Keep the laptop plugged in? It depends. (And we explain)

I knew Lithium batteries were pretty “smart,” but this read was helpful to me.


Hmmm, the early days of laptop batteries (or any) was to fully charge, de charge and then keep them in a sweet spot of not fully draining and not leaving plugged in all the time to maintain the life of the battery.

While it is safer now to leave plugged in for extended periods of use (days, weeks) I still use the rule of thumb to allow a decharge and for the battery to have periods of rest to prevent temperature and/or electrical flow reducing the battery’s intended lifespan.

I don’t care much about my laptop batteries.
I only use old laptops and their batteries are really weak and used (30% left)
My laptop (LENOVO Thinkpad T420, 128 SSD, 8GB, LINUX MINT)
is are always located at the same place so I use only the power supply.

I built a kind of “laptop stand”.
So the TFT is in the perfect position to look at and I have plugged in an external keyboard.

The key stroke of the keyboard is very important for me.
Those cheap keyboards are loud and “rickety” or rattling and the keay stroke is too high
That’s annoying.

I bought two perfect ones at the flea market (where else :laughing:)
The lady who sold it promised they are perfect and she was honest.
They are great (3 Euros for both :rofl:)

Of course I could use an external TFT as well.
But I got used to my solution.
Works perfectly for me.

And not to forget.
When nit using it, I switch off the device by a main switch.

That’s another theme to talk about.
Should devices been left in stand by mode?

I use a lot of this type of sockets here

What has interested me is how much the recommending charging protocol has changed over the years. I’ve heard anything from fully discharge and fully recharge the first 3 battery cycles to not cause a memory effect on the battery. I have heard to not charge to 100% and not to drain to 0%. Alternatively, I have heard to leave it plugged in so that it doesn’t cause unneeded charge cycles, however i’ve also heard don’t ever leave it plugged in for it can overcharge the battery and cause battery damage.

I’d like to see laptop manufactures switch to LiFePO4 battery packs; yes, it is less battery dense and heavier, but you largely don’t have to worry about this as much due to the increase of available battery cycles.

What is much more interesting is the life time of batteries un such e-cars.
So many stories around . pros and cons.

100 percent agree.

I’m no battery expert but a friend of mine is. He said the charge/discharge recommendations are very much tied to the type of battery. My battery knowledge building, however, has officially begun with LiFePO4 because my job requires my attention on this matter.

As for my laptop, I don’t think I ever let it drain to 0. It’s psychological, I think.

Great share it really is insane how far technology regardless I personally try not to leave things plugged in for longer than they need even if it doesn’t hurt the device. It’s become more of a force of habit now

I’m with you … in theory anyway. I like to unplug things when I go on vacation but I’m otherwise pretty terrible about leaving things plugged in, come to think of it. Thanks for the reminder to be more conscious of my power bills (and beer money!).

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Agreed! Is diesel or eCar better for the planet? The answer? It depends on what you value more.

Really, :laughing:
This is a never ending theme here.
We had a beer thread here.
Needs to be reanimated.

This is an old photo, I published in the past.

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Ooooooh a beer thread. I love IPAs. DO NOT @ ME.

Meanwhile there are so many mini breweries in the USA
brewing perfect beer, I have heard.

I think it is a beer paradise now…
Never was in the past.

Our friend @ndalby is s perfect brewer meanwhile we all know.
Prost Neil!

I’m actually not a brewer, I am better in consuming. :laughing:

A clinking Prosit from München Bavaria to all friends here,.

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Spooky, just came on here after setting up a new brew hahahaha

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Maybe they make it a requirement to like beer when they find a new admin🤣

When the li batteries drain inside of a device they still don’t drain all the way. typically when the voltage is between 2.80-3.00 V it is considered fully discharged. Any lower than that and the battery is irreversibly damaged. If the li ion battery is used it will mean more charge discharge cycles so the battery will age quickly. if battery is kept at 100% soc all the time then also it will age but you are not doing cycling so it is not as aggressive damage (but electrolyte and active materials do get damaged due to electrode polarizations at higher voltages).
long term storage…keep it at 30-70% soc

Here’s my current experience regarding this. I use an Apple MacBook Air M1 and have been monitoring it’s battery and health for well about a year now.

Here are my findings:

Listed below is the partial history (using coconutBattery; a Mac app which keeps track of battery charge/discharge cycles as well as current battery capacity compared to the battery’s original “design” capacity) of my MacBook Air M1’s battery stats for a little under one year. I had enabled “Optimized Battery Charging” (OBC) at some unknown point in it’s history. For those that don’t know what OBC does, it keeps the battery charged at around 80% and keeps it from being charged to 100% until you need it charged to that level.

In short, without looking through the entire history list (which I will gladly post but it’s very long), accumulated charge cycles have remained at 21 cycles for approx. five months and battery health has actually increased since I enabled OBC. The history is sorted oldest at the top, newest at the bottom.

Oldest record:

  1. date: 2022-03-07
  2. charge cycles: 14
  3. health: 93.222275
  4. maximum capacity: 4085 mAh

Newest record:

  1. date: 2023-05-06
  2. charge cycles: 21
  3. health: 100.1%
  4. maximum capacity: 4385 mAh

*The design capacity for this particular MacBook’s battery (it’s “new” capacity) is 4382 mAh

FWIW, the MBA has been on the charger close to 100% of the time.

Bottom line is that if your MacBook is seldom used on it’s battery, enabling OBC does indeed help to preserve it, at least in my case.

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In 14 charge cycles that 93% health is not correct unless there is an issue with battery. newest record seems correct.
Fun fact - if you charge li ion battery between 20-80% (strictly) and never go over 80% or below 20%, your cycle life will be 5-10x then what is otherwise possible.

Charging electronics are more sophisticated, there is no “keep plugged in”.

In the old days the voltage presented was continuously connected to batteries meaning they were always being charged and kept warm.

Now the charging circuit senses the cell voltage and stops supplying any kind of energy. As such a “keep plugged in” doesn’t really make any electronic sense now.

Cells though still age, from duration, charge cycles, heat, cold, etc.

If you don’t keep a laptop plugged in, it uses it’s charged cells, so they discharge, and so age faster.

A laptop kept plugged in, the cells age slower, not faster.


did someone say beer?

The place I am now is better with wine.
Here at Donna Linda’s casa we are offered her home made vinho.
The area is called Minho. (north of PT)

It’s famous for a special wine called “Vinho Verde”
Read more infos if there is an interest by using Google, please.