Swollen Laptop Batteries?

Swollen Laptop Batteries?

  • March 5, 2021
  • by Columbia Forest Products

If you’ve ever had a laptop case expand, a trackpad malfunction, or a phone screen popping out, your device may be suffering from a swollen battery. Many devices use lithium-ion batteries, which can swell for a variety of reasons such as age, manufacturing issues, continuous charging over time (always plugged in), or if the wrong power charger is used. 

A swollen battery can present risks and impact performance of your computer, so it is important to take caution and note that swollen batteries cannot be fixed or healed – just recycled and replaced.

Is my battery swollen?

To identify a swollen battery, you need to inspect the outside of your laptop. As batteries swell, they expand and push other components out of the way. Oftentimes a display, button, keyboard, or trackpad will be pushed out of alignment.

If any of the below indicators are present, your battery may be swollen:

  • Touchpad or keyboard lifting or not working properly.
  • System rocking when placed on an even surface.
  • Uneven seams where case parts meeting (enclosure splitting).

What should I do if I have a swollen battery?

If you notice any of these symptoms, do not ignore them. Even if your device still works, the battery must be replaced immediately. Using the device or leaving it connected to power can pose risks. 

These are some tips on how you should handle a laptop with a swollen battery:

  • Do not charge your device – run the battery down as low as you can.
  • Do not press on the swollen battery (or screen or casing that’s popping up).
  • Power down your device.

If your device has a user-removable battery, you can try to carefully remove it and place it in a container in a safe cool place. If the battery is not removable or if you feel resistance when trying to remove it, stop and contact your authorized laptop manufacturer or service center.

Once the battery has been removed, it needs to be safely disposed of. Do not discard batteries in the trash. Instead, always dispose of batteries — swollen or not — at an authorized battery disposal facility.

How do I avoid a swollen battery?

Batteries are consumable, and no matter how well you take care of them, they will eventually need to be replaced. There is no way of preventing failure (there could be a manufacturer defect, or the battery might be too old), but there are ways to minimize problems and prolong your battery’s life.

  • Do not use incorrect or fake chargers – always get certified and original ones. Cheap chargers may not have the same power output and could damage your battery or device.
  • Do not leave your laptop plugged in all the time. Batteries are meant to be discharged and recharged so you are advised to disconnect your device from time to time and to run it on the battery so that it can perform its function.
  • Keep your device stored in a cool, dry environment. Occasional use in the sun is fine, but do not store your laptop in a hot car or humid environment and try not to block the vents on your laptop.

Again – if you have identified or suspect your laptop has a swollen battery, contact your authorized laptop manufacturer or service center.