Tech Tips

November 24, 2015

How to Extend the Life of Your Phone & Laptop Batteries

Phone & laptop batteries do have a lifespan...but there are ways to extend it. Both through extenders and good battery management. Here's some advice to help keep your batteries running.

Everyone's familiar with the struggle – you check your phone & find it’s running low on power. Again. Didn't you just charge it this morning? Why does it die so fast?

Why Batteries Stop Holding a Charge

Imagine your phone or laptop battery like a bucket. When you charge it, you pour energy in until it’s full. When you use it, the energy’s poured out in a trickle.

Over time, the bucket rusts. Eventually you have little holes in it, through which the energy leaks. At this point the battery just doesn’t hold a charge long.

There are other factors to consider too – how hot or cold the environment is, how often you charge the device, and how low you let the battery go before recharging. All of these factors can affect your battery lifespan.

The How-To Geek website has a post on battery life myths & reality, for more details: Debunking Battery Life Myths for Mobile Phones, Tablets, and Laptops - HowToGeek

So we know why batteries die over time. Is there a way to counteract it? Make your batteries last longer? Yes. There are two ways.

2 Ways to Extend Your Battery’s Life

1. Use a battery extender.

A battery extender either provides a way to charge on-the-go, or acts as a secondary battery for storing more charge.

Charge On-The-Go: Laptops and phones can both use portable "charge packs" which provide extra charge when you can’t get to an outlet. A good example is the Anker External Battery series.

Secondary Battery: Phones have "battery cases" like the Mophie Case, which contains a secondary battery. These can double your phone's battery life.

2. Take care of your batteries.

Follow these tips to keep your batteries in good shape & working reliably for years:

  • Don’t leave your laptop plugged in all the time. Allow your laptop battery to discharge occasionally (but not totally – use it until it has about 50% charge, then plug it back in). With phones, you can let it almost completely discharge. They’re made to do that.
  • Don’t leave devices in your car when it gets hot.
  • Don’t put laptop batteries in the freezer! You might have heard this helps them. But too much cold will harm the battery, just like too much heat will.
  • Every 3 years, either replace your phone/laptop’s battery, or replace the device. When the battery just won’t hold a charge anymore, you risk a crash that could take your files with it.