Skip to main content

How to check your laptop battery health

Are you worried that your battery is starting to die and may need to be replaced? Are you looking for a used laptop and want to make sure that the battery is in reasonable condition before you buy? Laptops have ways to perform quick battery tests that can tell you a lot about the condition of the battery and even its history of use. We’ll break it down into separate guides for Windows laptops, MacBooks, and Chromebooks so you know exactly what you need to do.

Checking battery health on a Windows laptop

Step 1: Open Command Prompt

Windows search results for command prompt.

You will need to give Windows a specific command for this process. Start by typing in “command prompt” in your Windows search box, and select the Command Prompt result when it appears.

Step 2: Create a battery report

The command prompt window after creating a battery report.

In Command Prompt, type (or paste) out the following command: powercfg /batteryreport. Now press Enter, and you should see a notification that a battery life report was created and saved to your user folder.

Step 3: Locate your battery report

Searching for battery report in Windows.

The battery report now exists, but you have to access it. Fortunately, Windows will automatically name it “battery-report” so you can easily find the file by entering that into your Windows search bar and selecting the file that appears.

Step 4: Review your battery report

A Surface laptop battery report.

The battery report provides several different sections with information about your battery. You can see exactly what kind of battery you have, recent usage data, and a long log of usage history. You can use this information to look for anything suspicious or out of place about battery operation. The Battery Capacity History and the Battery Life Estimates are particularly useful to check if your battery performance has declined recently or gradually lessened throughout the life of your laptop.

On many Windows laptops, users have the option to replace their batteries if it looks like the current battery is performing very poorly. Here’s HP’s guide on how to do it, for example. Find the right battery model compatible with your laptop model if you want to go this route. Otherwise, you can always have a professional take care of it for you.

If replacing the battery entirely isn’t really an option right now, we also have a guide on extending battery life and generally making sure that your battery is cared for and as long-lasting as possible. Even basics like not letting your battery discharge too much (plug it in at around 20%) and keeping your laptop from high-temperature zones like by a heater or out in the sun can make a lot of difference.

Checking battery health on a MacBook

Are you working on a MacBook instead? You can also access a battery report here, although information will be a bit limited:

Step 1: Start by selecting the Apple icon in the upper-left corner of your MacBook’s screen, then choose System Preferences > Battery.

The battery section in MacBook settings.

Step 2: Look to the left-side menu, and choose Battery again here. Now, look at the bottom of the window, and you should see an option to choose Battery Health.

Battery information listed for a MacBook Pro.

Step 3: This will take you to a new screen with information about your battery. You can see the cycle count, which will give you a good idea about how long the battery has been used and if it may be showing age-related problems. Apple says its MacBook batteries can last up to 1,000 cycles, but batteries nearing that number will probably experience some issues. You can also see a broad Condition report that will show if the MacBook is detecting any serious problems.

Generally, current MacBook models are designed with batteries that are very difficult or outright impossible for the average user to replace or tinker with on their own. If you suspect battery problems, the best thing you can do is take your laptop into an Apple Store.

Checking battery health on a Chromebook

Crosh on a Chromebook showing battery information.

If you have a Chromebook, checking the battery is also possible with the correct command:

Step 1: Open the Crosh terminal. You can do this by pressing Ctrl + Al + T.

Step 2: Type the command battery_test.

Step 3: You will now be able to see your Battery Health followed by a percentage (the current estimated capacity of the battery). The Chromebook will also begin to run a battery test for several minutes to see how well the battery is discharging. The report should also give a cycle count that allows you to estimate how old the battery is.

Editors' Recommendations

Tyler Lacoma
If it can be streamed, voice-activated, made better with an app, or beaten by mashing buttons, Tyler's into it. When he's not…
New AMD laptops bring up to 30 hours of battery life
AMD Ryzen Pro laptop APU.

AMD has just launched a new series of APUs, dubbed the Ryzen Pro 6000. The new chips are said to deliver outstanding battery life of up to 30 hours.

The company is also releasing a host of Ryzen Pro 5000 APUs that are based on a different architecture.

Read more
Buying an RTX 3070 Ti laptop? Check this key spec first
nvidia geforce rtx 3070 ti power consumption perf msi vector gp66 1

You'd think that buying a laptop with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti graphics card guarantees a certain level of performance, but it turns out that may not always be the case.

According to benchmarks done on two laptops with the RTX 3070 Ti, there may be an up to 20% performance difference between different variants of the RTX 3070 Ti, even though they are technically the same GPU. It all comes down to the maximum power consumption.

Read more
How to convert your VHS tapes to DVD, Blu-ray, or digital
last vhs manufacture funai to halt production tapes

If you spent any part of the '80s or '90s lugging around a VHS camcorder (or being filmed by someone with one of these enormous contraptions), you probably have a closet full of old VHS tapes containing weddings, graduations, and sacred Disney trips. And while you might think these tapes are simply waiting for you to pop them back in a VHS machine, the truth is, that video footage is slowly decaying and is already in way worse shape than when it was shot.
If your precious home videos managed to survive, you may want to salvage that footage before it becomes lost forever. Converting well-worn home movies will never be flawless, but it can be done on a modest budget with a few basic tools.
Below, we'll show you how to save your moments digitally on multiple formats, including by DVD transfer, Blu-ray, or digital file. If you're just too busy, we've also got a list of the various VHS conversion services, including pricing, to help you preserve that 20-year-old home video of you bailing on your first bike. If not for you, do it for posterity's sake.

Disclaimer: It's illegal to produce copies of commercial films and copyrighted content, but there are no restrictions on copying home videos. Plus, you usually can pick up a used copy of Top Gun or The Breakfast Club online for next to nothing. 
Retail VHS-to-DVD conversion services

Read more