Silicon is one of the most promising anode materials for the next-generation high-energy lithium ion battery (LIB), while sulfur and some other lithium-free materials have recently shown high promise as cathode materials. To make a full battery out of them, either the cathode or the anode needs to be prelithiated. Here, we present a method for prelithiating a silicon nanowire (SiNW) anode by a facile self-discharge mechanism. Through a time dependence study, we found that 20 min of prelithiation loads ∼50% of the full capacity into the SiNWs. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) studies show that the nanostructure of SiNWs is maintained after prelithiation. We constructed a full battery using our prelithiated SiNW anode with a sulfur cathode. Our work provides a protocol for pairing lithium-free electrodes to make the next-generation high-energy LIB. © 2011 American Chemical Society.