How To Replace Motherboard CMOS Battery

Dear Computer Lady,

How do I safely remove the memory battery from a motherboard?

I took apart 2 junk computers and the tab that covers the battery broke when I removed it both times.

Is there a safe way to take out a dead memory battery and install a new one? I’ve got a 386 PC that I suspect needs a new memory battery.

Sincerely, Bruce


Dear Bruce,

There are several different types of CMOS battery sockets in use on motherboards today, and each of them works a little bit differently.

If there is a clip that covers most of the battery, you need to pop up one edge of the battery and then slide it out sideways.

A good way to find your type of battery socket, and learn how to remove the battery is to go to Google, click on “Images” in the black bar at the top, then search for “Motherboard battery replacement”. You will find lots of illustrations, one of which will probably help you with your replacement.

If that doesn’t help, you can always go to and ask this question on their hardware list, PCBUILD.


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