Did you know most laptop batteries are only rated to last 1 to 2 years? Unfortunately, no matter how well you take care of your laptop battery, you’ll eventually need to swap it for a new one. While it’s normal for a laptop battery to lose its ability to hold maximum charge as it ages. Nothing ruins your laptop experience like a faulty battery. So, how do you know when to replace a laptop battery? If you’re laptop’s battery can’t hold more than 25% or less of its maximum capacity. Or it doesn’t hold a charge long enough, this post is for you.
7 Signs It’s Time to Change Your Laptop Battery
It’s normal for a laptop battery to degrade over time. You may not notice this, but every time you plug in your laptop to charge, the battery charges a little less than the time before. If you’re suspecting an issue with your battery, we recommend consulting a professional to get an accurate diagnosis of the problem. However, the following few signs can tip you off that it’s time to get your laptop a new battery:
1. It Has a Short Run Time
If your battery dies out way sooner than it used to, chances are you need a new one. A shorter than expected run time is one of the most common and obvious signs that it’s time to check the conditions of your laptop battery.
After all, you don’t want to end up running back to the charger every half an hour. Or glued to a desk because of how frequently your laptop needs charging.
On average, a full charge should give you around 6 hours of power, or even longer depending on the work you do. Various factors can affect how long your battery runs before a charging session is due such as screen brightness, the number of programs you have open, and if you’re listening to audio or watching a video while you work.
Doing a lot of these things at the same time will require your laptop to draw more power from the battery causing it to tap out sooner. In any case, your battery should at least provide an hour of power per full charge, any less than that indicates an issue that may call for replacement.
2. Your Laptop to Shut Down Suddenly
If your laptop experiences the occasional power glitch, you may not necessarily have to worry about a battery issue. But if it turns off repeatedly without warning, there’s a good chance you’re dealing with a faulty battery.
So, make sure you keep track of how often your laptop suddenly shuts down. If your Windows or Mac shuts down out of nowhere after recently charging the battery. Then you likely need a new battery.
You can try charging your battery again, but if the problem persists, a replacement is likely in order. Granted, a worn-out battery isn’t the only possible cause for laptop crashes. But it’s a place to start.
3. The Battery Charges Slowly
Another charging-related warning sign that it’s time for a new battery is if your laptop charges particularly slowly.
If your laptop battery is in good condition, then it’s supposed to charge quickly and hold its power for at least 1 to 6 hours after being disconnected from the charger.
But if your laptop battery is charging at an exceptionally slow pace. Or if it charges only when connected to an outlet (as opposed to a power bank), you may need to buy a new battery.
4. It Doesn’t Charge
It’s one thing for your laptop battery to charge at a snail’s pace. But it’s even worse if it doesn’t charge at all when plugged into a power outlet. Before you rule out this issue as a ruined battery, there are a few other reasons why it’s not charging you may want to investigate first.
For example, if your battery is plugged into a faulty surge protector or UPS, then this could be the culprit instead of your laptop battery. To make sure this isn’t the problem, plug your laptop battery directly into the wall outlet.
Also, if you have an external battery, use the quick-release mechanism on the bottom of your laptop to remove it then check that the connection is working. If you find dust build-up, wipe it clean while you’re at it with a dry soft cloth.
After that, insert the battery back in place. It should be securely fitted, and the contacts must be connecting. If the battery still won’t charge, then a replacement may be inevitable.
5. It Overheats
It’s normal and, honestly, expected for a laptop to heat up slightly while the battery is running. This is why all laptops are built with cooling solutions to bring down their temperatures during use. As such, your laptop may be equipped with fans or heat sinks to dispel the excess heat.
The problem starts when these cooling solutions fail to do their job and your laptop becomes too hot. This can happen when your battery is dying because your laptop will start working harder, consequently generating more heat than your fans and heat sinks can expel.
You may also notice your laptop becoming extra noisy as the internal fans work overtime to try and keep up with the cooling demands. If you hear loud fan noise, carefully feel the bottom of your laptop to see if it’s hot to the touch. It’s okay if it’s a bit warm, but it shouldn’t be so hot that it’s uncomfortable to touch.
