Laptop batteries are like people–eventually and inevitably, they die. Battery technology is always improving, but battery failure is unavoidable. Although your battery will eventually die, proper care can put off the inevitable. There are a few things you can do to prolong the life of your battery, and with luck, it could last until you need to replace that aging notebook.
Something you can do for your battery is keep it cool, and give it a break. Heat breaks down the battery, and reduces its overall life. When you use your laptop, make sure the vents are unblocked. Never work with the laptop on pillows or cushions. If possible, put it on a raised stand that allows for plenty of airflow. Clean the vents every so often with a can of compressed air. You can buy this for a few dollars at any computer store. Be sure to follow the directions on the can, and do this only when the notebook is off. Also, if you’re going to be working exclusively on AC power for a week or more, remove the battery first. Otherwise, you’ll be wearing out the battery when you don’t need to use it at all. You’re also heating it up, which as stated before is something you want to avoid doing. You don’t want it too empty when you take it out. An unused battery loses power over time, and you don’t want all the power to drain away, so remove it when it’s at least half-charged.
Never remove the battery while the computer is on, or even in standby or sleep mode; doing so will crash your system and possibly damage your hardware. Even inserting a battery into a running laptop can damage the system. So only remove or reinsert the battery when the laptop is completely off or hibernating. If you’ve never removed your laptop’s battery and don’t know how, check your documentation. (If you don’t have it, you can probably find it online.) The instructions generally involve turning the laptop upside-down and holding down a button while you slide out the battery.
Remembering to do these things will help you elongate the life of your battery. By being aware of what you can do for your battery, you will dramatically increase what your battery can do for you. These tips will help you prolong the life of your battery until, hopefully, it is time to replace your entire notebook. Of course if you need any help replacing either, you can always contact Frankie OnCall for assistance, tips, and advice, and as always, happy computing!