How To Diagnose A Laptop Battery (Windows or Mac)

Laptops are expensive devices and their batteries are essential to make them more portable. I’ve had battery problems with previous laptops, both Windows and Mac, which lead me to doing a lot of research on whether the battery was dead. Laptops are essential for my day to day work, which is why it is important to me to keep a look out for warning signs of a dead laptop battery.

How do I know if my laptop battery is dead? Navigate to the battery settings of your laptop and check the battery report. For windows you will see a message along the line “plugged in, not charging” and for Mac you will see a message that says “Service Battery.”

Navigating through your laptops settings can be tricky. If you have suspicions that your laptop battery is dead or what to learn more about diagnosing the current state of your battery then keep reading to learn additional steps in diagnosing the problem.

Steps To Find Out If Windows Battery Is Dead

For Windows devices you will know your laptop battery is dead when there is a red “X” over your battery icon. When you click on this icon you will see a message that says “plugged in, not charging.” This is the point where you should get the manufacturer recommended part to replace your battery.

Below are additional steps to verify whether your battery is dead. These steps will walk you through to see the full charge capacity left in your battery and will also help identify a dead battery.

  1. Press start on the bottom left and type “Command Prompt”
  2. Open your command prompt and type powercfg /batteryreport and hit enter
  3. Copy the html file and paste it into your browser of choice and hit enter
  4. Navigate to the “Installed Batteries” section
  5. In this section you can use the following formula to get an understanding of the state of your battery (Full Charge Capacity / Design Capacity) * 100
  6. The closer this number is to 100% then the better state your battery is. The closer this number is to 0% then the more likely your battery is about to die

Steps To Find Out If Mac Battery Is Dead

The below steps walk you through a way to find out if your computer battery is dead.

  1. Click on the battery icon and click “Battery Preferences…”
  2. Click “Battery Health…” on the bottom of the screen
  3. Check the Battery Condition
  4. If the condition says “Service Battery” then your battery is dead and is no longer holding charge
  • Normal: The battery is working normally.
  • Replace Soon: The battery is still able to operate but is not holding its charge as well.
  • Replace Now: The battery is no longer holding enough charge. You need to change your battery as soon as possible.
  • Service Battery: Your battery is no longer holding charge at all. You’ll need to get it replaced to avoid damaging it.

Should You Replace the Dead Battery Yourself?

If your laptop has an external battery then you can look up the model of your battery and replace it yourself. Laptops are becoming more compact with the batteries being attached internally and harder to access. If your laptop has an internal battery then it is recommended to contact the manufacturers to have them replace it.

Macbook laptops have internal batteries which need to be replaced by professionals. Macbook battery replacement takes approximately one hour to repair but that doesn’t mean you will see your laptop within 1 hour. For Apple you need to set an appointment in advance and you will be put in a queue.

There are reports of people setting their appointment in the morning and having their laptop done that day and others taking up to 9 days. My Macbook needed a replacement battery and it took 4 days. I was fortunate cause I dropped it off right before their truck left that day so it really depends on your store and the amount of traffic.

If you have an internal laptop that is not Macbook then you should expect the same results because it is dependent on the amount of other people ahead of you. The actual replacement itself should not take long for a professional to do.

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