This document pertains to HP Notebook PCs with Windows 8, 7, and Vista.
Notebook computers operate on two kinds of power: A/C power (the kind of power that you get from plugging a power adapter into a wall outlet) and D/C power (the kind of power that you get from a battery). Get the most service and life from the battery by following these suggestions.
View a video on Improving Battery Performance
How long will the battery last?
How long should a battery last between charges? Why does one model of computer get better battery performance than another? There is no simple answer. For any battery, its maximum battery capacity decreases over time and usage. The rate at which this capacity decreases, can vary depending on product configuration, product model, operating system, type of software used, power management settings, and other factors.
Adjusting power plans
A power plan is a collection of hardware and system settings that manages how your computer uses power. Power plans can help you save energy, maximize system performance, or achieve a balance between the two. Learn more about power plans by reading one of the following support documents that matches the Windows operating system on your notebook:
After reading, adjust the power plan settings for your notebook to get the most out how you use your computer.
Factors that contribute to loss of battery capacity
- Li-Ion battery cells suffer gradual, irreversible capacity loss with each discharge-charge cycle. Such aging occurs more rapidly as temperature and discharge loads increase.
- The energy of a Li-Ion battery decreases even when the battery is left in an unpowered computer.
- During prolonged storage or non-use, the battery charge can decrease below its recommended low-voltage level.
- Leaving the battery in a depleted condition for an extended period can cause the battery to go into a low voltage condition and become unusable. Leaving the battery at a high level of charge in a high-temperature environment for extended periods (for example in a docking station under a heavy load) also accelerates the loss of capacity.
- Using software for graphics processing or high-definition video accelerates the loss of capacity. For example, playing 3D games lowers full charge capacity faster than using word processing applications.
Recommended battery care practices
Recommendations for battery usage and storage are covered in the User Guide for your computer.
Additional battery care practices are as follows:
- Store Li-Ion batteries between 20°C and 25°C (68°F and 77°F) with 50% to 70% charge.
- Do not disassemble, crush, or puncture a battery; do not short the external contacts on a battery; and, do not dispose of a battery in fire or water.
- Do not leave batteries exposed to high temperatures for extended periods. Prolonged exposure to heat (for example, inside a hot car) accelerates the deterioration of Li-Ion cells.
- Discharge the battery to 50-70% and remove the battery if the computer will be stored (turned off and not plugged into AC power) for more than one month.
- If the battery will be in prolonged storage, check the capacity every six months and recharge to 50-70%.
- If you have a choice of battery types to use with your computer, use the type of battery with the highest capacity (Ah) rating.
- Run Battery Check in the HP Support Assistant once a month to maintain the battery.
- Calibrate the battery based on the results shown in HP Support Assistant. Under normal usage, batteries should be calibrated a minimum of once every 2 - 3 months; however, a battery that is rarely discharged fully, should be calibrated about once a month.
- Keep the battery away from children.
- Use only the battery provided with the computer, a replacement battery provided by HP, or a compatible battery purchased as an accessory.
Special recommendations for embedded (not customer replaceable) batteries
If the battery is embedded in your computer, the following practices are recommended:
- If the computer is unused for more than three months, discharge the battery to about 70% before storing. For prolonged storage, check the battery capacity every six months and charge it back up to 70%. Always store the computer between 20ºC and 25ºC (68ºF and 77ºF).
- If the computer is used primarily on AC power, allow the battery to discharge completely and recharge once per month.
Tips for conserving battery power
Use these tips to change the power consumption of the computer to conserve battery power.
- Reduce the number of open applications . Each open software application uses memory and power, even when the application window is minimized. Close software applications to conserve battery power.
- Reduce the brightness of the screen to the minimum readable level. Use the Fn and F7 or F8 keys to adjust the brightness.
- Remove peripherals when not in use. External hard drives, CD-ROMs, Zip drives, PC cards, and other peripheral devices can draw power from your battery even when they are not in active use. Disconnect them when you are finished using them.
- Reduce the speed of your processor. The faster your computer works, the more quickly it uses the supply of power. You can extend the charge of your battery by slowing down your processor's speed. Methods to reduce processor speed vary from model to model; the User Guide should provide instructions for doing so.
- Turn off the Wireless On-Off button when it is not in use. If your computer has one, press the Wireless On-Off button so that the light turns off.
- Change the power option setting. Select either HP Recommended or Power saver to conserve battery power.