Remove Your Laptop's Battery When Plugged In

Your Laptop Battery Could Last Years Longer With This Simple Tip

Laptop Battery
Laptop Battery. Flickr/DeclanTM

You might only use your laptop when it's plugged in, or only remove it from the wall in rare occasions. Or, maybe you're one to usually use it in portable mode, away from the wall. In either circumstance, is it better to remove the battery when it's plugged in?

It might make sense to remove the battery to increase its overall life. However, it seems a bit odd to remove the battery each time you plug your laptop in. Should you still do it?

The short answer is yes... and no. For the best battery life, you might consider removing the battery from your laptop, but only in certain scenarios.

When to Remove the Laptop Battery

Deciding when to remove the laptop from your battery is mostly determined by convenience.

One easy way to consider whether or not to remove your battery laptop when it's being powered through the wall is to estimate how long you'll have it plugged in. If you plan to use your laptop for six hours on a desk, plugged in, and then quit using it again until tomorrow, you might remove the battery.

However, if you're mobile and are only planning to stay plugged in for an hour or so before you'll need the battery again, it would make more sense to keep your laptop charged through the wall even with the battery attached. This is because shutting down the whole laptop, removing the battery, and then booting back up only to power down again, and reattach the battery shortly after (and then turn on the laptop again), is a waste of time.

Another reason to remove the battery from your laptop is if you won't be using it again for a while, whether attached to the wall or not. Sometimes, a laptop is only necessary for when you work away from home or want to play on your laptop when the weather is nice. If you won't be using it for the next couple weeks, go ahead and remove the battery.

Something else to think about is whether the power in your building is reliable. If the electricity often disconnects or there's a storm outside that could switch the power off at any moment, you should keep the laptop battery attached so that an interrupt won't disrupt your work. That, or invest in a UPS, which is handy even for always-powered-on desktops.

Why Removing the Laptop Battery Can Be Beneficial

Laptop overheating is one of the worst things for all of the laptop's hardware parts, including the battery, which can age much quicker when fully charged and hot for long periods of time.

Anyone with a laptop has surely experiencing a hot lap or near-burned skin from touching certain areas around the battery in times like these. While putting something like a pillow between you and laptop can help remove the heat from your skin, it's not going to protect the battery from overheating.

Also, while some high-powered tasks like gaming and multimedia editing can drive up the amount of heat your laptop produces, and therefore abstaining can help reduce that heat, it's still recommended to remove the battery if you won't be needing it for extended periods of time.

How to Remove a Laptop Battery

You should always follow these steps in this order when removing the battery from a laptop:

  1. Shut down the laptop.
  2. Remove the power cable from the wall.
  3. Remove the battery.
  4. Reattach the power cable to the wall.
  5. Power on the laptop.

How to Store Your Laptop Battery

The most common recommendation for laptop battery storage is to have it charged to about 40% (or somewhere between 30% and 50%) and then keep it in a dry place.

Some manufacturers recommend a storage temperature of 68 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit (20 to 25 degrees Celsius), which isn't too cold or too hot.

Some people actually keep batteries in the fridge, but you have to take care that the battery isn't exposed to humidity and that you warm it up to room temperature before using it, which could be more hassle than it's worth.