How Many Years Should Your Laptop’s Battery Last?

If you’ve just bought a brand new laptop, or gotten a new battery for your current one and are wondering how long should your battery last in terms of both battery life and lifespan. Then here’s all you need to answer the question “how long should your laptop battery last?”.

An average laptop battery should last anywhere between 2-4 years, or 1000 charge cycles before it finally bites the dust. 

This number may vary vastly depending on a number of factors. These include:

  1. Battery Size
  2. Battery Age
  3. Charging Habits
  4. Power Usage & Internal Specifications

We’ll also be talking about some tips that could help you extend the battery life(how long your battery lasts on a full charge) and lifespan (how long the battery lasts before dying). Though before that let’s discuss some of the different types of laptop batteries. 

Types of Laptop Batteries

The most common type of batteries that you will find in laptops are lithium-ion batteries with nickel-cadmium and nickel-metal hydride being much less common these days but they still do exist inside of laptops. Though for most of our discussion we shall be talking mainly about lithium-ion batteries. 

An average lithium-ion battery starts to wear out after around 1-2 years of average use. In comparison to nickel-cadmium and nickel-metal hydride, lithium-ion batteries have a pretty decent discharge rate of just 10 percent per month.

So if you charged your laptop battery to 100%, forgot about it for 4 months and came back to it. You’d still have 60% charge left when you’d go to plug it back in. Though manufacturers do recommend to use these batteries within 2 years of their manufacturing date.

With all the pros and cons weighed out lithium-ion batteries come out as the safest and most economical option among the three. 

Battery Size

How long your laptop should last on a full charge depends upon both the size of your battery whether that be in mAH or Wh as well as the age of your laptop battery.

Anything below 50Wh is considered to be an average to small-sized battery, while anything beyond 65-70Wh is actually a pretty decent size. 

While there isn’t any sure-fire way to figure out the exact age of your laptop’s battery, you can find out its capacity through some methods. 

How To Find Your Laptops Battery Capacity

Examining The Battery.

Examine the externals of the battery to find a sticker that might tell you the capacity of your laptop battery. Usually, the capacity is measured in kWh, but it can also be in mAh. 

If your battery is removable then take it out from its enclosure, and examine inside it. There might be a sticker somewhere inside telling you the information you need.

Google It

You could just type in your laptop make and model alongside battery size and Google it. That should definitely give you at least an idea of your laptops battery capacity unless it’s over a decade old or something.

Download A Third-Party Software

If your battery is simply not labeled with any useful information whatsoever, and you can’t find anything on your laptop manufacturers website either. One way to go is to download third-party software that can give you detailed information about your battery.

One of these software is BatteryCare. To download it just click on this link here. BatteryCare should be able to provide you with the capacity of your laptop battery.

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Once you find out the size of your battery, you can head to this website to find out what estimated battery life to expect with this size of a battery and your average workload. 

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In the Whr section enter your battery size. In the Watts section enter how much watts of power you estimate you will be using during a normal workload on your computer. Some wattage estimates from guidingtech.com for different workloads are given below. 

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  • 60W-maximum: heavy gaming, video rendering
  • 40-60W: light gaming
  • 30-40W: video or photo editing
  • 20-30W: watching HD video online
  • 15-20W: watching HD video offline or using multiple applications
  • 10-15W: normal use, such as web browsing (with not too many tabs), text editing or playing music
  • 8-10W: minimum wattage with the screen on
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Click calculate. You should be presented with estimated battery life in terms of hours.

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Battery Age

Once lithium-ion batteries start to deteriorate with age they can no longer be charged to their full capacities. 

We’ve detailed methods below on how to find out the remaining max capacity of your battery for both Windows and MacOS. 

Windows

Step 1: Click on the Search Bar near the Windows Start Menu button

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Step 2: Type in “CMD

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Step 3: Right Click on Command Prompt

Step 4: Click on “Run as Administrator

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Step 5: You will be presented with a layout like this

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Step 6: Type in the command “powercfg /batteryreport

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Step 7: Once finished it should give you the URL of where the battery report is saved. Copy it from CMD

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Step 8: Open File Explorer and paste it in the file path section

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Step 9: A new tab will open in your browser with the battery report

Step 10: The section Installed Batteries will give you info on your original and current battery capacity

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Step 11: The section Recent Usage gives you power stats over the last 3 days

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Step 12: The section Battery Capacity history gives you information on how the capacity has decreased over time

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Step 13: The section Battery Life Estimates gives you an estimated battery life based on previous battery life drain recordings

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MacOS

Step 1: Click on the Apple Logo in the upper left-hand menu section

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Step 2: Click on About This Mac

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Step 3: You will be presented with a new Window like this

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Step 4: Click System Report

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Step 5: A Window with detailed information about your particular Mac will pop up

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Step 6: Click on Power on the left-hand section of the Window

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Step 7: From here you can see the full charge capacity, cycle count and battery health information of your MacBook

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Charging Habits

Believe it or not but how often and how long you charge your laptop battery actually affects your laptop battery life and lifespan. 

If you’re the sort of person that always has their laptop plugged in and charging, even when its charged to 100%. Then chances are your laptop battery is going to deteriorate much faster than you might expect. 

According to research from BatteryUniversity if you charge your laptop battery to 100% regularly you can expect to get around 300-500 charge cycles out of it before it begins losing charge capacity.

However, if you only charge your laptop to around 80% regularly that number jumps to around 600-1000 useful charge cycles. Nearly doubling the useful lifespan of your battery.

Power Usage & Internal Specifications

The internal specifications of your laptop as well as how power hungry the applications you use every day are determining how much battery life you’re going to get from your laptop.

Generally, ultrabooks contain low powered Intel CPU’s that require so little power that some don’t even need active cooling. That’s why most modern ultrabooks you find on the market claim over 10 hours of use on a single charge.

Then we move to the completely opposite end of the spectrum where we having gaming laptops. Which these days are generally just portable desktop PCs with a screen given how powerful they have gotten.

If your gaming or even just watching a movie on your gaming laptop. Expect it to last a lot less on a full charge than a normal laptop. The internal components of even budget gaming laptops draw quite a bit more power even at idle. 

The amount of battery life you can expect also depends on what applications you’re running as well. To find out what of yours are the most taxing follow the instructions below.

Step 1: Click on the Windows Start Menu Icon

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Step 2: Click on the Gear Settings Icon

Step 3: You will be presented with a Window like this

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Step 4: Click on System

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Step 5: Click on Battery in the left-hand menu

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Step 6: Click on “See which apps are affecting your battery life

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Step 7: You will get a list of what apps are most taxing your battery life in descending order

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Step 8: You can change the time frame, within the “Time Period” drop-down menu

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Conclusion

So after our short but detailed guide, you should be able to figure out how long your laptop battery should last you both in terms of battery life and lifespan.

If you feel we missed out on anything be sure to leave that in the comments down below as well. 

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