How Long Does a Laptop Battery Last?

Longer than you might think

Your laptop relies heavily on its battery. If the battery runs out or goes bad, you're limited to only using your laptop by plugging it in, which isn't always practical or convenient. Portability is everything for such a device, after all.

Various factors impact a laptop battery's operational lifespan, including its build quality, how well it's been treated, its brand, and how often it's had to deal with high temperatures. Sometimes, it even feels like luck plays a role in the longevity of your battery. 

How Long Does the Average Laptop Battery Last?

The average lifespan of a laptop battery is generally regarded as about 1,000 charge cycles. That number can vary depending on the laptop's brand and battery, as well as how it's used. It's also important to note that performance can still degrade over time.

It's difficult to say how long one charge cycle lasts on a laptop as it depends on multiple factors. Some laptops have batteries that can last tens of hours, while others (particularly gaming laptops) tend to only last 4-5 hours at most. If you're concerned about how long your laptop battery lasts, check the manufacturer's site to see how long the average charge should last. 

Is It Bad to Leave Your Laptop Plugged in All the Time?

In the past, it was generally considered leaving a Windows laptop plugged in was bad for the battery's health. In contrast, Mac laptops were always regarded as able to stay plugged in without any issue.

Nowadays, whatever type of laptop you have, it's safe to leave it plugged in all the time. It's recommended as the more charge cycles you put the battery through, the more it will wear out. 

There's no need to worry about 'overcharging' a battery as the laptop and battery are smart enough to know when to stop charging. All that happens is the laptop runs directly off your power cable instead of using the battery. 

Is 4 Hours of Battery Life Good For a Laptop?

That depends on your laptop. For some laptops, 4 hours of battery life is pretty good, but it's pretty low for others. For an older laptop, 4 hours is a reasonably good length of time as the battery is older and will have been used more than a new laptop battery will have been.

However, new laptops generally offer longer battery life than this (unless you're playing games or editing videos), so again, it's worth checking the expectations listed on the manufacturer's site to check your laptop is operating as expected. 

What Affects Your Laptop Battery's Life?

Several different factors affect your laptop's battery life, both temporarily and permanently. Here's a look at the key factors.

  • Using the laptop. Using your laptop while it's running on a battery charge is the main thing to affect your laptop's battery life, both temporarily and potentially permanently, if you do so regularly. Your laptop battery can cope with a certain number of charge cycles before it starts to degrade. 
  • Heat. When your laptop runs hot or is exposed to hot conditions, the battery runs down faster, and it can put all the laptop components under excessive strain. Try to avoid using your laptop in hot conditions. 
  • Leaving your laptop unused for long periods. If you leave your laptop unused for a long time, such as weeks, it can affect the quality of the laptop's battery life. It's best to either fully drain the battery beforehand or leave it at 50% rather than fully charged before you put it into storage.

How Do You Know if Your Laptop's Battery Is Bad? 

When your laptop's battery is beginning to fail, there are a few ways you'll know a problem is occurring. Here's a quick overview of what to look out for.

  • Your battery expires faster. Noticed you have to recharge your laptop more often? That's likely because your laptop battery is starting to fail. It might not be an issue yet, but it's worth keeping an eye on.
  • Windows or macOS tells you so. Both Windows and macOS now tell you when a battery needs replacing. If your laptop battery needs replacement, you'll see a warning message when you plug your laptop in to charge. 
  • Your laptop keeps overheating. If your laptop keeps overheating or crashing, it might be because the battery is failing and getting too hot in the process. Try using it via the power cable instead to see if that helps.

How Often Should You Replace Your Laptop's Battery?

On average, a laptop battery lasts about 1,000 charge cycles or between 2-4 years of typical use. That's when you should expect to replace your laptop battery. If you're OK to use it plugged in more often than you used to, there's no need to replace the laptop battery.

Bear in mind that many laptop batteries can only be replaced by a professional, making replacement batteries quite expensive. 

FAQ
  • How do I check my laptop's battery health?

    To generate a Windows 10 battery report, open an elevated command prompt and enter powercfg /batteryreport /output "C:\battery-report.html". You'll see a message with the location it was saved to.

  • How do I make my laptop battery last longer?

    To extend your laptop's battery life, change your power profile to Power Saver, lower the screen brightness, and turn off the keyboard backlighting. If you’re not using your laptop, turn it off, or set it to hibernate after a short period of inactivity.

  • How do I dispose of my laptop battery?

    Use Call2Recycle’s locator tool to find a battery recycling center near you. You can also go to a retailer like Best Buy or a waste management service that recycles electronics. Place the battery in a sealable, disposable container, such as a plastic bag.

  • Why is my laptop battery not charging?

    If your laptop battery won't charge, the charging cable could be damaged, the internal battery could be damaged, or a specific driver could be corrupt. Make sure the power outlet you're using isn't turned off.

Was this page helpful?