How to keep your laptop battery in good health

By J. Carlton Collins, CPA

Q. I just bought a new laptop. Are there any good tips for helping its battery last longer?

A. Most of today's laptop computers and gadgets run on lithium-ion batteries, which last longer if you keep them cooler. Therefore, you should avoid leaving your laptop (or gadgets) in the sun or in a hot car. Cover your laptop with a towel if you carry it to the beach or to the pool. Try not to use your laptop on a bed (or sofa) where the heat can build up in the bedding under the laptop; instead, place it on a tabletop surface where airflow is not impeded.

In addition, your battery will likely last longer if you unplug it once it is fully charged (a task that I know is sometimes hard to remember). Lithium-ion batteries will also last longer if you don't let them discharge all the way down. If you don't plan to use your laptop for a while, it is recommended that you discharge your battery down to about 40% and then store it in a cool location. Ultimately, lithium-ion battery performance usually declines after a few years, and it's probably best to purchase a replacement battery when you notice your current battery is not living up to your performance expectations.

About the author

J. Carlton Collins, CPA, ( is a technology consultant, a conference presenter, and a JofA contributing editor.

Submit a question

Do you have technology questions for this column? Or, after reading an answer, do you have a better solution? Send them to We regret being unable to individually answer all submitted questions.


Preparing the statement of cash flows

This instructive white paper outlines common pitfalls in the preparation of the statement of cash flows, resources to minimize these risks, and four critical skills your staff will need as you approach necessary changes to the process.


Keeping you informed and prepared amid the COVID-19 crisis

We’re gathering the latest news stories along with relevant columns, tips, podcasts, and videos on this page, along with curated items from our archives to help with uncertainty and disruption.