Posted by Frank - Follow me on Twitter

When I had my first laptop, it was a Dell Inspiron E1705 computer.  Back then I was an incoming college freshman.  I was so stoked to have a computer that was all mine.  Most graduating high school students who are about to enter college tend to get their first laptop as a graduation gift and this is usually the first point in a young adult’s life where learning to care for something expensive can be a real life lesson.

While I own a good number of computers now, I still have my Dell laptop.  As a matter of fact, I’m writing this post on it – so it’s still alive and kicking! Anyway, I digress. Before I took an interest in technology, I knew how to use a computer and do a decent number of things, but I wasn’t 100% aware of all the essential and advanced practices that I implement on a daily basis now.

Many new college students, myself included (at the time, it was 2006) tend to believe that they should keep their laptops charged 24/7.  In fact, that proves to be the worst thing you can do.

Your laptop is not a desktop so you shouldn’t treat it as such.  A desktop won’t work if it’s not plugged in, however, with a laptop, you’ll drain the battery extremely quick should you leave it on the charge when it’s already at 100%. You should only charge your laptop when the battery percentage power is low.  I like to use 25% as a good benchmark.

As a college student, money is extremely tight and your new laptop is going to be an essential tool for you to complete your school work, so you’ll want to be sure that you’re taking care of your new computer.  The last thing you want to have to do is replace your battery because that can be really expensive.  I’ve replaced my Dell’s battery once in the past and even to this day, I still get a message letting me know that I should replace my battery.  Why?  At that point in time, I didn’t know how to properly maintain my computer, but I learned the hard way and I don’t want you to have to learn the same way. (I choose not to replace it now since it’s not my primary computer anymore).

If you’re not sure how to know whether your computer needs to be charged or replaced, then watch this video I created for you.



This information can apply to any new computer owner or novice computer user. 

Yes, I made a point with this post to acknowledge new college students because like I mentioned, this is the first time most young adults get their first expensive thing. However, any computer owner can benefit from this.

Hell, I’ve had to make people I know aware of what the downfalls are from leaving your laptop plugged in when it’s at 100%.  Just think what’s actually happening here. Your laptop is asking for energy from the battery when it doesn’t need it.  The battery overheats and it’s purpose to charge is being overworked.  It’s like a gas tank on a car.  If your gas tank is full, do you continue pumping gas into it?  No, because the tank will overflow.  Treat your laptop the same way.

If you remember, I mentioned replacing a battery can be expensive.  My Dell laptop was purchased back in 2006 and to this day, the price to replace the battery is $200 as seen on Amazon.



After reading this, I hope you’re aware of what to and what not to do when it comes to charging your laptop.  While it seems like a “no duh” tip, you’d be surprised at how many people make this mistake on a daily basis.  Sometimes the most obvious best practices are the one’s that are overlooked.

Have you been keeping your laptop charged for too long?  How have you tried to conserve your laptop’s battery life?

  • rs232

    No no no, that is just wrong. When your battery is full, the laptop stops charging it. Most laptops won’t run power through the battery when operating off AC power as there is no reason to. The main things to consider: heat, and keeping the battery within 40-80% state of charge. 100% isn’t great for it, but letting it go empty is far worse. (Some laptops have software to keep them at a lower state of charge while plugged in – look into this.)

    • I respectfully disagree. While the icon on the laptop will show that the computer is fully charged, power is still being fed to the computer as long as the charger is connected. All you have to do is feel the battery supply and you can feel the energy being fed via the heat. Upon unplugging the charger, the battery supply will cool down. I would never recommend letting it get to zero, but you’re giving the battery a longer shelf life if you only charge the computer when it’s absolutely necessary. From my experience, I used to keep the computer charged for too long and it drained the battery, thus needing to be replaced. The computer I used to record this video, needs to have the battery replaced, but the cost is far too expensive for the age of the computer.