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Upgrade Your Life: Revive a dying laptop battery

By Jared Spurbeck | Upgrade Your Life Fri, Aug 19, 2011 Laptop battery wearing down? In this week's episode of Upgrade Your Life, Yahoo! News' Becky Wor ey shows us how to he p batteries ast onger !!! and what to do when they run out! First, the basics "ost aptops use batteries that can ast for #$% years, or about &''' charges! () pre*iu* aptop's battery *ight ast onger!+ ,-ery ti*e you charge your battery, the tota capacity of the battery is di*inished! .rigina y it *ay ha-e had a run ti*e of #!% hours, but after a year it' run out of /uice at # hours, e-en on a fu charge! If your battery capacity has di*inished, there are a few things you can do about it! 0irst, you ha-e to correct y gauge how *uch capacity has been ost! 1here are free down oads to do this /ob, ike Battery Bar (for Windows 23s+ or 3oconut Battery (for "acs+! 1hese wi co*pare your battery's current *a4i*u* capacity to how ong it asted when it was new! (U25)1,$ we origina y reco**ended Battery ,ater and whi e the progra* works great, their down oad site has been co*pro*ised and we are reco**ending an a ternate progra*, Battery Bar down oadab e fro* 3N,1!+ Calibrating your Battery You can't *iracu ous y reconstitute your battery's capacity! It oses power o-er ti*e due to che*ica reactions taking p ace in the battery, as it chugs a ong powering your aptop! You can't undo those changes, but there is one co**on battery issue you can fi46 In *any aptops, the operating syste*'s battery *eter gets out of sync with how *uch /uice the battery actua y has! I*agine if the gas gauge on your car dashboard was *isreading how *uch gas you actua y had in the tank! You'd either run out of gas when you thought you had a 7uarter of a tank eft, or you'd be fi ing up too fre7uent y! In your aptop, this can *ean your aptop shuts down abrupt y when the *eter says you ha-e #' *inutes eft! .r e se the *eter *ight warn that you on y ha-e 8 *inutes of battery ife eft and shut your aptop down, when it rea y has another 8' *inutes re*aining! 9eca ibrating gets the battery *eter to correct y read the current state of the battery, so you and the operating syste* know where you stand with e4isting battery ife!

How to recalibrate 0irst, charge your aptop's battery to fu , and ea-e it that way for at east two hours! 1hen unp ug your aptop, and set its power *anage*ent settings to ne-er turn off or ower the *onitor brightness! (:2 has instructions for how do to this on Windows ; and <ista, as we as Windows =2, whi e )pp e has instructions for "ac aptops on their site!+ You want to drain the battery co*p ete y, then et your aptop sit for at east fi-e hours this way $$ ike, say, o-ernight! (>ust be carefu and *ute the -o u*e, since so*e aptops *ake a warning sound when they're about to run out!+ )fterwards, charge it up again, and you shou d notice a *ore accurate portraya of your battery capacity! In so*e cases, you *ay e-en get *ore ife out of it! Best practices to aintain battery life

You'd think that the best way to keep your aptop's battery fro* wearing out is to not use it! 9ight? )s it turns out, batteries are ike *usc es? they need to be worked out regu ar y to stay hea thy! Idea y, you'd use your aptop unp ugged at east once a day, ike on a train or bus co**ute or on the couch in front of the 1<! If you're not going to use it, constant y charging your battery is a bad idea? :2 reco**ends on their website that if you're going to ea-e your aptop p ugged in or put up in storage for *ore than two weeks, you shou d take the battery out of your aptop!

!ast the e"piration date @o when is it ti*e to throw out that o d battery? 1he answer, surprising y, is Ane-er!A Laptop batteries contain ots of to4ic che*ica s, and shou d ne-er end up in andfi s! 0ortunate y, e$stewards!org has a ist of en-iron*enta y responsib e recyc ers that wi take your o d battery with no fuss! When is it ti*e to replace your battery, then? Use the free uti ity apps Becky *entioned, and when they say that your battery can on y ho d around 8%B of its origina capacity it's probab y ti*e for a new one! You can buy a rep ace*ent battery fro* the origina aptop *anufacturer, and there are p enty of p aces on ine that se discounted 23 aptop batteries, ike Laptops for Less and Batteries!co*! .wners of newer "ac aptops can get their aptop's non$re*o-ab e battery swapped out at any )pp e store, with a schedu ed appoint*ent! Cyahoonews on 1witter, beco*e a fan on 0acebook !agination

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