Never fear- if your laptop battery does eventually go kaput you can still use your laptop. Well, kinda. You can still use your laptop, but you have to keep your laptop plugged in at all times, or else it will shut down on you. Once your battery hits that 0% charge, you are in a world of frustration- here are signs you need to change your laptop battery before it hits the disaster point.
Most laptop batteries should last as long as you want to keep your laptop, or around 3 years or so. However, sometimes a laptop battery needs replaced far before its time, and the reason behind this is usually human error. The most common reason a battery needs to be replaced is due to the user of the laptop always keeping their laptop plugged in and charging. The more you charge your laptop (needlessly), the more you wear it down. That battery gets kicked into overdrive when you leave it plugged in all the time.
Preventing your laptop battery from needing replaced is key- and is a very simple thing to do. All a laptop battery needs is a break now and then. Only charge your laptop battery when your battery life is almost done (less than 5%), and always charge your laptop to 100% battery life before you unplug it. That’s it- don’t keep your laptop plugged in 24/7 because you never take it out of your house. Your battery will suffer for it.
Perhaps the most common sign of a battery needing replaced in your laptop is the battery taking longer to charge than usual, and not holding onto that charge as long as it used to. Your laptop may have taken a full 8 hours to charge, and only 15 minutes to lose 20% battery life. Pay attention- a laptop battery that takes forever to charge and then loses life fast is a battery that is fading fast.
Another sign your laptop battery needs replaced? You have your laptop plugged in, but the battery refuses to charge a good majority of the time. When you scroll over your battery life icon, it says that the battery is plugged in but not charging. Sometimes your battery will charge fully, sometimes it won’t charge at all. Eventually, you will hit the point where you have 0% battery life and your laptop will only work when you have it plugged in (but if you get lucky, your battery will charge at least a little bit so you can unplug your laptop to plug it in somewhere else without having your laptop shut down on you).
If your laptop is plugged in but not charging, removing then putting back in the battery can on occasion give your battery a boost so it will charge fully when you plug in your laptop again. However, this requires you to reboot your laptop, and can get annoying. If it doesn’t work on the first try to get that battery charging when plugged in, then it won’t work on the second try either (or third). Speaking from experience here. Sometimes it works though, but it is like a shot in the dark.
If your laptop battery isn’t working like it should and your laptop is still under warranty, you may be able to replace your laptop battery at no charge. Otherwise, you have 2 choices in the end- either always keep your laptop plugged in so you can use it, or take the battery in to Best Buy or other tech store and purchase a replacement. I have seen people purchase batteries for a laptop online on eBay with success, and at a cheaper price as well. You can take your laptop battery into most computer or tech stores and they can check out the battery for you to make sure it works. Bringing along the laptop as well is likely a good idea, on the off-chance that your laptop is to blame for your poor battery performance.
cousin who works at Best Buy