It’s important to check your laptop battery’s health – here’s how
Batteries aren’t meant to last forever, including the battery that powers your laptop. It might seem like the power source that gives life to your device should be the tech equivalent of an everlasting gobstopper, but as with any other battery, your laptop battery has a life cycle that ends at some point.
It’s important to keep an eye on your laptop battery’s health for that very reason: it can, and likely will, die at some point, and you don’t want to get stuck replacing it in a pinch. Plus, just because the battery has died doesn’t mean you need to buy a new laptop. Tap or click here for five signs it’s time for a new laptop.
Let’s take a look at how you can check the life of your laptop battery on both PCs and Mac laptops, brought to you by our sponsor, IDrive.
How and why laptop batteries die
Most laptops use lithium-ion batteries as the power source, and as a general rule, this type of battery tends to lose charging capabilities. This can cause your laptop battery, which once held a full charge of 100%, to be limited to, say, 30% over time.
This can interfere with productivity — and also your laptop’s efficiency. Laptops are meant to be portable, but if you can’t move them from one place to the next without the battery dying, it can cause issues with how useful your device is to you.
This happens because your laptop battery is only equipped to handle a limited number of complete battery cycles or, in layman’s terms, the charging process in which your battery goes from 0% to 100% before it starts losing efficiency. If you consistently put your laptop battery through complete charge cycles, it will lose efficiency, and so will older batteries as they age.
Your laptop battery can also lose efficiency if you’re partially charging it. Let’s say you regularly charge your laptop from 30% to 50%, or about 20% each time you charge it. Well, do that five times and you’ll have completed one battery cycle because you’ve charged your laptop 100% in total.
You can’t just avoid charging your battery to cut down on the cycles you put it through, so it’s essential to check your battery’s health instead. Doing so will give you a good idea of how much more abuse your battery can take and help prompt you to make some changes to preserve battery health.
But how do you do that? Let’s take a look.
How to check the battery life on your laptop
The steps you take to check your battery health will depend on your laptop type. Checking on the health of your battery on a MacBook is much simpler than checking the health of your battery on a PC laptop, which involves a much more laborious process. Let’s start with the difficult one first.
How to check the battery health of your PC laptop
Option 1: Use the Windows PowerShell terminal (Windows 8 or later).
You just have to use one simple command from the Windows Powershell terminal to check your battery health.
- Click the Start menu on your laptop.
- Search for PowerShell and then click on the PowerShell option that appears.
- Once it appears, type the following command: powercfg /batteryreport.
- Press Enter, which will generate a report that includes information on your battery health.
- Search for the folder in your user accounts directory with the name: C:\Users[YourUsername] to access the report.
- Note: Rather than searching for Powershell, you can opt to type “cmd” while pressing the Start button.
- Press Ctrl Shift Enter to run it in administrator mode.
- While in admin mode, type powercfg /batteryreport.
- Hit Enter.
- Go to Users\Your Username folder and look for the battery-report.html file to access the report.
Following either set of instructions above generates a report containing a ton of information on your laptop, including information about your battery health. This report will be an HTML file, so all you have to do is double-click it to view the contents.
You can find the information about your battery health by scrolling down on the report to the Battery Information section. This section will include subsections with details on Design Capacity, Full Charge Capacity, and Cycle Count.
It also includes a subsection called Battery Life Estimates, which will give you a clearer picture of how long your laptop battery will last on a full charge, along with information on how long it would last on a full charge when it was new. This information should help you better understand your battery’s life cycle.
Option 2: Use Battery Report, which allows you to see your battery health (best for older laptops)
- Press Windows Key X to open Win X menu.
- Choose Command Prompt (Admin). (Note: This opens Command Prompt as an administrator, which allows you to run a battery report for your laptop).
- When Command Prompt opens, type in the same command you use for Windows PowerShell: powercfg /batteryreport and run the report.
This will do the same thing as the Windows PowerShell method: it will generate a report that includes information on your battery health, which can be found by searching in your accounts directory for a folder called C:\Users[YourUsername].
As with the PowerShell method, this report will show you information about your battery, along with the name, serial number, and chemistry type of the battery.
How to check the battery health of your Mac laptop
It’s surprisingly simple to check the health of your MacBook battery, especially when compared to checking the battery health on a PC laptop. To check the health of your battery on a MacBook:
- Hold the Option key and click on the Apple menu.
