Laptop batteries normally offer a predetermined number of charging cycles and are continuously losing a minute portion of their charge. As a lithium-ion battery sits unused inside a computer, running off the AC adaptor, the computer heats up. The hotter it gets the more quickly the battery discharges. If the battery remains inside the laptop while constantly running off AC power, it is in a constant state of charging and discharging, needlessly eating up precious charges. It may be possible to recondition the battery and gain more charging power.
Unplug the AC adaptor from the computer. Run your Dell laptop on battery power solely. Let the battery drain completely until the computer turns itself off.
Keep your Dell laptop turned off for 10 to 15 minutes. Do not connect the laptop to AC power during this time.
Turn your Dell laptop back on using the power button. Do not connect the laptop to AC power still. Allow the computer to turn itself off again, which should take less than 10 minutes, at which point the battery will be fully discharged.
Plug your Dell laptop back into AC power, with the battery still inside the computer. Charge the battery until the battery indicator in the System Tray--in the lower right hand corner of the computer's display screen--shows it is fully charged. Charge the battery for an additional 30 minutes after the indicator shows it's fully charged.
Repeat the entire process three more times--possibly taking several days--at which time the Dell laptop battery will be completely reconditioned.
Download a laptop battery monitoring software application to keep track of your battery's charging and discharging cycles and overall performance (there is one in the Resource section). Double-click the application icon once downloaded to launch the installer. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the install.
Recondition at night to allow plenty of time and to avoid interrupting the process. Once a battery has been reconditioned, allow the computer's battery to discharge fully each time before charging it again. Otherwise, reconditioning may have to be repeated every two to four months. If the battery is not being used, keep it in a cool place. Laptop computer manufacturers recommend that batteries are kept cool--around 15.6 degrees Celsius--to prevent premature discharging.
Never attempt to cool a laptop battery by placing it in the refrigerator or freezer. This can damage the battery.