How To Assess Your Battery’s Health On Windows

On any laptop or portable PC device, after a while of regular usage (especially the kind that produces a lot of heat or exhausts your battery extensively), your battery is bound to degrade or lose its battery life. After a particular number of recharge cycles estimated to be the battery’s total lifetime, your battery may give out. Besides keeping manual track of how long your battery lasts you between recharges, generating a detailed battery report can help you in keeping track of your battery’s health and assessing if or when a replacement is needed.

Microsoft’s Windows 10 has incorporated an extensive battery health reporting tool that gives you a wide range of data metrics to thoroughly analyze and judge your battery’s health. Understanding where your battery fares in terms of its battery cycle lengths and overall charge cycles since its manufacture can help you optimize your computer’s battery life and make the requisite adjustments in your usage to ensure that you get the most out of each recharge cycle.

How To Generate A Windows Battery Report: A Step-By-Step Guide

Generating a battery report on your Windows 10 PC is a rather simple task. Before you begin, ensure that your system is running Windows 10 and is up to date. Head into the update settings and apply any pending updates before attempting to generate a battery report. Once you’ve ensured that you’re running the latest version of your Microsoft Windows 10 operating system and have no pending installations or restarts, then close all of your computer’s applications (and save their data) to lighten the immediate battery usage load when generating your report. Your battery gives you a cyclic estimation and uses current forecasts to project usage as well, so it is recommended to close all your applications and lighten your power load prior to generating a report.

Right-clicking on the start button loads up a context menu from where you can run Windows PowerShell or Command Prompt as Admin.

It does not matter how much your battery’s charging state is at when you do this. It is recommended to disconnect it from your AC power adapter so that your laptop or portable PC device is running on its in-house battery instead. After ensuring all of the above stipulated conditions, carry out the following procedure:

  1. Enter the command prompt by pressing the Windows key and the “X” key simultaneously and then clicking on “Command Prompt (Admin)” or “Windows Powershell (Admin).” Based upon the version of Windows 10 that you are running, you may see on or the other. You can also access either by clicking on the search bar at the bottom left of your screen and typing in “Command Prompt” or “cmd” or “Windows Powershell.” Whichever you choose to use, right click it’s icon and click on “Run as administrator.”
    Windows PowerShell terminal interface in Windows 10.
  2. Once your Command Prompt or Windows Powershell terminal loads up, type in the following command: “powercfg /batteryreport” without the quotation marks. To avoid any spelling or syntax error, you can copy the text directly from this article and press Ctrl + V in your terminal to paste it. Hit enter.
  3. After hitting enter on the above command, your system will take a moment and automatically generate an HTML report file in your user’s directory which can be found at: “C:\WINDOWS\system32\battery-report.html” or at “C:\Users\[Your Username]” based on your computer’s base preference settings.
  4. Head into the above directories and click on the HTML file visible there. It will be titled “battery-report.html.” Double click on this file. It will automatically launch in your default web browser.

How To Interpret Your Windows Generated Battery Report: What It Tells You

The Windows Generated Battery Report front page. This shows details of your system. They have been blacked out in this screenshot for security reasons.

Once you load up your system’s auto-generated battery report, you will see that it is an extensive document with numerous sections and various metrics. Here we’ll give you a run down of what to expect and what it means:

  • At the very top of your battery report, you’ll see basic information about your system which includes details about the device you’re using such as it’s product name and model number as well as details about your BIOS and OS build. A report issue time will also be stated.
  • Below this you will find information about the battery you have installed. If you have multiple batteries, they will all be visible here, stipulating their manufacturer, type, and design / full charge capacity.
    This shows data of recent usage over the past three days.
  • The Recent Usage section will give you an overview both in numerical and graphical data of your battery usage over the last 3 days. This includes your usage time, your AC adapter plug in charging time, and your idle time. It will give your battery percentages at random time intervals as well as the amount of power you drained from your battery in mWh.
  • Underneath this section, you will find an overall history section of your battery’s use that will detail your battery’s duration and AC duration since the installation of your operating system. If your device previously operated on a version of Windows earlier than Windows 10, the starting point of this battery history will date back to when you upgraded it to Windows 10. If your laptop device has been operation on Windows 10 from the date of its
    The recent usage data of the past three days is represented graphically here.

    manufacture, then you will get a complete since manufacture data outline of your battery’s health. This data table summarizes your battery and AC usage in week-long intervals since that start date till your report generation date. In the week leading up to your report generation date, the data is broken down into daily parameters instead of weekly ones.

  • A similar table of your battery’s history in terms of its full charge and design capacities will be found right below this, once again in week-long intervals since the start of your Windows 10 installation with daily intervals in the week leading up to your report generation date.
    This shows your system’s current estimate of your battery life.
  • Next, you will see your battery life estimates at full charge and at design capacity in terms of active hours. You will notice that your active hours capacity has dropped over the numerous weeks of your usage which is characteristic of any mobile battery when put through extensive use.
  • Lastly you will find a current estimate of your battery life based on all of the historical data observed by your system since the date of your Windows 10 installation till the date of your battery health report generation. This estimate is based on your average usage over the entire period of your laptop’s Windows 10 life with weightage given to recent usage hours to give you a more accurate prediction as per your current PC drainage.

Final Thoughts

Windows 10 offers a helpful battery report generation tool that continues to collect data in the background on your battery usage, drainage, health, AC time, and active time without you realizing. When needed, the feature generates an extensive battery report to give you the complete rundown of your battery’s health. This feature is particularly useful and can help you both estimate where your battery currently stands in terms of its health as compared to its initial capacity from the Windows 10 installation date. You can also keep this figure in mind to optimize your power economy and screen off time modes to extend your computer’s battery life. If the battery life falls below 3 hours, it may be cause for concern and may warrant a battery replacement unless you intend to regularly keep your AC adapter plugged in while in use.

To prolong your battery’s health, from a technical standpoint, for LiON batteries, it is recommended to charge your battery when it’s percentage level falls below 10% and charge it until it reaches at least 90% if not 100% to keep all of your battery’s cells engaged. Charging it at random percentage points such as 50% or 40% prevent the battery cells below that level of “juice” from being activated in the charge-discharge cycle, causing them to die out. Those cells essentially become useless and your battery health caps off to the amount of actively in use cells you have, thereby drastically reducing your system’s battery life.


Alyssa Arford

Alyssa Arford is an aspiring Electrical & Electronics Engineer with a vested interest in the innovation and design of computer hardware. Her passion for understanding the nitty gritty of how hardware components come together and playing around with the potential of silicon devices puts her in a position to confidently discuss emerging technologies and their implications in advanced computing.