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This is a discussion on Plugged In, Not Charging within the RAM and Power Supply Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Hi, I recently purchased an ASUS laptop and just noticed when I hover over the battery icon on the task


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Old 10-05-2017, 11:48 AM   #1
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Hi,
I recently purchased an ASUS laptop and just noticed when I hover over the battery icon on the task bar that it says "Plugged in, Not Charging" and it's at 95%. I called ASUS and they said this is "normal", that they have built into some and plan to incorporate into all of their computers this process of not fully charging to 100%. She said if it dips down to about 90%, then it will start charging again. I'm a little annoyed by this but is this a "good" thing? Will this help the battery last longer? Or is it possibly indicative of some issues with their batteries? I know nothing about ASUS or their products so I thought I'd ask the experts. In the meantime, I plan to test the 90% theory by unplugging it from power and then plugging it back in when I get under 90% to see if she's right. Thanks!
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Old 10-05-2017, 01:18 PM   #2
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Hi, they actually have a page on this here https://techinstyle.asus.com/asus-ba...-your-zenbook/ I cannot confirm the statements as fact as I don't have a Asus machine but others do have something similar.
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Old 10-05-2017, 02:14 PM   #3
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Perfect, thank you!
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Old 10-05-2017, 02:16 PM   #4
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You're most welcome.
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Old 10-06-2017, 07:59 AM   #5
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FTR, that article is right, lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries don't like to "sit" at their extremes (0% charge and 100% charge). More precisely, Li-ion batteries never like to drop to 0% but 100% is okay for short periods of time.

The reality is, however, notebook charging systems have treated Li-ion batteries like this all along. When the battery discharges, the notebook automatically goes into hibernation mode BEFORE 0% charge is reached.

And at the top end, you can think about your kitchen oven or home thermostat. For illustrating purposes, if you set the home thermostat to 70F, when the temperature in the house drops to 68F, the thermostat signals the furnace to kick in and warm up the house. But it does not shut off at 70F. Instead, it shuts off at 72F. Then the house slowly cools off and when it dips to 68F again, the cycle starts over.

So with your Li-ion battery, the notebook maker picks some number. It seems ASUS (along with their battery supplier, I assume) picked 90% as the default. When the charge drops below 90%, the charging circuit turns on. It "should" take it up to 100%, then stop charging.

The difference here with ASUS and these notebooks is the "ASUS Battery Health Charging" application is adaptive. It learns how you use your notebook. If you normally run your notebook off the battery for long periods of time, the application will adjust to give maximum run time by not letting it discharge as much before kicking it back up to 100%. If you regularly use your notebook on battery for short periods, it will let the charge drop more before kicking in the charger.

Note because the charging process stops, the warnings in most notebook user manuals to avoid keeping the charger plugged in for days on end ("to extend battery life") is really misleading. I suspect it is really shyster... err... lawyer-speak. If you look at just about any consumer electronics device, there is a warning to unplug when not in use for long periods of time. This is really for the rare event of some catastrophic failure, like your battery or charging circuit deciding to explode and burn down the house.

I have a nearly 8 year old Toshiba notebook with a Li-ion battery that probably has been unplugged for a total of 50 - 60 days over the last 7+ years. That is, I keep it plugged in 24/7. I only unplug it and let it run down once a month or so to keep the battery monitoring circuits in sync (calibrated) with the battery charge rate.
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Old 10-06-2017, 11:18 AM   #6
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Ironically yesterday my ASUS started charging up to 100% and has been there since. I didn't change anything with respect to the charging although I certainly looked around so I don't know if I accidentally did something to cause it to now charge all the way up. I did however change the action the computer takes when I close the lid but don't see how that would cause it to charge up to 100%. I say "ironic" because at first I wanted it up to 100% but then the explanations as to why having it lower made sense. I guess I can always just unplug it for a while.
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Old 10-06-2017, 12:03 PM   #7
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It's nothing to worry over ad as far as I am concerned perfectly normal, my own laptop does a similar dance and works perfectly well.
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Old 10-06-2017, 12:09 PM   #8
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My laptops have always charged to 100% and I rarely use them on battery power except in a few blackouts but I've never had an ASUS before. I unplugged it for a while and in no time it was down to 83%. I guess I can just occasionally drain it a bit like that but if it doesn't hurt to be at 100% then probably not necessary. I've always had Toshiba laptops until I recently bought an Acer and then this ASUS so not really familiar with their differences or weaknesses.
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Old 10-07-2017, 08:01 AM   #9
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Quote:
I've always had Toshiba laptops until I recently bought an Acer and then this ASUS so not really familiar with their differences or weaknesses.
Very few notebook manufacturers actually manufacture the components that go inside their notebooks. Even with ASUS, who is a major OEM motherboard supplier, most of the components on their motherboards come from other suppliers.

