How to Replace the Clock Battery on Your PC - dummies

How to Replace the Clock Battery on Your PC

By Dan Gookin

If your computer’s clock is consistently loosing time, you may need to troubleshoot this by replacing the battery. Computers keep track of time, but not reliably. A typical computer’s clock can be off by as much as several minutes a day, depending on what the computer is doing.

For example, a busy computer often “borrows” time from the clock. The computer becomes so obsessed with a task that the basic job of updating the PC’s ticker just doesn’t happen. Those missing seconds add up.

Computers connected to the Internet can update the time by using the Internet Time feature in Windows. This feature fixes those missing minutes every day. But when the computer is turned off, the time is kept ticking by a tiny battery attached to the computer’s motherboard. When the battery goes, you see weird start-up messages and potentially other problems.

To fix the clock battery problem, you replace the motherboard’s battery: Open the computer’s case. Locate the battery on the motherboard. It’s often a lithium battery, one of those coin-size jobs you can buy anywhere that watch or hearing aid batteries are sold.

Be sure to close the computer case when you’re done replacing the battery.

Motherboard batteries last for years. When the battery goes, it’s often a sign that the computer is ancient and needs to be replaced. Although you can merely replace the battery, it’s time to start planning to replace that PC.