The most commonly observed bad battery practice is laptop owners plugging their laptops in as soon as they possibly can and being very nervous if their battery indicator shows that they have power less than 50%. In the long term this will lead to a couch potato battery and this should be avoided. In order to prevent this, the battery needs to have a good workout now and then. Periodically be sure to run the laptop off of the battery and completely discharge it. To do this, run the laptop on the battery until the
operating system forces the computer into sleep. A further measure that you can take is to then let the laptop sit for a time to really bottom out its charge. You should never leave a Lithium-ion battery sitting around without a charge on it for more than a day or two. This can drain the battery to a point that is so weak that it cannot be recharged.
- Dim your screen. Most laptops come with the ability to dim your laptop screen. Some even come with ways to modify CPU and cooling performance. Cut them down to the lowest level you can tolerate to squeeze out some extra battery juice. The darker the screen, the longer the computer will last.
- Disable the wireless connection. You may not always need to be on the internet, so disabling your wireless connection can save a great deal of power especially if there is not a network to connect to anyway. Alternatively, you can use the Ethernet cable instead of the wireless network connection to consume far less power.
- Cut down on programs running in the background. Itunes, desktop search, etc. All these add to the CPU load and cut down battery life. Shut down everything that isn’t crucial when you’re on battery.
- Cut down external devices. USB devices (including your mouse) & Wi-Fi drain down your laptop battery. Remove or shut them down when not in use. It goes without saying that charging other devices (like your iPod) with your laptop when on battery is a surefire way of quickly wiping out the charge on your laptop battery.
Today’s laptop batteries
Almost all notebook batteries are now the Li-ion type. These batteries do not have problems with memory effect, but Li-ion batteries will lose effectiveness if they are overcharged or left in full charge without use. For example, if you rarely use the battery and keep the laptop plugged in, the battery will lose effectiveness. There can also be problems if the battery is fully charged and then not used, then charged again. On average, laptop batteries should last for about 2-4 years or 500-1000 charges. However, depending on the type of battery you have, a poorly conditioned battery can begin to lose effectiveness even within the first month of use. Laptop batteries are expensive so take steps to make yours last.