How to charge a laptop


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How to charge a laptop

A power cable plugged into the side of a laptop computer

What's coming up

One of the main differences between laptops and desktop computers is that laptops have a battery inside.

How long the battery lasts depends on the laptop and what you do on the laptop, but you can generally expect two to ten hours from a fully charged battery. After that, you'll have to plug the laptop into mains power to recharge it.

In this activity we're going to look at when to recharge a latop battery, and how to recharge it.

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How to check the battery charge

As you're using the laptop computer you should see a battery symbol on the top or bottom right of the screen. It's shaped like a battery, and the more 'full' it appears, the more battery charge it has. If you click on it, it might show the charge level as a percentage.

If the charge is a third or less, it's time to recharge. If the battery charge level reaches zero, the laptop will shut down.

A laptop computer with the battery symbol highlighted and enlarged
A laptop computer plugged into the mains electricity to recharge its battery

How to recharge a laptop computer

All laptop computers come with a power cable. To recharge the laptop, connect the power cable to a mains power wall socket, and the other end into the power plug on the laptop.

You can continue to use your laptop while the battery is charging. You can also turn off your laptop, and the battery will keep charging as long as the laptop is plugged into the mains power.

How to know when the battery is charged

As the battery charges, the battery symbol will fill up. If you click the battery symbol on the screen and it says it's 100%, then the battery is fully charged and you can unplug the laptop from the mains power.

A full battery symbol highlighted on a laptop computer

Leading the charge

If the battery symbol is half full, what does that mean?

I urgently need to recharge

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That's not right, sorry. It means you have about half of your battery power remaining.

My battery is at about 50%

Click to flip


That's right! You've probably still got a few hours before a recharge is needed.


Well done, you've reached the end of the How to charge a laptop activity.

You should now know how to charge a battery. Just like a phone or any battery-powered device, you'll have to occasionally plug a laptop in to keep its power level topped up. The higher the charge, the more time you have to use the laptop before it has to be plugged in again.

If you have registered and are logged in to the Be Connected website, you'll now be able to take a short quiz to finish the What is a laptop? course. If you're not registered, you are now at the end of the course.

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