Understanding Windows 10 laptop battery reports

May 1, 2021, 6:30 AM
(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)...
(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Q: I have a relatively new Windows 10 laptop and I don’t understand why my battery life is so short.

A: Battery life continues to be one of the most common complaints for all of our electronic devices, but understanding some basics can help extend what is a finite usable life of all batteries.

All of today’s devices tend to use Lithium-Ion (Li-ion) batteries, which is a huge improvement over older technologies, but still have a limit to how long they will work.

Charge Cycles

At the root of this finite life is ‘charge cycles’, which will have the biggest impact on how long your battery will hold a reasonable charge.

The age of the laptop really means nothing if you’ve charged and discharged your laptop enough to impact the battery’s current capacity.

Depending upon the quality of your battery, the typical laptop battery will start to degrade after 300-500 charge cycles.

A charge cycle is calculated based on a complete charge that goes from 0% to 100%, so if you plug your charger in when the battery is at 50% and go until it’s 100%, that would be half of a charge cycle.

Get a Battery Report

Knowing how many charge cycles your laptop has gone through is the first step, which can be done by using a hidden command in Windows 10.

Start by typing ‘Powershell’ in the Windows 10 search bar at the bottom left of your screen and open the app, which will generate a command prompt with a blinking cursor.

Type ‘powercfg /batteryreport’ and press enter to generate a report along with the location of report.

You can either navigate to the specified location using the Windows File Explorer or copy and paste the entire location that starts with C:/users to the command prompt and hit Enter.

At the bottom of the ‘Installed batteries’ section, you’ll see an entry for ‘CYCLE COUNT’ along with a number, which represents your current count.

Another important set of numbers to review are the ‘DESIGN CAPACITY’ vs. ‘FULL CHARGE CAPACITY’ which will give you an indication of how much capacity you’ve lost since your device was new.

The farther apart these numbers are, the higher the degradation to your battery and it’s a good thing for anyone that has a new laptop to check as well.

If the numbers are far apart for a new laptop, you should contact the manufacturer for a replacement.

Tips for Extending Battery Life

Understanding the impact of charge cycles, being strategic about how you charge and what you do when you aren’t using your laptop will help extend battery life.

Don’t wait until your laptop is low on power to plug in your charger, especially if you are in a setting where you don’t need to be using the battery. Toppings off the battery regularly vs. letting it drain all the way down every time reduces stress and prolongs battery life according to

Heat is another killer of laptop batteries, so avoid direct sunlight or leaving it in a hot car and don’t use it on a soft surface, like a pillow or bedspread that can block the cooling vents.

Your display brightness level is one of the biggest hits to your battery, so get it as low as you can when you’re using battery power.

Data Doctors

(Pexels Photo)...
Ken Colburn, Data Doctors

What to know about the Marco Polo video chat app

The Marco Polo app is a video chat program that’s like a walkie-talkie conversation instead of a live session.
5 days ago
Ken Colburn, Data Doctors

Here are some tips on how to speed up slow starting computers

Here are some ways you can identify and solve potential issues that may be causing your computer to start up slower than normal.
12 days ago
(AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File)...
Data Doctors

An explanation of how new credit cards have information stolen

If you've ever wondered how people can crack a new credit card, here's a rundown and a brief explanation on what thieves could be doing.
19 days ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Ken Colburn, Data Doctors

Here are the differences between Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge

Half of the United States uses Google Chrome as a default browser, but here are the key differences between Chrome and Microsoft Edge.
26 days ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Data Doctors

Tips on how and when to use the iPhone screen recording feature

Here are some tips on when and how to use the the screen recording feature located on the dropdown bar on your iPhone.
1 month ago
In this photo illustration a spam 'Phishing' email is displayed on a laptop screen on March 21,2022...
Data Doctors

Tips and tools to detect and avoid computer phishing scams

Far and away, the method of choice for compromising users is through sophisticated phishing messages in email, via text messaging and through social media accounts.
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Prep the plumbing in your home just in time for the holidays

With the holidays approaching, it's important to know when your home is in need of heating and plumbing updates before more guests start to come around.
(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
Understanding Windows 10 laptop battery reports