Help! My Laptop Battery is Swollen. Now What? Heres the Fix

June 19, 2024
Justin Lumiere

Swollen lithium-ion batteries are a common issue in many electronic devices, often resulting from heat and gas build-up due to the degradation of the electrolyte. This can lead to the formation of gas and potential short circuits within the battery.

Causes of Battery Swelling

Several factors can cause a lithium-ion battery to swell. These include overcharging, high temperatures, physical damage, and mishandling of the battery. Overcharging and consistent exposure to high temperatures can accelerate the breakdown of battery components, leading to the formation of gas inside the battery casing.

Swollen MacBook Battery
"Swollen MacBook Battery" by brownpau is licensed under CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/.

Signs of a Swollen Battery

Detecting a swollen battery is essential to prevent further damage to your device. Common signs include the device changing shape, becoming wobbly, showing separation of seams, or having keys that are hard to push. In laptops specifically, a swollen battery might cause the keyboard, trackpad, or back panel to bulge.

Sonos CR100 with swollen battery?
"Sonos CR100 with swollen battery?" by rblock is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/.

Prevention and Maintenance

To prevent battery swelling, it is advisable to avoid keeping devices plugged in all the time and to store them in cool environments. Ensure you buy batteries from reputable manufacturers and replace them if their capacity drops too low. Regularly maintaining your device and using it properly can extend the lifespan of the battery.

Replacing the Battery

In many modern laptops and phones, accessing the battery can be challenging, but some devices allow for self-replacement with the right tools and precautions. Always ensure you are following the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines when replacing a battery yourself.

Disposal of Swollen Batteries

Proper disposal of swollen batteries is crucial to avoid environmental hazards and health risks. Always dispose of them at authorized battery recycling facilities. Many retailers, such as Best Buy or Home Depot, offer battery recycling services. Never dispose of swollen batteries in regular trash, as they pose a risk of fire and explosion.

Summary of Key Points
AspectDetails
Causes of Battery SwellingOvercharging, high temperatures, physical damage, mishandling
Signs of a Swollen BatteryDevice changing shape, becomes wobbly, separation of seams, hard to push keys, bulging keyboard or trackpad in laptops
Prevention and MaintenanceAvoid constant charging, store in cool environments, buy from reputable manufacturers, replace low capacity batteries
Replacing the BatteryFollow manufacturer's instructions, ensure correct tools and precautions
Disposal of Swollen BatteriesDispose at authorized recycling facilities, never in regular trash. Retailers like Best Buy and Home Depot offer recycling services

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