Reviving A Dead Notebook Battery

I started my working life being a support/sysadmin guy with a computing giant in Singapore. Needless to say, spending over three years in such an industry made me learn a few unconventional tips and tricks to rectify common computing problems. One tip I’d like to share here is on reviving a seemingly dead notebook battery.

Before I proceed let me just lay down a few disclaimers here:

  1. If your notebook computer is still under warranty, then by all means get the battery replaced!
  2. There’s no guarantee that this tip will work with your notebook battery; but so far this tip has never failed me
  3. If you have the money and there’s still available stock for your notebook battery, then just buy a replacement unit you cheapskate
  4. I won’t be held responsible for any damages or injuries resulting from following this tip. You have been warned!

OK, now that the above has been made clear, here’s the tip: freeze the battery! Yup, that’s the concept. However, here’s the proper way to do it in easy to read steps:

  1. Remove the battery from the notebook computer
  2. Wrap the battery with old newspaper, making sure that it envelops the battery tightly
  3. Repeat step 2 above with at least three pieces of large sheet newspaper (if you’re using tabloid sized newspaper, then use at least five pieces)
  4. Place the wrapped battery in the freezer compartment of your refrigerator
  5. Let it stay in that cryogenic state for three to seven days

Once your battery has been given the frozen treatment, do not directly plug it into your notebook! Let the battery thaw to normal room temperature within the newspaper wrapping by leaving it in the open for at least half a day (overnight is recommended).

Tear off the newspaper wrapping and touch the battery. Does it feel cool to the touch? If so, then leave it at room temperature for a few more hours. Once it feels just about room temperature, take a piece of tissue and wipe the contact points of the battery just in case there’s some traces of moisture there.

Once this is done, plug it in your notebook computer, plug in the power adapter and leave your notebook in “charging” state. Do not power on the notebook!

Give your battery time to fully charge (this depends on your notebook/battery model). Once you’re 100% confident that the battery is fully charged, say your prayers, cross your fingers and power on your notebook. If all goes well, your battery should be working just fine.

Although I won’t promise that this notebook battery revival method will work for your particular notebook model, it has yet to fail me on a HP, Compaq, Dell and an old IBM ThinkPad… why not just give it a try, what have you got to lose?

If you find the steps above too complicated or risky, why not look for bargain prices for your particular notebook at batteries.com (FREE shipping on select laptop/notebook batteries):

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76 responses to “Reviving A Dead Notebook Battery”.

  1. kimberlycun Says:

    hrmm..i’m gonna give this a try! thanks for the tip. will let u know how it goes

  2. Site Admin Azmeen Says:

    Hope you will kimberlycun!

    More than that, I hope your notebook battery gets well soon :)

  3. Kay Kastum Says:

    Hey. What a tip man. When my Toshiba batteries time has come, I will definitely clear my freezer for battery space.

  4. How to revive your dead laptop battery | Science & Technology | A Rungus Sabahan who is now in Peninsular Malaysia working and playing Says:

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  5. Anna Bermudez Says:

    Hey thanks a billion!!! I had a COMPLETELY DEAD powerbook 1400cs battery (about 12 yrs old), as soon as the ac plug came out it would instantly shut off. Thankfully I tried this and so far after 2 rounds of this I can get over 5 minutes on my battery. Not much, I know but it prove that this method somehow works. It is currently in my freezer again cause I am sure that it will cotinue to get better over time. thanks again!!!

  6. Site Admin Azmeen Says:

    Glad it works for you Anna. Don’t forget to share this tip (and link) with your friends :)

  7. Jotokun Says:

    I’m currently trying this with my powerbook 1400 battery, and am realy excited about getting it working considering someone else here was able to get this working with the same machine. But after throwing it in there, I found a site that said that only a ziplock bag and 15 hours were needed… has anyone had this work with only 15 hours? I need this battery working ASAP, and this is kinda my last resort.

  8. Jotokun Says:

    Disregard my last post… I took it out too early and it dint work, but I tried a similar method where you stick it in a ziplock bag instead of wraping it up in newspaper, and let it sit for 36 hours. I took it out a few hours ago, pluged it in after letting it sit, and…. it works! I cant belive that this would, but I now have a functioning battery? THank you for the idea!

