Frequently Charging Laptop: Damages Battery?

Here’s whether frequent charging damages your laptop battery:

Usually, frequently charging your laptop will not damage the battery or cause any major problems that you need to know about.

Frequent charging does have a set of pros and cons, but when it comes to the battery, frequent charging often extends the battery’s lifespan. 

For the most part, you can charge whenever you want.

So if you want to learn all about how frequent charging affects your laptop’s battery, then you’re in the right place.

Let’s jump right in!

Frequently Charging Laptop: Damages Battery? (Do This)

How Can Frequent Charging Cause Problems For Your Laptop? (3 Things)

Laptop charging.

If frequent charging has pros and cons, then we should probably go over all of it. 

Let’s start with the cons. 

Most of the downsides to frequent charging don’t directly impact the battery, but we can cover all of the major concerns in order to be thorough.

#1 Heat

Laptop battery replacement.

One of the biggest dangers to lithium-ion battery longevity is exposure to high heat

If you charge the battery when the ambient temperature is too high, it can cause damage. 

If you charge the battery when the computer is running extra hot, it can harm the battery.

What does this have to do with frequent charging?

For most laptops, the charger itself can contribute a fair amount of heat to the equation. 

This alone should not harm anything, but if the computer is also running hot and/or you’re in a hot room or location, it all starts to add up.

If you’re charging the laptop more often, it usually correlates with pushing the computer harder in terms of how you use it. 

So, the general risk of heat is higher.

None of this is to suggest that you shouldn’t charge your laptop when the battery is low, but you can keep heat in mind when you make decisions. 

If everything is hotter than normal, you can let the laptop cool down before you charge the battery.

#2 Wear and Tear on the Charger

Black laptop cord with adapter plugged in.

Laptop chargers have to pull a fair amount of electricity from the wall in order to run the computer and recharge the battery. 

Because of this, the electric circuits inside of the charger undergo a lot more strain under normal use, as compared to something like a smartphone charger.

While these devices are made to be used a lot, strain does add up over time. 

As you charge the laptop more frequently, you’re going to end up straining the charger harder, and it might burn out sooner than normal.

When we get more into how charging can be good for the battery, you’ll see that often, you’re trading strain on the battery for strain on the charger.

In the case that charging your laptop causes trouble already, find out if it is the power port on your laptop or its charger.

#3 Power Draw

Power plug

As you just read, laptop chargers pull a lot of electricity out of the wall. 

Aside from what that means in terms of heat generation and wear on the system’s components, it also has an impact on your electric bill.

If you’re charging the laptop very frequently, then you are not optimizing energy efficiency for the laptop. 

Constant charges suggest that you might not be running the best battery-saving settings, or you might be plugging the computer in more than what is necessary.

Ultimately, that all adds up, and you’ll see it reflected in your overall energy consumption. 

Frequent charging won’t drastically increase your electric bills, but if you’re at all concerned with lowering electricity usage, this is something to keep in mind.

Does Frequent Charging Damage Your Phone Battery?

By the way, what about frequently charging your phone battery?

For the most part, frequent charging is not an issue for modern phones with lithium-based batteries. 

Charging behavior does impact your battery’s lifespan, but the exact ways depend on how you use the phone and what kind of battery you have. 

You can research best practices for your specific battery.

Learn all about how frequent charging affects your phone battery here.

How Can Frequent Charging Be Good for the Laptop Battery? (3 Factors)

Technician change the notebook battery.

Charging the laptop frequently clearly has some negative aspects. 

It’s not ideal in all situations, but what a lot of people don’t realize is that frequent charging has some serious upsides too. 

Did you know that proactive charging can extend your laptop’s battery life?

This didn’t use to really be true.

Older battery types were prone to overcharging, so frequent charging made it easy to damage the battery’s chemistry. 

But, modern batteries don’t have this problem, and proactive charging often makes them last a lot longer.

It comes down to a few key reasons.

#1 Reduced Cycle Count

woman charging laptop outdoors at an innovative solar powered outdoor charging station

This is a big deal, and it’s the primary reason that frequent charging is mostly good for your battery.

Every battery is made for a set number of recharges.

How many depends on the manufacturer, but it’s usually in the ballpark of 500 recharges

These are often called charge cycles, and once you get past that number, your battery won’t work as well anymore.

