Q&A: Is it safe to run a laptop without a battery?

lenovo-thinkpad-t400sQuestion from Tim H.: Hello Rick. I want you to know that I really enjoy reading your tips. You have already helped me and so many others out by offering your excellent free advice on this blog. Thank you!!

I have what is surely an easy question to answer. Simply put, is it safe to run a laptop without a battery installed? I’ve heard conflicting answers and I’d really love to have your opinion on the matter.

Why do I ask? The battery in my Lenovo ThinkPad T400s has gone bad, and I don’t really want to replace it unless I absolutely have to. I plan to use this machine as a “Desktop PC” for the rest of its useful life.

Rick’s answer:  Tim, your laptop will run just fine without a battery installed with nary a problem, but there a few things to consider before you decide to forgo the battery altogether:

1 – A battery can come in handy at times even when a laptop is used as a “Desktop PC”. For example, it can serve as a built-in battery backup/UPS during times of severe power fluctuations (which happen to occur fairly often). Have you ever had the power go out right in the middle of a Windows Update procedure? If so, you know how troublesome that can be.

2 – While your intention is to use your laptop as a “Desktop” PC, you might wish to temporarily move it to another room or take it with you on a trip every now and then. And both are much easier to do if there is a hot battery installed. I always recommend traveling with an older, less valuable laptop that won’t cause a mountain of grief should it get lost, stolen or damaged.

3 – Laptop batteries are relatively cheap these days. As a matter of fact, as of this writing you can purchase a brand new replacement battery for your T400s for less than $30!

So to answer your question, you can indeed run your laptop without a battery for as long as you like, but you might want to consider buying a replacement battery anyway.

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