Do you experience unexpected shutdowns on your laptop even though the battery indicator showed that you had plenty of battery power left? This may be an indication that your laptop battery needs calibration.
In this article, we will explain why it is essential to calibrate your laptop battery and provide basic instructions on how to calibrate it.
We will also discuss how often you should calibrate your laptop battery and provide tips on taking good care of your laptop battery to extend its life.
So, whether you are a Windows or Mac user, read on to learn how to calibrate your laptop battery with simple steps.
In This Article
- The process to calibrate the battery of your laptop is pretty simple, and most systems today provide useful tools for it.
- Battery calibration will enable you to get an accurate estimate of the amount of power left in it and prevent an unexpected shutdown.
- Most laptop manufacturers usually recommend calibrating the battery every two to three months.
- Battery calibration involves charging and discharging the battery fully, and then recharging it to 100%.
Importance of Calibrating Laptop Battery
Calibrating the battery will not extend its life. So, why is it important to calibrate batteries? This is because it gives you an exact estimate of the remaining capacity on your battery.
- It will prevent the battery from getting corrupted and displaying unreal data even when there is a sufficient amount of life left in it.
- If you don’t allow it to run from 100% down to 0% on a regular basis, the power meter will not be able to figure out how much juice is still available.
- If calibration is not done regularly, your laptop will shut down without issuing any warning.
- You should not even allow it to get very low because regular top-ups are important to add to the life of your laptop battery.
Moreover, calibrating the laptop battery periodically ensures a better flow of electrons and keeps its microprocessors in sync with the device that is responsible for reporting the charge available in the battery.
How Often Should You Calibrate a Laptop Battery?
All the laptop manufacturers recommend battery calibration every two to three months. Those batteries that seldom get discharged fully must be calibrated at least once in a month. It will give an accurate estimate of your battery readings.
However, it is less likely that you need to do it very often in reality.
For example, for some of the latest laptop models, battery calibration is not important at all.
For example, Apple does not recommend battery calibration for their latest models with built-in batteries.
In fact, in these models, the Lithium-ion batteries used are very efficient, and calibrating them can even compromise their life!
However, they suggest calibration for older Macs with replaceable batteries.
You should go through the manufacturer’s documentation to know if you should calibrate your laptop battery or not.
If you are finicky about the precise reading of your laptop battery, you can always follow the manufacturer’s recommendation.
Basic Instructions for Battery Calibration
The calibration process requires the battery to run from full power to nearly empty and then charge back up to 100% once again. This cycle is not possible in normal use.
Once the battery has completed its full cycle, it will sense how much power it still has and generate accurate readings.
It is important for laptop users to take good care of their laptop batteries. For that purpose, you must allow the system to discharge normally before plugging it in and switching it on.
However, that never means you will have to allow the battery to be stripped of its energy before using the laptop each time.
The power meter will check how long the battery will last and give you a more precise reading of how much power still remains.
Some laptop manufacturers provide utilities that will do the calibration for you. These tools will ensure that your system gets power from a full battery.
What is more, these tools will also disable power management settings and allow the battery to get down to zero in order to make sure that the internal circuitry in the battery gets an accurate idea of how long the battery will last.
Check the manufacturer’s website to gather information on how to use the available utilities. The calibration process or tool differs from one system to another (if two are not the same model or from the same manufacturer).
Also, check the computer manual or help files.
Even if a manufacturer does not recommend calibration, there is no harm in doing so. You just need to spend some time for the purpose.
If you don’t need to work on the computer while it is undergoing the calibration process, you must not set it to automatic hibernation or switch off its display while it is idle.
The laptop will automatically go into power-saving mode to save power when you are away. That will result in an improper discharge.
Ways to Calibrate Your Laptop Battery
It is an excellent idea to calibrate by following the manufacturer’s instructions or using the included tools. However, you can do it even without tools designed for the purpose.
The basic technique functions in multiple versions of Windows, including Windows 10, 7, 8, and even Vista.
