Battery life is an especially precious commodity when traveling and the normal luxuries we take with electricity become magnified when there’s no outlet around. Since one way to keep your laptop strong is to recalibrate it from time to time by draining it completely, you may be thinking removing it all together when not needed will extend its lifespan.
Unfortunately, if you do so, you’ll be doing the opposite, while putting your laptop at risk at the same time.
Why Doesn’t Removing The Battery Save It?
Laptop batteries vary in their composition but they are all chemical based. Meaning, the atoms inside a given battery are manipulated to produce electrons and the chemicals in the reaction (oxidize) and decay over time. Something a bit similar happens in our own bodies and why anti-oxidants help us live longer. Energy has a price; but these reactions occur whether a battery is in use or sitting on a shelf.
Think about couch potatoes sitting in front of the TV all day, they still get old. And usually faster than the rest of us.
Engineers Design Things By Design
Modern (lithium-ion) laptop batteries are designed to be in laptops and used; most manufacturers and operating systems will actually perform slight calibrations automatically. (The reason you often see your battery at 98% capacity even when it is plugged in.) You’ll be better served by performing a series of ‘shallow’ discharges with the occasional recalibration to extend battery life when traveling.
A bit of use it or lose it; similar to our couch potato analogy.
Laptop Batteries Do More Than Charge
Finally, one important point about your laptop battery is that it does more than give you delicious electricity. Batteries also help to condition the power coming in to the rest of your laptop’s vital (and expensive) components. While the charger “brick” in your wall plug does a good job, in case of a large spike, that laptop battery might just save you from having to buy a new laptop or replace costly components.
In short, your laptop battery will last longer and serve as a protective barrier from the rare moment where you have too much electricity if you keep it in your computer at all times.