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I recently bought a Logitech Wireless Keyboard and mouse. I use it almost daily but for a couple of hours only. The keyboard has 2 AAA batteries and the mouse has 1 AA battery. The box mentions that the keyboard has a 24 month battery life and the mouse has a 5 month battery life.
Should I keep the batteries in the keyboard/mouse, when they are not in use?Is it safe? Does the battery life mean 24 months of continuous usage or 24 months of average usage?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Probably means 24 months of average use. Unless they are bunny powered.

I would not take the batteries out with normal usage. You are more likely to damage or reduce the tension of the springs that hold the battery contacts. If the hardware is going to be stored for three months or more. Then remove them, as batteries have been know to leak chemicals onto your hardware, possibly damaging the circuitry. And three months turn in to six which turns into three years.

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-1 for inaccurate information. Everyone knows you use hamsters! ;p – Journeyman Geek Nov 19 '11 at 8:44
They looked like running bunnies on the battery ads but maybe they could be some rare form of hamster. I am not a wild life expert ! – kingchris Nov 19 '11 at 9:34
I was worried about the battery cover more than leaking batteries. I might leave the keyboard batteries in. Thanks – abel Nov 19 '11 at 10:04
Good point about the battery cover. Those plastic catches break if you just look at them wrong. – kingchris Nov 19 '11 at 10:16

First you must know some facts about batteries:

  1. All batteries degrade (self-discharge) over time - even if not used.
  2. Alkaline batteries do not leak under normal usage.
  3. Battery leakage is extremely caustic and should not be allowed to come in contact with bare skin.
  4. To obtain max. performance, rechargeable batteries that have not been used for an extended period of time should be recharged before being used.
  5. Batteries should be removed from any device is not expected to be in use for several months.

Now, coming to your answer, battery life is probably for 24 months average use. I think you must not remove batteries unless you will be using devices after a month or so. But still I think you should remove batteries even after short use because when the device is turned off, there are chances of discharging of batteries. So there is no harm in removing batteries daily.

If by chance batteries leak, the leaking electrolyte can corrode the metal housing and battery contacts of a simple device, and it can damage or destroy the delicate circuitry of your devices.

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With rechargeable it depends on battery type. Lithium ion/polymer should be removed for totally different reasons, but this should be done with some charge left in them. – ewanm89 Nov 19 '11 at 11:51

I wouldn't take them out every time i switched off my system, but if you needed to shutdown the system for an extended period of time - several months (though i once saw a wireles s mouse which had had batteries in storage for 5 YEARS - NOT pretty), you would want to remove the batteries.

That being said, you would probably not experience electrolyte leakage for some time after an alkaline battery is flat, and probably not before the use by date.

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I've has seen electrolyte leakage of batteries i constant use (think clocks) – ewanm89 Nov 19 '11 at 11:49

Modern battery-powered mice contain motion sensors that basically turn them off when they aren't being moved, so sitting still on your desk the mouse is only drawing a tiny bit of power from the batteries.

So only take the batteries out if the mouse will be unused for a period of months (since batteries can leak), or if you'll be carrying the mouse in your briefcase or some such (since the motion will "wake it up"). And in the latter case removing the batteries is not necessary if the mouse has an on-off switch on the bottom (which many do, either as a separate switch, or one that's activated when you snap the receiver to the bottom of the mouse).

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