Can your laptop run without its battery?

With Macbooks and other premium laptops increasing in popularity, less and less people are wondering how they can remove the battery from their laptop. There’s definitely less of a need for it, although some people still wonder whether a laptop can run without a battery to charge it.

In the past, you may have actually been advised that you remove the battery from your laptop to extend its life. With an older laptop, the battery may have died, and you may have no choice but to try and switch it out for a new one.

This leads people to ask whether they can carry on using their laptop even after the battery is dead. This is what we’re going to look at.

Can your laptop run without its battery?

The answer is that yes, you can use a laptop without it having the battery attached. All you need to do is plug it into charge as normal, so you’ll need your standard charging cable as well as the power brick that you usually use.

Though the truth is, there’s not really any advantage to taking the battery out of your laptop. Of course, if your battery has died, then this could be a good way for you to extend the lifespan of your laptop before investing a new one.

There are also a couple of other reasons why you might want to remove the battery and use it without, such as;

Storage – If you’re going to store your laptop for many months or years without using it, it can be a good idea for you to remove the battery. This can help to prevent any potential damage.
Reset – Sometimes, you might want to remove the battery of your laptop to perform a hard reset, especially if you’re having problems with your power button.
Portability – As you’d expect, the battery in your laptop has a little bit of weight to it. If you take the battery out of your laptop, it can be significantly lighter to carry around with you.

Remember that if you haven’t got a battery in the back of your laptop, then it works just like a desktop computer. As soon as it is unplugged or switched off at the wall, it will power down immediately.

Ensuring you don’t forget this and unplug it without thinking can be an issue, especially if you have valuable information on the laptop itself.

My laptop won’t start without the battery

Though unlikely, there is the potential that your laptop may not be able to start up without the battery attached to it. The truth is that this is very unlikely, so you’ll want to check that you’ve got things connected properly beforehand.

However, if this is the case and your laptop won’t work whilst plugged into a wall charger or power adapter, then it’s likely to be a problem with your laptop itself. Older laptops can have issues, and the most likely cause of your laptop not being able to be turned on in this scenario is actually a fault with the motherboard of your device.

Unfortunately, there’s not really much you can do in this scenario. It might be time to invest in a new laptop.

Dispelling Common Laptop Battery Myths

There are various different myths, rumours or whatever else you want to call them going around the internet about laptop batteries. They can be about too little battery life, too much battery life or anything in between.

The best way for you to extend your devices battery life is to get a power bank for laptops. Here, I’ll run through some of the most common and if they’re true or not.

Myth: You can overcharge your laptop battery beyond its capacity

People often worry that if they leave the battery of their laptop in the device, then it may get overcharged. This isn’t actually true, as if you put your laptop on charge, then it can only go up to a maximum of 100%. You can’t charge your laptop up too much, so there’s no need to worry about that.

Well, theoretically your laptop’s lithium ion battery could hold more charge, but they’re made with maximum capacity limits for this reason. Plus, that’s a whole different story.

Verdict: False, you can’t overcharge your laptop battery to more than 100%. The battery won’t accept any more charge, though it’s a good idea to turn the power adapter off when you can, as energy can still be wasted.

Myth: I should charge my laptop to 100%, let it run down to near 0% then recharge

I’m not sure where this one came from, but it’s a pretty common thought that your laptop likes to be charged up to 100%. When charged, you should disconnect it from charging, and use almost all of its battery before charging again.

I guess this makes sense, as people assume that it’s using one full charge of your device. However, I’m not convinced that this is accurate, and there’s not really any basis for this theory either.

Verdict: False, research actually shows that lithium batteries are best charged as and when necessary.

Myth: I should let my battery die every full 30-40 charges

There is actually some basis in this one, as laptop and computer manufacturers have been recommending this for years.

Supposedly, if you let your laptop run through its full battery once every month or so, it can help you to prolong its life. This is the same with your phone, which also uses a lithium ion battery.

Verdict: True, as actually research does show us that the lifespan of a laptop battery can be extended by letting it run down very occasionally. You’ll want to try and do this every 30 charges if you can, making sure it’s not plugged into a charger adapter at the same time.

Myth: Limiting my laptop’s maximum charge limit can make my battery last longer

In some models of laptop, you can actually put a limit on the maximum battery life of your laptop. By reducing its maximum from 100% down to say 80%, it’s said that this can end up making your battery last longer.

Some brands, like Lenovo, have since removed this option from their devices. But there are some Windows laptops that will still allow you to do this.

Verdict: This one is also true, as you can get your battery to last for longer by simply reducing its maximum battery life.

Myth: My laptop’s battery is getting weaker even when I’m not using it

If you turn your laptop off and later turn it back on, it’ll have the same amount of battery. So, many people assume that if you don’t use your laptop, then the battery in it will last longer.

This isn’t true, as the nature of lithium ion batteries mean that they’re always draining in capacity, even when you’re not actually using them.

Verdict: True, eventually your lithium ion battery would die even if you didn’t use it.


To sum things up, you can use your laptop without the battery in the back of it. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t do this, so if you’ve got an old laptop with a dead battery, then you can still use it by plugging it in with an AC adapter.

It’s a good idea to get a replacement battery backup if you’re having problems with your current battery. Obviously, you’ll need a laptop that allows you to easily switch the battery out to do this.

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About Alex

Hello, I'm Alex and this is my website, Spacehop. I started the site as a way to talk about myself, and a few years later we're now a team of 6! I still work full time at a major PC retailer in the UK, and I'm a bit of a tech whizz (self-proclaimed, unfortunately!).

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