Will keeping my laptop plugged in hurt battery?

Discussion in 'Notebook Dummy Guide Articles' started by variable303, Jul 10, 2008.

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  1. variable303

    variable303 Notebook Enthusiast

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    I've heard that keeping my laptop plugged in while using at home will drastically shorten battery life. Is this true? Should I only plug my laptop in when the battery is about to run out? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Kdawgca

    Kdawgca rotaredoM repudrepuS RBN Super Moderator

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    Take a look at the Battery Guide.
     
  3. eleron911

    eleron911 HighSpeedFreak

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    Hurt it? no.
    Slowly kill it? yes.
     
  4. AuroraAlpha

    AuroraAlpha Notebook Consultant

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    From the time a battery is made it is already degrading. How you handle the battery during the time you have it determines how quickly it degrades. When you keep it plugged in it generally does two things to the battery that damage it.

    1. It keeps it fully charged. This might seem a bit odd, but the cells in the battery will last the longest when stored with 40% charge.
    2. It causes it to become significantly hotter. Any time you turn electricity through pretty much anything you generate heat, and once a battery is full charged it is provided a 'trickle' charge which is suppose to supply any charge that the computer pulls or leaks, but this charge isn't very precise so much of it automatically becomes heat. The optimum temperature for the batteries is surprising cold, that’s why storing it in a fridge or freezer is often recommended, while a hot car can severally damage it.

    Even if you don’t store your battery in the laptop while on AC, you will probably still have your battery at >95% charge. This means that only the temperature is changed, which can still be significant. If your laptop is next to a strong flow of AC it’s not going to be as effected as if its stuffed in a corner with all the heat forced to stay on the laptop. It’s really a personal choice and unless you follow it religiously you probably won’t get a huge amount of gain.
     
  5. sikidhart

    sikidhart Notebook Consultant

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    I read the guide, but it seems like it's more hassle than it's worth...
    Compared to just leaving the battery plugged in all the time, how many hours/days/months/years does the whole "removing it while being plugged" thing last?

    If you use your laptop where there are power sockets 95% of the time, I just don't see the point... am I missing something here?
     
  6. Infoseeker

    Infoseeker Notebook Evangelist

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    There are some solutions, like my Extended Warranty with Bestbuy gives me the right to change my battery and power brick once for every year of the warranty.

    So 3-year warranty for me = 3 battery changes.

    A battery change a year, can basically justify me keeping the poor thing in my laptop during adapter-use.
     
  7. makaveli72

    makaveli72 Eat.My.Shorts

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    Long and Short...I personally believe from my experience that having ur laptop plugged in all the time will degrade ur batts. life faster...I suggest when it's charged fully to unplug it. Try and make this a habit..I must be honest w/ u...I guess i'm a hypocrite because the laptop i'm using now i'm guilty for always having it plugged in. If I plug it out, or if the current goes..the thing wouldn't last a good 30 mins. Same for another laptop's batt. i've spoiled this way. So...at the end of the day..it's up to u if u want to keep it plugged in all the time or not...I suggest no.
     
  8. millermagic

    millermagic Rockin the pinktop

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    I think the problem with leaving them plugged in 24/7 is being at 100%
     
  9. JPZ

    JPZ Notebook Deity

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    Don't worry about it. If you life in an area where you lose power frequently, it is a very good idea to keep the battery in your laptop to act as a UPS.

    I've put my Z96J 6-cell battery through a lot. It's been discharged almost every day for the last two years(monday-friday for class). I also leave my laptop on 24/7 when I am not in class, plugged into the wall and running folding@home. Even with this rough treatment, my battery still holds 85% of what it was designed to, which I think is amazing.
     
  10. kokoko

    kokoko Notebook Enthusiast

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    within the span of one year, by the 10 month mark you probably will notice a huge decline in performance. Many of my friends have notebooks for schools and never take the battery out, and by the time summer rolled around, all could not hold a charge for over an hour. :( I hope they invent a new awesome battery!
     
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