A laptop’s life, if it’s not plugged in, literally depends on battery health. Although some years ago, replaceable batteries were pretty common, newer laptop models these days come with sealed batteries, making laptop batteries more essential than ever. So we’ve rounded up some tips to better care for the battery of your Windows 10 machine.
1. Use Battery Saver
Windows 10’s built-in Battery Saver mode is enabled when the remaining battery dips below 20%. It disables email and calendar syncing, push notifications, and applications from running in the background. It should be enabled by default, but check to make sure this is so by heading to Settings > System > Battery. If you find that the Battery Saver does not interrupt your daily Windows routines, you can increase the threshold for when it activates more than 20%.
2. Check Power and Sleep Settings
Configure the Power & Sleep settings by going to Settings > System > Power & Sleep) and you can shorten the period until the monitor is turned off or your laptop goes to sleep mode when it’s running on battery power. The shorter you set these intervals, the longer your battery lasts.
3. Turn Down Display Brightness
Running all of those pixels on the display is the single largest drain on battery resources. The first thing to review when you’re having a problematic low battery life is the brightness of your monitor. If you have it powered up all the way or close the max, lower the brightness; you may also find it a more enjoyable computing atmosphere for your eyes.
Your laptop is likely to have two Function keys mapped to show brightness. If not, the brightness slider can be found by going to Settings > System > Display. You can also find a brightness indicator slider in the Windows Mobility Center that is buried in the Control Panel; the best way to find it is to search for it.
4. Paint it Black
A bright desktop background needs more light on the pixels of your monitor, which drains your battery. Choose a dark image or color by going to Settings > Personalization > Background, or simply type in ‘background’ in the search bar.
5. Utilize the Battery Slider
Fall Creators Update made it easy to switch between power modes. Instead of diving into the battery tab in the settings to switch from high-performance to battery-saving mode or vice versa, you can now click or tap the battery icon in the taskbar. You’ll be able to move the slider from best battery life to best performance or balanced mode.
6. Turn off Keyboard Backlights
Like the display, the backlight keyboard also drains the laptop’s battery. Switch them off when they’re not needed. Your laptop probably has a Function key that lets you turn on and off the backlights on your keyboard. If this is not the case, you can find a control for it in the Windows Mobility Center.
7. Check Battery Usage by App
You can see the applications using much of the battery power by Settings > System > Battery, and click Battery usage by app. The list would show you the percentage of the battery that your apps have used in the last 6 or 24 hours or the past week. If you see an app that you think uses more than its fair share, click on it and turn off the switch for Managed by Windows and then make sure the box stays unchecked for Allow app to perform background tasks.
8. Sync Email Less
Constantly searching for new e-mail messages will exhaust your battery. So, tell Windows to check your battery life less often. Go to Settings > Accounts > Email & app accounts. Click on your account, click the Manage button, and then for Download new content, change it from as items arrive every 30 minutes, hourly or manually, and then click Done.
9. Turn off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi when Not Needed
These wireless networking technologies consume a lot of power. You can disable both by using the Airplane mode. Click the Wi-Fi icon in the taskbar, then click the Airplane Mode button. You can also disable Wi-Fi only by clicking the Wi-Fi button on the Wi-Fi Taskbar menu. To disable Bluetooth, go to Settings > Devices > Bluetooth & other devices and turn off the Bluetooth button.
10. Make Sure Your Laptop Has Enough RAM
With sufficient RAM, your laptop can execute different tasks and recover data faster than when it is saved on the hard drive. This stops the hard drive from running too much and increases the battery life of your laptop.
You can also swap the hard drive for a solid-state drive (SSD). The SSD runs on a flash drive and requires less power to work than the HDD would do. Plus, you’ll have quicker access to files and your computer can run faster, saving the battery life of your laptop.
11. Keep Windows Up to Date
Windows Updates can be annoying but they’re a good way of improving the programs that use power on your laptop. An operating system patch or bug fix may help your laptop use less battery power and increase the battery lifespan.
12. Keep Your Batteries Cool
When the laptop battery gets too hot, the electrochemical reactions inside speed up—but that doesn’t mean that the battery gets more efficient. Instead, the battery is now generating a lot of resources that can’t be used and can’t be reliably redirected to any hardware. This causes even more heat, which adds to the problem. Not only does this potentially permanently destroy the inside of the battery, but it also tires the battery out with a lot of chemical reactions that aren’t required but yet burn through the lifespan of the battery.
Today’s lithium-ion batteries are long-lasting, but they can only handle so much heat. For example, if you’re charging the battery and it starts getting too hot, either because the CPU or graphics processor is running hard or the weather is too hot, then shut down the system and, if possible, take out the battery. Give it a rest so that it can cool off, or you can switch it to a location with a cooler temperature. Many new laptops have sealed batteries, in which case shutting down the system and letting it cool down is strongly suggested if you want to optimize battery life.
Keep your laptop off your lap, too. If discomfort is not a good enough excuse, for many devices, you are also making the issue worse by blocking the vents. You’re going to want to make sure that all the vents that draw in the cold air and those that eject the hot air are able to do their jobs.
At the end of the day, and maybe most importantly, you should stop putting your laptop somewhere hot. That includes your car on a hot summer day, under direct sunlight, or near a space heater. Unusual situations such as these can do a lot of harm to the battery in a short period of time, although you may not realize it immediately.
Increase Your Laptop’s Battery Life
For most mobile laptop users who spend hours away from electricity for their laptops, battery life and efficiency are a big concern.
Although modern laptops can run for several hours at a single charge, the runtime can not always be adequate for your needs. With this guide, you can increase the battery life of your laptop and prolong runtime.