How to keep your laptop battery alive

By November 8, 2012Learning Center

A dead battery is the bane of every notebook user’s existence. No power renders laptops unusable until they’re plugged into a power source. Not every location has easily accessible electrical outlets, however, which means users must find ways to reduce their system’s power consumption.

If you’re careful, using less electricity doesn’t mean you have to deal with reduced performance. Below are five simple steps you can follow to help stretch a single charge on your laptop.

Turn down the display

A computer’s backlight uses a great deal of power. The brighter the screen is, the more power it’s using. Some users leave their displays incredibly bright so content is sharper and easier to read.

However, your screen doesn’t have to operate on its highest brightness level to be usable. You can adjust the settings based on every situation so that you’re not straining your eyes to read a darkened screen in a well-lit location.

Only access local files
When you stream online content or access data from external storage units like USB drives or discs, your laptop is dedicating power to reading those files. If you aren’t near an outlet and need your battery to last, it’s better to only view locally stored documents.

External devices use electricity even when they’re not active. To avoid wasting power, remove any peripheral gadgets that you’re not currently using.

Don’t run multiple programs
Asking your computer to support multiple applications can quickly drain your battery. It is recommended to just have your antivirus software and one other program active at any given time. Opening additional windows makes your computer work harder to save content.

Put your laptop on hibernate
Some users put their laptops to sleep because the low-power state saves their sessions and has faster reboot times. While this can be convenient, sleeping notebooks are still using power.

Choosing a “hibernate” setting allows laptops to save open programs while using less electricity during idle periods. This option turns off a system off completely, so it takes longer for notebooks to restart.

Turn off automatic updates
When applications access the internet to check for updates, they’re forcing your computer to work harder. You can turn this feature off for every program, so you’re not dedicating battery life to an unnecessary task. Updates can be performed manually when you’re using AC power so you don’t have to worry about your laptop dying.

How do you keep your laptop alive between charges?

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