How to replace your laptop battery and when to remove it
- How long does a laptop battery last?
- When does a laptop battery need to be replaced?
- How can I tell if the battery is defective?
- Is it possible to replace built-in laptop batteries?
- How do I get the battery out of the laptop?
- How do you replace laptop battery cells?
- What is the best way to recharge the battery?
- What to do when the battery no longer recharges?
- Can I use my laptop without a battery?
- What can I do to extend battery life?
- Should you take the battery out of the laptop?
- How often can you recharge a laptop battery?
- How much does replacing a laptop battery cost?
- How long does a laptop battery last?
- How can I find the right battery for my laptop?
This question is not so easy to answer because the answer depends on various different factors. Generally speaking, the more often the laptop is used, the shorter the battery life. An average service life of about three to five years can nevertheless normally be expected. There are several factors that affect the life of a battery. High-quality rechargeable batteries, in this case lithium-ion batteries, are impressive due to the number of charge cycles they can go through before they need to be replaced. A charge cycle is the complete charging and discharging of the cells in the battery. High-quality batteries can withstand around 500 to 1,000 charging cycles, while inferior batteries sometimes only manage 300. It thus really makes sense to pay attention to the type of battery when buying a laptop. A battery’s life expectancy also always depends on how it is used.
It’s time to replace the laptop’s battery at the very latest when it is completely discharged and recharging is no longer possible. Before it gets to that point, however, there are generally some signs that suggest it’s time for a replacement. The first sign is that the laptop can no longer be used for as long as before. If you have to plug it in ever more often for recharging, this is a sign that the battery’s performance is declining. However, usage time can also provide information about whether the battery will soon need to be replaced. If a laptop is used frequently, the battery may need to be replaced after just 18 to 24 months. If you want to get a new battery in good time, you can use a battery diagnostics program to check how the battery is doing.
Windows offers the possibility of performing a detailed battery analysis. This will give you information about how the battery is doing. It also provides suggestions about how to enhance the battery’s performance. You can start the tool via the command line. It is available on Windows 7, 8 and 10 and administrator rights are required.
Here’s how this analysis is performed:
- Enter “cmd” in the Start menu and press Enter. This invokes the command line.
- The console will then open. There you have to enter the following command line: “powercfg -energy -output c:\energyreport.html”
- The entry will start the test. The process should be over in about one minute.
- The finished report can then be found at the specified location – usually “c:\energy-report.html” (on your C drive). Double-click it to open the file in the browser.
A few lines at the end of the document are important for the battery status. There you will find something like “Design capacity” and “Last full recharge”. The two values listed there provide information about the condition of the battery. If the two values differ significantly, battery performance has already decreased. However, if the values are close to each other, the battery is still in good condition.
Just a few years ago, most laptops and laptops were equipped with batteries that were pretty easy to replace. Of course, thanks to progress, batteries are now much more compact and lighter than before, and they also offer better performance. However, unfortunately very few laptops today are equipped with batteries that can be easily replaced. Many devices have built-in batteries that are either very difficult or impossible to replace. If you own a laptop with a built-in battery and want to replace it, you are better off letting professionals take care of it. There are many companies that specialize in such work. Although this is a little more expensive, there is no risk of the laptop being damaged due to faulty repairs.
The battery on laptops equipped with replaceable batteries is usually found on the bottom of the laptop along the back. The battery can be replaced in just a few steps.
- You must first completely shut down and turn off the laptop. Turn the laptop over so that the bottom is on top.
- A battery release hatch is usually found there. It is generally a small slider. There is often a battery symbol next to it. Slide the release latch forward and possibly hold it down.
- You can now take the battery out of the tray.
Although most modern devices are equipped with such a sliding hatch, some models use screws to hold the battery cover in place. Once the hatch has been removed, the battery is usually accessible. Sometimes, however, the battery is also fixed in place with screws. In this case, you must also carefully remove the latter before the battery can be taken out. Some manufacturers also glue the battery to the circuit board to prevent any battery movement. In that case, you will have to detach the battery with great care. Under no circumstances should pointed tools be used. MacBooks are an exception. A special tool is needed to remove the battery from these devices. You also require plenty of manual dexterity and patience.
It doesn’t always have to be a brand new battery – repairing the battery is also possible. This is a good solution if the required battery is no longer available and no suitable third-party batteries can be obtained. The defective battery is thus reconditioned by replacing the defective battery cells inside the battery with new ones. This sort of replacement is feasible with the new lithium-ion cells as well as with the older NiMH batteries. Repairs can nevertheless only be successful if the problem is really caused by the battery cells and not defective electronics. We recommend having a specialized workshop carry out such repairs. There, the battery case is opened, the electronics are checked and if they are OK, the old battery cells are replaced with new ones. The case is then closed again. The case’s stability may be affected by such repairs, as it is not possible to avoid all traces of opening and gluing.
You should always fully recharge the battery if possible. Very short charging times should be avoided. Even if the battery already indicates that it has been fully recharged, the power supply should remain connected for a certain time. This makes it possible to use the battery’s full capacity.
The battery should not be completely drained before it is recharged. Ideally you should already connect the battery to the power outlet when the battery is down to about 15% of full capacity.
If you are not going to use your laptop for longer period of time, the battery should not be fully recharged. It is better if the battery is at a capacity of between 50 and 70 percent during the period of non-use.
