You are working on an important document on your laptop and you just notice that the battery is about to die; you have no option but to get your charger and find a power outlet nearby if you don’t want to lose the progress of your work. It doesn’t necessarily have to be something this important or serious; even when you are watching a movie or playing a game online, you wouldn’t want your device to die in the middle, frustrating you to the core. This is, in fact, a common problem faced by frequent travelers. If you are one such individual, here are 5 tips to improve your laptop’s battery life:
Top 5 Ways to Enhance Laptop’s Battery Life
1. Use the Built-In Power Management Features
One of the easiest ways to improve the battery life of your laptop is to learn and use the built-in power saving options. If you use a Windows device, this option is quite straightforward; all you have to do is click Start and type in Power Options.
In the case of laptops running Windows 10, the option you have is called the Windows Performance Power Slider, a feature that enables you to easily trade your system’s performance for longer battery life. The slider can be accessed by clicking the battery icon available in the taskbar, and once the slider opens, you can easily adjust your power mode by moving the slider from right to left or vice versa. There are four different slider modes you can choose from: Best Performance mode, Better Performance mode, Better Battery mode, and Battery Saver mode. To improve your device’s battery life, you should obviously go for the Better Battery mode.
On macOS devices, which includes MacBook, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air, this built-in power management feature is called the Energy Saver, which can be accessed by searching for the term on the Spotlight icon (the magnifying glass icon) available in the top right corner of the home screen. By default, the options ‘Put hard disks to sleep when possible’ and ‘Slightly dim the display while on battery power’ will be checked and the last option ‘Enable Power Nap while on battery power’ will be unchecked. If not, be sure to do this to optimize battery life.
2. Lower the Screen Brightness
If you are on the go, don’t have the charger with you, or know that it could take a long time before you get access to a power outlet, one of the first things you should do to improve the battery life of your laptop reduces the screen brightness. Believe it or not, this happens to be the major power sink to your device, because your display can remain clear and bright only by utilizing significant battery power. Therefore, keep the screen brightness at the lowest setting you can manage to work with.
3. Disable Power-Hungry Hardware and Apps
In addition to reducing your laptop’s brightness, you can save its battery life by disabling or closing power-hungry hardware and apps as well. Any hardware that you are not currently using, including Bluetooth and/or Wi-Fi, should be switched off. Also to look out for are apps you forgot to close after finishing using them that keep running in the background sucking up a whole of your laptop’s battery life. Whether it is a spreadsheet you have been working on or the torrent app that continues seeding, you need to disable such background processes from utilizing power when you need the most.
4. Close Those Tabs
If you hadn’t known already, the web browser you use is one of the most power-hungry tools you use on your laptop. If you are one of those laptop users who always have several tabs open at all times, learning to manage those tabs is something you should do in order to better manage and improve your laptop’s battery life.
There are various browser extensions or add-ons that you can use, like The Great Suspender, the job of which is to unload tabs to not only improve the performance of your device but also conserve memory and of course, improve battery life. These add-ons will be extremely helpful if you know that you are not the type of person to remember to close tabs when you are engaged in some other task on your laptop.
5. Don’t Let the Device Overheat
While heating or overheating of laptops is a common problem faced by almost all laptop users, not many know that it can actually cause the battery to drain pretty quickly. Of course, the lithium-ion batteries that power up today’s laptops are durable; however, it is a fact that they can endure heat only to a certain level. Therefore, to prevent your device and its battery from overheating, there are some practices you should follow:
- If you notice your device getting warmer when being charged, perhaps due to the increased room temperature or any other reason for that matter, shut down the laptop and let it cool down.
- Make sure that the ventilation ports remain open and are not obstructed. This includes keeping the machine off of your lap, not using the laptop on a pillow or any surface that can obstruct airflow, and using a lap desk.
- Avoid using the laptop in areas or rooms that can cause the machine to overheat, such as under direct sunlight, next to a space heater, etc.
If you wish to monitor the temperature of your laptop more precisely, you can use one of the many laptop temperature monitor apps, like Core Temp, HWMonitor, SpeedFan, etc., which can be downloaded for free. These apps will be especially useful for those of you living in hot climatic regions.
Of course, you can always carry a backup battery just to have the confidence that you can handle an unforeseen battery drain. But, always make sure that you purchase even your spare batteries directly from the manufacturer. Using an external battery pack is also a feasible option. Above all, just keep in mind the 5 tips given above to improve your laptop’s battery life and keep in running when you need the most.