How to Change Batteries on My Dell Laptop

by Jeff Grundy

Depending upon how often you use your Dell laptop without its AC adapter, the battery for the notebook should last an average of two to four years. However, with heavy use, you may have to replace the battery sooner, if it begins showing signs that it no longer holds a charge for as long as it should. Removing a battery and installing a new one is relatively straightforward on many Dell laptops. Nevertheless, before you rush out and buy a new battery for your Dell notebook, you should consider several things first.

Verify Replacement Need

Before you rush to buy a new battery, determine whether the one in your Dell laptop is actually defective or if it needs only charging, cleaning or resetting. If the laptop runs fine when connected to the AC adapter, but not when you disconnect the power cord, remove the battery pack from the notebook, reseat it and try again. Sometimes, just reseating the battery in its slot can solve the problem. If that does not help, remove the battery pack again, and inspect the metal leads on the battery and the slot in the laptop for corrosion, dirt or grime buildup. If the leads aren’t nice and shiny, use a pencil eraser to rub away the grime and then blow them off thoroughly.

Buying a Replacement Battery

If you inspect the battery thoroughly and find that you need to replace it, buying an authentic Dell battery ensures you receive a unit compatible with your laptop. Furthermore, using an after-market battery could void any remaining warranty you have with Dell. To find the correct Dell replacement battery, use the service tag search on the Parts and Upgrades page of the Dell website (link in Resources). If you look on the bottom of your Dell laptop, you'll see a label sticker with the service tag number. Just enter your service tag in the corresponding field on the Parts and Upgrades page and click "Search." The Dell website will display all of the replacement and upgrade parts compatible with your laptop, including batteries. If you connect to the Dell website with your laptop, you can use the "Scan Your System" feature on the Parts and Upgrades page to have the site scan your system automatically for its service tag number.

Battery Packs

The vast majority of Dell laptops have removable batteries packs that are relatively simple to remove. To remove the battery pack, first shut down the laptop and disconnect the AC adapter. Close the LCD screen on the laptop, and then flip the unit over, so that you can access the battery back on the bottom. Depending on your particular model, there may be one or two latches you must disengage to remove the battery pack. There should be a small picture or icon that displays the direction you must push the latches to unlock them. Push the latch or latches in the appropriate direction, and then pull or slide the battery pack out of the laptop. To reinsert the battery pack, just slide it back into the slot and push until the latches lock.

Non-Removable Batteries

While most Dell laptops include batteries that you can remove and change out relatively quickly, a few models, such as the Adamo series and a few in the XPS family, have sealed batteries that you cannot remove without almost completely disassembling the notebook. Although disassembling a Dell laptop is not too difficult, it is time consuming and requires some basic knowledge of computer components. Once you disassemble a Dell laptop, removing the battery is relatively straightforward – just unscrew it and disconnect the plug from the motherboard. Nevertheless, if your laptop is still under warranty, you should contact Dell about replacing the defective battery. If your laptop is no longer under warranty, and you are not comfortable replacing the sealed battery yourself, you should find a reputable computer shop or technician in your area to do the work for you.

About the Author

Jeff Grundy has been writing computer-related articles and tutorials since 1995. Since that time, Grundy has written many guides to using various applications that are published on numerous how-to and tutorial sites. Born and raised in South Georgia, Grundy holds a Master of Science degree in mathematics from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Photo Credits

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