Is It Bad To Use a Laptop While Charging?

This is whether charging your laptop while using it is harmful.

Laptops are temperamental when it comes to charging—you might notice the battery life draining quickly.

So if you want to know whether it’s bad to use your laptop while it charges, then this article is for you.

Without further ado, let’s do this!

Table of Contents

What Happens When You Use Your Laptop While It’s Charging?

Statistics from IDC (International Data Corporation) show that laptop shipments and preferences have increased since 2010.

It’s been predicted that by 2024, shipments will reach 216 million units:

Global Shipment Forecast for Tablets, Laptops and Desktop PCs Worldwide From 2010 to 2024

The main draw of laptops is their portability.

You can tote your laptop to a local coffee shop to work on your latest novel or haul it to a friend’s house for a gaming session because it doesn’t need to plug into a wall at all times.

That’s not to say the laptop never needs to plug into a power source. 

Sometimes, you want to work from home, set up shop at your desk with your laptop plugged in, and work away all day.

However, laptops are temperamental when it comes to charging.

You might notice the battery life draining quickly and “wonder, how did this happen? I just charged it an hour ago?”  

Fortunately, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to answer any questions you might have so you can make the most out of your laptop without worry.

Read on to understand what all of the charging fuss is about:

Is it Ok to Use a Laptop While Charging?

The short answer?

Yes, using a laptop while charging is harmful.


Because it can negatively affect battery life. 

The long answer?

Since laptops are only as good as their batteries, it’s essential to maintain the battery life so that the laptop can last as long as possible.

Although, using the laptop while charging isn’t too harmful if your device requires charging. 

If the laptop needs charging while in use, it won’t have any adverse effects on the battery.

Close-up of a woman's hands plugging a black charger to a laptop.

But, if the laptop is subjected to prolonged use while charging, the battery will suffer from stress.

Ultimately, this stress will diminish the battery’s long term viability.  

Can I Use My Laptop While Charging it Even When it is Fully Charged?

Leaving a laptop plugged in daily either for use or not may not cross your mind as a potential threat to the laptop’s battery.

Luckily, newer laptops can often survive lengthy charging periods. 

In the past, laptops may not have been able to handle the excessive charging because their batteries were dated.

Basically, they required more care than the batteries that exist in laptops today.

Today, laptops depend mostly on lithium-based batteries that can handle a longer charge.

It may come as a surprise, but lithium batteries don’t take more charge than they can handle.

This advanced battery component means that a laptop isn’t fully charging 100% of the time when plugged in.

Instead, the charging supply gets cut off when it reaches capacity so that it won’t overcharge the laptop battery.

Should You Leave Your Laptop Plugged-in All of the Time?

While it’s not necessarily bad for a laptop to stay charging all day because of the lithium battery’s monitoring ability, it’s better not to.

The battery may know when to cut off the power supply, but staying plugged in for too long may cause the laptop to overheat.

Overheating occurs when the battery is plugged into a power source for too long when it’s at a 100% charge. It’s a byproduct of stress. 

What Happens to a Laptop if it Overheats?

You might be wondering what overheating means.

Well, it could mean irreversible damage to your laptop’s battery capacity.

Yes, the lithium-based battery knows when to stop accepting a charge. 

But if the device receives a continuous flow of power, the battery becomes stressed just as anyone or anything would if subjected to intense heat. 

Extended charging periods increase the battery’s heat exposure, resulting in a long-term reduction in battery capacity. 

Should a Laptop Stay Unplugged for as Long as Possible?

Because of the adverse effects of excessive charging, you may think keeping a laptop unplugged would have the opposite effect.

This may come as a shock, but keeping the device unplugged is not always the answer. 

Instead, reducing a laptop’s charging frequency has adverse effects that can also reduce the laptop’s long term battery capacity.

Just as excessive charging induces stress on the battery, so does not charging it enough. 

What does this mean? It means that keeping the battery at a depraved percentage often results in the laptop’s inability to hold a charge. 

How to Prolong a Laptop’s Battery Life?

As with all things throughout time, a laptop’s battery life will naturally decline.

That said, maintaining and monitoring when to charge a laptop and for how long can prolong the battery life’s longevity and performance. 

Businesswoman thinking and taking notes with laptop in a cafe.

It varies for laptop type and brand, but to prolong the battery’s ability, you should charge only when appropriate and only for as long as necessary to get to full capacity. 