  9. Site Admin Azmeen Says:

    Glad it worked for you Jotokun :)

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  11. laptop battery Says:

    I tested this camera for a client. I didn’t have the light running for more than 15 minutes. The battery lasted approximately 6 hours before recharging. The LCD, however, had a few dead pixels – never saw this before. Tried returning for exchange and had to put up quite a fight. Anyone else seen this? http://www.batteryfast.com

  12. TOM Says:

    But after throwing it in there, I found a site that said that only a ziplock bag and 15 hours were needed… has anyone had this work with only 15 hours? I need this battery working ASAP, and this is kinda my last resort.

  13. matt Says:

    Whats the chemistry behind this? my battery is from a sony vaio, Lithium ion. what happens when you freeze lithium ion? does anyone know. how long does the battery last after freezing? is it as good as new or do you need to freeze it again after every discharge

  14. laptop battery Says:

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  15. Grateful Says:

    All I can say is — THANK YOU for posting this info. I am typing this message from my much-needed laptop whose battery was stone cold dead.

    I placed my battery in a ziplock bag (instead of newspaper), put it in my freezer for approx. 36 hrs., took it out, and let it thaw for about 4 hrs. (It’s blazing hot where I am, so it didn’t take that long to “warm up.”)

    Put it back in my laptop and charged it for about 3hrs. Now, it’s working beautifully! That saved me some
    $80 for a new battery right now!

    THANK YOU! It worked.

  16. RB Says:

    AMAZING!!!

    I just tried it (my external travel baterry had suddenly died and refused to charge no matter what) — and now it works!!

    (I havent seen what the battery life is yet – but i thought i would just post this here since i wanted to say THANKS!)

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  18. Fred Says:

    Let me start by saying I am the most sceptical person on the planet, BUT, heres my story: I have 2x Sony Vaio TX 2′s both about 2 yrs old. One I use regularly, and one in a spare room which is used occasionally. I hid the less used one in a drawer when I went on holiday in March and forgot about it until 3 days ago. I left the battery in the laptop. The laptop would not turn on as the battery was obviously going to be flat so I plugged in the AC adapter and the charge light started flashing as normal. However, after almost 2 days of being plugged in, the charge light was still flashing and when the computer was on, it still showed “0%” charge. I tried charging the battery in the other TX2 but same result. I started scouring the internet for replacement batteries but came across this site I put the dead battery in the freezer for 24-36 hours then defrosting it thoroughly to room temp (I put mine in the hot water cylinder airing cupboard for 3 hours)and started recharging it. I thought I got nothin’ to lose and, well unbelievably, it worked and I have been using the laptop and it has been taking a full (99%) charge! My battery was a Sony VGP-BPS5 Li-ION. Has anyone else tried this and what were the results? I’m not saying it will work for all batteries, as some batteries may be permanently damaged, but it worked for me! A big THANKS for the tip!

  19. Lord Pyrak Says:

    ok, im only 14 yrs old and my dad wont let me tear apart his laptop battery.he almost never used it, but i was on it constantly. one night, it died. its DEAD.absolutly dead. no charge.none. i tried this trick but only for about 15 hrs.
    now, im gonna try it for about a week or so to see if it works.

  20. Theodoro Says:

    i ll try it on my vaio vgn dead baterry , thanks in advance ,

    i hear this “frozzen tip” before but never try it ,

    let s see …:))

  21. ACER BT.T5003.001 Says:

    it’s a good aticle

  22. Tirtha Says:

    Hi…My battery too had died few weeks earlier…and I was about to purchase a replacement when I stumbled upon this site. I gave it a shot…and initially was disappointed to note that after few hours of charging my laptop wont boot up from battery. Even the hp laptop scan indicated that battery needs replacement. I had left my laptop plugged in overnight after shutting it down and guess what did I find in the morning…..the battery is working!!!!! Many thanks to you….!!!

