Do’s and Don’ts of Laptop Charging
By James Bowman, Data Doctors
Properly managing your laptop’s battery and charging habits can help extend its overall lifespan and maintain optimal performance. Here are some do’s and don’ts of laptop charging:
- Use the Right Charger: Always use the charger provided by the laptop manufacturer or a compatible third-party charger. Using an incorrect charger can affect the battery and the laptop’s performance.
- Keep Your Laptop Cool: Excessive heat can be detrimental to a laptop battery. Make sure your laptop has proper ventilation, and avoid using it on soft surfaces that can block airflow.
- Partial Discharge and Charge: Lithium-ion batteries, commonly used in laptops, prefer partial discharge and charge cycles. It’s good practice to avoid fully discharging the battery regularly; instead, keep it within the 20-80% range.
- Unplug When Fully Charged: Once your laptop is fully charged, unplug it from the power source. Leaving it continuously plugged in can potentially stress the battery over time.
- Use Battery Saver Settings: Most laptops have power management or battery saver settings. Enable these settings to optimize power usage and extend battery life when on battery power.
- Store at 40% Charge: If you plan to store your laptop for an extended period, charge the battery to around 40% before storing it. Avoid storing it fully charged or fully depleted.
- Avoid Frequent Full Discharges: While occasional full discharges are recommended for battery calibration, frequent deep discharges can reduce the overall lifespan of a lithium-ion battery.
- Don’t Overcharge: Modern laptops are designed to prevent overcharging, but it’s still a good practice to unplug the charger once the battery is fully charged to avoid unnecessary stress on the battery.
- Don’t Let the Battery Drain Completely: Allowing the battery to completely drain regularly can lead to premature aging. Try to keep the battery level above 20% whenever possible.
- Avoid Extreme Temperatures: High temperatures can accelerate battery degradation. Avoid exposing your laptop to extreme heat or cold, and don’t leave it in a hot car.
- Don’t Remove the Battery (If Sealed): If your laptop has a sealed (non-removable) battery, avoid attempting to remove it. Doing so can void the warranty and may damage the laptop.
- Don’t Ignore Software Updates: Keep your laptop’s operating system and firmware up to date. Sometimes, updates include optimizations for power management and battery efficiency.
Following these do’s and don’ts can help you maintain a healthy laptop battery and ensure that it performs optimally over an extended period. Keep in mind that each laptop model may have specific recommendations from the manufacturer, so it’s a good idea to check the user manual or official documentation for your particular device.