When you get a new laptop or new laptop battery, proper charging, discharging, usage
and storage will allow you to maximize your battery’s life and capabilities. Before
even powering up your laptop for the first time, it is important to know just how
to charge and care for your battery in order to get the most out it for as long
as you can.
Charge & Discharge
According to CNET authors Asher Moses and Brian Nadel, the first thing you should
do with your new laptop is “let the battery completely drain(5%) before you recharge
it.” Letting the battery completely drain(5%) by using it without AC power, and
then recharging it to 100 percent before using it again, helps to establish memory
within the battery regarding how much of a charge can be held. Do this for at least
the first two times when using your laptop on battery power, and repeat as often
as you can to get the most out of your battery.
If you plan to use your laptop as a desktop most of the time, Rick Broida of "PC
World" suggests you take the battery out of your laptop and use only AC power. Only
put the battery in and charge it whenever you plan on moving the laptop and using
it without AC power, because “if you leave your laptop plugged in 24/7… the battery
rarely (if ever) gets a chance to discharge, [so] it loses its capacity to hold
a charge.” Charge the battery before moving your laptop, and discharge it completely
before recharging again, if you can.
Temperature & Climate
One of the main causes of battery failure is overheating. "PC Magazine’s" Erik Rhey
suggests that you can avoid overheating by using cooling pads and not placing your
laptop on soft surfaces like pillows and blankets. Some batteries are actually designed
to sense if they are getting too warm and simply will not charge if they are, so
it is in your interest to keep your battery cool. Dust getting into the laptop and
clogging the cooling fan can also cause overheating problems, so try to keep the
area around your laptop clean. Of course, leaving your laptop in your car where
it can become excessively hot can also cause problems, so avoid that as well.
Once you have gotten the hang of charging your batteries, visit your computer’s
Power Settings in the Control Panel and dim your computer’s display, adjust the
timeout settings for your display to turn off and for your laptop to sleep, and
see if any advanced settings can be changed to really extend your battery life as
far as you can.