Is a CMOS battery rechargeable? If so, what does its charger look like?


Most CMOS batteries are CR2032 lithium button cell batteries and are not rechargeable.

There are rechargeable batteries (e.g. ML2023) that are the same size, but they can't be charged by your computer.

  • 4
    We're assuming that Yuri is talking about a desktop. Many Laptops have a small rechargeable battery to backup CMOS. – Chris Mar 1 '11 at 13:46
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    so the CR2032 are NOT rechargeable? why don't I ever see them run out in a desktop? – Timo Huovinen Mar 1 '11 at 14:17
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    @Yuri: The CMOS battery is only used when the system isn't connected to any other power source. So most of the time they're not being discharged at all, and a battery designed for such use can handle sitting on a shelf for several years without losing much of its charge. Until you unplug your PC and find that your BIOS settings have been reset, you probably won't know that the battery has died. – afrazier Mar 1 '11 at 14:31
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    @YuriKolovsky - They do run out, I've seen it a lot. Generally it takes at least a minimum of 5-7 years though. – Shinrai Mar 1 '11 at 15:38
  • @YuriKolovsky Mine died :) I had to replace it. They tend to run about 10 years or so, depending on use. Since most replace desktops every 3 or 4 years or so, you may never see it die. Even if they do die, you just have BIOS CMOS settings go to default, so you may not notice it. – Rich Homolka Mar 1 '11 at 15:40

Some motherboards used to have rechargable CMOS batteries on them.

In general now, no CMOS battery (especially the silver button cell type) are rechargable without investing in a specific rechargable version.

Do not - I repeat - DO NOT attempt to recharge a non-rechargable lithium cell (button type) as the resultant explosion and noxious gasses could kill you (or worse).

  • 1
    A CMOS battery has insufficient power to kill you or even hurt you seriously.There is insufficient reactive element in it to do much damage. 18650-like cells are a different matter. Those can start a fire quite easy. – Overmind Jan 26 '17 at 8:10

protected by Daniel B Nov 6 '16 at 12:34

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