Tech Answers: How Do I Keep My Laptop Battery in Good Health?


Make Your Machine Last

It looks like the hybrid work model might be here to stay! But will your laptop’s battery be able to handle all the back-and-forth? 

When alternating between your make-shift desk at the kitchen table and the corporate office, you need a machine you can rely on. Poor battery health can lead to lengthy charge times, lost productivity, and potential security risks in the long run. Lucky for you, with the right measures, keeping your laptop’s battery in good standing is relatively easy.  

Here’s how: 

Keep It Cool 

It may seem like a no-brainer, but keeping your laptop cool is essential for battery health. Exposure to high heat from sweltering summer temperatures – or even resting your device in your lap – can seriously damage your battery and, consequently, the lifetime of your machine. If you do notice your laptop overheating, it’s a good idea to give the machine a break rather than powering through in order to conserve battery strength.  

On the other hand, it’s worth mentioning that you shouldn’t let your device get too cold, either. Extreme temperatures hinder power on both ends of the spectrum.  

Pay Attention to Your Charge 

Old schools of thinking suggest that you try and keep your laptop’s battery between 40% and 80% charge at all times. While this adage largely applies only to outdated, nickel-based (NiMH) batteries that would “forget” their charge capacity over time, it’s not a bad idea to try and keep your machine’s battery from bottoming out completely.  

The lithium-ion batteries we use today are more durable and less finicky than the NiMH packs of the past, so allowing your machine to discharge to just below 20% and then re-charging to capacity should suffice. Similarly, newer batteries are also better at recognizing capacity charge, so leaving your machine plugged in after reaching 100% isn’t nearly as damaging as previously thought. If you’re running a complicated program, it might even be beneficial to have your machine plugged in throughout.  

If you plan on storing your machine for a long period of time, just be sure to charge to around 50% before shutting down, which will help protect the battery during rest. Degradation works faster on fully charged batteries.   

Unplug Your Peripherals  

When not being used, webcams, hard drives, thumb drives, microphones, and other peripheral equipment should always be unplugged. These devices are taking an unnecessary toll on your laptop’s health and power.  

Make Changes to Your Settings 

Your laptop presets are tailored for user experience. That doesn’t necessarily mean that these settings are what’s best for your battery health. To conserve power and stave off degradation, try implementing some of the following: 

  • Dim your screen brightness 
  • Change your power settings to “power saver” 
  • Disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, when not in use 
  • Make sure that your battery percentage is displayed in your toolbar 

Consider Auxiliary Options 

If you know that you require a lot of battery power, you may want to consider an external battery for extra juice or a solid-state drive (SSD) to offload data. As a supplement to your machine, both devices can help you maintain health and obtain maximum power.

Check Your Battery Health Regularly 

 You can check the health of your battery in the system preferences of your OS. Depending on your software, some machines offer more information than others. Most laptops will notify a user when their battery needs replacing, but if you find yourself growing concerned, you can usually generate a report.  

All batteries degrade over time. If you intend to use your machine for years to come, a new battery might be necessary to keep it alive.  

 

At EMPIST we know technology so you don’t have to. From simple questions to complex issues, solving problems is what our team of experts does best. To learn more about how EMPIST can help manage your IT, visit us online, today.  

 

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