Laptop battery reconditioning: 3 hacks you didn't know existed
Tired of having to recharge your laptop batteries all day? These 3 laptop battery reconditioning hack can help.
Your laptop battery is probably one of the most-used batteries in your life. With the rise in working from home showing no signs of slowing, more and more of us are spending all of our days on our laptops, burning through the battery in it, and weakening it over time on a constant recharge cycle. And, if you’ve ever owned a laptop before, you’ll know how quickly a battery can run down – and how expensive and time-consuming it can be to replace it.
So now and again, it’s natural to think: How can I stop this endless pattern of having to buy new laptop batteries?
Well, by learning the simple process of laptop battery reconditioning to bring it back to former health, you can.
Reconditioning a laptop battery is straightforward and much cheaper than buying new – and by learning the process, you’ll end up not only saving a huge amount of money in the long run but also reducing your carbon footprint by not constantly throwing old batteries away.
What are the different types of laptop batteries?
Typically seen in newer laptops, these batteries are very sensitive to overcharging and have a very high current inflow. Their power density is high for their weight – 150 watt-hours of energy density per kilogram – and it has a discharge rate of about 10 percent a month.
Unlike the other two batteries we’ll look at here, NiMH and NiCad, Lithium-Ion batteries don’t have a ‘memory effect’ – which essentially means that the battery can remember the charge capacity level when it’s frequently recharged (as laptop batteries are), and can sometimes stop without reaching 100% capacity. While these batteries benefit from being lighter in weight, they’re pretty expensive to replace.
NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride)
These types of batteries can fall a little on the inefficient side: on average, they lose around 30% of their capacity each month and usually last for around 500 rounds of charge/discharge – meaning that, if you find yourself replacing these frequently, learning how to recondition a laptop battery could be a wise move.
Like NiCad batteries, NiMH batteries require proper maintenance and use to keep them at their best: if you’re not using it on a full charge/discharge cycle, they may only last for up to 175 cycles. However, unlike NiCad batteries, these don’t need to be fully drained with a charge – and keeping it unplugged from the main power source can help maintain its life cycle.
NiCad (Nickel Cadmium)
The first type of battery to be used in laptops, this type is normally found in older laptop models. NiCad batteries are quick to charge and usually have a life cycle of around 1,500 charges – meaning that they can last longer than the other two types looked at here.
However, NiCad batteries require correct maintenance, including regular charge/discharge maintenance cycles – and without proper care, their ability to power your laptop can fade quickly. When kept at room temperature, these batteries lose on average 20% percent of their capacity each month – so you could be faced with replacing it earlier than you thought
Why should I recondition a laptop battery when I could just buy a new one?
Although it’s tempting to hop in the car and drive down to the store to pick up a new laptop battery when yours dies, the cost of doing this over time adds up. Laptop batteries can run anywhere between $90-150, which is a pretty hefty sum.
Instead, mastering laptop battery reconditioning can save you huge amounts of money, by refreshing and extending the lifespan of your battery. And once you’ve done it once, you can perform the same process again and again, making more savings down the road.
Learning how to recondition a laptop battery also means that you’re being a better friend to the environment. By reducing the frequency with which you throw away old batteries, you’re reducing your carbon footprint.
Finally – and maybe most excitingly – once you learn how to recondition a laptop battery, you can turn that skill into a profitable side hustle! Once people see how much you can extend the life of their batteries, you could have a queue at your door of folks willing to pay good cash for your services – and all for learning an easy, quick process. It’s a no-brainer!
3 hacks on how to recondition a laptop batteries:
There are a few different methods for laptop battery reconditioning, and all of them are simple. We’ve listed the best ways here, so you can try them for yourself.
1 - Discharge, recharge
The first method to recondition a laptop battery is to perform a full discharge of your battery, and then to recharge it.
- The first step is to make sure your laptop is properly configured for this process. Navigate to the Control Panel on your laptop, then click on System and Security. From there, click Power Options, then Create Power Plan, and choose the High Performance setting. Next, click on Change Plan Settings, then Change Advanced Power Settings. Set the critical battery level to 1%, and disable your laptop’s hibernation, so that it doesn’t try to hibernate before the battery dies.
- After this, charge your laptop up to full power. We’d recommend you turn your laptop off to do this, to speed the charge up. Once a couple of hours have gone by, turn your laptop on, making sure that it’s still plugged into the charger. If the battery reading is at 100%, you’re good to go.
- Now, disconnect your laptop from its charger and leave it to drain its battery fully. If you’re needing to perform a battery reconditioning due to your battery being in poor health, this may not take too long! Once it’s fully drained out and the laptop dies, plug it back into the charger and recharge it to 100%. Once it’s at full capacity, change your power settings back to what they originally were.
And there you have it! You should notice an improvement in your battery life after performing this. Simple!
2 - The freezer effect
Another way to recondition a laptop battery is by freezing it. Again, this simple method is quick and easy.
- First, take your battery out of the laptop, allow it to cool fully if warm, and place it in a plastic container or Ziploc bag. Make sure it’s sealed tight, so no water gets into the battery!
- Put the battery, in its container, in your freezer for between 12-24 hours. Make sure you don’t go over this time, as it could damage the battery.
- Take it out of the freezer and remove it from its container. Leave it to warm back up to room temperature wrapped in a towel. If any condensation forms around the battery, wipe it away.
- Once it’s warmed back up, put it back in your laptop, and charge it up to 100%.
As with method 1, doing this should result in an improvement in battery life.
3 - Stay cool
The third and arguably simplest way to improve your battery’s life is by keeping it cool. If a laptop battery is kept warm over long periods, it will degrade and lose charge.
So, to recondition your laptop battery by keeping it cool, buy a laptop cooler from a reputable hardware or computer store. A laptop cooler will set you back around $20 and will keep your battery living for much longer.
Further tips & tricks to recondition a laptop battery:
While the methods above will help your battery’s health, we’ve also included a few extra tips here, to keep your battery in tip-top condition.
- If you have a NiMH or NiCad battery, we recommend calibrating it once a month, to avoid any permanent damage to its circuit connections.
- If your battery is Lithium-Ion, though, don’t calibrate it – it could damage the battery’s circuitry.
- Again, if your battery is NiMH or NiCad, discharge it as low as possible, to avoid the ‘memory effect’.
- To further increase your battery’s power inflow, wipe the metal portion of the charger with a clean cloth.
- Avoid running your battery down to 0% with each cycle of use.
- If your battery is draining too fast, think about changing your screen brightness settings, and free up memory or close any unused programs on your laptop. Also, if you’re a gamer, high-resolution graphics settings can drain a laptop very quickly.
- Further to this, for gaming try and keep your laptop unplugged – while it’ll drain faster, it will preserve your battery’s life in the long run.
So there we have it: as you can see from this guide, laptop battery reconditioning is easy to master, and will not only save you money over time but could even provide you with extra income, as well as being kinder to the environment.
To learn more about this process, as well as the incredible benefits of reconditioning other types of batteries, EZ Battery Reconditioning can teach you everything you’ve ever wanted to know. The comprehensive program can show you how to recondition virtually every battery you own and could save you thousands of dollars – and help you earn even more. Find out more today.