How to tell if your Windows laptop battery is worn

Are you finding that the battery in your Windows laptop isn't lasting as long as it used to? Here how to tell if it is getting worn.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

The top Windows laptops get a lot of use these days, and thanks to design and technology innovations, they are lasting longer than ever. But the part most likely to wear out in a modern laptop is the battery.

Here's how to tell if the battery in your Windows laptop is worn and needs replacing.

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The first clue that something might be wrong with your laptop's battery is that it doesn't last as long as it used to. Whereas once you got a full day out of it, perhaps now you're finding that it's running flat before you leave the office.

But this isn't a proper diagnosis, certainly not enough to justify a battery replacement, because numerous other variables can affect battery life (temperature, what software you have running, changes to battery saving settings, updated software, and so on).

Fortunately, Windows 10 (and earlier versions of Windows) offers in-depth data on laptop batteries. But unless you are a Windows power user, getting access to that data is a bit complex and cumbersome.

Fortunately, there's a handy piece of free software that allows easy access to the current status and information about your battery data.

The software is called BatteryViewInfo by Nir Sofer (this software works on all versions of Windows from Windows 2000 to Windows 10), and it offers access to information such as battery name, manufacturer name, serial number, manufacture date, power state (charging/discharging), current battery capacity, fully charged capacity, voltage, and charge/discharge rate (note that some batteries may not offer up all this information).

BatteryViewInfo by Nir Sofer

BatteryViewInfo by Nir Sofer

There are three parameters that you need to look at.

The first is the number of charge/discharge cycles. The higher this number, the more worn your battery is likely to be.

If this number is over 500, the battery is getting old. If it is over 800, the battery is likely close to the end of its life. Over 1,000 and the battery is at the end of its life.

Another two numbers to look at are Full Charged Capacity and Designed Capacity. The bigger the gap between these two numbers, the more worn the battery is. If Full Charged Capacity is below 80% Designed Capacity then the battery is likely showing signs of wear and requires replacing.

Need to replace your laptop battery? It's probably not as complicated as you think, and the tools, parts, and information you need is likely to be found over on iFixit.

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