New Windows 10 update tackles HP laptops' swollen-battery problem

Microsoft uses Windows Update to deliver a special fix to improve the longevity of HP laptop batteries.

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Microsoft and HP have teamed up to deliver a Windows 10 update that changes the configuration of the HP Battery Health Manager in BIOS on systems that have it disabled. 

The update, KB4583263, was released via Windows Update and the Microsoft Update Catalog on Thursday. The Battery Health Manager feature helps moderate how HP business notebooks charge their lithium-ion batteries. 

The Windows 10 update changes the BIOS-level configuration of HP Battery Health Manager, a feature available in dozens of EliteBook, ProBook and Zbook notebooks and convertibles for business.

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The feature is designed to prevent a high state of charge, which can accelerate battery swelling and chemical aging. HP recommends notebooks with a swollen battery shouldn't be used until the battery is replaced. 

HP's Battery Health Manager was first released in late 2018, but back then customers had to manually adjust the setting to 'Let HP Manage My Battery Health'. 

This setting is the default in the latest release of Battery Health Manager and replaces the previous default 'Maximize my battery duration'. The new default dynamically changes how the system charges the battery based on usage conditions over time.  

HP had been working with Microsoft to deliver an update through Windows Update to ensure this setting was enabled automatically after installing the update. 

"As usage patterns for business notebooks have changed over time, HP has updated HP Battery Health Manager with new and improved charging algorithms. This makes it more effective at mitigating those factors that can accelerate battery swelling and chemical aging," HP explains. 

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Microsoft explains in a support note that it is working with HP to "distribute a solution to help address a configuration setting issue within HP Battery Health Manager on select HP Business Notebooks that can affect battery life and performance". 

HP notebook owners do not need to restart the device for the update to take effect.