Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries are known to be rechargeable batteries, which makes them an ideal choice for different kinds of electronics, such as laptops. The advantages of using lithium-ion batteries over others is that they have a lower self-discharge rate, more capacity, and a lot more charge cycles. However, over certain period of time, even the lithium-ion batteries, just like every other battery, starts to display some issues as well. But there are several methods you can try to prolong the life of the lithium-ion battery of your laptop. With keeping that in mind, here’s everything you need to know about fixing a lithium-ion battery of your laptop.
Which Cells Are Used In A Laptop Battery?
A standard laptop battery contains six pieces of 18650 lithium-ion cells. These are cylindrical cells that have an 18mm diameter and are about 65mm in height. When a laptop battery stops working, that’s usually an indication that one or more group of cells have died while the rest are probably still perfect. However, you would need to test those cells to make sure that they are still working.
How Do You Fix A Lithium Laptop Battery?
Unfortunately, you can’t really restore a lithium-ion battery of a laptop. However, there are ways you can extend your lithium-ion battery’s life. It should be noted that the Li-ion batteries contain an electrolyte that is flammable with pressurized cells inside. Therefore, you should always take precaution and wear safety glasses whenever you’re handling batteries. Moving on, listed below are the various methods you can try to extend and possibly improve the life of your lithium laptop battery.
Recalibrate The Battery
This is not an issue with the latest batteries, however if your battery is one of the older models then you can give this method a try. A battery is recalibrated because there are times when the operating system finds it difficult to figure out the remaining capacity of a battery. Usually, this occurs if a laptop is plugged in at all times or if the laptop’s battery never died completely.
You would know that your battery requires calibration when it doesn’t fully charge to a 100%, for instance it only charges to 95%. Another reason for calibration could be that your laptop is starting to die much sooner or later, despite the operating system telling you that you’ve 35 minutes of battery left. There are calibration tools available for specific models of laptops that have been released by their manufacturers. Therefore, you should first do research online of your laptop’s model and its battery calibration.
Cool Down Your Laptop
If your laptop is powered by a lithium-ion battery, then you can improve its life by keeping it cooled. If your laptop tends to becomes really hot, it can significantly lower the battery’s life and cause damage to it as well. In order to cool down your laptop, you can purchase a cooling pad that is specifically for laptops. Plus, there are also laptop trays or desks that contain a cooling fan that you can use as a base for your laptop. Overheating might be causing your battery to lose its charge much faster, therefore, give this method a try and see if you notice any visible changes in the battery life.
On the other hand, if you want to calibrate your battery manually, then you need to follow the steps below:
1. Firstly, fully charge your laptop’s battery to whatever maximum percentage it reaches and then leave it as it is and let it cool down for about two hours.
2. Next, disconnect it from the power and allow the battery to drain. You can do this by using two ways. You can allow the battery to drain until your laptop is dead or you can change its setting to ‘hibernation’ or ‘sleep’ once it reaches 3 – 5%. Whatever option you choose, the display should be on until it goes into ‘sleep’ mode or until it dies.
3. Once the laptop dies or ‘sleeps’, let it stay that way for about 3 – 5 hours.
4. Next, put your laptop on charge and turn it on. Allow it to charge all the way and reach 100%.
And it’s done. This is a pretty straightforward method. Now your laptop should show you an accurate reading of your battery’s actual capacity.
Unplug Once Your Laptop Reaches Full Battery
With this method, you allow your laptop to charge fully to 100% and then you simply unplug it. When your laptop’s battery is about to die or is lower than 5%, then you plug the charger and let it charge. On the other hand, this method could potentially lower the batter life of the latest lithium-ion batteries. Therefore, in their case it is recommended to allow the battery level to go down to about 35% - 45% before you plug the charger back in and let it reach 75% - 85%. This method might sound strange, but apparently it works and results in prolonging your battery’s life due to less amount of charge and recharge cycles being used up.
Can You Replace Your Laptop’s Battery With A Battery That Has A Higher mAh?
As long as the other battery has a compatible voltage rating with the previous one, it is fine to use a battery with a higher mAh. A higher mAh rating will increase the time you get to use your laptop without worrying about charging it every 2 to 3 hours. This is very useful for travelers when at times it becomes difficult to find places to charge your laptop. Plus, there are also extensions available to which you can connect batteries that have a higher mAh.
Moreover, a battery with higher mAh is not going to harm your laptop. In fact, one of the noticeable effects on its performance is going to be that it will run for a much longer time when on a high power mode. For instance, when you newly bought your previous battery pack, it probably ran for about 2 hours. However, a battery with a higher mAh, like 10,000 mAh, is most probably going to last for about 5 hours.
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