  23. Site Admin Azmeen Says:

    Tirtha: I’m happy the tip worked for you. Perhaps you could Stumble this page too :)

  24. Logan Says:

    I have a D630 Dell Latitude laptop. I have had it for about 2 years now and the battery is dead and wont charge. Its plugged into the wall but if i unplug it; it dies immediatly. I was wondering if anyone had luck using this method on Dell Batteries. I dont want to mess it up but i dont have money to replace the battery anytime soon. Thanks

  25. Vic Says:

    I tried the 15hours freezing time twice on my Dell battery but it didn’t work. I am gonna try the 7days on freezer and will keep you posted here.

  26. Griff Says:

    My battery is only a little over a year old, just past the warranty… well anyway, it can still hold a charge, but only for about 20 minutes.

    With that said, what would be better, charge it up and then freeze it, or run it out before freezing… or somewhere in between?

  27. kamiru84 Says:

    good . will try it when i got a freezer.

  28. Mr.Flood Says:

    So I’ve got this Toshiba Li-Ion Batter which is completely dead, not sure when it happened but it was probably a month or less ago.

    At first i tried it for about 12 hours, but with no result other than a dead battery.

    I gave it a second try for about 2 days, but alas, the battery is still dead, or so it seems. It has been loading for about 3 hours now and it’s stuck on 2%…or so my pc claims. If it was it would at least be on for a min, but the laptop dies instantly if i pull out my power cord, which unfortunately disconnects if i budge it, even if it’s in. (Believe me, i’ve tried everything from re-soldering the wires, clean it with alcohol, even opening my laptop to have a closer look at it. Frustrating)

    So i’m at loss, is there no hope for my battery?

  29. frank esselink Says:

    This is my subject for a schoolproject. We will try this trick with various types of batteries, and all methods. If We get good results here, we will publisch them on internet

  30. SS Says:

    Reviving a dead battery by freezing it was just too good to pass up!, especially since the majority of the comments were positive. I tried it on a Vaio (circa 2002) battery that had been completely dead for some time. I tried it twice (36 hours and 5 days in the freezer, respectively). Each time it began charging but within a couple of hours it indicated 100% and still charging, even though the charge light was off. Having a dead battery in this older unit is no loss since it is always plugged in, but it would have been nice if it could hold some charge.

  31. carcar Says:

    Hi i have a Compaq computer and the battery is totally dead. I was wondering if this method works for Compaq batteries

  32. Silvekk Says:

    I have Acer Travelmate…battery used to have last for about 3, 3:30 min….but now it’s not goin’ over an hour…i want to revive my battery life to a originaly state…is this possible with freezin’ or the “freezin’ stuff” is for dead battery’s??? Thank you very much in advance…. :)

  33. Lingo Says:

    Unfortunately, this method did not work for me, I kept it in the freezer for about 5 days. I will try a period of a couple of months to see if there is any improvement.

  34. nafim Says:

    hey this is interesting. I’m gonna try on my nimh and dslr batteries :) i will post the result .. :p

  35. Uncertain Says:

    Hi all, after reading so much positive testiments of this tips, I’m kinda itchy to test it out. But then, a couple of questions in my head which kept me from rushing to find my “dead” and “abandoned” Sony Vaio’s Li-On battery.

    1. How much is the difference of the duration of the battery before and after the charge?

    2. How long can the battery remain that duration after you’ve “freeze” the battery?

    Your kind replies to the above enquiries are appreciated.

    Cheers.

  36. Arsal Says:

    I’ve done this with a Compal HDL-75 Li-Ion battery, and am going to wait for it overnight since I don’t have that kind of patience.
    What actually comes to mind is whether this article was written for NiCD, NiMH or Li-Ion batteries, since they have radically different chemistries.

  37. used computers Says:

    I tried the 15hours freezing time twice on my Dell battery but it didn’t work. I am gonna try the 7days on freezer and will keep you posted here.

  38. Donald Says:

    Hi
    I’ve already ‘renewed’ some Li-jon laptop batteries, successfully. Generally , when a battery is dead’ the control circuit is good , but only two or three elements result defective, so it’s necessary opening the battery ( this operation is often difficult, because most batteries are sealed) testing any element and replace only the defective ones, with other elements having the same characteristics. This method is a little boring, however the results are successfully. On Ebay wi can find suitable Li-jon elements at a low price.
    In this very day I’ve fixed the battery of my laptop evo n610C , in this way..
    Regards
    Donald

  39. Donald Says:

    Hi
    I’ve to add this very important thing

    Replacing and soldering li-jon elements may be dangerous for explosions , therefore we have to use glasses, in order to protect our eyes!!!!!!!

