How to check your laptop’s battery cycle count. Why is it so important?

Just looking at the title of this article, you’re probably assuming we’re talking about how much battery percentage your laptop has without a charge. However, that is not the case as there is a difference between battery cycle and battery percentage.

As you know, laptop batteries, whether removable or fixed, are consumable items. They can work for several years, but their performance degrades over time. Simply put, your laptop battery probably after 2-3 years will not remain the same when it was first purchased.

In this tutorial, we will talk about how to maintain your laptop battery, whether it is on Mac or Windows.

What is a battery cycle count?

So now that you know that rechargeable batteries don’t last forever, the next crucial step that you need to understand is the term ‘battery cycle count’, which basically refers to a complete discharge of a battery’s charge from 100 to zero percent.

Battery cycling is what helps you determine whether to get a new battery or stick with the one you have, regardless of whether the battery is removable or not. All in all, the battery cycle count is basically the number of times the battery has been cycled.

The lower the battery cycle count, the healthier the battery will be and the better it will perform when your laptop is not connected to a charger.

How does a battery cycle work?

Let’s say your laptop battery is fully charged (that is, 100 percent) and if you go days without charging, your laptop battery drains from 100 percent to 0 or even to 20 and 40 percent. cent, then it is considered as 1 battery cycle.

Now suppose you use your laptop on battery for a short period of time and your battery goes from 100 to 60 percent and you recharge it. This will not count as 1 cycle. However, if you do the same again, 1 cycle will be completed.

As the battery cycles continue to complete, there will be a time when you will notice that your battery is malfunctioning and that is when you will have to go to a computer store and buy that new battery. Otherwise, you will probably mess up your laptop.

How to check the battery cycle on your laptop? – Windows Edition

If you’re on a Windows laptop, you can check your computer’s battery cycle by heading to ‘Command Prompt’ or ‘Windows Powershell’. If you can’t find it directly, you can use the search bar on the desktop and type Command Prompt.

Once you open the command prompt, enter the following command:
powercfg /batteryreport

Next, head over to your user folder via File Explorer and find a file ‘battery-report.html’ whose location would also show up in the command prompt window as:
C:Users[YOUR USERNAME]battery-report.html

Once you find the HTML file, click on it and your default internet browser will open the file and you will see some data about your laptop. Then scroll down to find the ‘Installed Batteries’ and then head over to ‘Design Capacity’ and ‘Full Charge Capacity’.

Image source: MakeUseOf

‘Design capacity’ is the original maximum charge of your battery, while ‘Full load capacity ‘ is the amount of charge your laptop battery can now hold.

If they both have the same number or almost the same number, then your battery is good. However, if the ‘Total Charge Capacity’ is less than the ‘Design Capacity’, your battery health has been reduced to a significant amount.

The ‘Cycle Count’, as mentioned above, is the number of times your laptop battery has been charged.

If, by any chance, you don’t see a ‘cycle count’ category in the battery report file, you will need to make sure your drivers are up to date, especially if it is a battery controller.

How to check the battery cycle on your laptop? – Mac edition

Finding out the battery cycle on your Mac is relatively simpler than it is on Windows, as it requires a search and that’s it. So you can go to the ‘Apple logo’ at the top and select ‘System Information’ or press the Spotlight key on your MacBook (it would be on the F4 key).

Once you open Spotlight, just type ‘System Information’ then head over to the ‘Power’ section and you will see all the information about your MacBook battery and the number of cycles used as shown in the image below:

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When should you consider replacing your laptop battery?

Most batteries work well up to 500 cycles (and sometimes even more), however for MacBooks, especially the newer ones, it is up to 1000 cycles.

Once you go beyond these cycles, your battery would work but hold less of a charge and drain quickly.

How to maintain battery cycles?

This is a question that a lot of people would ask themselves because, of course, no one wants to hit 500 or 1000 cycles that fast. The best way to maintain cycles and keep your battery in good condition is to make sure that when you have a charging socket, make sure it is almost charged.

But if you don’t want to rely so much on a charging cable, you might want to consider using your laptop on battery when you’re on the go or don’t have a decent power outlet.

If you are someone who does remote work at home, then consider keeping your laptop always charged and unloading it one day a week. Discharge is another word for draining your battery to 0 percent.

What happens if you don’t replace the battery?

It’s no wonder we want our laptops to always measure up, however like all electronic devices, that’s not possible. If let’s say you never replace the battery, the worst case scenario is that no matter how much you charge your laptop, the battery will always reach zero within 1 or 2 hours.

It certainly doesn’t matter if you have a Windows laptop or a MacBook, all laptops have rechargeable batteries that can wear out over time.

Let us know in the comments how this article helped you.

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