How to Prolong Lithium-Ion Battery Life

In the last 2 weeks I’ve replaced my 2 most used portable gadgets – my phone and laptop. Both have gone from having user replaceable batteries, to built in batteries which are only supposed to be replaced by the manufacturer. Preserving the life of these batteries has therefore become much more important for me.

I’ve done some reading on how to preserve the life of li-ion or li-ion polymer batteries and thought that a concise list of good practices would be useful. If you want to read more about any of the tips, there is a list of sources below.

Good Practice

  • Optimal battery use is between 20% and 80% – ie aim to discharge to around 20% then charge to 80%
  • Full discharges damage the battery – ie discharging to below 10%
  • Keeping the battery at 100% damages the battery – ie keeping it plugged in to the charger (both through being at 100% and because it’s likely to be hotter when plugged in)
  • Heat damages the battery – keep as cool as possible at all times (above 0 degrees Celsius) but also keep it dry – don’t store it in the fridge/freezer
  • It is better to charge the battery with the device turned off
  • If you need to store the battery without using it for a period of time, discharge to 40-50%
  • Li-Ion batteries don’t have a memory so will not suffer from frequent, small charges
  • To re-calibrate the fuel gauge of your battery – fully discharge approximately once a month, or once every 30-40 charges (note this is to improve battery level reporting, not battery ‘memory’)

Hopefully these tips should help extend the longevity of li-ion batteries and help them retain more of their original capacity for longer.

My Samsung Series 9 laptop comes with software to allow charging to only 80% which is handy – I’ve not found anything similar for Android yet – let me know if you know of anything.


If you want to read more about why the above points are good practice, or the science behind them, the following links provide the most comprehensive info that I found:

Battery University: Charging Li-Ion Batteries, How to Prolong Lithium Based Batteries
Ask Ars: What is the Best Way to Use a Li-Ion Battery?
Geeknizer: How to Extend Battery Life

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