As handy as laptops can be while working outside the office, their battery capacities are often depleted faster than you'd like. Here are some tips to give your battery a little extra life.
Windows has a handful of preconfigured power plans that can be used to set power policy. Power plans can be changed in the 'Power Options' section of the Control Panel.
Windows 8: Right-click the Start button > Select Control Panel > Select Hardware and Sound > Select Power Options
Windows 7: Click the Start Button > Select Control Panel > Select Hardware and Sound > Select Power Options
Selecting the Power Saver plan is a quick way to optimize your system to save energy.
- Balanced (default) – balances energy and performance
- Power saver – reduces power consumption by reducing performance
- High performance – maximizes performance at the expense of energy consumption
Each of these plans can be reconfigured by selecting Change plan settings, which exposes a variety of customizable power options.
Reduce Display Brightness
The display is one of a computer’s most power hungry components. Reducing the brightness of your display will do a lot to extend your battery’s charge. To adjust brightness on the fly, use the function (Fn) key with the brightness keys as shown below.
Disable Wireless Communications
WiFi and Bluetooth devices don’t only use power when connected, but can also use power while enabled and searching for connections. Enable the airplane mode switch on the side of your laptop to turn wireless communications off altogether.
Unplug Unused Devices
USB devices, such as mice and external drives, draw power from your computer through the USB port. When not needed, consider disconnecting these types of devices.
Note: in accordance with cyber safety you should avoid plugging in untrusted USB devices
Avoid Resource Hungry Background Tasks
Many programs continue to consume memory and network resources when running in the background, which can drain energy. To prevent this, consider closing applications that aren’t actively in use.