When it comes to taking care of the batteries in our laptops, it can be a bit of a trick at times, like how high and low we should allow the charge and discharge levels to be, for example. With that in mind, today’s SuperUser Q&A post has the answer to a concerned reader’s question.
Today’s Question & Answer session comes to us courtesy of SuperUser—a subdivision of Stack Exchange, a community-driven grouping of Q&A web sites.
SuperUser reader Aalok wants to know how to manage charging cycles in order to extend a laptop battery’s life:
My laptop is used throughout the day for various types of work. I start after breakfast and continue working until about 9 p.m., when I take a break for dinner, then I continue to work for another hour or two afterwards. During these long days, my laptop’s battery discharges at least a couple of times.
What I currently do is plug it in to start recharging whenever the battery drops below 25 percent and keep it plugged in until it fully recharges to 100 percent. This is usually repeated three times each day.
Lately though, I have grown more concerned about this and each time I plug it in to recharge, I worry that I am actually causing damage rather than helping to preserve (extend) the battery’s life (considering that I constantly sit next to a power source, but make the battery work hard all day).
Is there any way that I can optimize my current recharging “methods” to extend the general durability and endurance of my laptop’s battery?
How do you manage charging cycles to extend a laptop battery’s life?
SuperUser contributor Ravexina has the answer for us:
Batteries have a finite life and there are many different aspects involved, however, the one we are concerned about here is cycle life.
Source: What is the Meaning of a Battery’s “Cycle Life”? [Electrical Engineering Stack Exchange]
In other words:
Source: Charge Cycle [Wikipedia]
What you are doing is repeating this cycle over and over, thus decreasing your laptop battery’s life. Remember that you should not let your laptop’s battery be repeatedly charged to 100 percent of its capacity or fully discharged to 0 percent. So the best thing to do is control the charging process.
Based on your laptop’s brand, there might be different tools available to you. For example, if you have a Lenovo ThinkPad, you can use tlp to easily manage this process. It has multiple configuration settings that allows you to control the battery’s charge thresholds. For example:
Source: ThinkPad Battery Charge Thresholds [LinRunner]
This allows you to keep your laptop plugged in all the time while also controlling the charging process. Somewhere between 60-65 percent while you have your laptop plugged in is a safe range to go with.
Have something to add to the explanation? Sound off in the comments. Want to read more answers from other tech-savvy Stack Exchange users? Check out the full discussion thread here.
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