how to test laptop battery with multimeter

How to Test a Laptop Battery with a Multimeter

The primary purpose behind the evolution and renovation of personal computers from desktop computers to laptop systems is portability, and the introduction of batteries has helped in this pursuit. 

It’s very stressful or rather impossible to carry a desktop around, but you can effortlessly take your laptop to different places. Another fascinating feature about laptop systems is that you can operate them without the system being plugged in at every second. 

You can use them for a fair amount of time or a very long period; it all depends on the battery’s capacity. But a common issue with lithium-ion batteries is that they tend to reduce in performance after some years.

When a battery’s health falls, you might most likely need to replace it, but it’s crucial you check your battery before any replacement, and you can do that with several easy techniques. One of these techniques involves using a multimeter, which you will learn through this article.

How to test Laptop Battery with Multimeter

The multimeter test is a reliable method for checking the health of your laptop battery, and you can carry out this successfully by strictly adhering to the guide below. Please ensure you take each of the steps seriously and be careful while performing this test. 

Step – 1

Ensure you charge your battery full; it’s the first and crucial step to the whole testing process. 

Step – 2

Shut down your laptop system and detach or disconnect any external devices. 

Step – 3

Take off the battery from your laptop. It’s straightforward to do this with detachable laptop batteries, but this is not the case for all laptops. 

For non-detachable laptop batteries, use a screwdriver to take the screws holding the battery in place carefully. When you’ve got the screws out, your battery should come off quickly. 

Step – 4

Check the voltage rating which the manufacturers inscribe on your battery’s surface. This inspection is important because you will need to compare the manufacturer’s rating to the reading gotten from the test. 

The voltage ratings in laptop systems differ. Most laptops come with ratings between 9.6 volts to 14.8 volts, while others have higher or lower voltage ratings.

Step – 5

Look for the connector on your battery used as the interface with your laptop.

You can find this interface at the battery’s sides. Properly check the middle of the sides facing the computer when the battery is being placed into position. 

Usually, it has a measurement of one inch, and it looks like a combination of identical slots, with a narrow size like that of the vent in the laptop, although smaller in size. The positive and negative terminals would be the slot at the outermost area of the battery.

Step – 6

Switch on your multimeter, and configure it to a setting that will allow you to take measurements of the voltage on or under the 20-volt scale. 

You have to note that on the multimeter, the symbol “V” connotes the term “voltage,” and the lines close to the “V” symbol signify or indicate the direct current voltage. The wavy lines close to V represent the alternating current voltage.

Step – 7

Place the multimeter prong into your slot on the outer side at the edge of the battery’s interface. Insert your other pong to the different end slot on the connector. 

Note that it doesn’t matter if the negatives match while you connect the positives; the connection is already set to cause a significant change in the voltage reading. Therefore, the reading will not be changed.

Always keep in mind that the voltage sign isn’t relevant; what’s important is the reading or number. You must ensure that the multimeter prongs are directly in contact with the metal body without any obstruction.

Step – 8

Observe the reading on the multimeter. If you get a reading or value exactly or close to the manufacturer’s estimated voltage value written on the battery, then your battery is functioning well and in good shape. But if you get a distant value, your battery is probably bad. You might have to change it. 

Step – 9

Conduct this process repeatedly to get the voltage reading when most of the battery power has been discharged to at least 60%. This will help you compare values with the voltage when the battery is full. 

A laptop battery that has drained on its own will give a significant reading, not around 0 volts. Even when the battery is depleted, it will read some amount of voltage. 

These are the proper steps to take when trying to test your laptop battery with a multimeter. You should have good knowledge of the entire process.

Your laptop will automatically go off when your battery is completely depleted or gets below a specific voltage. This is because the system cannot run on low battery power, and it negatively affects the system. 

So whenever your battery gets too low, it activates your battery’s protective circuit, which prevents you from turning the laptop back on. Once a battery is out of power, it is useless and needs to be changed or charged.

FAQs

How do I Know if my Laptop Battery is Bad?

In most current Windows operating systems, you will get a notification at every start of your laptop system, indicating that your battery needs replacement. You can also find out by clicking the red X on your battery icon located on your system tray. Windows will then alert you need to get your laptop battery changed by a professional technician. 
Also, if your battery is bad, you might start noticing some abnormal functionalities in your laptop system, like an abrupt shutdown or a short time to work on your laptop without being plugged in.

How to Check Laptop Battery Health Windows 10?

To inspect your battery’s health in your Windows 10 system, you need to press the Windows key to open up your Start Menu. On the Search box with the inscription search Programs and Files. When you’ve located the box, type in Windows Mobility Center in that search area. 
When the results for your search are fully displayed, click on the Windows Mobility Center, which will pop out at the left-hand side of the menu. The Windows Mobility Center has several mobility indicators that can point out the mobility status of the system.

Can I Keep a Dead Laptop Battery in my Laptop?

It’s not advised that you keep a dead battery in your laptop, not even for a short while. The effects of dead batteries can damage your laptop system and lead to several malfunctions that can even cause your computer to catch fire. Ultimately, never keep a dead battery inside a laptop for any reason.

How do I Test a Lithium-ion Battery Using a Multimeter?

You must first connect your multimeter’s red probe to the +ve terminal of the lithium battery and then connect the black probe to your battery’s –ve terminal. When you are done attaching these multimeter probes correctly, watch the multimeter’s display. On the display screen, the voltage signal will reflect the voltage of your battery.

How many Volts should a 12 Volt Battery Read?

A charged 12-volt battery left to rest for some days or hours without being attached to any system or plugged in will lose some of its charge and record about 12.6 voltage between terminals. But when the battery gives a voltage reading of 12 volts under that same condition, it means the battery is dead.

Conclusion

Among the most vital components of a laptop system is the battery. A dead battery might even equal a dead system. So you have to do the right things in ensuring your laptop battery maintains its durability, and you can start by reading our article on how to make your battery last longer

With this proper guide, you can now correctly test your laptop battery with a multimeter at any time you need to ensure you have a healthy laptop battery.

Sources

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