Batteries store electrical charge to power our electronics when they are not plugged into a socket. They are an essential component of any electronic device, especially if the device is designed to be portable, like cell phones and laptops.
However, like every degradable item, batteries have a certain life. They are bound to lose their charge as well as their ability to recharge, even if they are not being used at all.
Wondering whether your laptop’s battery will last the weekend away? Better to check its health and current storage capacity beforehand, rather than being sorry later.
In the Windows operating system, you can generate an HTML report that shows you your battery’s condition and how much charge it will hold. It will also give you an estimate of the time the battery will power your laptop when at full charge.
In this article, we are going to show you how to generate a battery health report running the Windows OS without the use of third-party tools, and then guide you through the detailed report and how to read it.
Table of contents
What Causes Battery Degradation
There isn’t a single battery on Earth designed to last forever. At some point in time, even after decades, they still need to be replaced as they cannot hold a charge anymore.
Battery degradation occurs due to multiple factors.
- Battery age – Batteries age like all living things. They may last a little longer, but eventually, they die too. If your device is older, then it might need a new battery.
- Charge cycles – Every rechargeable battery can handle a limited amount of charge cycles. When it has been charged and discharged many times, it will eventually lose its charge-holding potential.
- Always charging – If your laptop is always plugged in, this will also reduce the battery’s lifespan and eventually affect its charge-holding capacity.
- Physical damage – Physical dents or water damage to the batteries can also decrease their lifespan.
- Improper charging power – If your laptop is being charged below or above the rated voltage, it will likely damage the battery over time.
- Overconsumption of power – If your hardware is sucking up too much power too quickly, it will shorten the lifespan of the battery as it is not designed to dissipate above the rated power.
The takeaway from these points is that regardless of your laptop usage behavior, its battery will eventually need to be replaced because of the aging factor.
Let us now show you how to generate a battery report to check its health.
How to Generate Battery Report in Windows
Here are the steps to generate and open a battery report on a Windows laptop:
Launch the Command Prompt with elevated privileges.
Run the following cmdlet:
Now navigate to the following location using File Explorer:
Open the HTML file named “battery-report” in any web browser.
You will now see the detailed battery report translated from an HTML file.
Continue down to the next section to learn to read the battery report file.
Understanding the Battery Report
At the top of the battery report, you will see your device’s details, as well as the battery’s details. It will include the manufacturer name, its model number, its design capacity, and its actual (current) full charge capacity.
As you move down the battery report, you will find the “Recent Usage” section and the “Battery usage” section.
The Recent Usage section contains a table informing you of the past battery usage pattern, which includes the battery capacity percentage and the remaining capacity in milliwatt hours (mWh).
Whereas the Battery Usage section will give the battery usage pattern in a graphical format.
Under this, you’ll also find the “Usage history” section. This contains information on general computer usage and how long it has been active.
If you scroll down further, the next section is the “Battery capacity history.” As the name suggests, this section illustrates the design and the actual battery capacity at different points in the past.
The design capacity is the actual maximum capacity for which the battery was manufactured. This is the battery capacity at the start of when the computer was manufactured. The Full Charge Capacity column is the real capacity of the battery which it can hold.
As you can see in the image above, my laptop’s battery was designed to store nearly 64,000 mWh of charge, whereas now it can barely store 19,000 mWh of charge. This shows that the battery capacity, or battery health, is now less than one-third of what it should be.
The last section in the battery report is the “Battery life estimate.” This section shows what the battery timing would be if the battery health was at its fullest, and what it actually is now.
At the end of the table in the “Battery life estimate” section, you will see the row labeled “Since OS install.” These are the values you should focus on.
As you may see in the image below, the Active duration at Full Charge is estimated to be almost 1 hour and 20 minutes, whereas the active duration at Design Capacity should be greater than four and a half hours.
These values, again, show that the battery health has deteriorated by two-thirds, which matches the kWh values we saw in the “Battery capacity history” section.
The native method to check the battery health in the Windows operating system is sufficient to get an idea of where your battery stands. This way, you can plan ahead and order a new battery from the manufacturer if needed to fulfill your on-the-go laptop requirements.
That said, the values given in the battery report aren’t always accurate, since the battery backup timing may vary depending on your usage. Nonetheless, this information is still sufficient to check your battery health.