Believe it or not, your laptop battery has a limited amount of times you can plug in and charge it, even though your laptop battery is “rechargeable.” Charging your laptop battery a full 100% equivalent of power equals one “cycle.” For example, if you charge your battery from a level of 50%, to full power at 100% and do this twice (50% + 50%), that equals one “cycle.” On average, laptop batteries nowadays have anywhere from 300 to 1000 cycles, depending on the manufacturer. You can check how many cycles you’ve already accrued on your Macbook or PC.
That all being said, your laptop battery will NOT last forever, so it’s important to make the most out of your battery, before having to purchase a new one to replace it. Here’s how to make your battery cycles count:
Customize Your Settings
While this one is a no-brainer, not everyone picks the optimal settings to conserve battery life. Let’s take a look at common settings for both Mac and PC computers, which can be accessed in your system preferences:
- Display Brightness – One of this biggest laptop battery drainers is your screen display. Setting your brightness at the lowest possible setting while still being visible will help increase battery life.
- Automatically turn off display – If you look away from your screen for more than 10 minutes for say, a snack or bathroom break, does your screen really need to be on that whole time? Imagine as if your screen were a light in a room – if you leave it, it doesn’t need to be on. Consider setting your display to turn off after 2 or more minutes of inactivity.
- Put your computer to sleep – Even more battery saving is putting your laptop to sleep. While this doesn’t completely shut off your computer, it puts it in a sort of standby mode, turning off hard drives, displays, and other miscellaneous processes that kill battery life. Computers in tip-top shape won’t take long to wake up and get back into action (if your computer takes long to load and turn back on, you might have some issues like viruses or spyware – many repair shops offer a free computer diagnostic).
- Turn off hard drive – If your hard drive is not a solid state hard drive (or if you have no idea what that is), chances are you have a drive that gobbles a ton of power. There is an option in your power settings to turn off your hard drive during periods of inactivity. Plus, your hard drive will last longer turned off when it’s not needed.
Improve Your Charging
There’s more to charging than just plugging in your laptop. For one, don’t leave your laptop plugged in more than it needs to be (which means once you reach 100%, unplug!). Also, batteries and laptop chargers heat up in the charging process, and too much heat can damage your battery. Keep your laptop off your lap, and make sure laptop vents aren’t covered to allow your laptop to release the hot air building up. If anything in your computer feels hot to the touch, that is BAD and your computer might have issues keeping its temperature down. If your computer has a fever, definitely get it checked out.
Update Your Software
Software companies, including the manufacturer of your laptop, provide free software updates to make your computer run more efficiently, and this can mean less processing power, leading to less battery consumption. Plus, new software can cause other older programs on your computer to work harder due to outdated drivers. Having the latest supported update for all your programs helps ensure your laptop is running as efficiently as it can.
We hope that these tips help you increase the longevity of your laptop battery life. You invested and paid a pretty penny for your laptop — Taking a few steps like these can save you from having to buy a new laptop battery sooner than you need to (especially with battery prices these days).
Do you know of other battery saving tips? Let us know in the comments below!