Laptop Battery Basics

When you’re setting up your laptop computer, the holiest piece of hardware is the battery. Either it came preinstalled (and may be nonremovable) inside the laptop or it must be installed separately.

Install or set up the battery per any directions that came with the laptop. Yes, this is one of those rare instances when the instructions are actually included with the laptop. The instructions may tell you how to install the battery or which doodah to remove to make the battery work or other important battery preparations.

  • You can use your laptop without the battery, but before you do that, you should properly set up the battery to ensure that it works.

  • Some batteries come DOA and must be charged before use. This is normally done by installing the battery inside the laptop and then plugging the laptop's power brick into both the wall and the laptop. Battery charging takes place automatically.

  • It usually takes a few hours to charge a laptop's battery. The length of time depends on the type of battery and power management hardware and on whether you're using the laptop at the time.

  • If the battery is already charged, install it — and you're ready to go! Literally!

  • The manufacturer may claim that the battery is fully charged, but don't be surprised when it isn't. No big deal: Just install the battery and plug in the laptop. It will charge.

  • Be sure to put any extra or spare batteries in storage when they’re not in use.

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