When should I replace my laptop battery?

No matter how well you look after your laptop battery, sooner or later it will need to be replaced with a new one. The average lifespan of modern lithium-ion laptop batteries is about 2 years. In quite a few cases, however, you may need a replacement even sooner. In the following lines you can read how to know that your laptop battery needs to be replaced with a new one.

Operating time/battery life

The time your laptop will last on battery depends on two things – the capacity of your battery and the current consumption of the notebook. In general, consumption depends on what you’re currently using your laptop for – whether you’re just surfing the web or using heavy video processing software, for example. The battery capacity in turn decreases over time. This gets to the point where it can power the laptop for a very short time – literally up to a few minutes. If you have reached this point, then your battery needs to be replaced with a new one.

Windows will warn you

If you’re running Windows 10 or later, you’ll get a warning that your laptop battery needs to be replaced when its capacity drops significantly from its original capacity (usually around 30%). In this case, Windows will indicate that the battery should be replaced by displaying a red check mark, accompanied by “consider replacing your battery” on the icon showing the current state of your battery in the bottom right corner of the screen.

Check your battery with external software

If your battery is still lasting a satisfactory amount of time, but is far from its original state and you’re wondering if it’s worth replacing, your best bet is to check its status using external software. There are many free programs you can use. One of them is BatteryCare. Once you download and run it, you can see what the wear level of your battery is, as well as what its maximum capacity currently is. For example, if your battery’s design capacity is 4400mAh and its current maximum capacity is only 2000mAh, that means your battery is discharging twice as fast as when it was new. Batteries with a wear level above 50% very often stop working suddenly.

Heating up or swelling

When in use, laptop batteries can heat up slightly. However, if you experience more serious heating of the battery itself (not the rest of the laptop, which is likely to heat up more when in use), it is advisable to replace the battery with a new one. If the battery heats up so much that it burns on contact, remove it from the laptop immediately and do not use it again, as this can even lead to ignition in the most extreme case.

If you feel that your laptop battery has swelled up, it is best not to use it and replace it with a new one. Battery swelling is most commonly seen in Apple laptops, as well as laptops that use thin and wide batteries.

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