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How Long Do Laptop Batteries Last? | What are the Costs of a Replacement?

There’s nothing more frustrating than running out of power at the worst possible time. But how long do laptop batterie last, in terms of overall battery's lifespan?  How many years does an average laptop battery last, and how much does a replacement  batteries cost when that time comes? 

Key Takeaways

  • Laptop batteries usually only last from 2 to 4 years, which amounts to about 1,000 charges. The more you use your laptop, the less your laptop battery may last.
  • Most laptop batteries are made from lithium - a battery made from any other material is likely to have a shorter battery life.
  • Your first battery charge is always your most important charge. When you buy a new laptop, you’ll want to charge your battery for 24 hours to make sure that it gets a full charge on its first go to prolong its life.
  • As long as your laptop battery is lithium-based, it can’t be overcharged. Internal hardware prevents your battery from charging any further until the voltage drops below 100%.

As you’d expect, there are many factors that play a role in determining average laptop battery life. In terms of battery cycle count – as in how many times a new laptop battery can be charged – there are enormous differences between one product and user to the next. 

Learning how to check laptop battery health is the first step towards maximizing your new laptop battery life, ensuring you get the best possible value for money out of your machine. First and foremost, you should learn how to keep a laptop cooler

Cartooned low battery on a  laptop

How Long Do Best Laptop Batteries Last?

There are three primary factors that come together to determine how long a laptop battery last for, and when you'll need replacement batteries:

  1. The quality of the machine and the battery
  2. The types of tasks you use your laptop for
  3. The extent to which you care for your laptop and your battery

If you’re constantly asking “why does my laptop battery die so fast?”, it could be attributed to either the health of your laptop's battery or the way you are using it. This issue is also related to how long a laptop should last. By switching your usage habits around just a little, you could significantly extend both the battery life of most laptops and the lifespan of the laptop battery.

Average Laptop Battery Lifespan

It’s often said that the average laptop battery's lifespan is 18 to 24 months. What this means is that as you approach the two-year mark, you are likely to notice a difference in how long will the laptop battery last. It will continue to work for much longer than this, but with a decreased capacity.

That said, it depends largely on the type of machine you pick up in the first place. If you limit yourself to a cheaper machine like laptops under 100 USD, it’s probably going to perform less impressively than a higher-spec machine. The quality of the machine and the laptop battery itself will largely determine its lifespan, which for a quality laptop model will usually be in the region of 1,000 charge cycles.

Three stages of battery


Laptop Battery Use

How do I stop my laptop battery from draining so fast?  First and foremost, you’ll want to put a stop to certain bad habits. For example, leaving Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity active when you aren’t using your laptop can put a massive strain on your laptop battery. As can having your screen too bright, or running your machine in ‘high performance’ mode when it isn’t necessary. Sometimes, you don't have to run on high settings.

Shutting down background programs instead of leaving them running in the background when you aren’t using them can also help. As can turning down the volume of your laptop’s speakers and avoiding using it where it’s too hot, where laptop's fan will need to run in overdrive to keep it running.

 

How Can I Improve My Laptop Battery’s Lifespan?

In terms of extending the lifespan of the laptop battery itself, it’s again a case of putting a stop to a few bad habits. For example, continuously running your laptop's battery all the way to 0% before recharging it is considered a bad habit by most technicians.  Likewise, plugging and unplugging your machine into the mains an excessive number of times each day has also been known to affect laptop's battery life.

There’s some debate as to which steps are most effective, though the vast majority of experts agree on the following as the best places to start:

Save Cycles, Save Your Battery

Every battery has a limited lifespan, in terms of how many times it can be recharged. Irrespective of how you use your laptop, this maximum number of charge cycles always applies. Hence, anything you can do to save cycles is probably something you should be doing.

Long story short – always keep your laptop plugged in while working on it, if close to a mains power supply at the time. Try to avoid connecting and disconnecting it too many times during the same day, but work by way of mains power and save cycles where possible.

Keeping Your Battery in Zone

For the most part, the old issue with ‘battery memory’ has been largely eliminated from the equation. These days, failing to charge your laptop to 100% (or anywhere close) really isn’t an issue at all.  However, issues with a type of battery memory can still occur when a laptop’s charge is routinely depleted beyond 20%.

As a general rule of thumb, therefore, experts advise keeping your lithium-ion battery above 20% at all times where possible. Unless a mains supply is out of reach, try to avoid letting your battery fall below 20%. And if you don’t intend to use your laptop for some time, charge the battery to around 50% before storing it away.

Cartooned battery above the laptop


It’s Getting Hot in Here, So Cool Down Your Batteries

As already touched upon, it’s important to avoid overheating your laptop.  Excessive temperatures can speed up the electro chemical reactions inside the battery, making it increasingly less efficient. Your battery's discharge cycle will be faster, so it needs to be charged more often and you edge closer towards its maximum number of cycles.

There are plenty of cooling trays and similar devices you can pick up these days for next to nothing, which are designed specifically to keep laptops cool and safe. When not in use, make the effort to store your laptop in a cool and dry place, where it will not be exposed to excessively high temperatures.

For obvious reasons, you’ll want to do your best to avoid using your laptop in direct sunshine, if working outdoors. Stay in the shade, or head indoors if possible for the benefit of your battery.

cartooned woman and low battery laptop


Download Software to Get Battery Health Reports

It’s not always easy to figure out how healthy or otherwise your battery is, given how each cycle (in terms of laptop's battery life from a full charge) differs. Depending on the environmental conditions at the time and how you are using your laptop, you may get way more or less out of it one day than the next.

