Solutions to common battery problems

Here are solutions to some common problems with laptop batteries.

For more information about the battery icon or the battery meter, see Battery meter: frequently asked questions.

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The battery icon is always empty.

An empty battery icon Picture of an empty battery icon indicates that your computer is running on battery power, but the charge can't be detected or measured. You might need to replace the battery, or there might be a problem with your computer hardware. To learn more, check the information that came with your computer or go to the manufacturer's website.

The battery charge never reaches 100 percent.

The battery might be old. In some cases, when a battery is old, a full charge is represented as less than 100 percent. For more information, see How accurate is the battery meter?

Tips

  • When your battery can no longer hold a charge, don't throw it away. Instead, dispose of it properly by taking it to a recycling center or hazardous waste facility.

  • Don't buy a spare lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery unless you plan to use it immediately. Lithium-ion batteries last only two to three years, whether or not you use them.

  • If your laptop has a second battery bay and you want to extend the time that your computer can run on battery power, install another battery in the second bay.

The battery won't hold a charge, doesn't last as long as it used to, or isn't recognized by Windows.

The battery might be old or damaged. For a solution to this problem, contact your computer manufacturer. If you purchased the battery separately from the computer, contact the battery manufacturer.

I see a message that says to "Consider replacing your battery."

Windows notifies you on the battery meter when your battery gets down to 40 percent of its original capacity (that is, it can only hold 40 percent or less of its designed capacity after it has been charged). This notification is new in Windows 7—earlier versions of Windows can't notify you when your battery is going bad. If you don't want to receive this notification, you can turn it off by clearing the check box on the battery meter.

Picture of battery meter showing a notification that a battery might be going bad
Battery meter showing a notification that a battery might be going bad

If you're receiving this message, you probably need to replace your battery. To verify this, contact your computer manufacturer. If you purchased the battery separately from the computer, contact the battery manufacturer.

If you recently replaced your battery but your computer hibernates when the battery has a lot of charge remaining (even as much as 90 percent), you might need to uninstall the battery driver, and then restart your computer. Follow these steps:

  1. Open Device Manager by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking System and Security, and then, under System, clicking Device Manager. Administrator permission required If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

  2. Double-click Batteries.

  3. Right-click Microsoft ACPI-Compliant Control Method Battery, and then click Uninstall.

  4. Restart your computer.

The battery becomes very hot.

This could be caused by a problem with the battery itself. For a solution to this problem, contact your computer or battery manufacturer immediately.

Warning

  • A hot battery can cause serious burns.

Article ID: MSW700072