Proper Care of Laptop Lithium-Ion Batteries
The life of a lithium-ion battery depends on the conditions in which it is used in a laptop computer. For instance, the battery will incrementally lose its power over 12 to 18 months if it's kept fully charged inside the hot confines of the laptop. Switching to more energy efficient laptop settings and allowing it to almost completely die will extend the battery's life to about two or three years.
The hard drive is the laptop's brain and requires the most power. Improve the hard drive's efficiency by regularly defragmenting your computer. Reduce the number of programs you run simultaneously. For example, pick one task instead of checking your e-mail, listening to music and working on a spreadsheet all at the same time. You can get away with this if you increase your readily accessible memory (RAM) to cut down the drain on virtual memory.
Limit your use of external universal serial bus (USB) devices, such as a mouse and WiFi. Remove the devices when you're not using them.
Place your laptop on hibernate mode instead of standby. This will shut off the computer when it's not in use, but it will still boot up with the programs in the state you were using them.
Every little step extends battery life. Wipe down air vents with a cloth so the laptop runs cooler. Select 'max battery' under power options in your operating system's control panel. Turn off 'auto save' features on word processors. Just be sure to change it back as power gets low to avoid losing your work. Change the screen resolution to cut back on graphics use.
Clean the battery every few months. Rubbing the metal contacts with an alcohol-moistened cloth keeps the battery's power transfer proficient. Use a fully charged battery every two to three weeks at the least. Do not let a lithium-ion battery completely drain its power. Unlike older batteries, lithium-ion batteries do not need to be fully discharged to keep their efficiency. Some lithium-ion batteries will not work if stored power drops below 2.5 volts per cell. They cannot be recharged at home, but a manufacturer can restore the battery if the power has not dropped below 1.5 volts.
Give the battery an occasional break and use a power cord. Remove the battery from the computer when it's at about 40 percent charged and let it cool off. Interior laptop temperatures can reach up to 113 degrees F, which seriously affects battery life. Store your battery in a cool place.