And since these notebooks all support the same Windows and the same industry standards for networking, graphics, video, memory management, CPUs, drives, etc. all notebooks are more similar than different - at least within their respective price ranges. Yeah, assembly techniques and design matters, but with each maker having so many models available, you really have to compare model A with model B rather than brand A with Brand B.

As far as your ASUS now charging all the way to 100%, as noted earlier, that battery monitoring app is adaptive depending on how you use your notebook. So maybe it has decided now to charge it all the way up.

In any case, it is a characteristic of Li-ion batteries to drop quite a bit rather rapidly at the beginning of their discharge cycles. But then it is a characteristic for them to hold at or near that point for a very long time, then give up and need to be re-charged again. That is all good because it means those batteries are outputting usable voltages for longer periods during their discharge cycles which makes it easier on the regulator circuits.

Batteries with other chemistries tend to decay at a fairly steady rate. Okay for a flashlight, but no so much for sensitive computer electronics.
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Old 10-08-2017, 11:22 AM   #10
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I am just commenting on you saying: "I rarely use them on battery power except in a few blackouts" and as Bill mentioned earlier it is a good idea to run the battery down without being plugged in at least monthly to stretch the battery and keep it in shape in case you ever do need it. If you run your laptop with the battery plugged in all the time, before long it will no longer hold a charge and should you want to use it you will need to replace it.


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Originally Posted by DebbieDritz View Post
My laptops have always charged to 100% and I rarely use them on battery power except in a few blackouts but I've never had an ASUS before. I unplugged it for a while and in no time it was down to 83%. I guess I can just occasionally drain it a bit like that but if it doesn't hurt to be at 100% then probably not necessary. I've always had Toshiba laptops until I recently bought an Acer and then this ASUS so not really familiar with their differences or weaknesses.
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Old 10-09-2017, 09:27 AM   #11
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If you run your laptop with the battery plugged in all the time, before long it will no longer hold a charge and should you want to use it you will need to replace it.
No! Sorry but this is what I am saying is no longer true - not with Li-ion batteries because they use different chemistries and do not suffer from "memory effect" problems like older battery technologies do.

The main reason to deep discharge/charge cycle a Li-ion battery is to keep it's charge rate calibrated with the battery charge monitoring circuits.

The fact is, the performance of Li-ion batteries decrease as the number charge/discharge cycle increase! This is why many battery manufacturers actually specify the life of Li-ion batteries in terms of the number of discharge/charge cycles. And note too the smaller the discharge, the longer the battery will last. That is, if you don't "deep" discharge the battery, it will last longer.

Heat is the greatest danger to Li-ion battery life. And charging increases heat. Exposing a fully charged Li-ion battery to high temperatures for extended periods is much more harmful than cycling.

See How to Prolong Lithium-based Batteries and note the following (my bold and bold underline added),
Quote:
The question is asked, Should I disconnect my laptop from the power grid when not in use? Under normal circumstances this should not be necessary because charging stops when the Li-ion battery is full. A topping charge is only applied when the battery voltage drops to a certain level. Most users do not remove the AC power, and this practice is safe.
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Old 10-09-2017, 11:25 AM   #12
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Hmmm I never saw that yet I still see laptops in the field all the time where they never ran them on battery and the batteries were dead and they are Li-ion batteries.
Can you show me this in writing from another source?
What I see every day is people who use them mostly on battery where they never wear out and people who leave them plugged in all the time where they wear out quickly. How can this be true? If this is true heavy battery users would be always replacing the battery and in no case among my users is this true.
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Old 10-09-2017, 02:19 PM   #13
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Well, Google is your friend. It really is not hard to find substantiating sources.

Five tips for extending lithium-ion battery life - TechRepublic

One Big Question: Do you really have to drain your battery periodically to keep it conditioned?
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Old 10-09-2017, 06:23 PM   #14
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It would appear in principle you are correct however all the articles mention heat as another issue that limits battery life. I would imagine that for the average laptop user who keeps them 3-5 years nothing would matter unless they are gaming with them and generating more than normal heat. I also imagine it would matter if the users never really shut down the laptop then heat could still be involved in battery life causing batteries to not last as long also. My conclusion for whatever reason if battery lives are limited no matter what your behavior especially if you are using the laptop hard.
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Old 10-09-2017, 07:24 PM   #15
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Quote:
however all the articles mention heat as another issue that limits battery life.
I said above that heat is the greatest danger to battery life.
Quote:
I also imagine it would matter if the users never really shut down the laptop then heat could still be involved in battery life
Not really because when a battery becomes fully charged, charging stops. And unless the user changed the defaults, there would not be a case when the laptop does not shut down (go into hibernation).

If you are using a laptop that hard that it is "never really shut down", then you should be using a PC. Misuse by the user would be an exception to the norm, and exceptions don't make the rule.

