Q: Should I let my laptop run all the way down before charging it?

Tech Q & A
– Submitted by many

A: This is another example of a question where the answer has changed over time. Since technology has evolved so rapidly, an answer that was valid only a few years ago many be completely wrong today! And in particular, this topic seems to generate a lot of confusion.

While in the past, battery technology required that users regularly discharge the battery almost all the way down prior to charging to avoid the “memory effect”, today’s laptop batteries have virtually eliminated that requirement. A good web site that explains how to maintain laptop batteries is here. While this web site pertains to Apple laptops, the concepts should apply to most brands. To be completely sure, you will need to contact your manufacturer. Basically, most notebooks today can be charged and discharged as you please, with the exception of leaving the laptop plugged in almost all the time. Again, read the web site for a more detailed explanation.

Note, however, that not all electronics use this type of battery technology. I have an electric razor that recommends that it be drained nearly all the way before charging it. So it is always a good idea to read instructions that come with your electronics to make sure how the battery should be maintained.

As usual, please submit any technology questions you may have and your question may be featured in this newsletter!