Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Possible Duplicates:
Should laptops remain plugged in when their battery is 100% charged?
Is it better to use laptop on battery or on AC power?

I shut down my laptop every night, and I used to unplug the AC power as well when I shut down. Is there any harm to leaving the power brick plugged in while the laptop is off? Am I wasting energy? Am I causing harm to the battery (which I pretty much leave in all the time)?

share|improve this question

marked as duplicate by random, fretje, Troggy Feb 15 '10 at 16:30

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

    
    
I recently found this product for eliminating the waste of "standby" power. Might be worth checking it out: belkin.com/conserve. Cheers! –  macek Feb 15 '10 at 15:30

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

If the 'power brick' gets warm when it's plugged in even when the computer is off, it certainly is using power, but maybe not much.

I tend to switch off computers, and unplug them, because I'm concerned about damage from electrical storms. I've lost a computer that way before, so I'm probably over-cautious.

I'm not sure whether modern batteries suffer from being continually charged. It depends on the type of battery.

On the other hand, electronic equipment is more likely to fail during the application of power, because of stresses induced by transients. I'm just talking about normal transients, not 'surges' or 'spikes'.

So, there are 'good' arguments for both turning 'em off and leaving 'em on.

I might add that I tend to check the likelihood of overnight electrical storms, and then leave the computer running anyway. There's always something it could be doing.

share|improve this answer

IIRC, if you rarely use the laptop on battery power, it may be beneficial to cycle it at least once a month, if for no other reason than to help maintain an accurate capacity reading. In addition, there are some cases in which extra heat on the battery can lead to deterioration over the long term, so it may be beneficial not to leave it plugged in and powered all the time (ymmv).

The best place for info on batteries in general, and LiIon laptop batteries in particular, is Battery University.

share|improve this answer