My Laptop Battery Won't Hold a Charge

By Kallie Johnson

Most laptop batteries have a life expectancy of two years or 400 to 450 charge and discharge cycles. After this time, the battery may lose the ability to charge or to hold a charge for substantial periods of time. When this happens, it's likely the battery needs replacement. However, troubleshooting can narrow the problem and ensure you are not wasting money on a battery replacement.

Things You'll Need

  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Cotton swab

Check Power Adapter

Step 1

Turn the laptop off. Remove any power cords or power sources.

Step 2

Separate the battery from the bottom of the laptop. Slide or press the locking mechanism to unlock the battery. Slide the battery out of the battery compartment.

Step 3

Plug the power adapter into an electrical outlet. Insert the opposite end of the adapter into the charging outlet on the side of a laptop.

Step 4

Power on the laptop. If the laptop does not turn on, the power adapter is not correctly working. If the power adapter is not working, the battery can not charge. Replace the power adapter. If the laptop powers on, the power adapter is properly working.

Clean Battery Contacts

Step 1

Turn the computer off. Remove any power cords or sources.

Step 2

Take the battery out of the battery compartment.

Step 3

Dip a cotton swab in isopropyl alcohol. Rub the dampened swab on the battery compartment and battery contacts. Dust and buildup can prevent battery contacts from properly charging.

Step 4

Slide the battery back into the battery compartment.

Charge and Test Battery

Step 1

Plug the power adapter into the laptop.

Step 2

Charge the battery for six hours.

Step 3

Remove the power adapter.

Step 4

Turn the laptop on. If the laptop turns on and stays on for at least 30 minutes, the battery is holding a charge. If the laptop doesn't turn on or the battery doesn't power the laptop for at least 30 minutes, the battery should be replaced.