Save Money By Extending Your Laptop Battery Life


This article is posted under Money Saving Tips.

A few days back, my father asked if it was possible to have his laptop battery refilled instead of being replaced.

Meanwhile, I remember a couple of months back, a friend of mine also asked me if it was safe to recell or repack a laptop battery.

From experience, I’d say that it’s actually a good idea.

A laptop’s essential purpose is to provide portable computing and if your battery dies on you within an hour, then you could be missing out on one of the primary advantages of having a laptop.

However, although it’s cheaper to repack a laptop battery than buying replacements, it is nonetheless quite pricey. Currently, expect to spend at least P2,000 for it.

Thus, I’d like to give you some tips on how you can extend the life your original laptop battery.

The technician whom I was able to talk to gave these suggestions and swears that if you’re diligent enough to follow these advise, then your battery can last as long as your laptop and will consequently, save you money.

laptop Save Money By Extending Your Laptop Battery Life

Tips To Extend Your Laptop Battery Life:

  • Make your laptop use less energy
    • Minimize startup programs, you can start working faster too
    • Unplug unnecessary USB devices, they hog the power of your laptop
    • Keep the CD/DVD drive empty, remove disks that are not in use
    • Work in a well-lit place so you can minimize the brightness of the screen
    • Set the monitor to turn off instead of using a screensaver when idle
    • Choose hibernate instead of sleep
  • Store your laptop in a cool place. Clean the air vents regularly. Heat deteriorates the battery.
  • Use original adaptors or one with the correct specifications
  • Remove the battery and just plug-in if you’re planning to use it for several hours and an outlet is available

The last one is perhaps one of the most controversial of all issues regarding laptop batteries. I’ve found a related question over at About.com and I thought it may be good to share it.

Should I remove the laptop battery for a desktop replacement laptop?

When using a laptop as a desktop replacement the battery should not be left in for long periods of time. The laptop will over time discharge the battery. Remove the battery – making sure that it is charged to 40% and store it in a dry, warm place. Ensure that it is wrapped protectively and nothing will be dropped on it.

The battery should be re-installed every 3-4 weeks and allowed to fully discharge. Leaving a battery in storage for longer than this without using could cause the battery to fully discharge as the circuitry of the battery itself consumes power.

Leaving a battery in a laptop while using an electrical outlet for long periods of time will keep the battery in a constant state of charging up and that will reduce the life cycle of the battery.

Remember that when you have removed the battery from a laptop while using with an electrical outlet – the automatic battery backup is no longer functional. Make sure to plug your laptop into an uninterrupted power source (UPS) not directly into an outlet or surge protector.

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Photo credit: Lizette Greco

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  1. “Remember that when you have removed the battery from a laptop while using with an electrical outlet – the automatic battery backup is no longer functional. Make sure to plug your laptop into an uninterrupted power source (UPS) not directly into an outlet or surge protector.”

    I was a victim of too-much-battery-care, I removed my battery and plugged my computer via AC, next thing was brownout. Computer crash should be worse than having less battery life! Haha!

    Thanks for some tips, I’d probably get a UPS soon. ;)

  2. i find this post very helpful…thanks fitz! :)

  3. These are great tips. Too bad, my G4 iBook battery charge lasts for literally 7 minutes until it shuts down!

    I’ve had the computer for 5 years now, and it’s time to buy a new Macbook Pro!

  4. Hi Fitz,

    Based on my experience, keep your laptop plug onto the direct outlet while using it at home and not necessarily removing your battery.

  5. Thanks for the tips Fitz. Now I know how to take care of my laptop battery. Where would you recommend to have a laptop battery repacked?

  6. Thanks for these tips. I recently bought my first brand new laptop few months ago. I was used in buying second hand ones before then selling it again to upgrade into a new one.

    Anyway, is it advisable to plug in the adaptor while you are using the laptop at home or would it be much preferred if you let the battery ran out before plugging the adapter?

  7. @Cher
    any reputable laptop repair shop would be fine. personally, I take it to SST because it’s the nearest one from me.

    @Tyrone
    my practice is to let the battery run low before I plug in, but if ever I do, I make sure I stay until the battery is fully charged.

    If I don’t think I’ll be able to do that, I just take out the battery and continue to work while plugged in.

    however, if I plan to use the laptop at home for long periods (more than 8 hours), I just take out the battery and plug in. just make sure you have a UPS so power interruptions won’t be a hassle :D

  8. Thanks for the tips. Although I opt to hibernate my laptop when I’m not using it, I didn’t know that hibernating saves more battery over choosing “sleep.”

  9. Hey Fitz and others, what would you guys buy? A new Macbook Pro 13″ for like $1,300USD? Or a similar spec PC laptop for around $800?

    Do you think it’s worth the 55% premium Mac’s charge?

  10. I got a laptop which i changed its battery twice for a past year. But i do not think the problem is in me, lolz! ithink the technician that i trusted to buy the battery totally ripped me off.

  11. @FS, I’d go for the PC just because it’s cheaper and assuming that the specs can handle my intended use for it. Other considerations of course is the after-sales service they are willing to offer, which is very important when buying a high-ticket item. :D

  12. That’s the thing, service. 5 blocks away, I’ve got an Apple store with free service with their “Genius Bar”. Just make an appointment, and they’ll fix anything. That’s worth a lot to me, b/c I hate computers.

    Hope Apple lowers their prices more for the holiday season!

  13. Thanks for a very useful information.

  14. My laptop battery is dead so I always have to connect the power cord to turn it on…so much for having a “mobile” device called laptop. :) I thought of buying a replacement battery but the price is too steep. Besides, I mostly use the laptop at home so it’s not a big deal. One time, my power adapter also broke down, so I had to buy a new one. I checked out Cyberzone in megamall but the price is too steep ranging from 3k++. Good thing I was able to find a cheaper one at St Francis square ground floor…bought it for around 1k++. :) I always wonder how come laptop batteries or adapters are pricey. Any idea why?

  15. hi fitz,where can i buy a new battery for old model dell inspiron 6400 laptop model pp20L.how much po?tnx

  16. hi! I just ran a battery check today and it said i should replace my battery. I really don’t plan on spending that much money on the battery so I’m wondering if i can opt to stick with this one, and just keep using it while plugged to an outlet? will there come a time when it won’t even charge or work even if it’s plugged? thanks. :)

  17. Hello,
    you described some very useful tips. However, nowadays, battery chargers are “smart” and they don’t damage your battery, if you have the charger always plugged in. But yes, once in a while is good for the battery, if you totally discharge it and then fully charge it again. And the power options in Windows 7 are a peach. You can adjust anything…I have 4 years old laptop, but the battery with “power-saving” plan lasts me 3 hours or more. It’s quite good, considering the age of laptop.


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