    Regards
    Donald

  40. laptop ac adapter Says:

    Thanks for sharing this information

  41. rob3rtos Says:

    i have a nokia BL-5C 3.7V Li-ion battery(actually accu) and i let go completely dead yesterday.It wouldnt charge anymore. I have put it in the fridge at 5 degrees above freezing point for 20 hours , and when i put it back in my phone today , it was recharging. Stupid me , i turned on the phone and bam! dead again. Now im going to put it in the freezer at -18 degrees for 72 hours and i will let u guys know if it will work again. Greetz robert.

  42. used laptops Says:

    I did this , by this we can get help that how we can save and utilizes our battery . and i think this is the best way to save your battery for the long time

  43. andrew_ysk Says:

    so does it work for the 2nd time , rob3rtos ?

    did you said bam! means explode ? or just bam bam ?

  44. elmanda Says:

    woww.. great article :) thanks for sharing buddy.. keep posting

  45. laptop battery Says:

    Thank you!

  46. mursyid Says:

    I did all the tips been given here but did not worked…sigh

  47. HeylonNHP Says:

    Well I have this battery from an MSI WIND Netbook that used to last about 5 and a half hours but now only just makes two hours although battery bar says my battery wear is only 4.6% but I don’t get it. The computer is a bit over a year old and out of warranty. So will freezing help?

  48. HeylonNHP Says:

    I’m testing it for 20 hours. I’ll post results.
    It will be freezed at -15 C

  49. sinosells Says:

    his blog article very good, and I find you help me too, I learned a lot Oh, thank

  50. tom Says:

    I put it in the freezer I will post the result :)

  51. David Adi Says:

    The information is very useful, I will take notice. thanks
    http://www-laptopcomputers.com

  52. asp Says:

    I used this trick on my old camcorder battery.

    It only works because the charger refused to charge a 100% discharged battery. Cooling the battery tricks it into thinking the battery has a bit of charge left. The charger will then go ahead and try to charge the battery.

    This will not add any extra life or capacity to the battery. It is just a trick to convince the charger to go ahead and try to charge the battery.

  53. Dell Latitude E6500 batterie Says:

    hp laptop scan indicated that battery needs replacement. I had left my laptop plugged in overnight after shutting it down and guess what did I find in the morning…..the battery is working!!!!! Many thanks to you….!!!

  54. Tony Says:

    Excellent idea. I had a lithium ion battery that I tested it out on. I followed the instructions to the letter and left the battery in the deep freeze for four days and thawed in hot water cylinder overnight. It didn’t work for me however well worth the trial. I hope others have more success

  55. HeylonNHP Says:

    It made my MSI wind netbook lasts 1.5 hours longer (3.5 hours). after about 8 hours in plastic wrap at -15 C. After a bit of cycles it restored to about 4 – 4.5 hours and has stayed that way for over 10 months. The battery is Li-ion.
    This proves that no refreezes are required anytime soon.

  56. Scott Says:

    I hadn’t seen my notebook computer for about four months and needless to say, the battery was dead. When I plugged my notebook in, the battery indicator flashed orange, which indicated the battery was bad.

    Not wanting or affording a new battery, I came across your solution and felt I had nothing to lose. After following your steps, I inserted the battery and plugged it in. The indicator stayed orange, which indicated it was charging.

    About an hour later I went back in and the indicator was flashing again and I removed and reinserted the battery. Since that time, I’ve charged my battery, let it run down, re-charged it and have done that four five times.

    What is interesting is Windows said I had about five minutes of power time remaining and that was about 15 minutes ago. I am watching my notebook and it is finally powering down.

    I can’t say this will work for everyone, but it seems to be working for me. Thanks.

  57. Scott Says:

    Looks like it was the screen saver that came on. Believe it or not, my notebook is still running. WOW! Thanks!

