Richard wants to know if keeping his laptop and smartphone plugged in all the time will damage it. Leo says that there is great debate about it. It's not really bad to keep them plugged in at all. What's worse would be completely discharging or overheating them. Lithium-ion batteries also have circuitry designed to keep from overcharging. Check out Battery University for details on the life of batteries.
lithium ion batteries
Leo says Anker, Aukey, and Belkin are the best places to buy third party lithium-ion batteries for devices. Stick with reputable manufacturers. Otherwise, users risk having an explosive event.
Karen's laptop has stopped charging. It's 10 years old. Leo says that her laptop has a lithium ion battery and it has probbaly just worn out. They won't take a charge after about 500 recharges, and after 10 years, it's very likely that's what it is. But Windows 10 has a feature in the command line. She can get to it by pressing the Windows key, and then typing CMD and enter. Then she should type "powercfg /batteryreport." This will give her a report on her battery's health. It gets saved to the hard drive and she can open it with her browser.
Kyle's Asus ROG Laptop isn't charging after a recent Windows 1803 update, and there hasn't been a patch for two years. What can he do? If Asus doesn't offer a fix, he should try the Windows 10 battery diagnostic by pressing the Windows key and typing "battery." Microsoft may troubleshoot and download a patch to fix it. If that doesn't do it, then it just may be that his battery is depleted and just won't take a charge. It would have to be replaced.
Maryanne's iPhone 6 won't recharge and now it's dead. What can she do? Rich says that her iPhone battery could be depleted or faulty. The battery in the iPhone has a limited number of charges, and once it surpasses that, the battery will die. And being an iPhone 6, it could be that the battery needs replacing. But before doing that, she should try using a gentle burst of canned air into the lightning port. If it starts to charge, then she'll know there was just a little dirt or fluff blocking the connection. If it doesn't work, then it's time for a trip to the Apple Store.
Chris is having issues with his old Dell laptop. The battery has died. Leo says that Lithium ion batteries have a limit of about 500 charges and then they simply die. If he can pop out the battery, he can plug it into his AC adapter and run it. But he can get get a new battery for it as well. Chris did that and it still doesn't work. Leo suspects it's a third party battery that won't work on that Dell. It's likely a knock off.
Bruce hears that the lifespan of lithium ion batteries get reduced by heat. Leo says that's correct, and right now it's really hot out. That's why phones will shut down when it gets too hot. It's a safety program to protect the battery from damage. So Bruce should keep his phone out of the sun. He shouldn't let them get any hotter than normal. Even during hot days, the shade will reduce the heat by at least 10 degrees. On the other end, he'll want to avoid extreme cold as well. It does the same thing.
The battery from Tim's Surface Laptop is starting to swell. Leo says that indicates that the battery is about to fail. Tim wanted to call in to say that Microsoft's service was fantastic for him.
Johnny is a Microsoft developer and he has noticed that his laptop battery has expanded, creating a bulge and warp. So he had to get it repaired. But Microsoft wants $600 to repair it!But there's a silver lining in that Microsoft replaced the laptop for free instead. But it took a few months. Leo says that's irresponsible because a laptop with a bulging battery is basically a bomb waiting to go off. Leo says it's stories like that which led Consumer Reports to ding Microsoft for its terrible long term reliability.
Sandra hears that the lithium ion batteries in Tesla cars aren't recyclable and that Tesla simply dumps them in the ocean. Leo says that isn't accurate. They are recycling, but they can be difficult to recycle because if they're exposed to the air, the inside of the batteries can catch on fire. They are recyclable and it takes about a decade or two before they will be replaced. By then, the recycling technology will have improved as well.