We are often asked how to extend the life of a battery. It can be a constant battle when you try to be mobile with your laptop, but the battery dies in 10 minutes. Below is a list of ways to help extend the life of your laptop’s battery.

Maintain Battery Cycles

Laptop batteries are perishable, in the sense of they have a life span. There are several different ways to extend that life span in the form of life cycles. Most laptop batteries are designed to handle about 500 full cycles, but there are some that can handle much more. A charge cycle is a full discharge to 0% then a recharge back up to 100%. If you plug your laptop in at 50% and charge it back to 100%, then you have only used half of a cycle. As you use your battery, it will decrease the batteries capacity with each charge cycle. If you fully discharge the battery to 0% fewer times, the battery will last longer.

Screen Brightness

One way to help preserve the battery is to limit the screen brightness while on battery power. It takes a lot of energy to keep your screen bright and clear. Most devices come with an auto brightness enabled, which will adjust the screen’s light to the surrounding settings. This can put a strain on your battery and disabling it and controlling the brightness yourself can make a big difference. Most laptops will have the ability to adjust the brightness using the top rows of keys on the keyboard. Another way to extend the battery life is to use a dark mode or night mode. This will make white backgrounds black and black text white. It is a newer feature, but several applications and operating systems have adopted it. It takes less battery to back light a black screen over a white screen.

Power Settings

Adjusting your power settings is one of the most effective ways of extending the life of the battery. On Windows 10, type power options in the search bar choose Power Saver option. Within this menu there are several ways adjust the power usage. On Mac devices find your system preferences. Within this menu there will be an option call ‘energy saver’ (it looks like a light bulb) which will allow you to adjust the power settings.

Turn Off Battery Draining Apps & Processes

Turning off programs or processes that aren’t actively being used can work wonders for your battery life. If you are on the move and using your computer for apps or programs that do not require a internet connection, turn off your WiFi. While you may not be connected to a network your computer will be constantly looking for networks to join. Closing out programs that are running in the background, like mail apps, video players, or cloud services can extend the time between charges.

Turn Off The Heat

While lithium ion batteries are virtually maintenance free, they are susceptible to heat. Overheating the battery can drastically reduce the life of the battery. When using your computer be mindful of the vents. When a vent is blocked, it will retain heat that the laptop is trying to remove. Avoid using the laptop on a blanket or pillow, as it can cause the laptop to heat up. The battery can also be damaged by heat in the surrounding environment. Keeping a computer in a hot car, in direct sunlight or by a heater can also shorten its life.

Common Misconceptions About Battery Life

Back in the day, users had to be concerned with their mobile device developing a memory. Nickel – metal hybrid batteries could ‘forget’ what their charge capacity was when they were plugged in before they were completely dead. Thanks to advancements in technology lithium ion batteries do not suffer from this. Most experts say that the optimal time to charge a lithium battery is around 20%.

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