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Man on his smartphone with a dead battery

4 Ways to Extend Your Devices’ Battery Life

10 Mar 2016 by Teresa Meek

While Check Your Batteries Day (March 13) reminds us to test and have working batteries in important household appliances like smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, it’s also a good time to check the health of device batteries.

Laptops, tablets and smartphones

Though they last a lot longer than the batteries in your flashlight, lithium batteries in electronic devices eventually wear out. Depending on the device, you may be able to get a new one. If not, you’ll need to replace the entire device.

You can get an app to check battery health, whether you have a Windows device, aniPhone or Mac, or a Droid.

You can also take steps to help your battery last longer:

  1. Keep your device away from extreme heat or cold.
  2. Try to recharge your device before it goes dead, or soon afterward. If you wait too long, it may never start again.
  3. If you have a device you don’t plan to use for months and it has a removable battery, try to remove it when it’s about 50% charged. If you keep it charged completely, you could shorten its life. If you leave it near-dead, it’s likely to die for good.
  4. Find out which of your apps are draining your battery. Do you really need your display to light up like a Christmas tree? It makes a difference. So do push notifications, location-access tools and Bluetooth. On the other hand, maybe you just need to spend less time on Facebook.

Even though laptops, tablets and smartphones are growing more advanced, they’re still limited by power. And the battery hasn’t improved in decades. But we’re on the brink of a power revolution. Future batteries will charge in seconds, last months and power over the air.