While there are plenty of myths regarding “is it good to use laptop while charging?”, the truth is, yes, it’s OK and completely safe doing this. Lots of myths like you need to disconnect the charger when the battery is full. Or that you ought to go for battery recharge only when it fully drains out, etc. have gone completely pointless today.
In fact, nowadays, when laptops are packed with smarter Li-ion batteries, using a laptop while it’s plugged in shows some great performance pluses. And hardly any disadvantages.
Unlike their nickel predecessors, the modern Li-ion batteries sing their heart out only when they regularly get partial recharges. That said, you must never let these laptops (batteries, I mean) reach those critical power zones i.e. below 20% or 15% charge, and then fully recharge them.
In short, charging and using a laptop both at once is more of a profitable business than a thing you should avoid. Let’s look into this matter in detail below.
Is It Good to Use Laptop While Charging?
Well, again, it’s completely fine to use the laptop while it is clued up to the plugs. As mentioned earlier, almost all laptops today come with Lithium-ion batteries. These batteries usually feature the automatic control system internally that intelligently regulates the charging process.
That said, while the laptop is plugged in, the battery is never in the state of continuous charging. The smart Charging IC(s) and the battery’s internal control system cuts off the power inflow to the battery once it’s fully charged.
The battery stays completely uninterrupted by the power supply until it comes down to a certain charge level – usually 95%. Once it drops down that level, the control system starts allowing the power flow to the battery so that it bumps up again.
Now, the thing here is, as long as you are connected to the power supply, your laptop runs on that external power and doesn’t consume the battery. So because the battery isn’t under any stress, for it to come down to even 95% is pretty unlikely.
Or yeah, it takes hours for it to lose those few percent. But as soon as it comes to or drops below that level, the power trickles again, the battery gets 100, and the inflow again cuts off.
Can I Use My Laptop While Charging It, Even When It’s Fully Charged?
The thing that you must disconnect the charger once the battery is fully charged is no more applicable today. As mentioned above, the intelligent control systems both in the latest motherboards and the lithium batteries control the power flow according to the needs.
The advanced lithium-ion and lithium-polymer batteries never accept charge more than they can handle. And again, the battery is not always in charging mode. Thus, it’s all right to use your laptop while charging and even when it’s fully charged.
So, Does the Use of Laptop While Charging Affect Battery Life and Performance?
Well, yes, it does affect the battery’s overall performance. There are many positive and very few negative effects of staying regularly plugged in while being on your laptop.
And the very first benefit is that this maximizes your battery life by cutting off the loads from that always in-charge energy package. Besides, if you are gaming or performing some other demanding tasks, staying on-power would add to your laptop’s performance too.
It would allow you to tweak to the highest settings that would otherwise be impossible, perhaps. Because the on-battery performance is always curbed compared to the plugged-in performance.
Furthermore, as I said in the intro para that if you want a lithium battery to perform well, never let it fully run out of juice.
Yeah, those older nickel-clad batteries were thought to work well if recharged only when they are completely drained. But doing the same with these Li batteries can so badly affect them.
According to “Battery University” (a website that knows everything about batteries), for a lithium battery, what elongates its working life is that it must be charged on regular basis. Because recharging it only on a complete discharge is at least not the thing for a Li battery.
Anyways, it doesn’t mean that you should stay plugged in 24/7. Yep, although hardly possible, there are still a few disadvantages as well for this.
Should You Keep Your Laptop Plugged-in (Even at 100% Charge) All the Time? Is It Good or Bad?
Keeping your battery full all the time shows up no less than a mighty achievement – especially to me. But it also poses some threats to the battery in the long run. And despite the YES to the question “is it good to use laptop while charging”, you are never too far from hitting disfavor.
Staying at 100% All the Time is Bad for Battery Health in the Long run
Although it has been already discussed that once the battery touches that 100% mark, it stops accepting further Amps and prevents any overheat issues, etc.
You still don’t need to be at 100% all the time. Because this one thing puts some serious strains on the battery and ruins its health in the long run. It makes the battery more vulnerable to some severe temperature shocks and can cause the control system to fail.
It also shortens the battery’s working life i.e. its (working) capacity. Figuratively saying, a battery that is always overflowing is gonna lose 20% more than normal health over a year.
You can easily feel that excessive heat coming out of the base of your laptop when it’s constantly plugged in. That’s normal yeah, but things can get seriously destructive if the temperature gets past the extreme level. Because you are also constantly using the laptop.
What to Do in this Regard? – The Solutions
#1. Setting A Charging Threshold – The 40 – 80 Spectrum
You can try setting a charging threshold on your laptop. So it will start the recharging process when the battery drops down a certain level and will stop the process at a certain level.
According to experts, what’s ideal in this regard is to stay plugged in when the battery is between 40% and 80%. 40 is gonna be the limit where the laptop (the battery) has to start charging, and 80 is where it must automatically stop.
In manual terms, it’s like you ought to connect the charger when your battery is at 40 and unplug it when it is 80. You can bump up to 90 as well. But this 40 – 80 threshold is just ideal while you are working on the laptop.
And this is where you’d be getting the most out of your battery.
Well, you can use some third-party battery (threshold) management software to set and achieve that ideal spectrum for your battery. Whereas, most of the latest laptops come with built-in apps and easily accessible settings for all this.
#2. You Can Try Taking the Battery Off the Laptop
A substitute for this solution is that you can try removing the battery (if it’s removable) when it has a fair amount of charge in it, say 50% or more.
Well, this is only possible if you are connected to an uninterruptable power supply. Your laptop will stay powered directly from outside, and you’ll easily continue working on it. Plus, you would also keep those heat buildup issues from arising.
So just remove the battery and make sure to keep it in a cooler ambiance. Because the surrounding heat can also adversely affect it.
#3. Prevent Your Laptop from Severe Temperatures – Make Sure Proper Ventilation and Use It in Cool Ambience
To keep your laptop from heating, especially when it’s plugged in, you can consider using it in an optimally cool ambiance. The surrounding temperature plays a major role in all this. Keep the laptop from direct sunlight, etc.
And lastly, do make sure that the laptop vents are properly cleaned and there is no issue with the ventilation process.
While it used to be an issue with the older laptops, to use a laptop while charging isn’t a dilemma anymore. With the latest Lithium-clad batteries, all the worries like the battery would overcharge or it’s at the risk of damage, etc. have worn off.
So, is it good to use laptop while charging? Yes, it’s good and absolutely safe. Laptops today come with intelligent Charging ICs, and the Li-ion and Li-polymer batteries also boast smart control systems internally. So the Amps flow to the battery is intelligently regulated throughout.
Although there are a few minor issues with using the laptop while it’s charging i.e. heat, etc. You can easily get by them by taking the battery off or making some other settings – all discussed above.
Overall, there is no such issue with charging and using the laptop both at once. You can even leave your laptop plugged in overnight without worrying about things like overcharging and battery damage, etc.
If you are still confused with any myths in this regard, scroll above as there are all the truths you need to know.