It is advisable to fully discharge and then recharge a brand new device a few times. The battery only reaches its full capacity after about three to five charging cycles have been completed.
If your laptop or laptop battery no longer recharges properly, this does not always mean that the battery is defective. Other faults can also be the cause of the problem. Modern laptops can also be operated without a battery. If this is the case, you can remove the battery to see if it is really causing the fault. If you remove the battery and the device only starts if connected to the power supply, the battery is probably defective. In that case, the battery should be replaced.
But it’s also possible that the power adapter is causing the problem. It may be that the power adapter is simply not charging the battery properly. In that case, you can try charging the battery with different power adapter. Of course, you should only use power adapters that have the same voltage and plug as the original adapter and are thus compatible with it.
If you can still start your laptop, a driver could also be causing the problem. You can check this by removing and reinstalling the battery driver.
Most modern laptops can also be operated without a battery. Of course, the laptop must always be used with the power adapter in that case. Care should always be taken not to accidentally remove the cable while the laptop is in use, as the laptop will then switch off immediately. If the power supply is interrupted frequently, this can eventually result in damage to the laptop, including to the hardware itself.
You can extend the battery’s service life by following a few tips.
It is important not to wait until the battery is completely empty. Most modern devices already switch themselves off as soon as the battery level falls below a certain limit. It is usually possible to set this limit value in the device’s energy settings.
As heat is not good for the battery, you should ideally avoid exposing your laptop to direct sunlight. You should also take care to ensure that the ventilation slots are unobstructed as this prevents the laptop from overheating.
If you only use your laptop with the power plug, you don’t really need the battery. We recommend simply removing the battery in that case. However, it should not be completely discharged beforehand. It is better to remove the battery when it still has a sufficient level of power to ensure that it doesn’t discharge completely during storage. The battery should be stored in a cool, dry place if possible.
Whenever you operate the laptop exclusively via the power supply for an extended period of time ranging from a few days to a few weeks, the battery should be removed. The constant charging and discharging could otherwise damage it. The battery also heats up when used via the power adapter, and this should ideally be avoided to ensure the longest possible battery life. Once the battery is reinserted, it may take a few full charge cycles before returning to optimal performance. Two to three complete charging cycles are usually sufficient.
That depends on the battery itself as the battery type plays a big role. Inferior batteries can sometimes withstand only 300 charge cycles, while high-quality lithium-ion batteries handle between 500 and 1000 charge cycles. Which battery is installed in the device thus always matters.
If you change the battery on your own, you only need to pay for the cost of the battery itself. There are very big price differences, with most models ranging from 65 to 250 euros. If you don’t have the confidence to replace the battery yourself, you have to add the cost of the workshop to the price of the battery. There is a wide price range in this case, too, depending, among other things, on how easy it is to replace. If the battery is easily accessible, some companies charge anywhere from 25 to 40 euros to replace it. However, if the device has to be disassembled a bit to make the battery accessible, it will obviously be more expensive. In this case, you can expect prices to range from 50 to 75 euros. Completely disassembling the device to get to the battery is a lot of work, even for professionals. Replacement by a specialist can cost 90 euros or more in this case.
Although battery runtime differs from device to device, most laptop batteries should last at least 3 hours. A laptop battery’s runtime also always depends on the type of usage. The battery will last quite long if the device is only used for surfing once in a while or if an office program is used. Use of elaborate programs will drain the battery more quickly. Most modern laptops today offer a runtime of 7 to 10 hours.
If you want to find the right battery for your laptop, it is important to know the device model. A look at the device user manual should provide information about the brand and model (including model number) installed in the device. If you can’t find the user manual, the manufacturer’s label, which can be found on the bottom of most laptops, can help. A serial number or barcode as well as the brand and model number is usually found there. If you don’t find anything there either, you will have to remove the battery and read the information on it. The model number is sometimes also provided in the battery compartment. You will need this information to find a compatible battery.
Should I buy an original, third-party or used laptop battery?
Buying the right battery for the device from the laptop manufacturer is, of course, the safest approach as this ensures that the battery is at least compatible with the laptop. Many manufacturers offer the option of simply specifying the device model in order to have the suitable battery immediately displayed. Although this can spare you a long search for the model number and a suitable battery, these batteries tend to be a bit more expensive.
Another option is to buy a battery from a third-party manufacturer. They are often cheaper, but also tend to be of lower quality. These are replicas that may pose a risk of fire or even explosion. However, such dangers can never be completely ruled out, even with original batteries. If you decide to buy a battery from a third-party supplier, you should make sure that the technical specifications in the data sheet are approximately the same as for the original battery. Battery type, voltage and capacity are important. The number of cells and the weight also play a role. Ideally, the laptop model should be listed as compatible, as this ensures that the dimensions are suitable for your device.
You definitely don’t need to throw away your whole laptop and buy a new one if the battery is defective. Since batteries are unfortunately subject to wear and tear, the more often you use your laptop, the quicker it will wear out. If you use the device a lot, the battery’s performance can decline after only 18 months. With a new battery, the device will work like new. Look for a suitable battery and install it yourself, or give the device to a workshop without further ado. Once the battery is installed, all you have to do is charge it and then you can already make full use of your device again. Replacing the battery is a good alternative to buying a new laptop.