This is where specialist software can help, which performs a detailed diagnostic on the health of your battery and provides a summary accordingly. There are various free and paid apps to choose from for both Windows and Mac laptops – BatteryCare and Battery Monitor being two of the best. Along with providing detailed information on the overall health of your laptop battery, they also provide real-time insights such as temperature readings, discharge cycle monitoring and general information on performance and efficiency.

All of which will help ensure you’re being kind to your battery while working on your laptop.

Enable Battery-Conscious Modes on Your Computer

battery plugged to the laptop


All operating systems feature a variety of adjustable settings to preserve laptop's battery life. In Windows 10, for example, you can activate Battery Saver mode to conserve laptop's power, or manually adjust things like brightness and the general performance of your machine. Adaptive brightness can also be useful where available, enabling your screen to adjust its own brightness accordingly, in accordance with conditions at the time.

The simple fact of the matter being that if you don’t need your machine to perform at its best and you can cope with a slightly darker screen, you’ll be rewarded with longer battery life.

Update Your Operating System

Last but not least, operating systems like Windows 10 now feature mandatory automatic updates. If running an OS where updates are still technically optional, it’s worth keeping up to date with the latest patches and rollouts.

This is because some of the patches and updates released for Windows and MacOS alike are designed specifically to reduce power consumption and maximize battery life. The updates themselves may be pretty resource hungry (so be sure to plug your machine into the mains), but can actually result in more efficient overall performance and improved battery lifespan.

How Can I Conserve Battery in Everyday Use?

There are little habits you can practice that’ll help you conserve the battery life of your laptop so you won’t have to recharge as often. Conserve your battery life by:

  • Operating your laptop on low power modes when you’re not using intensive applications (on Windows laptops this is called Power saver mode)
  • Set sleep settings for both your display and your laptop
  • Turn down your screen brightness (especially if you’re using your laptop indoors)
  • Run only one application at a time
  • Turn of keyboard backlighting
  • Turn off Bluetooth and WiFi when you’re not using them

As for what laptop to look for to suit all your needs, check out these extracts from our top reviews:

Laptop Types

Budget Gaming Laptops

For a low budget, we guarantee that you can find the laptop that suits your gaming needs in the best way. If you intend to buy a budget gaming laptop, it's best to choose a mid-high-end laptop to make sure that you can use it for a couple of years. Most games depend on GPUs, though you should pay attention to the CPU and RAM, as well. 

4K Laptops

Since being introduced and put in applications, 4k screen resolution has enchanted us with its superior image and video quality. However, purchasing a 4K laptop can be a huge decision that may cost you a fortune, hence having a brief understanding about 4K and its characteristics will fully support you in choosing the correct laptop for your needs.

17 Inch Laptops

If you love the size and features of a 17 inch laptop, just get it! With that large size, gaming could be easier and more satisfying, but you should pay attention to the specs of your laptop. Our review gives you many main parts that need taking into account - when you want steady performance, go for an 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, a 1080p full HD screen, and Core i5 laptop.

Thin Laptops

Slim laptops are more and more popular nowadays. Therefore, finding them in most stores is as easy as pie. While all these ultraportable thin laptops have a good and lightweight design, their prices might vary depending on their model and the specs.

Business Laptops

A business laptop is built for Office works which normally comes with a more powerful operating system and can be used for a longer time than consumer laptops. Also, a business laptop with a strong operating system can run well for gaming and other leisure activities. Business laptops are designed to work with higher standards and can work well over the years with proper care.

Laptops With Stylus Pen

Many top-selling laptop brands now include stylus pens. This pen comes in handy if you are a designing or art student or a professional. The best thing about using laptops with a stylus pen is that you can easily convert your laptop into a tablet. Even though these laptops are small, they are equipped with good processors, RAM, and storage drives.

FAQs

1. How long should a laptop battery last from 100%?

Overall, the average lifespan of a laptop battery on a single charge probably ranges from as low as 2-3 hours to as high as 7-8 (or more) hours. Again, though it really just depends on what you are doing with your laptop.

2. Can I leave my laptop plugged in 24 7?

There's no danger of overcharging a battery if you leave it plugged in all the time, even 24/7. As soon as it hits 100 percent, it will cease charging and won't start again until the voltage falls below a certain level.

3. What happens if you don t shut down your laptop for a long time?

Doing so can lead to data loss or corruption, and potentially cause an electrical short, leading to a power spike. Power spikes can cause damage to your power supply—or to the computer itself—so it's best to avoid this at all costs.

4. Can a laptop stay on forever?

Its perfectly safe to keep your laptop in sleep mode. In reality, you can keep your computer in an on, off, or suspend mode indefinitely, with no adverse effects. There are computers that never get turned off or rebooted.

About Dusan Stanar

I'm the founder of VSS Monitoring. I have been both writing and working in technology in a number of roles for dozens of years and wanted to bring my experience online to make it publicly available. Visit https://www.vssmonitoring.com/about-us/ to read more about myself and the rest of the team.

1 thought on “How Long Do Laptop Batteries Last? | What are the Costs of a Replacement?”

  1. I swear some notebook makers use crappy batteries. I have had notebooks with batteries that keep 80% of their capacity after two years and others that have lost 50% in 8 months. I have one swell up and catch fire before I could remove it from the notebook. Some of it is due to notebooks getting lighter and having less battery capacity in the first place. So, when capacity depletes you notice it more because the battery capacity wasn’t that great new. I have a Modern 14 from MSI with a 37,000 mwh battery which in two months is down to 33400mwh capacity. My guess is it’s a crappy cheap battery that will either fail or be reduced to a capacity that requires replacement in a year or less.

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