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Is it better to use a laptop on battery or on AC power?

I was wondering if when a laptop battery is full charged if one should unplug it and let the battery discharge or it can be left plugged in. I want to know because I have heard that when the battery is full and the charger stays in it actually harms the battery by killing the cells etc.

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marked as duplicate by Nifle, Mokubai, 8088, slhck Aug 5 '12 at 11:00

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3 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Ideally your laptop would have a setting that would only charge to 60-80% of full charge. This lets you leave the charger plugged in all the time without causing serious degradation of the battery.

But not all laptops have this feature.

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Lithium Ion batteries last longer the less they are used. You only need to drain it a tiny bit every now and then to keep electrons flowing

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Adding to this, My laptop I currently own is almost 5 years old and can still give me over an hour on battery (dell XPS) simply because I do not use the battery. –  DonP Aug 5 '12 at 2:44
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If you regularly keep your laptop plugged in, your best option is to keep the battery out. When the battery completely charges, just remove it from the laptop (if it is easily acceptable) and keep the AC adapter plugged in.

If the laptop seems sluggish when the battery has been removed, it is because some laptops force a low-power state without the battery plugged in. If this is the case, your manufacturer more than likely sells a high-power adapter that will let the laptop run in a full-power state without the battery.

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Many laptops will not provide full performance when the battery is removed. The battery provides "surge" power over what the charger provides. –  Daniel R Hicks Aug 5 '12 at 2:51
    
@DanH The second half of my answer addresses this... –  Rain Aug 5 '12 at 2:52
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