28 Ways to Improve Your Windows Laptop’s Battery Life
Like any device, your laptop’s battery will eventually die and need to be replaced. However, there are many factors that can determine how long your battery lasts and how often you’ll have to replace it:
- Whether or not you use a power cable plugged into an outlet whenever possible
- How bright the screen is when in use
- The settings on your computer for sleep mode and wireless connectivity
Battery life isn’t as much of a worry as it used to be with modern laptops because they now include interchangeable batteries. This means that if one dies you can simply remove it and replace it with a charged battery. With older models, no matter what type of battery they included the only way to charge it was to use your laptop and always be plugged into an outlet.
One of the most annoying issues with having a laptop is its battery life. If you’re not near an outlet and your battery dies, it tends to be very inconvenient. However, there are ways to improve both how long you can use your laptop without powering it on as well as how much energy it uses when plugged into a power supply.
Before you proceed, make sure that your battery is charging or else read one of our earliers posts on how to repair laptop battery that is not charging.
Ways to improve your Windows laptop’s battery life:
1. Switch from a hard drive to a solid-state drive
Solid-state drives have significantly less power consumption compared to traditional magnetic hard drives. Therefore, if you can afford switching out your current hard drive for one with solid-state storage, do so.
2. Turn the computer completely off
If you’re using your laptop, leave it plugged into a power outlet and just close the lid. Don’t put the computer to sleep or hibernate it. The screen brightness should be turned down as low as possible before doing this because screens draw a lot of energy, and turning them off is pointless in most cases (unless you can see in pitch black).
3. Enable standby mode
Enable standby mode on your laptop by going to power options in control panel and setting what happens when you press the power button. Select either “hibernate” or “sleep,” depending on which one prevents your hard drive from spinning (which wastes energy) when idle.
4. Try not to multitask when using battery power.
If you’re listening to music, turn off unnecessary apps such as email and Facebook.
5. Try not to use Internet Explorer
Internet Explorer is typically the most energy-using browser out there, with Firefox and Google Chrome running a close second and third. Try switching your browser if you know how; especially if you want something faster anyway!
6. Close background applications
When you’re done with an application (especially video players), make sure to close it completely in order for it not to run in the background. This will save battery life because the program won’t be wasting resources by trying to perform functions that aren’t needed anymore. You can always just open it up again when you need it without losing any progress or even requiring it to reload.
You can view your background applications via your Task Manager.
7. Turn off Wi-Fi/Bluetooth
If you’re in an area without any wireless networks or Bluetooth devices, then there’s no reason for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to remain switched on. This will save battery life quickly when you find yourself in a position where they aren’t in use and it’s best to just turn them off.
8. Close background tabs in browsers
Like with applications, when you’re done with a tab in your web browser (especially if it doesn’t require something like Adobe Flash), make sure to close the tab completely so that the program isn’t wasting resources by trying to perform functions that aren’t needed anymore. You can always just open up the tab again whenever necessary without losing any progress or having to reload the page.
9. Install power-saving modes on software
This is similar to how you can switch your phone into airplane mode when it’s not in use, though there are more advanced forms of this for computers. You’ll be able to install these programs directly through authorized sites like CNET for example for free with just one click. Some programs will even put themselves into low-performance modes if they aren’t used often enough, which all goes back to saving battery life over time.
10. Uninstall unused applications
Most people have tons of things installed on their PC that they don’t use at all or hardly ever use at maximum. Make sure to go through your list of installed applications and see what you can do without but make sure it isn’t something you”ll need in the future. If it’s not, then uninstall it. You’ll save battery life with that alone because applications tend to run in the background of your computer at all times.
11. Turn off Bluetooth
Although Bluetooth is useful for most, if you’re using a PC for any type of work or gaming purposes, there are many instances where having Bluetooth will only be a hindrance. It can eat up battery life fast and cause issues with performance if left on at all times. Turn it off when you don’t plan on using it.
12. Turn off Wi-Fi
With Windows 10, turning off WiFi doesn’t turn it completely off so often times you won’t realize that your computer is running just as fast as it was when Wi-Fi is activated. This eats up battery life and if you’re not using the internet, turn it off. It’s just taking up space on your taskbar that could be used for something else.
13. Change the Power Settings
There are different power settings or power plans in Windows 10 to allow for better management of performance and battery life. You can access these by searching “power options” at the start menu. Select “Choose what closing the lid does” and change it to “nothing.” You’ll save quite a bit of battery life because your computer won’t go into sleep mode every time you close the lid as most laptops do.
14. Turn Off Charging Notification
If you’re charging your laptop and you don’t mind if it goes into sleep mode, turn off the notification that pops up saying that your laptop is plugged in and currently charging. This will save a bit of battery life since your computer won’t be constantly trying to stay awake when it’s plugged in.
15. Turn Off Hibernate Mode
Hibernation mode allows for faster boot times by saving the state of the PC to the hard drive before turning it off. If you never use hibernation, switch this setting so that your computer will just shut off instead.
To turn off hibernate mode, open command prompt and type in: powercfg -h off
16. Reduce Screen Brightness
Your screen is the biggest battery drainer on your computer. As a rule of thumb, turn down your brightness so that it’s at 0% while plugged in and 50-75% while unplugged. You can always temporarily increase it when you need to see something more clearly but remember not to leave it at 100%.
