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Is Running a Laptop Without a Battery Safe for You and the Device?

One of our readers posed the question about running a laptop without the battery. And others are wondering the same thing. Here’s what you should know.

One of our readers has posted this question on the groovyPost forums and, since quite a few people seem to be wondering the same thing, I’ll try to give an answer.

Life Without a Laptop Battery

I had a laptop that had a faulty battery, so I removed the battery and continued to use the laptop on AC power, as it rarely left the house. The fact that it almost never left the house made me give up on the idea of buying a new battery for it. It’s mainly being used as a desktop replacement.

Did it affect the computer performance or harm it in any way? No, it did not. Did it continue to work just as before? Yes, it did.

You can Use a Laptop without the Battery

There is no reason why a laptop wouldn’t work just fine without the battery in it, as long as you take a few aspects into account.

First of all, make sure you’re using the original power adapter that came with the laptop. Power variations could cause components on the laptop’s motherboard to fail, which is something that the battery can prevent, by acting the way a UPS would.

And speaking of power, you probably shouldn’t use a laptop without a battery if you live in an area where high-intensity electrical loads are likely. If you know that you don’t have good quality electrical current, don’t do this, or use a UPS too. That way you can make sure that your laptop doesn’t suffer any damage in the event of a high load. Not to mention a UPS is essential anyway as you won’t lose your work in the case of a power outage, and they act as a surge protector too.

Another important thing is never to remove the power cord from the laptop when the laptop is working, as that could cause damage to its components.

Also, don’t touch the battery contacts when it’s plugged in. They are well hidden in the case of most laptops, but you could get a bit of a jolt. It’s pretty low-voltage — most of them are at 24V maximum.

And remember only to take out the battery when the laptop is turned off and unplugged.

Battery Care

If you’re doing this in order to protect your battery, which makes sense if the laptop doesn’t go anywhere and only sits on your desk, make sure you charge the battery to around 40% before taking it out and storing it. To maximize its life, you can store in your fridge, in a Ziploc bag.

If you don’t want to do that, you should at least do a full charge-discharge cycle periodically. This should prolong your battery life.

Conclusion

As long as you take some common sense precautions, you can use a laptop without its battery. Just make sure that you use a rubber band to prevent the power adapter from falling off the table.

17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. David Spector  

    Modern ion-transport batteries do not need discharge-recharge cycles, not even one little bit. Discharging all the way for long life was needed only for early rechargeable (nickel–cadmium, NiCd,or NiCad) batteries.

  2. Toni  

    Hello! This is completely informative. Now I know why mine doesn’t turn on. What’s the best thing to do to a motherboard failure which is caused by an AC adapter that is not the laptop’s original adapter?

  3. This clears things up. I’ve been trying to get my Acer 722 netbook to work, but no luck so far. I suspect it’s an internal failure of some sort. The laptop doesn’t charge and I can’t use it without the battery. No power light comes on. Getting it to work is a lost cause…

    • Will  

      FYI: Some notebooks need the battery in it to work, even if it’s dead. Check with the maker

  4. Sehway  

    Just curious, what are the specs of your laptop and how often do you use it? Cause I’m a gamer and I use my laptop from like 8am to 2am daily so I’m thinking this may not be a good thing for someone to do who frequently uses their laptop for long periods without rest.

  5. jguy  

    Unfortunately this is no longer strictly true. I am coming across more laptops recently that have dead batteries that won’t start up without a battery presence test being positive which means you can’t even use it as a desktop type PC. Very questionable practices by Lenovo & Acer. They are all following the evil lead given by Apple with programmed obsolescence

    • Julián  

      J: It´s true enough for many older laptops with dead or dying batteries, used by we who don´t see the need to spend money on something that may only last another year or so. In any case, simply remove the battery and if your laptop starts, then you´re good to go plugged in.

    • Joanah  

      hi, I`ve got a 6 y.o. laptop and recently I started getting a message that my battery is degrading. Is that mean it is going to leak at some point? I can still work when the laptop is charged, but I am not a whiz.

      • Harish  

        Hi Joanah,

        The battery is not leaking. The message means that the battery is getting old and unable to charge to its full capacity as before. You can still continue to use it until it loses its capacity to retain the charge after turning off main power.

  6. HP & Acer Laptop Owner  

    I started noticing recently that my battery’s charge is, when fully charged, only 53%. I discovered this was due to a dying battery. Since I don’t ever move my HP laptop because of its broken lid, I decided to try removing the battery all together, and it seems to be working. Is this a long-time fix, or will I inevitably have to order a replaced battery sometime in the future?

  7. Lyanna  

    My laptops battery doesn’t work at all anymore. However I can use my laptop using onlt the power cord, but quite often my laptop will unexpectedly shut off, usually when I’m watching a movie, what could be the problem? I’ve ruled out overheating, (I think!) because my laptop isn’t hot or even all that warm.
    I’m hoping someone has had a similar problem, because if the fix is only getting a new battery, I can do that.

  8. Mattie  

    My battery died last wk, out of the blue. I left it on a lot and it just died. My computer is 3-4 yrs so I guess it was time. I am on it now with no batter it’s a big hp laptop it has 1gb of memory I think so hopefully I will be ok until I get a battery or confirm from multiple sources, I don’t need one. Thanks!!!

  9. Gayla Audia  

    Lenovo AMD A8 would not turn on. Decided it was the battery since orange lite was flashing slowly. Bought new battery and followed instructions. Now I have a white light on all the time but the laptop will not turn in. Battery has been charged foot 28 hours. I still cannot turn it on. No green light. Help! Thanks!

  10. ryan  

    Im waiting on replacement battery. Im using power only plugged in, I accidentally unplugged it before shutting down and now it will not turn on?

  11. vinayak  

    uhh the part that you removed so casually
    let me explain real quick i accidently dropped my laptop and then this battery part came out which is kinda weird for me as im a 15 year old and it happened for the first time today
    and now if i unplug the charger the laptop shuts down as there is no battery present it shows

  12. John & Linda Falzon  

    Thank You; I appreciate your explanation. That makes a lot of sense. My wife & I are “Snowbirds” and our laptop is just used in the coach. Have A Great Day.

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