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It’s common knowledge that laptops age over time, and eventually the time comes to throw in the towel and fork out the cash for a new one.

But sometimes, when a laptop is having issues, the solution is actually in the battery.

The first (and most obvious) sign that the battery is dying, is that it runs out of power at a faster rate. Batteries have a certain amount of times they can be charged and discharged, this is called a charging cycle. Once the battery hits a certain number of these cycles (400 is the average), the performance quality drops and it fails to hold its charge. If you regularly use your laptop plugged in, your battery may be past its use by date.

Random shutdowns are also a key sign that there is something wrong with the battery. This can also be a sign that the hard drive is beginning to fail as well.

Lastly, overheating. If your laptop is overheating constantly, especially underneath, it may a be another sign that the battery is on its last legs.

While batteries can’t necessarily be ‘fixed’, there are ways to restore them and extend their life, and delay having to purchase a new one.

The first method is to monitor your power use. Most laptops have built apps that allow you to monitor power usage, and view which apps are draining it the most. Try closing the apps that are using the most energy (Google Chrome and Facebook normally do this), and switching off Bluetooth, this will relieve pressure on the battery.

Secondly, removing the battery when it isn’t needed. If you are frequently using your PC laptop while plugged in, you may want to take the battery out, and leave the laptop plugged into the wall. This will save the battery cycles for when you use the computer remotely. Unfortunately, you can't do this with MacBooks.

Nowadays laptop batteries are within a reasonable price range for anybody to afford. They can be as cheap as $20.00, and can climb well into the hundreds, depending on what type of laptop you own. 

It is important to remember when buying a battery that you will get what you pay for. A cheaper battery may end up doing more harm to your laptop, especially if it's an older model. 

As for MacBooks, we recommend getting Apple or an authorised Apple reseller to have a look

Don’t just toss your battery away, as they contain harmful chemicals and if they end up in a landfill, they can cause extensive environmental damage.

There are battery recycling plants located all over Melbourne, you can find your nearest one here.

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