If you conclude that your laptop is running hotter than usual, then it may be a sign that your battery is out of juice. If your laptop is indeed hot to the touch, shut it down and unplug it right away to prevent any further damage.
At this point, the best thing to do is take your laptop to a professional repair shop so they can test your battery and tell you whether or not you need to get a new one.
6. It’s too Old
While there are a ton of great options on the market for Windows and Mac fans, no laptop will stay working forever. So, if you’re experiencing power-related issues with your laptop, it may just be too old — It’s as simple as that.
Generally speaking, laptop batteries have a lifespan of 1 to 2 years or 300 to 400 charge cycles, after which they start to become problematic. If your laptop is past its prime, chances are your battery is also due for a replacement.
7. The Software Displays a Replacement Warning
Now, this sign couldn’t be more obvious — it’s literally in your face! Both the Windows and Mac operating systems are equipped with technologies to check the overall health of batteries and indicate when their capacities reach critically low levels.
- For Windows: Microsoft added a battery life warning feature starting from Windows 7. Once your battery reaches a certain low capacity, a message will appear to warn you that you need to replace it. You’ll probably see a red “X” over the battery icon, and if you click the icon for additional information. A message that reads “plugged in, not charging. Consider replacing your battery” will likely pop up.
- For Mac: There’s a battery icon in the top menu bar, and if you click it, you’ll view more details about the battery’s current status along with a time estimate of the remaining charge. It’ll also tell you which apps are using the most power as well as the battery condition. If there’s an issue with your battery or if it’s reaching low levels of capacity. The software will display one of 3 messages: “replace soon”, “replace now”‘, or “service battery”.
Tips for Charging Your Laptop Battery
Caring for your laptop battery can go a long way when it comes to boosting its lifespan. Here are a few tips to make sure you’re properly charging your laptop battery:
- Do not recharge the battery unless it’s at low charge levels. This can significantly prolong its serviceable life.
- Do not leave the battery plugged in all the time.
- Keep the battery connected to its socket for regular use as long as your laptop doesn’t exceed 104ºF to 122ºF (40ºC to 50ºC).
- Do not attach the battery or keep the A/C adapter plugged in for too long; disconnect it during heavy use. Otherwise, a chemical reaction that reduces the battery’s capacity to retain its charge may occur.
- If the laptop is new or if you’ve just replaced your old battery with a new one, make sure you let the battery fully charged before usage.
What to Consider When Replacing a Laptop Battery
Once your old laptop battery is no longer serving its purpose, you’ll need to replace it with a brand new one. This brings up a common question: What should I look for in a replacement battery?
If you’re wondering the same thing, check out the pointers below to help you pick the right replacement battery for your laptop:
- Voltage — The replacement battery must have the same exact voltage as the old one. If you use a battery of higher or lower voltage, it can damage the internal components of your laptop or even burn it.
- Wattage — This refers to the amount of energy required to power the laptop. A higher watt-hour capacity usually translates to a longer lifespan for your laptop battery.
- mAh (Milliamperes) — This unit measures the electric power over time, commonly used to describe the energy capacity of a battery. As a rule of thumb, the more the mAh, the longer the battery capacity or battery life.
When it comes to the price of your replacement battery, it mainly depends on who you’re buying it from. As such, the two most probable ways for purchasing a replacement laptop battery are:
- From the laptop/battery manufacturer: Through the manufacturer, you can guarantee that the replacement battery is, in fact, the standard battery intended for your laptop. However, such battery replacements are often expensive. Some say overpriced.
- From third-party manufacturers: You can find compatible replacement batteries and universal replacement batteries for your laptop through independent manufacturers. These are often available at more affordable prices, and they can even last longer than the ones provided by the original manufacturer.
There you go, 7 signs to help you know when to replace laptop battery and tips to make sure you choose the right one. Thanks to their design and technological innovations, laptops are lasting longer than ever. One of the biggest perks of owning a laptop is the ability to complete computer-related tasks wherever or whenever you want. But when your laptop isn’t working the way it should, that cuts into productivity, which is no Bueno. If you need help changing your laptop battery you can contact useful resources like Computer Revival and they can point you in the right direction.