How to Identify and Replace a Dead Laptop Battery – MakeUseOf

Science & Technology

It’s never nice when your laptop battery doesn’t work. But what can you do about it?
Laptops are convenient devices to have, especially if you like bringing your work with you. These battery-powered devices let you pretty much accomplish things anywhere, as long as you have ample charge left.
But what should you do if your laptop doesn't hold a charge anymore? Let's find out.
The most glaring sign of a dead laptop battery is when it bloats. If you have a removable battery, you can take it off your laptop and check the seams of its case for signs of cracking. But if you have a computer with a permanent battery, you can look at the chassis for signs of swelling.
These signs can include cracking along the seams of your laptop chassis or bloating near the trackpad or keyboard area. When you see any of these signs, it's time to replace the battery.
If you can remove the battery, do so carefully. But if it refuses to budge, don't forcefully remove it. Instead, bring your laptop to a service center and have a professional do it for you. Also, you should not use your computer once its battery swells. Even if it rarely happens, batteries can catch fire or even explode when damaged.
In case it starts smoking or catches on fire, the best thing you can do is place it in sand or kitty litter to help smother the flames. You can also use a Class B fire extinguisher to deal with it. Remember: never use water to douse the fire. Hydrogen in water could react with the battery, making the situation worse.
Even if the battery looks normal on the outside or shows no signs of wear, it could be on its last legs. One sure-fire way to know that it's no longer working as it should is when it no longer provides the expected battery life.
Most performance laptops can last two to three hours in typical use, while newer devices can more than double that in some cases. If you have the latest Apple M1 MacBooks, you could potentially squeeze more 10-15 hours on a single charge.
But if you're only getting 15-30 minutes of power from a full charge, then your laptop battery probably needs replacement.
Related: Should You Leave Your Laptop Plugged in All the Time?
You can further confirm this by looking through your computer's settings. On Windows, look at the battery icon on the lower right corner of your screen. If you see a red cross over it, with the prompt Plugged in, not charging, you need a new battery.
If you want to check your laptop battery's actual status, open the command prompt, type powercfg /batteryreport, and press enter. It will then show the file path where you can find the report. All you need is to copy it and paste it into the address bar of your preferred browser.
Once you've opened the report, you will see your battery's Design Capacity and Full Charge Capacity under Installed Batteries. Using the formula ( Full Charge Capacity / Design Capacity ) x 100, you can come up with the estimated battery life of your device. You can also see its past performance based on its designed capacity versus its fully charged capacity under Battery life estimates.
You can also download a third-party battery-checking utility, like NirSoft's BatteryInfoView, which compiles the same information from above without requiring you to go through the command prompt. Some manufacturers also include battery checking utilities, but these vary between makers.
When your laptop's battery no longer holds a charge, or if its battery health falls below 25%, it's time to replace it. Here's what you can do.
The warranty is the first thing you should check if your laptop's battery is already defective. That's because if your service warranty covers battery life and it's still within the coverage period, then you can have the battery replaced for free.
Whether the warranty is still in force or not, this is the best place to have your battery replaced. While replacement may cost a bit more here, these authorized service centers ensure that you get an original or OEM battery.
These batteries will tend to last as long as the original one in your laptop did when it was new. And since they're an authorized service center, they know the exact part number of the battery that your laptop needs.
That way, you're sure that they install the correct battery on your computer, avoiding the possibility of frying your laptop due to the installation of an incorrect or incompatible battery.
If your laptop is out of warranty and has a removable battery, you no longer have to bring it to the service center. All you need is to find the correct part number and order it from the manufacturer. If the original maker no longer has it in stock, you can also search for OEM parts online—just ensure that you're buying from a reputable shop and you're good to go.
To ensure that you choose the correct battery for your laptop, you have to find its part number. You can usually find it printed on the battery itself. Unfortunately, battery part numbers are not usually included in the laptop's user manual, so you must have the battery on hand to check it. Alternatively, you can contact your laptop's service center and directly ask for the part number.
But if your laptop uses a permanently installed battery, you would need to disassemble it to get the information you need. Usually, you just need to remove its backplate to access the battery, so ensure you have the right tools available when taking your computer apart.
Related: Laptop Plugged In but Not Charging? Here’s How You Can Solve It
Once you can see the battery, you can then look for the correct part number and order it. You also have to check how to connect the battery to the motherboard, as that may require additional tools. But if you're unsure about what you're doing, it's best to bring the laptop to a professional.
Laptops tend to last way longer than the batteries they come with. Currently, most batteries last between two to four years with proper care. However, a high-end computer can potentially provide decent performance for up to 8-10 years.
If you find your laptop's battery not performing as it should, but you're still satisfied with how your computer runs, don't buy a new device—get a replacement battery instead.
Here are your options for replacing a MacBook battery and how much a Mac battery replacement will cost.
Jowi is a writer, a career coach, and a pilot. He developed a love for anything PC ever since his father bought a desktop computer when he was 5 years old. From then on, he has been using and maximizing technology in every aspect of his life.
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