Should You Leave Your Battery In Your Drone? [Expert Tips]

Drones are all the rage nowadays. They are fun to fly and make for an awesome camera kit as well. You’ve probably seen those amazing drone shots on YouTube or Instagram and purchased one for yourself. Good drones do not come cheap. So, naturally, you want them to last as long as they can. This is why new drone owners often ask is it OK to leave the battery in a drone?

If your drone has an auto-discharge feature, then you can keep the battery inside fully charged without a worry. But, if it doesn’t, then all that stored charge will mess up the chemical integrity of the battery and ruin it.

In this article, we will do an in-depth discussion on what happens when you keep the batteries inside the drone and how you can properly store them. So, without further ado, let’s get to it.

Can You Leave The Drone Battery Inside The Drone?

If you have just bought yourself a brand-new drone, then you probably want to know some proper maintenance tips. The battery is the first thing you should think about. It is one of the most important parts of your drone.

Of course, there are the motors and the blades, along with the built-in camera. But a drone with a dead battery will not be of much use, would it? To ensure that your battery lasts as long as it should, you should store it properly.

The good thing is that most quality drone manufacturers will tell you how to properly store your drone. It should be written pretty clearly in the manual. But what are the best practices when it comes to drone battery storage? Is it OK to leave the battery in a drone?

Well, yes and no. Some drones do have auto-discharge features. This means that if you store a fully charged battery inside a drone and do not use it, the battery will automatically discharge.

You can keep the battery inside the drone but only if you are sure that your drone has this discharge feature. It will protect the battery from getting bricked.

Otherwise, it is not advisable to keep your drone battery inside fully charged if you are not going to use it.

Why Storing Your Battery In A Drone Is Not Recommended?

Modern batteries are made from battery cells. You can think of them as many small batteries coming together to make a single large one. And these cells have a limited lifespan. No matter how advanced and high-quality a battery is, it will eventually lose its charging capacity.

To ensure that they keep working perfectly for longer, you need to keep them working. Regular use is the best way to do it. And if you are storing the battery inside your drone and now using it, that is a big no-no.

Heat is another enemy of batteries in general. If you keep your drone in a hot place with the battery inside, there can be problems too! So, with that being said, how should you store your drone batteries?

Proper Drone Battery Storage Practices: Making Your Drone Battery Last Longer

Alright, here is the deal. Keeping the battery of your drone in tip-top shape for longer is simple. You do not need some crazy ritual or tool to prolong its lifespan. There are just a few simple things you need to keep in mind.

In this section, we will tell you all you need to know about proper drone battery storage. We divided this bit into two parts – short-term storage and long-term storage. Let’s get started.

Short-term Drone Battery Storage

Although we advised you against storing your battery inside the drone, there are a few exceptions. If you plan to use it within 24 – 48 hours, this is fine. You should not store the battery inside the drone if you plan to keep it for longer than 48 hours.

Storing your battery fully charged for long periods is also bad for it. As a general rule of thumb, try to avoid storing your battery fully charged for longer than 48 hours.

In some cases, life just happens. And you fully charged your battery to take your drone for a spin, but something came up. Well in that case, if your battery went for over 48 hours on a full charge, you need to discharge it.

There is a simple way you can do this. Just hover it down to about 40-50% and you are all set. The 40 – 50% charge level is important here actually. This is a safe percentage to store your batteries at.

Long-term Drone Battery Storage

When it comes to long-term battery storage, the 40 – 50% charge mark is a sweet spot. Just as we mentioned previously, you want to avoid storing it fully charged. But also, you certainly do not want it to go below 20%.

In some cases, if you keep your battery charge at 20% for days, then it might discharge to the point where it plain fails to charge back up. Some advanced chargers have a hibernate function. This is an easy way to store the batteries safely.

Drone Battery Charging And Maintenance Tips

Before wrapping up, we wanted to share some expert tips on how to charge and maintain your drone battery for the longest battery health.

Do not worry, we will not get extremely technical here. These tips are very easy to follow. Think of these as common best practices.

Keep Away From Extreme Heat

We cannot stress this enough. Heat is not your batteries’ friend. They cause it to deteriorate faster. If your manual came with a temperature table, then follow it. Manufacturers will often tell you what the safe temperatures are for your particular model. Follow that since it makes it a lot easier.

Charging Before And After Your Flight

Ideally, you want to charge your battery right before a flight. Now, the thing is batteries do not charge instantly. That would have been awesome, wouldn’t it? What can you do for them? A simple solution is to plan.

If in the morning you know you will have some time to fly your drone during the afternoon, charge it in the morning of the same day. By evening, your drone battery should be fully charged.

Having something like a flight checklist can help as well. Plan out your flights and charging schedules accordingly.

You’ve ended your session with some really cool flight footage. However, do not ever let the percentage drop to zero.  It can be really damaging for the battery. Additionally, you shouldn’t charge it right away after a flight.

When you are using your drone, it will warm up the battery. So, let it cool down for a bit. Charge them after they are cool. And if you are not planning to fly it the next day, the charge is 40–50 % only. Since these are the safe temperatures.

Use First Party Accessories

 Nothing kills a drone battery faster than a faulty charger. Batteries are made to different specifications. And if your accessories and chargers do not conform to those specs, they will damage the battery.

It is always best to use the charger that came with your drone. Use the first party and genuine parts to ensure that everything behaves well with each other.

Make Safety A Priority

Lastly, do not ever overlook safety. It is not worth it. Faulty batteries can be very dangerous. It is important to check for swells or any other signs of damage every now and then. If your battery is swollen, you will easily notice it.

It will be very visible. Dispose of a swollen battery the proper way and just get a new one. It is better to be safe than sorry.

Wrapping Up

Now that you know Is it OK to leave the battery in a drone or not, hopefully, your drone batteries will live a long life. You can read our other articles for more expert advice and everything related to drones.

The Author

Dr Andrew Stapleton is a writer and YouTuber with a PhD in science. His drone footage has been featured on TV and he has written and/or produced videos for Science Alert, COSMOS magazine, and Australia's Science Channel among others. He has been a drone pilot for many years and has flown many types of drones. His favourite is still the DJI Mavic Air for the portability and functionality packed into a small and portable drone!