Skip to content

Is My Battery On Its Last Leg?: The Top Signs You Need a New Laptop Battery

Did you know most laptop batteries are only rated to last one to two years?

That’s right! No matter how well you take care of your laptop, eventually it will need a new battery. Even if your computer is more than 2 years old, your battery may still be fine. 

So, how do you know if you need a new laptop battery? Read on to find out!

What Causes Your Battery to Wear Out?

Over time and with use, laptop batteries degrade. Each time they are charged, they charge slightly less than the time before.

A battery that was designed to supply 56,000 mWh could in a few years only reach 52,000 MWh at a full charge. This is completely normal, but it does mean that eventually, you may need to replace your battery.

There are a few clear signs that point to your battery as the culprit for your computer woes:

1. Overheating

A little bit of increased heat is normal when the battery is running. Your laptop has fans and heat sinks to manage and dispel the excess heat. When your battery is dying, your computer can start working harder and this produces more heat and your fans can’t keep up.

You may notice your laptop getting noisy as the fans work overtime to attempt to cool it down. If you notice loud fan noise, gently feel the bottom of your laptop and see if it feels hot to the touch. Slightly warm is normal but your laptop should not burn your lap!

If you notice that your laptop is running hotter, then it may be a sign that your battery is on its way out. If you notice your computer is hot to the touch, shutdown and unplug your computer immediately to avoid any further damage. 

At that point, taking it to a professional computer repair shop might be a good idea so they can test your battery and verify if you need a new one. Leaving your computer off after it has shown signs of overheating is better than risking damage.

2. Failing to Charge

Your laptop battery failing to charge when plugged in could be a sign that it needs replacing. There are a few other things that could cause this that you may want to look into first:

If you are plugged into a surge protector or UPS and it is faulty then it could be the problem rather than your laptop battery. Plug directly into the wall to eliminate the variable of faulty power strip or other devices. 

If you have an external battery, remove it using the quick release on the bottom of your computer and check that the connection is working. Inspect for dust build up wipe clean with a dry soft cloth. Then put the battery back in, making sure that it fits in securely and that the contacts are connecting.

If the battery still will not charge after these, then you may indeed need to replace the battery.

3. Short Run Time and Shutdowns

If you find yourself running back to the charger often, or find yourself tethered to your desk because you can’t get any work done with how often your computer needs charging, chances are you need a new battery.

Normally, you should get about 6 hours run time out of a fully charged laptop battery. There are things that affect how long your battery will last between charges. Screen brightness, how many programs you have open, and whether you are listening to audio or watching a video all affect battery run time.

Doing a lot at once will cause your computer to use more power and the battery will run out sooner. However, if you notice that you only get a half an hour or less off of a full charge, there is a problem.

If your computer shuts off without warning, this could also be a sign of a faulty battery. Though faulty batteries are not the only thing that can cause computer crashes, the sudden loss of power is definitely an indication you should take a closer look at your battery.

4. Replacement Warning

Both the Windows and Mac operating systems have an indicator for when batteries reach critically low levels of capacity.

Windows

Beginning with Windows 7, Microsoft added a battery life warning feature. Once your battery reaches a low enough capacity, Windows will warn you that your battery needs to be replaced. A red “X” will appear over the battery icon.

If you click the icon to display more info, you will likely see a message that reads “plugged in, not charging. Consider replacing your battery.”

Mac

If you click on the battery icon that is displayed in your Mac’s top menu bar, it will show you more details about the batteries current status. Along with a time estimate of remaining charge and a notification of which apps are using the most power, it will display the battery condition. 

If there is a problem with your battery, or if it is reaching low levels of its lifespan, it will display one of three messages. If you see “replace soon,” “replace now,” or “service battery,” it’s time to act! 

Getting Your New Laptop Battery

If your computer has an external battery, replacing it is very simple. All you need to do is look up the serial number of your battery and order a replacement battery. Though you can find third-party battery replacements, we recommend that you use the manufacturer batteries to not put your computer at risk.

If your computer has an internal battery, then you should have it serviced by someone who knows what they are doing. It is very easy to damage the delicate workings inside of your computer, so you should never open it if you do not know what you are doing.

Take ‘Charge’ of Your Battery Problems

If you need help getting a new laptop battery installed, or have any other computer related problems, please contact us today! We would love to help get you back up and running so you don’t have to worry about your computer problems anymore!