Do Unused Laptop Batteries Expire?

If you have a battery that is not drained and has been unused for an extended period of time, it will probably work just fine.

However, the life of a battery is not indefinite. Batteries gradually lose their charge when they are idle and will degrade if left unused for too long.

If you want to keep your batteries going, be sure to use them every now and then so that the discharge rate does not exceed its capacity limit which can lead it into irrevocable self-destruction mode.

Laptop Batteries and Their Life Span

Batteries, just like any other miniature power packs, are not meant to be used indefinitely. A battery is designed to carry a specific charge and will gradually lose its capability as its ability to hold that charge slowly diminishes with age.

This also means the longer you do not discharge or recharge batteries, the less effective they are. If the battery is not charged at all, it will likely irreversibly weaken when left unused for too long.

Lithium-Ion Based

Most laptop batteries are lithium-based. A typical lithium-Ion battery works on a principle called ion flow which happens when ions head from one electrode (usually negative) to another while charging or discharging respectively.

If stored and left at 0% for a long time, Li-ion batteries can form dendrites. These tiny strands of metal are created by the battery’s chemical reactions when it is in use; they’re also what causes lead-acid batteries to wind up like an overused Slinky toy.

Once the battery reaches a certain state of deterioration, it will no longer be able to hold charge even if you try recharging it again.

How to Extend the Lifespan of Laptop Batteries?

If you want to keep your battery in a good condition, make sure that you use it every now and then – even if this means just putting it on charge for a few minutes. Also, avoid exposing your battery to extreme temperatures.

As for laptops, make sure that you have the latest update of your computer’s BIOS installed so that it can properly read and display battery charge levels correctly.

Proper Storing of Laptop Batteries

If you’re planning to store a laptop for an extended period of time, make sure that it is charged and set at 80% or higher. You should also unplug the AC power adapter from the wall outlet if possible as well as remove the battery so it won’t discharge during storage. Ensure that it is not exposed to sunlight or other harsh conditions.

Try putting your laptop in a ziplock and store it in the fridge. The cold temperature will help extend the lifetime of your battery compared to room temp. This also ensures that no temperature fluctuations happen.

Conclusion

Unused batteries are not something you want to keep in storage for too long. Lithium-Ion batteries get weaker and deteriorate over time, but if you are planning to store your battery, make sure that it is charged and set at 80% or higher and that it stays colder than room temp to prolong its lifetime.

If your laptop’s lifecycle has already expired and you’ve just replaced the old one with a newer model, don’t throw away the old one just yet. You might be able to recycle it at a local recycling center or sell it at shops where old computer parts are accepted.

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