The chart below shows the different laptop brands owned all over the United States:

Laptop Ownership by Brand in the United States as of 2020

The number of apps running in the background, the room’s temperature, and the power settings also play into the laptop’s battery power.

Fortunately, these factors don’t require any intense work to maintain. 

Checking Battery Performance

Most, if not all, laptops have a settings or system preferences option. In there, you’ll find a section for the battery.

If not, you can search for it on your laptop. Here you can find the settings that control the battery’s power and functions.

The battery power function allows you to see what processes conserve and prolong the battery’s life.

There are also options to choose from that can improve the battery’s performance. For example, take a look at the Mac and Windows battery setting options.

Mac iOS:

  • Display settings
  • Put hard disks to sleep when possible
  • Enable Power nap


  • Battery life and performance slider
  • Battery health mode
  • Time until fully charged

Shutting Down Background Apps

After checking the battery power settings, what next? Closeout of all unused apps.

Apps and windows running in the background secretly suck up a laptop’s battery life. Instead of keeping tabs open and windows minimized for later use, stick to one app at a time. 

To further minimize the number of apps running, set your laptop to airplane mode, battery health mode, or shutting off the wifi.

These options significantly reduce the number of applications draining the battery.  

What is Battery Health Mode?

As mentioned before, the battery health mode can prolong and conserve a laptop’s battery life.

The option measures the laptop’s battery health and appropriately reduces its maximum charge to an optimal level for your usage. 

For example, if your laptop drops to a certain percentage like 20%, your laptop will go into a saving mode to optimize your usage before you need to plug it in.

This feature also protects against battery wear and chemical aging plus monitors battery usage. 

When is the Best Time to Charge a Laptop?

The best time to charge a laptop is not at a specific moment in time but a certain charge level.

No, don’t wait until the laptop approaches 0%, and don’t plug it in the second it drops below 100%. 

Instead, charge your laptop at around 20% power. The computer needs to drain some battery life to regain a charge, but letting it drain completely will cause harm.

Instead, watch for the battery to dip to around 20%, then charge until either 100% or slightly below. 

Gaming While Charging Laptop

So, using a laptop while charging is harmful. Then, is it ok to play while charging a laptop? It’s actually better to game while charging a laptop than to let the battery run down.

Gaming drains battery life faster than most other computer activities.

Since it’s not healthy for the battery to run on minimal power, a laptop should stay plugged in while gaming.

Gamer playing video games on gaming laptop, wearing headphones.

Staying on the charger will prevent the battery from wasting away, creating peaks and valleys in terms of power consistency.

Is it Better to Use Laptop Plugged in Or on Battery?

Laptops have a battery within them that allows them to move from room to room and place to place without needing to plug into a wall somewhere.

These batteries, however, need to plug into a power source to charge. That said, should you keep a laptop plugged in while you use it, or should you rely on the battery until it needs charging?

When it comes down to which option is better—plugged in or battery—it depends on why you’re using the laptop.

If you’re using the laptop for gaming, an intense application, or need multiple applications open, you should use the device while it’s plugged in.

Opposingly, if you aren’t working on anything intensive such as browsing the internet or completing simple tasks, you should use the battery.

Since this work doesn’t require a lot of power or energy, the battery life won’t suffer from overuse. 

Using Laptop While Charging Without Battery

You know when to plug-in a laptop and when to rely on the battery, but when should you use a laptop, it charges without a battery?

It may surprise you, but some laptops (especially older ones) allow for battery removal. 

Removing the battery won’t affect the laptop or processing quality. You should only remove the battery if it causes problems or needs changing.

If you choose to remove the battery, keep the laptop plugged into a power source at all times. 

Without a power source, the laptop’s motherboard can fail, causing irreversible damage to the device’s components. 

How to Use a Laptop Without the Battery

As mentioned before, laptops will work without a battery. To ensure your laptop’s safety during use without a battery, follow these rules:

  • Only remove the battery when the laptop is unplugged and turned off; you don’t want to get electrocuted. 
  • Make sure the laptop is in an area with a good quality electrical current. If the site has a low-quality electrical current, power surges can occur and damage the laptop
  • Use a UPS (a battery backup) to provide extra protection
  • Always keep the device plugged in
  • Do not touch the battery contents when plugged in; it will shock you.