Best laptop battery care

We have several laptops that are rarely used. As best I can find, it is fatal to a Li Ion battery to go completely dead, and that has often happened on our laptops. Three of our relatively new laptops are a Thinkpad, Dell, and an HP. I observe that the charge light on the laptop goes off at some point. The HP charger which feels hot when charging, feels cold to the touch when the charge light goes off.

It seems to me tht the charging circuits in the laptops are smart enough to leave the chargers plugged in all the time.

I would appreciate comments from anyone who has adopted a similar charging strategy.


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I leave all my laptops plugged in when in use and tend to get batteries that last five or more years. Obviously they are used from time to time on batteries, but we mostly use these in our shop as semi-desktop machines that are portable. I take mine home every night for example, the rest are left wherever the staff last used them (cable locks).

John :-#)#

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John Robertson

They are. My laptop stays plugged in all the time except when I am traveling. And then, I usually get somewhere between 5 and 7 hours of use without problems. The computer is 2 years old at this moment.

Peter Wieck Melrose Park, PA

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Clifford Heath

Keeping lithium batteries continuously fully charged will shorten their life too.

Some people recommend charging the battery to 40%, then removing the battery and storing it in a cool place, and then every few months check the voltage to make sure it does not get too discharged.

On better laptops you can set them to stop charging at say 50% instead of 100%, which will make the batteries suffer less damage if continuously plugged in. Of course if you need to use the battery, it is only half charged so the run time will be shorter unless you fully charge it first.

Also heat shortens the life of batteries. Better laptops are designed such that the battery is not heated by the CPU. Some poor quality laptops allow the battery to get heated by other parts of the computer. If you have one of these laptops then charging the battery to 40% and removing it and storing it is a cool place may be a better strategy.

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Chris Jones

The *chargers* generally are. See Chris' reply for what the battery packs actually think of it.

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I used to leave my Thinkpad T43 plugged in all the time. I used the computer maybe twice a month. I had used it in my car and it was working fine. I got home, plugged it in, and a gr days later I turned it on. The computer refused to turn on both with battery and AC power. The power module was working. I replaced the coin cell in the computer, it still did not turn on. I tested the hard drive in another computer, that was fine.

I thought about it, and recall we had a bad lightning storm on between the last time I used the computer and the time it refused to start. Apparently lightning fryed the motherboard.

I'm not equipped to repair this sort of thing, and being an older computer, I simply bought an identical model on ebay for about $40. I was able to use the power converter, battery, hard drive, and CD drive from the old computer in the new one. I did have to reinstall Windows XP though. Swapping the old HDD simply would not boot. I was told that has soemthing to do with the activation for XP. But I did not lose any data, all of that was fine on the old HDD, I just had to copy it to a flash drive (using another computer), and put it on the new laptop.

I wont be leaving my laptops plugged in all the time anymore. Especially during the seasons when we have electrical storms.

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