- Click on System Information.
- Scroll down to Hardware Power Cycle Count.
The “Cycle Count” section will give you a firm number of times your laptop battery has completed the battery cycle, and you can use this number to better understand where your MacBook battery is in its life cycle.
You’ll also find information on the full charge capacity, the charge remaining, and a ton of other information about your battery, including the serial number. This information is important because the battery cycles will vary with each model of the MacBook.
As you can see in the screenshot above, the MacBook this was written on has a cycle count of 253, which may seem high, but it’s a MacBook Pro and MacBook Pros that were released in 2009 and later have 1,000 cycles on their batteries. So, this MacBook is about a third of the way into the full battery life cycle.
But, if you complete a battery health check and find that your battery is at the end of its life cycle, don’t panic. There are plenty of replacement batteries available to keep your laptop up and running, and there are tons of ways to help preserve your overall battery life, which you can learn by tapping or clicking here.
If You’re on a PC, Use the Windows Performance Management Tool
The first stop on our battery-life betterment tour is your laptop’s performance management tool. In Windows 10, it’s a slider accessed from the battery icon in the task bar. It aims to group all of the settings that affect battery life into a few easy-to-understand categories.
In Windows 11, you’ll find it in Settings System Power Battery Power Mode.
The company that made your PC determines exactly which settings the battery slider controls. But in general, keep these guidelines in mind:
- The Best Performance mode is for people willing to trade off battery runtime to gain speed and responsiveness. In this mode, Windows won’t stop apps running in the background from consuming a lot of power.
- The Better Performance (or Recommended) mode limits resources for background apps, but it otherwise prioritizes power over efficiency.
- The Better Battery mode delivers longer battery life than the default settings on previous versions of Windows.
- The Battery Saver mode, a slider choice that will appear only when your PC is unplugged, reduces the display brightness by 30%, prevents Windows Update downloads, stops the Mail app from syncing, and suspends most background apps.
If You’re on a Mac, Use macOS Battery Settings
Recent Mac laptops have extensive battery and power settings that you can control. In macOS Monterey or later, open the System Preferences app and click on Battery.
Make sure that Slightly dim the display while on battery power is checked, and Enable Power Nap while on battery power is unchecked. (With Power Nap enabled and your MacBook asleep, the machine will wake up now and then to check for updates. Disabling it keeps your MacBook fully asleep until you choose to wake it up.) On recent MacBook Pro laptops, the display brightness adjusts to 75% when you unplug the computer from power if you have Slightly dim the display while on battery power enabled.
Depending on which laptop and which version of macOS you have, you may see additional options in the Energy Saver preferences pane. These include Optimize video streaming while on battery for disabling HDR video playback and Optimized battery charging. Some Macs also have an Energy Mode setting, which is similar to the Windows performance management tool described above. If you see Energy Mode in the Battery section of system preferences, you’ve got the following options:
- Low Power: Reduce energy usage to increase battery life.
- Automatic: Have your Mac automatically use the best performance level.
- High Power: Increase energy usage to improve performance during sustained workloads.
Simplify Your Workflow: Close Apps, and Use Airplane Mode
If you spend lots of time working off the plug, it’s a good habit to adjust your laptop use in more battery-conserving ways, such as by sticking to one app at a time and closing everything else when you’re not using it. It’s a bit like turning off the lights when a room is vacant. If you’re going back and forth between the kitchen and the pantry all the time, or between Firefox and Microsoft Word, by all means keep both sets of lights (and apps) on (and open). But if you’re just cooking, or just watching a YouTube video, you’ll be best served by turning off and closing everything else.
In addition to shutting down other programs while you single-task, consider enabling Airplane mode in Windows, or turning off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth in macOS, if you know you’ll be editing a document with no need for web access. In addition to reducing distractions, Airplane mode eliminates a significant source of battery drain: not only the wireless radios themselves, but also the background apps and processes that constantly use them, such as updaters and push notifications.
Close Specific Apps That Draw Lots of Power
Having multiple apps and processes running on your system at the same time will chew through battery life more quickly, and chances are you probably aren’t actively using everything that’s currently running on your PC. In Windows, the Settings app is the first step to find energy-hogging programs.
