Batteries often turn up as the deciding factor during laptop purchases. While manufacturers might promise a certain ballpark for the backup, i.e. something close to 7 hours for the famed Acer Predator Helios 300, the extracted autonomy often depends on the usage patterns of the concerned user.
While battery health and longevity were easier to monitor when removable cells were commonplaces, things became trickier than usual with manufacturers relying more on sealed laptop batteries. Unlike replaceable units, sealed batteries have a different approach towards maintaining holistic health. Therefore, it becomes all the more important to follow every practice there is for extending the battery life whilst caring for it, holistically.
How do Laptop Batteries work?
Regardless of the laptop you use, it is necessary to understand the generic functioning of the existing battery, so as to implement the battery-saving practices, in an all-inclusive manner. A laptop battery is housed into the system with the manufacturer declaring a set number of full cycles, pertaining to charging.
This means, if the battery is designed to handle 400 full cycles, it can be charged from 0 percent to 100 percent, at least 400 times. However, if you are charging for half-cycles or from 30 percent to 100 percent as a choice of habit, the fractional calculations can be made, accordingly.
Therefore, if other factors are kept comparable, lesser draining equates to better battery health.
Battery Saving Explained
Now that we are aware of how laptop batteries function, it would be appropriate to dig right into the battery-saving practices. While you can always resort to the built-in Battery Saving mode in machines with Windows 10 OS, which gets activated as soon as the battery reaches a threshold, it is better to take note of ingenious steps that are rarely followed.
Moreover, before starting, you should know that both MacBook and Windows-laptops have bespoke power-saving modes in place to keep the batteries in the pink of health. These include Power Nap and ‘Automatic Graphics Switching’ mode for the MacBook's and the already discussed Battery Saver for the Windows-powered machines.
However, here are some of the more resourceful strategies to follow:
1. Keep the Laptop Battery from Draining Out
Quite appropriately, we start off with a widely debated topic that concerns keeping the adapter plugged in even when the battery is fully charged. Despite an opinionated segment voicing against the practice, the new Lithium-Ion batteries are immune to standard ‘Battery Memory’ issues, where they end up forgetting the full-charging capacity.
This means the newer pride of laptop batteries is better off if they aren’t drained to the brink. The best practice is to start charging the same once the level reaches 20 percent. Moreover, routinely discharging the battery is an obsolete practice, and modern-day laptops do not require calibration.
Besides, even if you are in the habit of keeping the device plugged in, the modern-day batteries wouldn’t get affected as the charging automatically stops after getting filled up to the brim.
2. Maintain Ambient Temperature
Excessive heat isn’t good for laptop batteries, period! However, to follow this practice to the letter, you must try and keep every overheating aspect under control.
Firstly, climatic conditions matter as the rising mercury can speed up the electrochemical reactions, thereby burning through the lifespan of even the best laptops. Therefore, it is advisable to have temperature monitoring applications installed to check for any signs of overheating.
Moreover, the problems associated with heating keep compounding with time. For example, as the battery starts getting worked up, the same energy doesn’t get used by the hardware components, which in turn puts excessive pressure on the system.
Besides, certain individuals prefer placing the laptop on their laps, which isn’t advisable either as the heat-dissipating vents get blocked in time. However, laptop health can deteriorate even if the temperature levels go below a certain threshold as the electrochemical processes slow down and render the entity inefficient.
Therefore, ambient temperature is the best option for keeping the batteries in perfect health.
3. Unplug Peripherals
While it is standard practice to keep the hard drive, mouse, and even pen drives plugged into the system, you must try and change the habit for the betterment of the laptop battery. As a matter of fact, the peripherals, even when unused, draw considerable power, thereby draining the laptop battery faster than usual.
4. Keep Monitoring
While certain gadgets have native temperature and battery monitoring resources pre-installed, the ones lacking the same must be stacked with applications, capable of offering a sneak peek into the overall performance of the battery.
Excellent choice of applications includes the Battery Monitor for the MacBooks, which can show the charging patterns and how the same impacts the temperature of the system and the capacity of the existing power unit.
If you are a Windows user, BatteryCare is a better option as it also talks about the discharge cycles, the temperature reading of hardware components, and offers notifications concerning the same.
5. Choose a Battery with Enough RAM
While this might sound like an absurd practice, it makes a lot of sense to opt for a device having a decent chunk of RAM. An additional chunk of system memory allows the processor to house information on the same, instead of the hard drive. This way, the file and process retrievals are faster, thereby helping the laptop achieve more without stressing out the hardware.
As the laptop finds it easier to operate, the battery lasts longer and doesn’t drain as fast as you might expect it to.
6. Unplug at Times
Even though we aren’t against keeping the laptop plugged in at all times, it is advisable to cut the cord at times, so as to help the battery reach its full discharging potential at all times. Besides, fast charging might stress out the battery and, therefore unplugging the adapter can be a good way to compensate for the same.
7. Purchase an SSD
Considering your laptop uses a hard disk for storing files and other resources, an SSD might be a good option to replace the same with. A solid-state drive is expected to speed up the operations, thereby slowing down the battery draining cycles.
8. Update the OS
We understand that most users relying on a pirated version of Windows wittingly switch-off the system updates. However, if you have a pre-installed OS, it is imperative to download and install every system update as some might even bring in some good news for the laptop battery.
As Microsoft constantly tries to improve the user experience, a certain patch might just stem the battery draining speeds and aim at keeping the entity healthier for long.
Apart from the mentioned strategies, you can also pair in the basic ideas, including screen brightness reduction, switching off Bluetooth and Wireless modes when not in use, and plugging in the adapter before the battery reaches 0 percent. Overall, the holistic amalgamation of all these mentioned strategies can readily help you improve the health of the battery module, whilst extending the rated autonomy, almost significantly.
Most importantly, each of the mentioned practices even works with older machines and irrespective of the operating system in play.