Run the Battery Down

Whenever you get a new toy powered by a rechargeable battery, such as a laptop, cell phone, iPod, digital camera, etc., before you plug it into the wall or recharge it for the first time, make sure you run the battery all the way down first (to the point where it shuts itself off). Once the battery is completely drained, recharge it for at least 12 hours without using it. The reason for this is because the battery will hold a charge significantly better than if you do not do this.

Some devices come with a battery which has already been discharged completely prior to the charge you receive in the product, but just to be safe, it’s best to run it all the way down. I’m not sure of the exact reason why, but I can attest to the effectiveness of this method with my own cell phone. I have owned four and the one I did not do this on, the battery was completely useless (6 hour standby life) after about 4 months.


  1. I commented on this elsewhere, but rechargable battery packs should NEVER be drained to the point of being right dead. Not every cell will reach a dead status before the rest and this can cause live cells to flow current in the reverse direction of dead cells causing permanent damage.

    When I flew RC models, I had a special charger/discharger that would discharge 1.2V cells to 1.1V, so a 4.8V receiver pack was dicharged to 4.4V and a 9.6V transmitter pack to 8.8V. Using this method, when I sold my equipment some 4 years later, the batteries were still performing above their rated capacities.

    Now that was for NiCads which were notorious for developing a memory, but it should be noted that you cannot apply one technique to every type of battery out there. Since there are different methods of construction, they also need different methods of charge/discharge cycles. The most important being what voltage is a battery considered dead? 0V is not dead, it’s garbage.

  2. this method allows your battery to ‘learn’ how much electrical charge it can hold. Without this important treatment, you won’t be getting the potential out of your battery’s life span. Also, ensure that when you charge your battery, it reaches 100 percent.

  3. Minnie Flanders says:

    how do you run it down? just leaving the laptop on unplugged?

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