For How Long Should I Charge a New Laptop Battery?

By Michael Jones

Close-up of a man using a laptop computer
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Laptop batteries are notorious for dying out and losing charge quickly. If you treat your battery with the utmost care, you'll have success in getting the most out of it. Know what type of battery you have and understand how it needs to be treated in order to maximize performance.

Know Your Battery

Most laptops today are equipped with lithium ion batteries, which don't have the same requirements as older nickel metal hydride or nickel cadmium battery. It's essential that you learn your model's specifications so you can follow the correct usage practices. This is the only way you'll be able to achieve maximum battery power.

First Time Charging

With lithium ion batteries, it doesn't matter how long you charge your new laptop before using it. This wasn't the case with nickel-based batteries, which had to be fully charged the first time. Lithium ion batteries are prepared when they are manufactured so you don't have to go through the full-charging process before using them.

Battery Calibration

You must give your laptop battery some attention from time to time if you want to get the most from it. A lithium ion battery needs to be calibrated at least once every three months by letting the battery completely drain and then charged until it is full. If you rarely let your battery run empty, you should calibrate it once a month. The purpose of calibration is to reset the sensors that tell the computer when the battery is full. If the battery isn't calibrated, the computer may try to pump energy into a full battery, decreasing its lifespan significantly.

Maximizing Battery Performance

There are several tips to preserving your battery life and achieving its maximum performance. One simple thing you can do is turn down the brightness of your screen as low as possible. Another option is to check your battery performance tool installed on your computer. This will allow you to control exactly how you want your battery's power to be used. When you're using your laptop, try not to run many programs at once and close down any programs that you aren't using at the moment. Go into your computer's settings and adjust features like screen savers, sleep/hibernate mode and auto-save functions to suit your desire.

Battery Maintenance

To help ensure your battery has a long lifespan, never expose it to high temperatures for any long period of time. Leaving a laptop in a hot car, for example, will significantly deteriorate the battery's Lithium ion cells. If you need to store it, keep it between 68 and 77 degrees, with between a 30 percent to 50 percent charge. If you are storing a laptop for more than two weeks without turning it on or plugging it in, remove the battery. Likewise, remove the battery if you will be using the laptop's AC adapter for more than 2 weeks while using it.