The battery is not working properly, so throw it in the trash? Often this is neither necessary nor sustainable. We tell you how to calibrate a laptop battery and what the benefits are.
By André Gabriel
The home office is more and more popular. From an employer’s point of view, too, occasional homework is a smart alternative to everyday office life, which can also have a positive effect on employee motivation. If you want to be even more flexible, grab your laptop and sit in the corner cafe – if the battery charge display works, because the outlets aren’t always nearby.
Why should I calibrate the laptop battery?
An intact battery is the basic requirement for mobile working – if the displayed state of charge is incorrect, important files can be lost in the worst case. But before you get rid of the energy accumulator because it apparently no longer works properly, we recommend that you: Calibrate the battery. This can save money and resources, as in many cases, calibrating the battery fixes small issues and then you can use the device normally again.
With these issues (mostly apparent), we recommend calibrating the laptop battery:
- No energy despite sufficient battery level
- The battery discharges abnormally quickly
- No charging, although the battery is powered
Calibrating a battery does not directly improve its autonomy, it only corrects the display. Therefore, the basic advice for handling a laptop battery is: calibrate it before using it for the first time to ensure optimal use from the start. However, the mentioned inconsistencies may occur during use.
What are my options?
Don’t worry: you don’t need to remove your laptop battery to calibrate.
Image: © RioPatuca Images – stock.adobe.com 2021
Let’s sum up the theory: batteries normally lose their capacity with each charge cycle, correct display of the charge level is essential. Otherwise, for example, we charge the energy storage device even if it still has enough energy and interrupt the efficient charging rhythm.
The good news: You don’t need to send the battery in and have it calibrated for a fee. There are several ways to realign the rechargeable battery yourself. You can either use Safe Mode, calibrate the laptop battery using a tool or software, or choose a special procedure if you are using Windows 10.
A fourth option is to calibrate the battery through BIOS or UEFI. However, only professionals should get their hands on the ‘computer nervous system’, so we only mention the variant for the sake of completeness.
The easiest way: the manual method
No software, no specialist knowledge. If you want to calibrate the laptop battery manually, all you need is the laptop and battery, power supply, and a little patience. This is how it works :
- Make sure the battery is fully charged.
- Restart the laptop.
- Press the F8 key several times while starting the laptop.
- Wait for a black and white menu to open.
- Select “Safe Mode” or “Boot in Safe Mode”.
- Unplug the power.
- Wait until the battery is completely discharged.
Depending on the device, it may take a while for the battery to discharge. Practice your patience here. The laptop battery is only calibrated when the laptop turns off because it is out of power. The energy storage display should now function normally.
Calibrate Laptop Battery Using Tool
Software can be used to calibrate the laptop battery. A corresponding data medium with an installation file is often included in the delivery of the device. In some cases the software is already installed on the hard drive – this especially applies to OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) devices.
As soon as the software is installed on the laptop, you start it and follow the instructions of the program. The rest is done automatically.
Calibrate the battery in Windows 10
If you want to calibrate the battery with Windows 10 laptop, you can supplement the manual method with special settings in the operating system power plan:
- Right click on the Windows icon in the lower left corner.
- Select “Search”.
- Type “change power plan” in the search box.
- Click on the corresponding result.
- Select “Never” under “Turn off screen”.
- Select “Never” under “Sleep mode after”.
- Click on “Change advanced power settings”.
- In the new window, select “Stop” under “Critical Battery Capacity Action”.
- Set “5%” for “Critical battery capacity”.
After changes to the power saving plan, the battery will drain as quickly as possible because the laptop will stay on even when not in use. Up to 5% battery charge – only then does the system shut down.
Then switch to the manual variant and fully charge the battery. At 100 percent, you disconnect the laptop from the power source and allow the battery to drain – you can use the device normally during this time if you wish. Did the laptop shut down automatically? Then you reconnect it to the power supply to fully charge it and finally calibrate the laptop battery.
- Sometimes the actual charge level and the battery charge indicator do not match.
- Instead of replacing a battery if something goes wrong, you need to calibrate it first.
- During a manual calibration, the battery is fully charged and then discharged again.
- Automatic calibration using the supplied or preinstalled software is also possible.
- If you calibrate the battery in Windows 10, you change the power plan settings first.