CAI Managed IT blog
Tip of the Week: What Happens when a Laptop is Left Plugged In?
Laptops have proven to be one of the more useful gadgets for businesses and business users. Not only do they hold their own in performance against a desktop, their portability is another consideration that cannot be ignored. However, this portability means that they are at least somewhat reliant on their battery, which begs the question: can they be left plugged in otherwise?
For this week’s tip, we’ll dig into this exact question.
How Working from Home Has Impacted the Use of Mobile Devices
Here’s the thing: with stay-at-home orders and other measures being put into place across the country, a lot of people aren’t as mobile as they once were. As a result, the mobile devices that would travel with them back and forth to the office have effectively become temporary desktops in their homes… and as such, are spending more time plugged in than not.
So, Is This a Problem?
That depends on a variety of circumstances, the first of which being the age of your device. Not all that long ago, leaving your laptop plugged in could overload and damage the battery (which was not a good thing by any means). Today’s batteries, made of either a lithium-polymer or lithium-ion, won’t behave that way. Instead, once a device’s battery reaches full power, any additional power brought in will instead power the laptop itself.
However, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t some concerns to doing this.
Any laptop user has likely noticed that, after their device has been charging for so long, the bottom will get hot. While this is to be expected, too high heat for too long can damage the device, impacting the battery’s performance. One study, performed by Battery University, indicated that leaving a laptop that’s fully charged plugged in at different temperatures can bring down the battery’s capacity over time.
Therefore, to answer whether it is safe to always leave your laptop plugged in, the verdict is now yes… so long as it is in a cool and well-ventilated area. Otherwise, you’re apt to run into problems.
CAI Managed IT is here to offer you other useful advice for managing your technology properly, even while your team is working remotely. To learn more about the services and solutions we can provide, reach out to us at CAI Managed IT.
About the author
CAI Managed IT has been helping small and medium-size businesses since 1978, providing IT support such as technical helpdesk support, computer repair, and consulting services.