Sometimes it is not possible to keep your laptop plugged in continuously. Perhaps you are working from a section of your home without a socket. Or, you are off-grid and would like to maximize your battery life as much as possible. While modern laptops are more efficient with batteries that last for 8 to 14 hours, proper battery maintenance is still necessary. That’s because the battery life on paper can only be maintained (or exceeded) by twitching a few things. Ensure you have the right power settings, minimize the apps running at any given time, and regulate the room temperature. Here is how to increase your laptop battery life cost-effectively:
1. Windows 10 Battery Performance Slider
The Windows 10 battery performance slider makes it possible for you to change your battery settings. Given that PC manufacturers are different, the battery performance slider may control various aspects. Generally, it has the following modes:
- Battery Saver Mode: This battery mode kicks in when you unplug the PC. It improves battery life by reducing display brightness, stopping Windows updates, suspending most background apps, and preventing mail syncing.
- Better Battery Mode (or Recommended): This is the default power setting for Windows 10 PCs or HP laptops. Compared to previous versions of Windows, this delivers a longer battery life compared.
- Better Performance Mode: This mode may limit background app resources to prolong the battery life, but it isn’t useful in promoting battery efficiency.
- Best Performance: If you care more about system speed and responsiveness, then having a prolonged battery life wouldn’t matter. In this mode, background apps keep running, consuming lots of power.
2. Use Battery Saver Mode, Close Apps, and Turn on Airplane Mode
You should turn on Battery Saver if the task on the laptop doesn’t require connectivity. That’s in addition to conserving your laptop battery by closing apps you aren’t using. You may save a little power with each app you turn off, thus gaining a longer battery life. If you need to use a word processor and browser simultaneously, keep both apps on. Together with shutting down programs that aren’t in use, enable airplane mode in Windows. If you have a Mac, then you should turn off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Airplane mode not only reduces distractions but also eliminates things that drain the battery.
3. Review Battery Management Settings
One of the best ways to prolong your laptop battery life is to reduce the charge cycles. Luckily, the latest laptops can monitor the charging patterns and temperature history of the battery. They have software that enables you to adjust battery management so that “full charge” is always below 100 percent. However, that depends on the manufacturer. Alternatively, you can disable the software so that you keep charging the battery to optimize capacity.
For PCs, (like Dell Alienware laptops) each manufacturer has instructions on how you can do that. If you have a Mac, go to the Apple menu and click Energy Saver, followed by Battery Health. By deselecting Battery Health Management and clicking okay, you would instruct the laptop not to follow up on your charging cycles.
4. Close Apps and Processes That Drain Too Much Battery Power
At any given time, your PC has multiple processes and apps running, quickly diminishing your battery life. So, you can go to Windows 10 settings to close all battery draining apps. Luckily Windows has a search bar into which you can type “apps affecting battery life.” Once the list pops up, check for apps you rarely use but eat up too much power.
Next, you should search for processes that get turned on automatically on starting Windows. Type something like, “processes that start automatically in Windows startup,” and you will see all of them on a list. Close all processes with terms such as “Helper” or “Download Assistant” to extend the battery life.
5. Maintain Good Battery Health
Laptop batteries tend to lose their ability to hold a charge with time. That’s why you should always keep tabs on your battery’s health status. In windows 10, you need knowledge of the command prompt to establish your battery’s health status. On the other hand, a Mac is easier since you can get the battery status right there in the menu bar. Your battery performs below par if you get a message such as “service battery” or “replace now.”
6. Adjust Graphics and Display Settings
Some laptops have powerful graphics cards that consume a lot of battery power. In that case, you can change the settings so that only games and graphic-intensive games use that additional processor power. For other applications, use the on-CPU chips to process graphics. For example, you could open the Nvidia GeForce control panel and open Program Settings to assign apps to a graphics processor. Thus, the GeForce discrete chip goes to games, photo-editing, and video-editing apps. For everything else, the integrated graphics processor is good to go.
7. Keep The Laptop Cooled for a Longer Laptop Battery Life
Laptop battery technology has progressed so much that some recommendations that people made before no longer apply. Lithium-polymer batteries are less maintenance intense thanks to improvements in the firmware, software, and battery technology compared to lithium-ion batteries. As such, regular full battery discharge measures are no longer necessary in calibrating your laptop battery. Also, your laptop will still function even if you regularly drain the battery.
However, it would help if you were mindful of heat, which could quickly diminish your battery’s ability to hold power. When it comes to efficient heat dissipation, the ventilation ports should be free from obstruction by dust and other objects. Regularly clean (using a compressed air blower) the fan and laptop vents to remove dust. Avoid dust accumulation by using the laptop only on the table, desks, and other firm surfaces. Blankets and sofa upholstery may get sucked towards the computer, blocking airflow and preventing cooling.
8. Always Use Battery Backup
Regardless of your battery health, you need a backup to ensure to never run out of power. Battery backups are rechargeable devices that plug into the machine like a charger. They are universal, in the sense that they have adapters for different laptop brands and models. The good thing is that most of these backup devices also act as power banks for smartphones and tablets.
With the strategies we have discussed above, it shouldn’t be hard to prolong your laptop battery life daily. Luckily, most of these suggestions do not require you to buy additional devices or spend money. All you need to do is adjust the battery and power settings to get more juice out of it.