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How to recalibrate your laptop battery

From time to time, you may notice that your laptop battery doesn’t stay charged as long as it should. Sometimes this is due to the user constantly keeping the battery connected to the mains or allowing it to only drop to 50% before recharging. Modern batteries are usually pretty good at dealing with this, but from time to time it’s a good idea to re-calibrate your battery to get the most out of it.

You may want to check your laptop’s documentation or check with the manufacturer to see how often you should do this. Sometimes they will say that it is not necessary, and sometimes they will say once a month, or once or twice a year. The answer often depends on who you talk to in the company and there is no defined best practice. However, you can’t do any harm by performing a manual recalibration, so why not give it a try and see if it makes a difference?

Recalibration involves charging the battery to 100% and then fully discharging it to 0%. Once done, charge it back to 100% to complete the calibration.

The way to do it is simple. Start by creating a custom power plan for yourself in Windows power settings. You will find the power options in your control panel and once you are on the power options screen, click on “create a power plan”.

custom power plan

On the next screen, you’ll want to choose “high performance” and give your new power plan a name. For the purposes of this exercise, let’s call it “calibration.” Click next and you will have the opportunity to choose the settings for your new power plan. Be sure to change all the dropdowns to “never”, so your laptop doesn’t shut down anything. Now make sure your calibration power plan is selected and in use. You can find out by hovering your mouse over the battery icon on your computer’s taskbar.

Ok, now that we’ve done this, the first step of the actual calibration is to charge the battery to full power. So connect your laptop to the network and wait until the battery power meter indicates 100%. If you hover your mouse over the power meter icon, it should read “fully charged.”

The second step now is to remove the power cable from your laptop and make sure your power plan is set to the calibration plan we created earlier, wait until the battery charge reaches 0%. When your laptop gets to this, of course it will shut down. Make sure you’re not running any software when you do this, otherwise you might lose some work, although laptops will usually automatically save their current state before shutting down.

Finally, the last step is to fully recharge your laptop back to 100%. So plug in your AC adapter, turn on your laptop, and wait until the battery is fully charged back to 100%. Do not turn off your computer while this is taking place to ensure you have a full charge. You should now have a recalibrated battery that will hopefully last a bit longer.

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