17. Unplug All Extra Cables
If you’re charging your laptop and you have any extra accessories plugged into your USB ports or external devices plugged into your audio jacks (such as speakers) unplug them to save power. The same goes for if you are transferring data to/from an external hard drive or flash drive…just unplug them 🙂
18. Carry around a Battery Pack
These nifty portable chargers can really be useful in a bind; they charge themselves up by plugging into a USB port on either your computer or an outlet, and can provide you with an extra few hours of power. You can find them fairly inexpensively on Amazon, or in some technology stores like Best Buy.
19. Use a lighter wallpaper
The wallpaper (background picture) for your computer does not make any difference to your battery life. If the color is distracting or makes it difficult for you to see (which will make your screen brightness higher), then change your wallpaper to a lighter one.
20. Use a darker theme
If you aren’t using Windows 7, with its awesome Aero interface, then try changing the theme of your laptop from ‘Light’ (Windows XP and Vista) and ‘Classic’ (older versions of Windows) to Dark (or at least try lowering the Opacity/transparency). The darker themes are less likely to distract you, which means that the screen brightness can be turned down lower at night when you don’t need it as high. If you are using Windows 10, switch to the Dark Mode.
21. Do not use a virus scanner
It will most likely drain your battery even when you’re not using the computer. Instead, you should consider getting a paid subscription to a program like Malwarebytes.
22. Do not leave your laptop running
If you are going away from the computer for more than an hour or two. This is similar to leaving an idle video playing on your monitor at home and is very bad for the life of your battery! However, there are some programs out there that can prevent this from happening such as CCleaner which closes unused background programs when they aren’t being used by somebody at the computer.
23. Do not expose your laptop to extreme temperatures
Especially if it is operating out of battery power. For example, do not place it on a heating pad or directly next to an open flame, because these things can permanently damage your battery. Use common sense! If the computer gets too hot then turn it off immediately and let it cool down before resuming use.
Taking proper care of your laptop battery involves following some simple steps so that the battery can last for a much longer time than usual. For example, remove the battery when running on AC power for prolonged periods because this reduces wear and tear which is obviously bad for your laptop’s battery life. Try to avoid quick discharges because these put additional strain on the fully discharged cells, causing them to become defective over time. Lastly, frequent full discharges are recommended instead of recharging partially charged lithium-ion batteries multiple times since doing this shortens battery lifespan noticeably.
Hot temperatures, cold temperatures, and age will reduce a laptop’s battery life. For example, leaving a laptop in a hot car or in the sun can cause the battery to fail sooner. If your laptop is going to be stored for an extended period of time, remove the battery pack from the laptop before storing it. If possible, store the laptop with some charge remaining in the batteries because this reduces wear during storage. The best temperature range for lithium-ion batteries is between 10°C and 30°C (50°F and 86°F).
24. Use clean power
In order to keep your notebook computer running at its maximum efficiency, you need clean power which simply means that all electricity delivered to your PC must be clean without spikes or drops in voltage that generate heat inside your computer.
Clean power is delivered to your desktop when the breaker in the house panel box doesn’t trip when there are no lightning storms in the area, and of course when your UPS system backs up your PC during brownouts or overvoltage situations caused by heavy appliances being turned on/off in the home or neighboring homes.
Spikes, surges, and brownouts can damage electronic components permanently if they happen repeatedly. Generally speaking, battery backup systems only charge their batteries with clean electricity so it’s not necessary for you to have a UPS system unless you are concerned about leaving your PC unattended for long periods of time without having dirty power trip a circuit breaker or get into your home wiring through some other means. It is almost always better to have a UPS system than not. Today I’m going to talk about some tips for improving your battery life on your Windows laptop.
25. Make sure automatic brightness is disabled
Even in well lit areas, having this enabled will drain power when you don’t need any extra lighting(this setting is usually found under display settings).
26. Get an efficient charger
Different brands of chargers have different efficiencies; some take more power to charge your battery compared to others. Research what kind of charger is best for your laptop before buying one (usually found under product specifications) and try to get one that charges with high efficiency whenever possible.
27. Make sure automatic updates are disabled
Disabling this will prevent programs from running in the background while you’re using your computer and wasting power.
28. If you are using Windows 10/11 make sure you turn on power saving mode.
When doing any of these, it’s a good idea to go into Power Options in your Windows control panel and adjust the settings there. In particular, you want to disable anything that puts your computer to sleep when not in use (including disabling the hard drive from turning off after a certain amount of time). When plugged in, your battery has 100% power, so it’s a good idea to keep it on while using or charging so that you don’t drain power when you aren’t using it!
If the above instructions didn’t help, then you should consider getting in touch with a technician in Melbourne who does laptop repair.
How to change Power Options in Windows 7?
First, the basics. If you are using Windows 7, open up the start menu and click on the control panel. From there click ” Power Options “. Under this menu is where you can set when your computer goes into sleep mode after it has been inactive, how long until the screen turns off, whether or not to turn off hard drives before sleeping, etc. You can also set up power plans that change these settings based on situations like being plugged in versus running on batteries.
How to change Power Options in Windows 8.1?
If you are using Windows 8 , open up the search charm by moving your mouse into the upper right-hand corner of the machine. Type in “power” and click on ” Power Options “. You can select different power plans here, or change your current plan if you like.
Second, go to the control panel again (see first step), but this time click on ” System and Security “, then ” Power Options “. Under this menu is where you can set when your computer goes into sleep mode after it has been inactive, how long until the screen turns off, whether or not to turn off hard drives before sleeping, etc. You can also set up power plans that change these settings based on situations like being plugged in versus running on batteries.
How to change Power Options in Windows 10/11?
Click on the Start button and simply type in ‘Power Options’