You can breathe new life into NiMH or NiCD laptop batteries by putting them in the freezer for 12 hours in a tightly closed plastic bag. But you should never do this with lithium-ion or lithium-polymer battery types; freezing can be dangerous. In that case, you can calibrate your battery, which will restore your battery functions and extend the battery life. These methods will not make your battery as good as new (with a battery that does not work at all you will get half an hour of battery life back at most), but it can help you out until you have a new battery.
Method 1 of 3: Breathing new life into a NiMH or NiCD battery in the freezer
Step 1. Determine if you have the right type of battery for this method
In any case, this method does not work with Mac computers, because Apple laptops all have lithium batteries. Your battery must be of the NiMH or NiCD type, otherwise this method will not work. If you use this method with a different type of battery, the battery will be irreparably damaged.
- Turn off the computer and remove the cover that holds the battery (usually on the bottom of the laptop). If you see one of the following terms on the battery, this is not the right method for you: Li-ion, Li-on, Li-ion II, Lithium, LiPo, or something similar.
- If you can't read what's on the battery (for example, if it's worn out), call your laptop manufacturer to find out the type, or use another method.
- If your NiMH or NiCD battery no longer works at all, you can count on a maximum of 30 minutes of battery life using this method, which is of course better than 0 minutes. If the battery runs out too quickly, you can probably get better results with this method.
Step 2. Remove your NiMH or NiCD battery
Carefully remove the battery from the laptop after turning it off first. You should not have to use much force to remove the battery.
Step 3. Place the battery in a resealable plastic bag
Use a good quality resealable bag for this. It is important that the bag is properly sealed and that there are no holes in it.
Step 4. Put the bag with the battery in the freezer and wait 12 hours
Do not leave the battery in the freezer for more than 12 hours, as this could cause a battery to explode.
Step 5. Remove the bag from the freezer
Remove the battery from the bag and allow the battery to reach room temperature. Periodically pat the battery dry if condensation forms on it. Allow the battery to reach room temperature for at least 30 minutes before continuing.
Step 6. Put the battery back in your laptop
Then slide the cover back into place.
Step 7. Plug the laptop into the power outlet
Do not turn on the laptop, but let the laptop charge overnight (or a few hours during the day).
Step 8. Drain the battery
To quickly empty the battery, first switch on your laptop, then remove the adapter from the socket and then let the laptop perform an intensive task, for example playing a movie at the highest brightness.
Step 9. Recharge your battery and empty the battery again
Do this step at least twice, but it's even better if you do it 4-5 times. After following these steps, your battery has probably come back to life, and your battery life will again be half an hour or more.
Method 2 of 3: Calibrate a laptop battery
Step 1. Determine if this method is right for you
This method works with any type of laptop battery. This method can help if the indicated battery life no longer seems correct. In addition, you completely empty your battery and fully charge it again, which can provide more battery life.
Step 2. Charge the battery to 100%
It doesn't matter for this step whether the laptop is on or off, but eventually you have to turn on your computer to know if the battery is fully charged. When the battery is 100% charged, leave the adapter in the socket for another two hours.
Step 3. Empty the battery
To quickly empty the battery, switch on your laptop, remove the adapter from the socket and perform an intensive task on the laptop, such as watching a movie or editing a video.
Step 4. After the battery is empty, wait 3 to 5 hours before plugging the adapter back into the wall socket
This way you know for sure that the battery is completely empty.
Step 5. Fully charge the battery again
Recharge the battery to 100%. Now you have calibrated your battery.
Method 3 of 3: Recharge your battery from scratch
Step 1. Determine if this method is right for you
Fully charging your battery works with any type of laptop battery. Try this method if your battery is draining faster than before.
Step 2. Completely drain the battery
Even if the computer has turned off on its own, the battery may still have just enough charge to light the light. Your battery is only completely empty when the light is no longer lit.
Step 3. Charge your battery while your laptop is turned off
Plug the adapter into the wall socket to start charging, but don't turn on your laptop yet. If the computer turns on by itself, turn it off immediately.
Step 4. Let the computer charge (and turn off) for 48 hours
Do not turn on the laptop during the entire charging period.
Step 5. After 48 hours, turn the computer back on
The battery life is now likely to be significantly extended.
- Do not always leave your adapter plugged in if you use your laptop a lot at home.
- Ultimately, the life of any laptop battery will come to an end at some point. If these methods don't work, you'll need to buy a new battery.
- Do not allow the battery to run out completely during normal use. Plug the adapter into the socket as soon as the laptop indicates that the battery is almost empty, then your battery will last longer.
- Search the internet for a good used battery. You can often find a used battery for a good price, if you look carefully.
- Never put a laptop battery without a bag in the freezer, because water and ice can damage the battery.
- Use the freezing method only with NiMH or NiCD laptop batteries. If you do this with a lithium battery, the battery life will be shorter.
- Do not leave the battery in the freezer for too long. The battery can then explode, sending battery acid into your freezer.
- It is very dangerous to take a battery apart to replace the lithium cells - so always leave your laptop battery intact.