We’ve all had the experience of racing to finish up a project before our laptop battery dies. Regardless of how efficient, advanced, and downright useful laptops have become, it can feel like there’s no overcoming the constant worry of a drained battery. Luckily, there are a number of things you can do to dramatically extend your laptop’s battery life between charges and allow you to get the most out of your computer’s battery.
Enable helpful settings
Adjusting your settings to be more battery-friendly is pretty simple, especially on Windows devices. The easiest way to do this is to click on the battery icon on your taskbar at the bottom right of your screen. If you don’t see it, you may need to click a small arrow to expand the taskbar.
The Windows 10 battery menu has a slider that allows you to change how your computer consumes battery. Slide the bar to ‘Best battery life’ to extend your battery’s life. Below the slider is a button labelled ‘Battery settings.’ In that menu, you’ll see which apps are consuming the most battery as well as a bunch of battery saving options. You can adjust the battery saver slider to automatically turn on a charge-saving mode at a specific percentage. Usually, around 20% is best.
If you don’t see a battery icon in your taskbar, you can also access these options from your Settings app. Click on your Start menu on the bottom left of your screen and then choose the gear button from the left side. From your Settings app, choose System and then find Power & Sleep on the left side. From here, you can change the power usage slider or Battery to set your battery saver and other settings.
Disable a few things
Your laptop is usually running a bunch of apps and services in the background that could potentially drain your battery. While the Battery Saver Mode disables most of these automatically, you can also do so manually. Think of it as turning off the light in a room as you leave it.
From the Battery menu in the Settings app, click ‘See what apps are affecting your battery life.’ Simply look through these apps and untick the checkbox that says ‘Let Windows decide when this app can run in the background’ under any app that you don’t want running automatically. Doing this and then manually closing apps that frequently run in the background, such as Spotify or Skype, can save a lot of energy.
You should also consider switching to more battery-friendly apps. For example, some web browsers use dramatically more resources and power than others. Chromium-based web browsers such as OneLaunch are constantly improving and use significantly less battery charge than many other options.
Keep it cool
Did you know that temperature can also affect the life of your battery? As a computer gets hotter, the chemical reactions that it uses to create power speed up. This can cause your battery to die faster or cause long-term damage. Try to keep your laptop off of your lap or any surfaces like blankets or pillows. Some people like to use laptop stands with additional fans to help keep their devices cool. You should also clean your fan vents using a small cloth or compressed air to make sure your laptop has proper airflow.
Update your operating system and apps
Sometimes, the best thing you can do for your battery is to just let other people handle it. You can’t change how apps use your battery, but the apps’ developers can! By keeping your apps and operating system updated, you ensure that you’re constantly receiving fixes and upgrades that may improve the battery efficiency of those programs.
By implementing these few pieces of advice, you’ll be able to dramatically extend the time between each charge. Optimize some settings, use apps like OneLaunch, and keep everything up-to-date. In fact, these practices are so helpful that they can even extend your laptop battery’s life itself, meaning you won’t need to replace it for a few additional years.