If you’ve bought a new laptop and you’re ready to start using it, WAIT! If you’re here, you’ve probably heard people talking about how you should charge a new electronic device, like a laptop, before you start using it for the first time.
It’s important to charge your laptop battery correctly the first time, and there are other things you can do for battery maintenance, too. These simple steps will lengthen the life of your battery and possibly your device.
When laptops are shipped, the batteries aren’t typically fully charged, plus they can lose a bit more charge during shipping and while sitting on store shelves.
If you don’t want to risk a diminished battery life or inaccurate readings of how much battery you have remaining, you just need to follow some very simple steps when you first get your laptop. Following what we’re about to talk about will ensure that your laptop battery is properly calibrated, and ready to hold a charge for years to come.
How Many Hours to Charge a New Laptop
You should charge your new laptop for 4-6 hours.
When you get a brand new laptop, you should plug it in and charge it immediately. It’s going to be tempting to turn it on and start playing around with it and getting it set-up, but a little bit of extra patience will go a long way.
The exact amount of time to charge a particular laptop battery when it’s brand new will vary by brand. Some brands recommend 4-5 hours, others will tell you to charge it for an entire 24 hours.
You can check the manual of your new laptop, but generally speaking, charging your new laptop for around 6 hours s going to be perfect.
Some manufacturers will recommend charging your new battery for an entire 24 hours, but that’s typically overkill since most batteries will be fully charged well before waiting an entire day. Also, the laptop probably won’t arrive to you with a completely drained battery, it could be around 60, 70, or 80% charged so it really won’t take that long to top it off.
The reason you’re waiting several hours is because you won’t know the exact charge level before you turn it on, so waiting around 6 hours should give you plenty of time for it to charge up.
Types of Battery Technology in Laptops
There are two primary types of batteries that you’ll find in a laptop. NiMH batteries used to be more common, and some of the instructions you hear about batteries are based on those. However, these days, it’s much more common that your battery will have a lithium-ion battery, or Li-ion for short.
Advantages of Lithium-ion Batteries in Laptops
The main reasons that Li-ion has become the go-to standard for laptop batteries is because they have a longer lifespan than NiMH batteries, they weigh less, and they require less maintenance or care to keep them working at their best.
Advantages of NiMH Batteries
The only real advantage of NiMK batteries is that they’re cheaper. They can hold a similar charge as Li-ion, but they are heavier, they have a shorter lifespan, and they’re more prone to suffering from memory effect.
What is Memory Effect in Batteries?
Memory effect is when your battery will gradually hold less and less of a charge, it’s maximum capacity diminishes over time.
This happens when you frequently recharge your battery when it hasn’t been fully discharged. Part of keeping your battery healthy is to let it fully discharge whenever you can, before you plug it in to charge again. This is more of a problem with NiMH batteries, and it’s less of an issue with Li-ion.
Either way, both types of laptop batteries will degrade over time. Even your Li-ion battery will gradually hold less and less power.
How to Calibrate Your Laptop Battery
It’s very important to calibrate your laptop battery because this is necessary if you want an accurate reporting of how much power is left in your battery. Also, calibrating your battery occasionally can help to increase the life of the battery.
When your battery meter isn’t accurate, you can end up thinking you have more more charge left than you actually have, which can cause your laptop to shut down because the battery died, even if the battery meter on your laptop isn’t empty yet.
- To calibrate your laptop battery, PLUG IT IN and give it time to fully charge.
- UNPLUG your laptop from the charger and use it normally.
- Keep USING your laptop until the battery is completely drained. Make sure you aren’t working on anything super important when it’s reaching the end of its charge so that you won’t lose any of your work. You can just leave it open playing movies or other videos to drain the battery quickly, with the screen brightness on max, too.
- After your battery is completely drained, let it rest for 3-4 hours and then PLUG IN your laptop again until it’s fully charged. Now, your battery is calibrated.
How Often To Calibrate a Laptop Battery
You should ideally calibrate your laptop’s battery every six months or so. If you have an Li-ion battery, you may not need to calibrate it at all since newer models will have mechanisms built-in that take care of calibration automatically.
However, if you have an older laptop or a laptop with an NiMH battery, then calibration is an important part of laptop and battery maintenance.
Final Thoughts on How Many Hours to Charge a New Laptop Battery
Generally speaking, 6 hours is the sweet spot for how long to charge your battery, but some companies will say 4. Other companies will say 24. We like around 6 hours as the sweet spot.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to be sitting next to the laptop waiting for the moment that it’s fully charged. It should stop charging once it reaches full capacity, and may just allow a small amount of power to trickle in as needed, but other than that, it can sit there at 100% for a while and it will be okay.
FAQ About Charging a Laptop Battery For The First Time
Do you have to charge a new laptop before use?
You don’t have to charge a new laptop before use, your laptop will still work as long as there’s some charge remaining in the battery. If it’s been sitting in a warehouse for a very long time, it’s possible the battery will have discharged more, though. It’s not the end of the world if you just start using your battery right away.
It’s a good idea to charge it a bit first, but you probably won’t really notice if you just start using it normally until it’s fully discharged, then charging it up again fully.
This is just about optimization and getting the most out of your battery. If you aren’t concerned with that, it’s still going to work just fine – especially with newer and more modern batteries.
Should you charge a new laptop before using it?
Yes, you should fully charge a new laptop before you use it.
The previous question in this FAQ asked if you have to charge it, and you don’t have to – but you still should, for all of the reasons mentioned throughout this page.