How to make your laptop battery last longer

How to make your laptop battery last longer

Laptops are great for people who travel and work on the go, but batteries may only last 4-6 hours. Here are 10 practical ways to extend battery life.

  1. Use power saver mode. Select ‘Power Options’ in control panel and customize your power plan to ‘power saver’ to use less power when your laptop is on.
  2. Use apps that analyze battery health. While in the control panel, check your battery’s health. It should be right below ‘Power Options’ in ‘Power Manager.’ You can also use other applications such as BatteryInfoView, BatteryCare and BatteryMon to help keep an eye on battery health.
  3. Disable unused devices and ports. External devices such as a mouse, Wi-Fi, external speakers and Bluetooth can drain your battery. When these are not in use, turn them off.
  4. Reduce monitor brightness. A bright monitor will lap up your battery. Reduce screen brightness as much as possible without straining your eyes.
  5. Charge before laptop dies. Working on your laptop until the battery is completely drained can harm your battery. If your laptop runs on lithium-ion battery (most modern laptops do), charge it while there is still some juice left.
  6. Turn-off/hibernate. If you’re not planning to use your laptop for a few hours, turn it off to save energy and your battery. However, if you need to resume quickly, set it to hibernate instead of sleep. The laptop’s CPU slows down while the memory stays active in sleep mode.
  7. Keep it cool. Excessive heat can damage your laptop’s battery. Avoid leaving it in the car during summer and test your laptop’s temperature while you work. You can rely on your hands to detect an increase or use an application like Core Temp. If you work for long periods of time, use a lap desk with an open gap underneath to allow air circulation.
  8. Avoid working on multiple programs. While you might be tempted to work efficiently and multitask on your Excel sheets, Powerpoint and Adobe Photoshop, this can put a strain on your battery. Graphic intense applications drain batteries even faster. To increase lifespan, work simultaneously on one or two programs, max.
  9. Remove the battery. When near a power source, remove the battery from your laptop and use the power adapter instead. An average laptop battery has about 500-700 charge cycles (one cycle consists of one round of full charge and discharge). You can check how many cycles your battery has gone through. If you have a low cycle count, your battery is healthy. Unplugging the battery and relying on the power adapter helps keep the charge cycle count low.
  10. Avoid screen savers. Screen savers, although they show off your personality, don’t do much to prolong your battery’s lifespan. Turn off the automatic function to avoid draining your battery when the device is not in use.

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