Swollen Laptop Battery: A Dangerous Sign You Should Not Ignore


What are the risks and implications of using a laptop with a swollen battery?

I have noticed a slight bulge on one side of my laptop battery, which I discovered when I opened the laptop to clean the fan. The swelling is about 1 or 2 mm in size. Is this a normal phenomenon or a sign of a serious problem? Should I stop using the laptop and replace the battery as soon as possible? What are the potential causes and consequences of a swollen battery?


A swollen battery is a sign of a faulty or damaged lithium-ion battery, which is the most common type of battery used in laptops. A swollen battery can pose a serious risk of fire or explosion, as well as damage the laptop’s chassis, keyboard, touchpad, or display. Therefore, it is advisable to stop using the laptop and replace the battery as soon as possible.

A lithium-ion battery consists of positive and negative electrodes separated by an electrolyte, which allows the flow of electric current. When the battery is charged or discharged, the electrodes undergo chemical reactions that generate heat and gas. Normally, the battery has a venting mechanism that releases the excess gas and prevents the battery from overheating. However, if the battery is overcharged, overheated, aged, defective, or physically damaged, the venting mechanism can fail and the gas can accumulate inside the battery, causing it to swell and deform.

The swelling of the battery can have several negative consequences for the laptop and the user. First, the swelling can reduce the battery’s capacity and performance, leading to shorter runtimes and frequent charging. Second, the swelling can exert pressure on the laptop’s components, causing them to warp, crack, or break. This can affect the laptop’s functionality, appearance, and durability. Third, the swelling can increase the risk of a thermal runaway, which is a chain reaction of rapid and uncontrollable heating that can result in a fire or an explosion. This can cause severe damage to the laptop, as well as injury or harm to the user or the surroundings.

To prevent or minimize the risk of a swollen battery, it is recommended to follow some best practices for battery care and maintenance. These include:

  • Using a quality charger that is compatible with the laptop’s specifications and voltage.
  • Avoiding overcharging the battery or leaving it plugged in for too long.
  • Keeping the battery cool and away from direct sunlight, heat sources, or extreme temperatures.
  • Replacing old or worn-out batteries with new ones from reputable manufacturers or authorized dealers.
  • Disposing of the swollen or damaged batteries at an authorized recycling center or according to local regulations.
  • If

you notice any signs of a swollen battery, such as a bulge, a crack, a leak, or a hissing sound, you should immediately stop using the laptop and turn it off. Do not attempt to remove the battery yourself, as this can be dangerous and may cause further damage. Instead, contact the laptop’s manufacturer, warranty provider, or a trusted PC repair shop, and let them handle the battery removal and replacement. Do not use or charge the laptop until the battery is replaced. Store the laptop in a fireproof container or a safe location until you can dispose of it properly. By following these steps, you can protect yourself and your laptop from the hazards of a swollen battery.

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