Would your laptops pass a battery health check?

Laptops have a defining quality that enables the mobility of today’s workforce. They function when not plugged into a power source. But workers aren’t completely liberated from the power source leash. The leash is just extended. Laptop batteries need to be recharged and eventually even replaced.


Healthy batteries keep delivering amazing mobility and usefulness to end users. That’s why IT teams responsible for managing laptops should do periodic battery health checks. Taking battery health for granted works fine – until it doesn’t.

3 ways to preserve laptop battery capacity


Educate end users about recharging. People often think that using a laptop battery until it is fully drained prevents the battery from developing “memory effect.” This is when a battery appears to “remember” a smaller capacity when recharging a battery that was only partially discharged. This was true with older nickel-cadmium batteries, but’s not true of lithium-ion batteries. Full discharge will actually do more harm than good to modern batteries.



When to replace laptop batteries


Most manufacturers agree that when a laptop battery is down to 20-40% of its original capacity, it’s time to consider replacing it. Lithium-ion laptop batteries may reach that stage in 1-2 years. But with proper use and care, batteries can last as long as 4-6 years. The anticipated life expectancy of the laptop itself will also factor into your decision.

Monitoring laptop battery health in the enterprise

Let’s face it. You can’t force users to follow laptop battery best practices. To save your road warriors from experiencing reduced laptop battery capacity, find a way to track battery health.  Scripting gurus might try Powercfg.exe, which Microsoft includes with Windows 7 and above.  WMI scripting works too.

Prism Insight asset inventory management software automates regular battery health checks during laptop inventory scans. It communicates with PCs wherever they are  – on the network or on the road.

Prism Insight enables proactive IT asset management


To support today's distributed workforce, you need tools to help you anticipate problems before they occur. Prism Insight is that tool. Use it to monitor what IT assets you have, where they are, who has them and how they're working. Become a hero to your road warriors, and your boss!


Subscriptions to Prism Insight are priced to fit organizations of all sizes.  Subscribe 10 computers for free - full functionality, no timeout. 


It's easy to be proactive IT asset manager with Prism Insight. Just create an event on Prism Insight's calendar to remind yourself to order replacement batteries where needed. The dashboard stats who a week's worth of upcoming events, do you won't lose track of yourbattery reminder or other important events.

Have your end users experienced problems like these caused by reduced laptop battery capacity?

Remove the battery when practical. Consider removing the battery when using a plugged in laptop for an extended period. This reduces the heat produced by the laptop and will save some energy as well. Removing the battery during extended periods of non-use, like vacations, also helps. However, leaving it unused at full charge can cause stress on the battery and shorten its life. Store the removed battery in a cool, dry place at about 40% charge to help preserve its longevity. Only remove the battery when the laptop is powered off, not just hibernating. 

Protect the battery from temperature extremes. Heat causes chemical reactions in batteries that wears them down faster. Damage occurs even at common summer temperatures. For example, storing a laptop in the trunk of a car on an 80 degree day could shorten the battery's life. Many batteries have safety circuits to detect if the battery is getting too hot during

use. These circuits will shut the battery down to prevent fires. Extreme cold is hard on laptop batteries too. It can cause condensation to build inside of the battery, resulting in permanent damage.

Prism Insight's dashboard always has the latest stats on which laptop batteries might need some attention. The dashboard displays Good, Fair and Poor status to indicate batteries' maximum charge capacity . Drill down to see which computers are in each category. The detailed popup (below) shows each battery's percent of original capacity.

  • A crucial sales presentation lost momentum when the presenter had to find and connect her power supply in the middle of the meeting.

  • An on-site construction manager had to go back to his truck to recharge his laptop battery before he could update the project database.