Tips for looking after phone and laptop batteries

Bad habits can kill the battery life of your mobile devices and laptops. Commit yourself to these tips to best take care of your lithium powered gadgets!


Hate to point out the obvious, but most phone/tablet/laptop batteries now are ‘smart’. They do not keep charging after they hit 100%, and in some cases you can even instruct the device to charge to 90% or 96%.

The article also fails to mention that you should definitely try to avoid totally discharging the battery, as this significantly affects its life.


Not only that, but some laptops cycle the battery - move the mouse over the battery/power icon and it displays something along the lines of: plugged in, not charging 75%, and this has been the case for quite a few years.


This is a topic that’s constantly confused me for the exact reason we have here: an article is posted with definite instructions as to what to do in certain circumstances, then 2 comments follow stating there’s no need to follow any instruction to turn off a laptop for example when it’s 100% charged. This was 6 days ago, no further comments, so does that mean it was agreed the 2 comments were correct and no need to further comment? Is Choice not going to comment further on their article that’s referenced here? Once again I have no idea what to do! Please can someone tell me: is the Choice article outdated and incorrect (which would seem very odd) or are the 2 comments above incorrect? I would just love to know once and for all and must comment reading this page would confuse many IMHO. Thanks for any advice.


Choice offers general comments that are applicable.

Many devices are getting ‘battery smart’ but you need to consult the specific instructions for your own device in the supplied hardcopy or online owners guide. The bottom line is those ‘smarter devices’ automatically do what Choice recommends.


Thanks Phil, I hope Choice includes something similar to your statement above in the article to help others also. Cheers!


True, but I’ve noticed that soon after being unplugged my iPhone goes down to 98% etc. whereas if it’s plugged in
it stays at 100%.
That means that the battery keeps topping up for the charge to remain at 100%?

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As an added complication, what is displayed as 100% may actually be 100% of the maximum recommended charge (say, 80%) rather than 100% of the actual maximum charge.

As you say, a recent device will reduce the charge current as the battery approaches 100%, so that 100% is never reached, much less exceeded. I think most users are familiar with how the charge percentage shoots up initially but seems to take forever to get that last 10% or so.

Carefully graphing charge percentage v. time, during charging, may be a way of telling how ‘smart’ the charging setup is.

With apologies to @icky41.

It is just really hard to write an article that covers a few decades of laptop and phone technology.

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No apologies needed ‘person’, I really appreciate your input and all comments in this post are very helpful. Thanks all!

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