Can I Leave My Laptop Plugged in Overnight?

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After a few years of use, the battery of your laptop is undoubtedly just a shadow of itself. Laptops are mobile, but they are often used in one place for long hours. The power cord is usually plugged into the socket and the laptop receives a constant charge. Can you prevent wear and tear by only charging the computer if it is really necessary? In other words, can I leave my laptop plugged in overnight?

If you don’t have to move your laptop around a lot, it is very tempting to leave it connected to the charger at all times. However, leaving your laptop plugged in overnight would have a negative impact on the overall battery life and also increase the risk of it catching fire in the middle of the night. You will actually end up doing more harm than good! A constant charge will result in diminishing returns with your battery depreciating every day until it is totally useless.

If there is an electrical outlet, most laptop owners just leave their machine constantly on charge. Even with a continuous connection to the socket and a full charge, there are always small discharges in the battery. These are compensated directly by the power supply via charging. This means that the battery is working all the time, even when it doesn’t appear to be, resulting in accelerated wear. This also results in poor performance and permanent heat development, further pushing the wear and tear of your battery.

How to Charge Your Laptop Overnight

  • Unplug the power cord when the battery is full and do not plug it in again until the battery needs another charge. In this way, the battery goes through significantly fewer charging cycles and has longer breaks. The “healthiest” range for most laptop batteries is usually somewhere between 40 and 80 percent.
  • If you absolutely have to keep your laptop plugged in overnight, you can remove the battery completely and power your laptop through the adapter. The electricity is then fed directly into the laptop, and your machine consumes it right away without putting any burden on the battery.

By following either of the strategies above you can increase the service life of your laptop battery considerably and benefit from much better performance.

If you do want to work at night, then it is fine to keep your laptop plugged in. To look after your eyes, maybe check out our Dark Mode guides for Google Calendar, Wikipedia, iTunes and Amazon.

Improving Your Laptop Battery Performance

but with these tips you can slow down its capacity loss so that you do not have to replace the battery of your laptop immediately .

Different Types of Batteries

In the past, you always needed an electrical outlet nearby for an electrical appliance. Fortunately, thanks to batteries, we are not nailed to the wall, but that does not mean that battery cells do not cause lose capacity over time. For example, they are subject to wear and tear, so it is important that we treat them with care. How you best treat them depends on the type of battery. The two most common today are Lithium ion (Li-ion) and Lithium polymer batteries. Nickel metal used to be the standard (NiMH), but these are hardly ever seen anymore. Many maintenance myths date back to the NiMH era, which require a different kind of care.

For example, it is not necessary at all to regularly drain your battery completely, unlike NiMH models. On the contrary, Lithium ion batteries deplete more quickly when they are fully charged or discharged. The ideal available capacity is somewhere between 30 and 70 percent.

Charging Regularly

In principle, it is therefore not entirely untrue that it is best to regularly remove the laptop from the charger. Ideally, you should have it plugged in when its battery capacity is hovering around 30 percent. A modern battery survives on average about a thousand charging cycles before its capacity is seriously reduced. A charging cycle stands for one full charge and discharge of the battery. If you charge it from 30 to 70 percent, it will not even take you half a charging cycle. Whatever you do, your battery will wear out and lose charging capacity.

There are some myths from the time when nickel batteries held sway. For those batteries you first had to plug a new device into the socket for about half a day to ‘train’ the battery. This is useless with electronic devices today, because charging stops once the battery is completely full. The reason that NiMH batteries had to be completely empty before you recharge them is because of the ‘memory effect’. These batteries remember when they are not completely discharged, so they will charge to that level and thus lose charging capacity. That’s why nickel batteries are also called ‘lazy batteries’.

Calibrating Your Battery

You should never keep your Laptop Battery on a constant charge. Once your battery reaches a charging capacity of 100%, the charger will not automatically stop charging and you will draw power directly from the socket. At that point, your battery will keep on having small discharges and recharge cycles of the batteries will slowly keep getting exhausted. There is a huge risk of damaging your laptop battery this way, and things would be even worse you have a bad off brand charger from a Chinese brand.

Additionally, it’s a good idea to charge you battery all the way at least once every few weeks. If you regularly charge and discharge your device, your laptop will quickly lose its way and will no longer know how long its battery will last. That’s why laptop manufacturers recommend that you fully charge your laptop at least once a month to calibrate this estimator.

Temperature Extremes

Temperature extremes also have an impact on the life of your batteries. When your laptop’s battery gets too hot, its charging capacity takes a big blow. If you have a laptop that heats up quickly, or if you like to play games on your computer, it is not a bad idea to remove the battery and keep the laptop plugged in. Of course, this is only possible with laptops where you can effectively remove the battery. The weather also plays a role, with batteries heating up more in the summer. It is best to keep your laptop in a cool room. Extremely cold temperatures create a similar effect. So don’t put your laptop in the refrigerator or leave it outside in the winter.

Don’t Leave Your Laptop Battery Uncharged for a Long Time

Once your battery is drained off completely, it is best to plug it back on the charger as soon as possible. Don’t worry, you don’t have to sprint to an electrical outlet as soon as your laptop is out of juice, however, it’s not healthy for a battery to be empty for too long. If your laptop is out of charge for a long time, your battery could die and no longer hold a charge. If you still have old laptops at home, plug them on to the charger as soon as possible to avoid getting into a worse situation.

Final Words

In theory, it’s best to keep your laptop battery charge between 40 and 80 percent, but more charge cycles also affect its lifespan. Whatever you do, your battery will wear out and lose its charging capacity in the long run. That’s just how batteries work. The question is rather what is least harmful to your battery. Apple used to recommend not to keep MacBooks plugged in the charger, but now that advice is nowhere to be found in their manuals. Some manufacturers do not recommend it, while others say it has little impact. It is definitely not optimal to leave your laptop plugged in overnight.