The technique works well for any battery-powered device, including older MacBooks.
Method 1: Using the Device Manager
This is a simple way to calibrate your laptop battery, in which you will have to:
- Right-click on the Start menu.
- Click on Device Manager.
- Click on the small arrow next to the Battery icon to expand it.
- Right-click on the battery you have on your laptop.
- Click on Uninstall.
- Click on the Uninstall button on the confirmation window again when asked.
Now, restart your computer. When it is restored, the battery icon should reappear and be properly calibrated.
Method 2: Using Diagnostic UEFI
This is a relatively complicated process where you will need to use the PC hardware Diagnostic UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) and run a Memory Extensive test to fully discharge and recharge the battery. All you have to do is:
- Plug in the power adapter on your laptop to charge the battery fully.
- When done, remove the power adapter.
- Shut down the laptop.
- Restart it by pressing the Power button and the F2 button repeatedly.
(The key may vary from one laptop model to another. Refer to your manufacturer manual to know the precise key.)
- This will open the Diagnostics UEFI.
- Click on Component Tests.
- Click on Memory.
- Click on Extensive Test.
- Click on the ‘Loop until error’ button before starting the test.
The test process will take some time until the battery is discharged fully and the laptop shuts down. You can see the Test in progress in the window.
Now, connect the power adapter again and let the battery charge fully. Typically, the LED indicator will turn to white from amber.
Turn your laptop on. Look at the battery icon on the taskbar to view the battery charge percentage. It should show Fully charged (100%) as in the image below:
Now, you may or may not want the display to turn off while calibrating the battery if you are not using the device. You may choose any time from 1 minute to Never for it to happen.
For this, you will need to make the necessary changes in the Power Management by following these steps:
- Go to the Search box next to the start button.
- Type control panel in there.
- Press Enter.
- Go to Hardware and Sound option.
- Go to Power Options.
- Click on Change plan settings irrespective of the plan you have next to Balance (recommended).
- Change the time in the box beside ‘Turn off the display’ and ‘Put the computer to sleep’ to your discretion.
- Click on Advanced power settings below.
- Click on the plus sign next to the Sleep option to expand it.
- Do the same for Hibernate after option.
- Set the time according to your need for both ‘On battery’ and Plugged in.’
- In the same window, scroll further down to find the Battery option.
- Click on the Plus sign next to it.
- Expand Low battery level.
- Change the value to 5% for both ‘On battery’ and ‘Plugged in’ options.
- Click on the apply button and then click on the OK button.
Finally, close the Power Options window after clicking on the Save changes button.
Now, when the laptop uses the full juice of the battery and shuts down, let it rest for about 5 hours. Then, plug it in and recharge the battery to its full 100% potential. During this time, you can use your system.
Once the charge reaches 100%, undo the power management settings and set everything to its normal values.
This will calibrate your laptop battery correctly.
Questions & Answers:
What Happens If Calibration Fails?
If calibration fails, which in technical terms signifies failing to meet the specific tolerance level, you will need to compare the specifications of the manufacturer during calibration.
How Long Does a Calibration Take?
It will take about 30 to 45 minutes in general to complete the calibration process, which involves three basic steps such as charging the battery up to 100%, discharging it to 0%, and then recharging it to 100%.
Does a Factory Reset Calibrate the Battery?
Yes, a factory reset may calibrate your battery sometimes. However, make sure that your battery has a sufficient charge in it already because, as said before, it will take some time.
Calibrating your laptop battery periodically is important to get accurate readings of its remaining power capacity and avoid unexpected shutdowns.
While it may not extend the battery’s lifespan, it will prevent it from displaying false data, getting corrupted, and keep the microprocessors in sync with the device.
It is recommended to calibrate the battery every two to three months, although some manufacturers suggest monthly calibration for batteries that seldom get discharged fully.
Some manufacturers provide utilities to do this for you, and even if they don’t, the calibration process is simple and can be done manually.
By following these simple steps, you can prolong the life of your battery and prevent unnecessary inconvenience.