Is your laptop battery starting to get up there in years, and it just doesn’t seem to cut it like it used to? Over time, batteries in laptops and even your smartphones and tablets lose their ability to hold a charge and often their ability to hold a charge under load. This is just a sign of their age. All batteries do it, eventually.
When this happens, your only real solution is to replace the battery. But how do you tell? Let’s take a look at some of the common signs and then I will show you a test you can run to see how your battery is holding up in its old age.
Failing Battery Signs
There are many signs that your laptop will give you that a new battery is in order. Here are the most common that you will see.
If you notice that your laptop battery doesn’t want to charge or it won’t charge all the way back up to 100% capacity, that could be a sign that you should change the battery. Over time, your battery will lose capacity, meaning a full charge isn’t quite what it used to be. When this happens, you won’t be able to go as long between charges because it just won’t have the same strength that it once did.
When you are running on battery, do you notice that you can’t go quite as long as you used to between charges? If so, it could be a sign that your battery is starting to show signs of its age and it may be time to consider placing an order for replacement.
Battery Error Messages
Some laptops come with software that check the battery, and Windows can even do this for you as well (see below), if you start receiving error messages about your battery, it could be failing. Check the error messages and see what it recommends you do. If you decide you can wait, go ahead and wait, but ultimately to make those errors go away you will have to replace the battery.
Generate a Battery Report (Windows)
In Windows, you can actually generate a battery report that will report on the stats and overall health of your battery. To run the report, follow these instructions:
- Right click the lower left corner of your screen (the Start Button) and select Command Prompt.
- In the Command Prompt, type powercfg /batteryreport. A battery report will then be generated and you will receive a message saying that it has been saved to your hard drive.
- Navigate to your User folder and open the battery report.
From the report, you will be able to find out a lot of information including its original factory specs and now it is doing today. You can see how fast it is depleted when used and how well its charging plus its overall capacity. If any of these seem too low, it could be time for a replacement.
Laptop batteries don’t last forever. That’s just a fact of life. If you use your battery regularly, a time will come when you will have to change it for a new one if you want to get the same amount of life out of it as you once did or consider getting a new laptop instead. Knowing the signs and running the proper tests can help you identify when your battery is coming to the end of its life so you can get a proper replacement ordered to keep your laptop on even when there isn’t a wall socket nearby.