Type See which apps are affecting your battery life into the Windows 10 search bar for a list of apps that are consuming the most power. In Windows 11, you can access this list in the Power Battery settings pane under Battery Usage. If you see an app that you rarely use hogging a lot of power, make sure you close it. Often, these are apps you’ve opened in the background and forgotten about, such as Spotify or Adobe Reader.
Next, type See which processes start up automatically when you start Windows into the search bar, or open the Task Manager app. In the Startup tab, you’ll see every utility that runs as soon as you start your PC. Anything with a name like Download Assistant or Helper is usually safe to disable. For example, unless you frequently open Spotify playlists, tracks, or albums from links in a web browser, you can disable the Spotify Web Helper.
To perform similar app purges in macOS, search for Users Groups, then click the Login Items tab, where you’ll find a list of apps that are designated to run in the background when you start up your Mac.
Laptop battery battle: Apple MacBook Pro vs Acer, Dell, Toshiba and others
The once-cavernous gulf between laptops and desktop PCs has never been narrower. Laptops now offer the sort of power that was a mere pipe dream a couple of years ago, and they’re beginning to rival desktops in their versatility as well.
One of the key buying criteria is battery life, which is a topic subject to some controversy over the way battery life is advertised.
In the latest issue of PC Authority (September 2009) we’ve bench tested 10 of the world’s biggest and best laptops, including a battery benchmark test. This includes Apple’s famed MacBook Pro, Dell’s Studio XPS 16, Acer’s Aspire 8930G, and a Toshiba Qosmio G50-127.
How we testedWe run two battery life tests. For our light-use test, we run a simple timer application until the battery runs out, and for the intensive test we push the processor to its limit with our multitasking benchmark. This gives us a minimum and maximum battery life. We use the battery settings most suited to longevity and performance. For simplicity, where laptops have dual graphics, we’ve only graphed the stamina times for light use and speed times for heavy use.
Lenovo’s X301 was a clear performer in both battery benchmarks. Also interesting were the results achieved on the MacBook Pro under Mac OS X with higher powered nVidia graphics enabled.
To see the rest of the reviews, including how the laptops stacked up in terms of features, performance, and value for money, see the September 2009 issue of PC Authority magazine, which is on sale now.
Toshiba Laptop Battery Replacement
We can have a battery ready for you within 24-48 hours of ordering. Give us a call on (08) 9325 1196 or you can request a FREE quote online and we can contact you.
One of the main problems and concerns of laptops is their battery life. They work great at first and the laptops can last for 4 or 5 hours, but then over the passing months and years, you’re lucky if your laptop can last half an hour without the AC adapter plugged in.
Give us a call on (08) 9325 1196 or you can request a FREE quote online and we can contact you.
How do I make my laptop battery last longer?
- When you first get your laptop or new laptop battery, make sure to fully charge your laptop before using it. This will allow a full charge for the battery and insure it lasts longer.
- Don’t use your laptop with the AC adapter frequently. In the long run, this will cause the laptop battery to have a chemical memory, which will basically make the laptop have a life-span of about 3 seconds without the AC adapter plugged in.
- Keep your laptop stored at room temperature. Low or high temperatures can reduce the life span of the batteries.
- Allow your battery to get to a low charge level before charging again. The lower your battery is when you start to charge it again the longer it will last. So allowing your laptop to die before charging it will insure the longest life span.
Computer Mechanics would be your answer here. We can have a battery ready for you within 24-48 hours of ordering. Give us a call on (08) 9325 1196 or you can request a FREE quote online and we can contact you.
Making the most out of your laptop battery
Laptop batteries are the most important part of your laptop. Without them your laptop is basically a miniature desktop computer, and they are no longer portable. So here are some tips and advice that will allow you to care for your laptop battery and get the most out of them.
Most laptop batteries today are Li-Ion/Lithium Ion batteries. They are great as they have great energy capacity and they don’t have memory effect, meaning you don’t have to or should let the battery die down all the way before charging it again. You may have heard that is better to let your laptop die all the way before charging it, but that is quite the opposite if your battery is a Lithium Ion battery, in fact it causes your laptop battery to get worse faster, so make sure to not allow your Lithium Ion battery to completely discharge, or die. But for the first 2 or 3 times charging your Lithium Ion battery, you SHOULD let it die all the way, but after that you do not need to or should do so.
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Compatible Battery Part Number
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