  58. Victoria Says:

    worked for me! the battery was about 4 years old, finally died last month, was going to do w/o since only use my laptop at home – then saw this and decided to give it a try. *very* surprised! thank you!

  59. MJ Says:

    NOTE:
    This method works best for a battery that is otherwise OK but has been discharged such that it won’t recharge anymore – for example if you leave drained battery in a laptop for several months.

    It will not have much effect on a battery that no longer charges because it has gone through too many charge/discharge cycles.

  60. Sandeep Jain Says:

    My one and a half year old Dell laptop battery suddenly went down when it was showing 91% charged. My system was not even recognizing the battery. Dell support prescribed replacement of the battery. I almost placed an order for a new battery, when I came across this article. Instead of wrapping my battery in newspapers, I placed my battery in a zipped polythene bag and put it in the freezer for only 48 hours. After bringing it to normal room temperature I skeptically put it into my laptop and wonder! it worked. Thanks for your article, it saved me a lot of money.

  61. Logo design Says:

    Those were really good tips. I like the way you presented the points. I also have such battery and I would use your tips to revive it.

  62. bharat Says:

    i have a hcl series 38 laptop. from few days i have a message coming ‘consider replacing ur battery’ its 20 months old and still the battery lasts for about 35-40 min after full charge. is my battery dead or going to die soon. should i freeze my battery now or wait until the battery goes completely died.

  63. shaf Says:

    ok just tried this on my toshiba l300 battery which doesnt charge….will post back and see if it comes back to life..

  64. Vitko Says:

    Hi. I think that this is a wonderful article – very positive, especially after you read the comments. :) I got so hyped that my battery was in the freezer after 20 posts :D Will post the results. Battery is from HP DV7-1264

  65. William Says:

    I am follow the tips provided by wrapping 6 layers of newspaper tightly covering the battery and put in the freezer. Temperature about 2 celcius. Will take it out in 4 days time. Will post to all on the results.

  66. Srinivas Says:

    My HP dv6000 battery is not charging anymore after 3 and half-years, i am going to give this trick a try, will post the output.

  67. Nick Says:

    Well, going to try it with my phone battery. hopefully 24 hours should be enough. Will let in on the results!

  68. Nick Says:

    Well, i put the battery in for about 5 hours, took it out. i know i said 24, but i was getting inpatient.IT WORKED with just the 5 hours. my battery was completely cold and now i had 12 hours of full bar battery life, and still going. If this worked for my phone. then it should work for other lithium-ion polymer batteries!

  69. Bateri Laptop | Says:

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  70. Guinness Stout Says:

    My battery was unused for 3 months and failed to charge. Plugged in for 24 hrs still 0%. It’s a replacement batt for IBM Thinkpad R32, Sanyo Cells. Already had 31 cycles and used for more than a yr. I freeze it for 48 hours, wrapped in newspapers. “Thawing” was done by keeping the bundle in a large bag together with a heap of silica gel. The large bag was of course tied up to keep out moisture and the silica gel will maintain the dryness in the bag. The batt charged and performed like it was b4 :)

  71. MussaHamad Says:

    Works Like Magic!!!! thanks alot :))

  72. banreaxe Says:

    This worked for me on an old functioning (barely for 5 mins) battery, get almost over an hour out if it now.

    However on a newer(ish) battery that was abused before I got the laptop, that I then left in sleep mode a few times on battery power for several days, it would still not keep a charge. Just stays at 0%.

    I have another battery at home in the freezer too for an even older laptop that would not hold a charge at all. This will be the tie breaker!

  73. Nodoubrjo Says:

    Gateway laptop, about 4yrs old, my nephew left it on, battery completely dead. Left it in the freezer 3 days. Worked like a charm. Thank you so much. My nephew is overjoyed

  74. Nick Says:

    Still going strong. and it has been a full month!

  75. Wye Yat Onn Says:

    My MSI netbook battery was dead suddenly.
    Tried the freezer method, it really work !
    Thank for posting the Tips !

  76. archie Says:

    Hi author of this post,

    I’m curious if I can use this technique also to my laptop battery that is not DEAD. It’s not DEAD but in the battery display in my desktop’s taskbar, it show a notification saying that my battery needs to be replaced because it is damaged.