Is it Better to Have a Laptop Plugged In or On Battery?

Arguably the best part about a laptop is the fact that you can use it on the go by relying on its battery or simply at home or in the office by plugging it into a power outlet much like how you would use a desktop computer. But you might be wondering which between the two instances is better for your laptop. Is it better to have a laptop plugged in or on battery power?

Either plugged in or on battery power are good options for a laptop. Keeping it plugged in will be good for extended sessions of using the laptop while using it on the battery is good for when you are on the go. If you are on battery, keep your power adapter handy at all times to charge it when it goes low.

The question of whether or not it is better for you to be using a laptop plugged in or on battery power is more of a matter of the person’s situation and preference because each case has its own pros and cons. That’s why you need to learn more about what happens when you use your laptop either plugged in or on battery.

MacBook Computer charging during the night side view

Pros and cons of using your laptop plugged in


  • Your laptop will never lose power while you are keeping it plugged in because it will always have a constant source of power coming from the power outlet, which runs power through the charger.
  • Some laptops have automatic settings that will allow the laptop to perform at its peak level when it is plugged in. You would have to tinker with the power settings while you are on the battery to allow the laptop to work faster.
  • You will be able to have your laptop perform at peak performance when you are plugged in the entire time. This will allow you to play games at the maximum level of performance for an indefinite period because you don’t have to worry about your laptop losing plenty of battery power.
  • Laptops that are plugged in are not in danger of losing valuable progress or data when the battery empties out or is at a critically low level.
  • You can preserve battery health by removing the battery from your laptop while it is plugged in the entire time. However, this only applies to laptops with batteries that can be removed.


  • Battery health can be an issue here because keeping your laptop plugged in all the time while your battery is in your laptop can damage the battery and cause it to deteriorate faster.
  • There are some instances where excess heat can be produced when your laptop’s battery is already at full power and your laptop is now running on an external power source. The heat can end up damaging your laptop or slow your processes down.
  • Laptops that are running only on an external power source such as the charger while the battery is removed are susceptible to progress and data loss when the power goes out or if someone trips over the power adapter and causes it to disconnect from the laptop.
Laptop charging in cafe

Pros and cons of using your laptop on battery


  • You will be saving energy this way because you won’t be relying on an external power source to power your laptop throughout an entire session.
  • Laptops that are running on the battery are more portable and more convenient to use than laptops that rely heavily on an external power source. That’s because you can basically carry the laptop around wherever you go.
  • You are not in danger of losing progress or data if you have the battery plugged in and the power suddenly goes out.
  • If you have a laptop with a removable battery and you have a spare battery with you, you can basically swap out the other battery with the fresh one if the other battery is close to emptying out.
  • Laptops that run on battery power and are using power-saving modes allow the laptop to run cooler, which will help increase the laptop’s overall longevity.


  • Unless you don’t have a power adapter or a separate battery with you, you are basically running on limited time if you are using your laptop only on battery. The operational time can also shorten if you are not using a power-saving mode, which will naturally force your laptop to run slower than usual to save power.
  • Some laptops have an automatic power-saving function that actually forces the computer to run slower than it is capable of when it is using battery power only. Of course, the same mode will also dim the laptop screen. Basically, your performance will be affected when you are relying on a laptop in power-saving mode.
  • Always relying on a laptop’s battery and then recharging it over and over again can be detrimental to the battery’s health as it will allow it to deteriorate faster over time.
  • There is a risk of emptying out your battery, which is actually going to affect the battery’s overall health.
thinkpad laptop on wood table with lenovo logo

Which is better for a laptop? Plugged in or on battery?

Now that you know the different pros and cons regarding the two cases, which between keeping your laptop plugged in or using it only on the battery is better for you?

In our own opinion, it’s a case-to-case basis that also relies on the person’s situation and preferences. And there are also different ways for you to cancel out the various weaknesses that each case may have.

So, for example, people who are always at home or in the office will probably prefer keeping their laptops plugged in the entire time. But doing so can end up damaging the battery. In such a case, it would be best if you could probably switch between plugged in mode and battery mode from time to time to make sure that you don’t end up damaging the battery.

Another case is when you are always on the go as those who hardly stay in one place should be able to see more reasons to keep their laptop on battery power than keeping it plugged in. However, the best way for them to be able to maximize their battery’s life is to make sure that they have a charger or a spare battery handy in case the laptop’s battery is nearing empty. In short, you are able to cancel out a disadvantage in such an instance.

That said, those who are using their laptops heavily should learn to rely on a good mix of keeping it plugged in and using it on its battery because there are different advantages and disadvantages in both cases. And, in many ways, it actually is just a personal preference that relies heavily on certain situations that require using either the charger or the battery.


I'm Rob, the founder of I’m a Marine Corps vet with a master’s degree in Information Systems and have been working in the technology field for over a decade.

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