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Published On: February 5, 2019 by Blake Schwank

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Cell phones and laptops use big batteries to stay running when you need them most. When buying a phone or laptop, battery charge life was probably one of the things you looked at as a part of making your decision. How you treat your battery can also have an impact on its life.

Conditioning Your Battery

Back in the day, when nickel metal batteries were used, people conditioned the battery. This meant they would charge it to 100% and then let it completely drain before charging it again. They were getting the battery to fill the charge and go longer between charges. Now that is a waste of time. Technology now uses lithium-ion batteries for the most part. They don’t need conditioning to stay fully charged.

Overcharging Your Battery

However, sometimes you do need to let the battery drain. If you are keeping your laptop plugged into the charger all of the time, you should unplug it and let that battery work at least once a month. Actually using the battery—at least occasionally—can help extend the life of the battery.

Operating at Full Power

If you want to extend the day-to-day life of your battery, you can reduce what is pulling power. Reducing the brightness of your screen, for example, will take less power from your phone or laptop. Sleeping your computer or turning off the phone screen when not in use will also help reduce the power pull on the battery. You can get apps that check what is consuming most of the power on your phone so you can remove or disable the programs that are running all of the time.

Overheating the Battery

Your devices aren’t made to weather the storm. Most batteries hold 62° to 72° F as the ideal temperature for life and operation. If your phone or laptop is exposed to high heat (above 95°), the battery is more likely to be damaged. Taking your phone into a sauna or steam room is one way you might overheat the battery. Leaving your device or laptop in the car during a warm or hot day is another common way a phone is overheated. Your car will be far hotter inside than the weather outside on a hot day. Charging in a hot place can further cause damage and storing your phone somewhere hot can damage it even faster. Many phones will even have an overheating warning and might even shut off if the phone reaches critical levels. Leaving, charging or using the phone in the cold is less likely to permanently damage your device or laptop.

When Your Battery Goes Bad

If your battery stops holding a charge, you probably need to replace it. Some phone batteries will visually “blow up” and cause the phone not to completely close correctly over the battery. You might find that your phone or laptop completely turns off whenever the charging cord is disconnected. This is a clear sign that the battery is bad and needs to be replaced. Because you are purchasing a bigger battery that is designed to work harder and last longer, you are going to pay a lot more than you do for AA or AAA batteries. You want to purchase your batteries from a reputable store and an unknown brand version from an online site. Even if the site shows the battery has good reviews, those reviews show it works and not that it necessarily is going to last. Most local stores are going to have policies that will replace the battery if it goes bad faster than it is supposed to.

Do you need help with tech support and advice for your business? At Colorado Computer Support, we offer customized IT support for companies that want to outsource all or part of their IT needs. Contact us today to get a free tech report on your company and set up an appointment to discuss strategies.

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