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Why You Shouldn't Keep Your Laptop Plugged in All the Time


Unplugging and other tips could help your battery last four times longer.

Where's your laptop sitting right now? On your desk plugged into the wall?

Here's why you might not want to be keeping it in a constant state of charge.

charging laptop A battery can last longer if the device is kept in a cool, dry space and if it isn't plugged in charging all the time. (Photo: Shutterstock.com)

According to Wired, letting your battery drain and not keeping it in a fully charged state could make it last significantly longer (emphasis added):

Cadex Electronics CEO Isidor Buchmann told Wired that ideally everyone would charge their batteries to 80 percent then let them drain to about 40 percent. This will prolong the life of your battery — in some cases by as much as four times. The reason is that each cell in a lithium-polymer battery is charged to a voltage level. The higher the charge percentage, the higher the voltage level. The more voltage a cell has to store, the more stress it’s put under. That stress leads to fewer discharge cycles. For example, Battery University states that a battery charged to 100 percent will have only 300-500 discharge cycles, while a battery charged to 70 percent will get 1,200-2,000 discharge cycles.

According to a Battery University article going into even more detail about prolonging the life of your devices' batteries -- including cellphones and tablets -- the typical battery will last three to five years. If you're committing the battery longevity faux pas of keeping it fully charged and in hot environments, it might only last two years. It won't just up and die, but will hold a shorter charger as it gets older.

The most important thing to help your battery last longer is keeping your device in a cool dry place.

Think your battery is past its prime already? Here's some food for thought: According to Battery University, Dr. Imre Gyuk with the Energy Storage Research Program at the U.S. Department of Energy said 1 million recycled lithium-ion batteries still have up to 80 percent capacity. So, having your battery capacity tested before discarding it might be beneficial.

Featured image via Shutterstock.com.



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