But, there’s a trick to it. 

Plugging your computer into the wall doesn’t necessarily take away one of those charging cycles. 

Instead, the cycles are based on the idea of charging the battery from completely empty to completely full.

So, if your battery is at half-charge and you plug the computer in to fill it up, that takes up half of a charging cycle.

So, frequent charging usually occurs before the battery is completely drained.

It means that the number of times that you actually charge your laptop goes up.

It also means that you are using power directly from the charger more often (since it’s plugged in more often), and this reduces how much charge you’re taking out of the battery. 

For any one instance, it’s not that big a deal.

But, over the life of the battery, frequent charging can make everything last quite a bit longer.

#2 Avoiding Depletion

Female in front of a laptop thinking.

When a lithium-based battery is fully depleted, the cells are typically damaged. 

That damage is permanent, and it means that you can’t fully charge the battery anymore. Obviously, this is something to avoid.

Thankfully, modern laptops have fail-safes that make it difficult to completely deplete your battery.

Even if you run the computer until it shuts itself off (when the battery is drained), this isn’t enough of a depletion to cause damage of this type. 

Instead, the computer will shut itself when the battery is low but still above a safe level.

But, if you leave the laptop unplugged for a long time after that, the battery will slowly leak charge, and ultimately it will reach damaging levels of depletion.

So, it’s all pretty simple. If you stay proactive about charging the laptop, you won’t deplete the battery.

#3 Minimizing Battery Strain

Man working on a laptop with photo editing software.

Extreme settings can put a lot of strain on a battery, and one common source of that for a laptop is intense use. 

If you’re playing intense graphical games or editing videos, you’re probably pushing your laptop pretty hard.

These types of activities tend to drain the battery very quickly.

If this is a regular thing for your laptop, then it’s putting sustained strain on the battery, and you can expect a shorter battery life.

However, if you’re plugging your laptop in at every chance, then a lot of this heavy use can be done with the charger working. 

That prevents the battery from draining fast and minimizes strain on the battery.

What Are Some Good Tips for Charging Behavior? (3 Tips)

Woman hand plugging laptop to a power socket.

Frequent charging has pros and cons, so what’s the real answer? 

How should you charge your laptop?

For the most part, it doesn’t really matter. 

If you charge it whenever the battery is low, then things will work as intended, and you don’t have to worry about much.

But, if you’re someone who likes to really optimize how they do things, a few tricks can help.

#1 Charge When You Want To

Plugging the USB cord into a laptop.

This is really the golden rule of managing lithium batteries. 

You can charge the device whenever you feel like it’s appropriate. 

If you’re charging frequently, you’re preventing some problems that can occur.

If you only charge the laptop after it’s below 50%, that’s still fine. 

You aren’t hurting anything.

These devices are pretty smart already, and they mostly prevent causing issues from regular use.

What you want to avoid is extreme behavior. 

If you can help it, don’t run the battery all the way to dead very often. 

Also, pay attention to when the computer (or the environment around the computer) is very hot.

Give it a break, and things will last a lot longer.

#2 Pop the Battery

Technician change the notebook battery.

You can go from frequent charging to constant charging. 

Or, even better, you can pop out the battery and just run the computer on the plug.

Obviously, this only works if your laptop doesn’t frequently travel with you.

But, a lot of people use laptops on a desktop, and it never leaves. 

If that’s the case, removing the battery prevents most of the problems that shorten battery life.

If you’re considering this, there are two things you should know. 

First, it’s best to charge the battery to about 50% before you take it out.

This is the happy sweet spot where there is minimal strain on the battery.

Second, you should recharge the battery to 50% every few months.

Check on it after the first month to see how quickly it drained. 

Ideally, you want to keep the battery above 20% charge while it sits in storage.

This is the best way to maximize your battery’s lifespan.

#3 Power Down Now and Then

Woman closing or opening a laptop.

Computers benefit from being turned off once a week or so. 

A lot of this has to do with software, and that’s a whole other discussion. 

But, regular downtime is good for the computer in general.

One reason for this is that the computer can fully discharge residual heat.

So, if you’re turning the computer off once a week or so, it’s ok to leave the computer unplugged while it’s off. 

That ensures that everything does cool off completely, and the system gets a little rest.

Clearly, computers can maintain a lot of uptime, but breaks go a long way, so put them in when you can.