Windows – do Windows laptops auto-shutdown at 5% battery and not 0%?


Why do laptops shut down when their battery is almost empty? I'm basing my facts on Windows machines, but they always seem incapable of going past 5% without shutting down.

(Because smartphones on the other hand, seem to be able to go the whole way to 0% before shutting down. Most of them seem to still have a small amount of "reserve" power at the declared "0%" value. I guess that it rounds down, so ~0.4% would be 0%. I'm pretty sure iOS does the same as well.)

So, Why do laptops (especially on Windows) shut down on 5% and don't run until they die by default? Is there a factual reason for this? For example, do laptops have a sufficiently complex shutdown process (in which the system can lack the ability to do so if the battery power is too low)?

Best Answer

It is a default setting in the OS.

In Windows, you can change that in the settings, there are three thresholds - the first to give you an initial warning, the second to issue a final warning, and the third to sleep or shut down the computer.

For all three of them, you can set what is supposed to happen, and if you like, you can set the shutdown to 0%, or set it to do nothing; that way, the computer will run until it dies.

It is not recommendable though, as most OS installations have a chance to be wrecked by a sudden power loss. I have mine set at 1%, though, and that works fine; but YMMV.