Believe it or not laptop batteries do not last the lifetime of your laptop. Unless you are really hard on your laptop that is. They usually have to be replaced at about two to three years of use. So how do you know how healthy your battery is?

Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 all have battery meters and the various utilities often provided by laptop manufacturers tell you the charge status if your battery and even the expected hours or minutes of use left  But none of them really give you a really good picture of your battery’s health. For example I have a four year old laptop battery that shows it fully charged but it is really only at 14% of its original capacity.

To help with determining the real health of your battery you can download a free utility that will give you a better picture of your battery’s health. It shows charge and discharge status as well as calculated battery lifetime based on the battery usage. And remember although this is a free utility donations to the author for their pro version are welcome. This author actually lets you set your own price for the pro version!

Sample Battery Bar Display

When you are ready to replace your battery you can get an original replacement quality battery or you can look at a replacement battery with longer life. One such battery is from Dr. Battery.  They offer a green certified battery with an unprecedented 3-year warranty and claim their battery gives three years of like new service. You can read about their technology and see if they have your battery at their website.

Many people ask how should I charge my battery? The lithium-ion batteries used in modern laptops do not need to be fully discharged before recharging. Charging circuits built into the laptops, chargers, and the batteries themselves keep the batteries from overcharging. A recommended recharge cycle would be when the battery gets down to 25-30% of capacity.

To extend your laptop battery’s life do not expose the laptop to temperature extremes. For example do not leave it in your car or trunk in hot Summer weather or in extremely cold Winter temperatures. And if you do let it recover to room temperature before using it.