1. Computing

Should I Remove the Battery in My Laptop When It's Plugged In?

Your laptop battery could last years longer with this simple tip

By

Laptop Battery

Laptop Battery

DeclanTM

Question: Should I Remove the Battery in My Laptop When It's Plugged In?

I'm using a laptop at home as a desktop replacement, so 99% of the time when the laptop is being used it is plugged in. Is this bad for the battery? Should I remove the battery so that it's not constantly being charged? And if I do, how should I store it?

Answer: Many of us use our laptops as you do--as our primary computer, always plugged in. If your laptop is capable of being powered by the AC adapter alone (without the battery in), then for best battery life, it may make sense to remove the battery when your laptop is plugged in, depending on your circumstances.

When to remove the laptop battery

HP suggests a two-week rule of thumb for when to remove the battery from your laptop and put it into storage. Remove the laptop battery when:
  • Your laptop is going to be off for two weeks (for example, put into storage or if your laptop is seldomly used).
  • You use your laptop plugged in (to a electrical outlet or in a docking station) continuously for two weeks or more, as most people do with desktop replacement laptops.
The reason for this is that laptop batteries can age more quickly when they're fully charged and hot for long periods of time. High heat and laptop overheating is one of the worst things for all of the laptop's hardware parts, including the battery. And as you probably already know, laptops tend to get very hot. Some intensive usage can drive up the amount of heat your laptop produces. If you often use your laptop for high-powered tasks like game playing and multimedia editing, remove the battery to protect it from the heat.

How to store your laptop battery

The most common recommendation for laptop battery storage is to have it charged to about 40% (or somewhere between 30% and 50%) and then keep it in a dry place. HP recommends a storage temperature of 68 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit (20 to 25 degrees Celsius)--not too hot and not too cold. (Some people keep batteries in the fridge, but you have to take care that the battery isn't exposed to humidity and that you warm it up to room temperature before using it, which could be more hassle than it's worth.)

Other Options

If your laptop doesn't get too hot--find out how to check your laptop temperature--during normal usage, you should be fine with keeping the battery in the laptop. You could also use your current battery in your laptop continuously, as you're doing now, and when the battery naturally no longer holds a charge for very long (batteries lose capacity over time gradually), buy a spare new battery. Keep the old one in your laptop and store the new one as above for when you need to take your laptop out and about.

 

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.