And of course, with laptops, they can be carried into hostile environments, like the trunk of a hot car on a sunny day in Phoenix.

It is really important here to note the game changed with Li-ion batteries. With previous technologies and battery chemistries, it was necessary to periodically deep cycle those legacy technology batteries to increase (or not decrease as rapidly) battery life.

Just as Windows 10 is not XP and should not be treated the same way, same with Li-ion batteries. Old habits have to keep up and completely change if necessary. It is up to us to keep up with the changes too.
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Old 10-10-2017, 07:48 AM   #16
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The battery may stop charging fully charged Bill but that doesn't mean the heat stops and plugged in asleep there is still heat generated. I have been reading since you started this that Samsung is working on solid state batteries that have longer life and are less susceptible to heat issues. Also there are sodium batteries again not susceptible to heat in use now is some laptops as well where the life expectancy is little different but gaining in popularity and development so it is thought that will change soon as well.
What I see in the field with dead batteries in many laptops after less than 3 years and plugged in all the time makes me suspect what we are reading is not necessarily fact though there could be other issues such as the fact I see most home users with laptops have a tendency to use them in or near kitchens, and store them there, another possible source of heat for damage and again what I see isn't close to a majority except for my own clientele of course.
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Old 10-10-2017, 12:37 PM   #17
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Quote:
The battery may stop charging fully charged Bill but that doesn't mean the heat stops and plugged in asleep there is still heat generated.
Of course, this is true. That is because the charging circuits in a notebook are part of the power (voltage divider and regulator) circuits used to power the notebook computer. Unless all power is removed completely, at least part of the computer will be in stand-by mode, consuming some power. And since no circuit is 100% efficient, there will always be some power loss due to inefficiency which is seen in the form of heat.

But again, we cannot let exceptions to the rule make the rule. A properly functioning notebook, notebook battery, and charger will NOT create an excessive heat situation - unless you put the notebook in direct sunlight or something equally silly.

As noted by the last line in my signature, "Heat is the bane of all electronics!" This is true for batteries too, regardless the battery chemistry used. Whether Li-ion, alkaline, sealed lead-acid (car or UPS), NiMH, etc. excessive heat is destructive, even more so than extreme cold. A car battery can freeze solid and in most cases no ill-effects occur. This is due in part because the chemical reactions within the battery nearly or completely cease when frozen. But over-reactions can occur in over-heated batteries.

But we are really getting sidetracked and off point here. The point I was making was Li-ion batteries do not require deep cycling. Nor do they need to be disconnected from the power supply/charger. Neither of those actions are required or increase battery life. The only real reason to deep cycle a Li-ion battery is to calibrate it with battery charge monitoring function of the notebook - assuming, of course, nothing is damaged, everything is working properly, and the notebook is used and stored in normal operating environments.
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Old 10-10-2017, 03:49 PM   #18
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I have a nearly 8 year old Toshiba notebook with a Li-ion battery that probably has been unplugged for a total of 50 - 60 days over the last 7+ years. That is, I keep it plugged in 24/7. I only unplug it and let it run down once a month or so to keep the battery monitoring circuits in sync (calibrated) with the battery charge rate.

I'm typing this on the relatively old Gateway NV7921u I've posted about here a few times. It has the factory original battery that came with it. This machine has been 'on' for most of the last three years, day and night. It only gets turned off every few days for cold boots. Before that it sat unpowered for quite some time, can't remember how many months or maybe years. Long story.

If I were to unplug the power cord, that battery indicator would show an hour or two of remaining time and it might make it that long.

There are two LEDs on the front panel, one that indicates the charge cycle. I notice that LED changing from blue (normal) to red every so often. I can only imagine it's some kind of test charge cycle to check the battery and maybe discharge it a bit.

Taskbar icon shows charged 100%.
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Old 10-11-2017, 07:22 AM   #19
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There are two LEDs on the front panel, one that indicates the charge cycle. I notice that LED changing from blue (normal) to red every so often. I can only imagine it's some kind of test charge cycle to check the battery and maybe discharge it a bit.
What kind of times are you talking about? Does it stay on red for just a second or two? Several minutes? Longer?

All batteries will discharge just sitting on the shelf, or in a turned off device. Newer chemistries have long shelf-life, older ones less.

And unless the notebook is completely powered down, it is likely to use some power to keep some stand-by circuits alive. This means there will be a constant, albeit small drain on the battery which will occasionally require the charge to be "topped" off.

It should also be noted that all batteries lose capacities as they age. The battery on my 8 year old Toshiba when new would provide just over 2 1/2 hours of runtime. Today, just under 2 hours. Certainly not great, but not bad either.
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Old 10-11-2017, 08:21 AM   #20
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I have certainly seen what Bill is describing with my own laptops, my present one does a little charge up possibly once in a week, it might be less as I have not been watching it closely since my last one did something similar so it did not raise a concern for me.
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