How to Check Dell Battery Module

By Jason Artman

It is an unfortunate reality that no notebook battery lasts forever. After one to two years, the capacity of the battery will be permanently reduced. Once the battery reaches the point where it can no longer hold a charge sufficient to power the notebook for an acceptable length of time, it must be replaced. Many Dell notebooks include built-in utilities which can check the health of the battery in the BIOS configuration utility or in Windows. Use the Dell battery health utility to determine how soon the battery in your notebook will need to be replaced.

Checking the Health of the Battery in the BIOS

Step 1

Restart the computer, or turn it on if it is currently off. Tap the "F2" key until the BIOS setup utility loads. On some Dell notebook models, the "Delete" key is used to enter the BIOS setup utility.

Step 2

Use the keyboard to select "Battery Health" under the "System" category.

Step 3

Examine the information displayed on the right side of the screen. If the health of the battery is low, a message will be displayed stating that the capacity of the battery has been permanently reduced and that the battery must be replaced.

Checking the Health of the Battery in Windows

Step 1

Right click the power icon in the lower-right corner of the screen, and click "Properties." If you do not have the power icon displayed in your system tray, click the "Start" button, then click "Control Panel" and double click the "Power" icon.

Step 2

Click the "Battery Health" tab.

Step 3

Examine the information shown in the window. If the battery needs to be replaced, a red icon will be shown along with a message confirming that the battery is no longer able to hold a sufficient charge.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the battery for your Dell notebook has indicator lights, you can also check the health of the battery by pressing and holding the button on the battery. After a few seconds, the indicator light will display a certain number of dots according to the health of the battery. If all five dots are lit, the capacity of the battery has been reduced enough that it is time to consider replacing it.
  • If the battery health indicators on your computer suggest that your battery needs to be replaced, and the battery is less than one year old, contact Dell before purchasing a new one. The warranty period for Dell batteries is one year, and you may be entitled to receive a replacement.
  • Dell announced battery recalls in 2006 and 2008 due to possible safety concerns. If you purchased your computer around this time frame, check the link in the "Resources" section of this article to learn more about the Dell battery recall program and whether your battery is covered by this program.