge or discharge the battery before storage. The 40 percent charge assures a stable condition even if self-discharge robs some of the battery's energy. Most battery manufacturers store Li-ion batteries at 15°C (59°F) and at 40 percent charge.
Keeping a laptop battery on constant charge is and never using it is not good for the laptop battery.
Run the battery down and recharging it at least once every month.
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Proper Laptop Battery Care
When using a laptop as a desktop replacement the battery should not be left in for long periods of time. The laptop will over time discharge the battery. Remove the battery - making sure that it is charged to 40% and store it in a dry, warm place. Ensure that it is wrapped protectively and nothing will be dropped on it.
The battery should be re-installed every 3-4 weeks and allowed to fully discharge. Leaving a battery in storage for longer than this without using could cause the battery to fully discharge as the circuitry of the battery itself consumes power.
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.
Remember that when you have removed the battery from a laptop while using with an electrical outlet - the automatic battery backup is no longer functional.
Make sure to plug your laptop into an uninterrupted power source (UPS) not directly into an outlet or surge protector.
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