How to tell if you have a bad laptop battery

Unfortunately, all laptop batteries will eventually become faulty and die. Even new HP Laptops have a battery lifespan of 2-3 years. The good news is that if you suspect that your battery has failed, you do not need to be an expert in IT solutions to resolve this problem. This article will describe a few simple steps you can take in order to test your failing battery.

Tell-tale signs of a laptop battery are failing


  • -You may notice that your laptop fails to hold a charge despite it being connected to the mains
  • -The performance of a computer is generally slow when running on battery, even if only one application is open
  • -Your battery lasts less than 2 hours before needing to be recharged
  • -Your laptop fails to keep updated time and date settings

It is very important that you discard other possible malfunctions in your laptop before deciding to buy a new battery. It could be that the cord is faulty and not the battery. Also, a battery that has accumulated dirt and dust may malfunction but only needs to be gently cleaned to work properly.

Ways of testing your laptop battery

A fool-proof way of testing your battery is by removing it and checking whether your laptop runs properly without it. Batteries are often latched onto the laptop’s bottom or side. Unlock the battery, remove it, and switch on your laptop. If the laptop works as normal, this is a clear sign that the battery has died.

Another method is by replacing your battery with another one from the same make and model. Perhaps you know of a friend or a colleague who owns the same laptop model as you do, so you can swap batteries to perform the test. You can even take your laptop to a shop and ask for the battery to be replaced. Again, if your laptop works properly while running on a functioning battery, it is time to get your old battery replaced.

Some of the newest laptops feature a “light meter”. This is a set of LED lights that indicate how much battery life is left on a computer. You can check your battery’s performance by pressing the button next to the LED strip for 3-4 seconds. A battery in perfect working condition should show no lights after this is done. On the contrary, a failing battery will display five or more lights. This is a clear indicator that your battery needs to be replaced as soon as possible.

Additionally, there are software-based methods to help you determine if your battery has failed. If your operating system is Windows, all you need to do is follow these simple steps:


  • -Open control panel from the start menu
  • -Once in control panel, double click on power options
  • -You will then be presented with a “power meter” feature, which displays the battery’s level charge
  • -Ensure the power meter reads 100%
  • -Once fully charged, unplug your laptop from the mains for about 10 minutes, so that you are running the computer solely from the battery
  • -If after 10 minutes the power meter has dropped to less than 90%, your battery is faulty


Finally, you can also download free tools, such as Battery Eater. This program will run extensive tests on your laptop to determine the performance of its battery. Here’s a video on how to extend the battery life on your laptop: