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By Willie Brake
Computer Expert 

Three Tips To Increase Your Laptop Battery Life

Strategies That Will Help You Make The Most Of The Battery In Your Laptop

Series: TECH TALK | Story 1

February 11, 2021

Nobody wants to make a dash to a power outlet to rescue their laptop battery. That's no fun, especially with everyone working and learning from home these days in various corners of the house that may not have a convenient outlet nearby. Luckily, modern laptops are much more efficient than their predecessors. Nowadays, even inexpensive desktop-replacement laptops can last for more than eight hours on a single charge.

Most people don't realize that the battery in your laptop won't last as long as the manufacturer advertises unless you pay attention to some key factors: your power settings, how many apps you're running, even the temperature of the room in which you're working. The good news is that none of this requires much work to sort out, once you know which settings to adjust. Let's take a look at the best ways to get the most out of your laptop's battery.

Use the Windows Battery Performance Slider

The first tip to increase your laptop battery life is to pay attention to the Windows 10 battery performance slider. It aims to group all of the settings that affect battery life into a few easy-to-understand categories. Your PC manufacturer determines exactly which settings the battery slider controls. But in general, keep these guidelines in mind:

• The Best Performance mode is for people willing to trade off battery runtime to gain speed and responsiveness. In this mode, Windows won't stop apps running in the background from consuming a lot of power.

• The Better Performance mode limits resources for background apps, but it otherwise prioritizes power over efficiency.

• The Better Battery mode delivers longer battery life than the default settings on previous versions of Windows.

• The Battery Saver mode, a slider choice that will appear only when your PC is unplugged, reduces the display brightness by 30 percent, prevents Windows update downloads, stops the Mail app from syncing, and suspends most background apps.

Closing Apps and Using Airplane Mode

If you don't need to be distracted by notifications, consider enabling Battery Saver. It's a good habit to adjust your laptop use in more battery-conserving ways, such as by sticking to one app at a time and closing everything else when you're not using it. It's a bit like turning off the lights when a room is vacant. If you're going back and forth between Firefox and Word, by all means keep both apps open. But if you're just watching a YouTube video, you'll be best served by turning off and closing everything else.

Also consider enabling Airplane mode, if you know you'll be editing a document with no need for web access. In addition to reducing distractions, Airplane mode eliminates a significant source of battery drain: not only the wireless radios, but also the background apps and processes that constantly use them, such as updaters and push notifications.

Carry A Battery Backup

Finally, the easiest way to ensure that you always have enough battery power is to bring along an external battery pack.

These external power sources plug in to your laptop the same way your charger does. They generally cost between $100 and $200, but come with adapters for use with many different laptop models. They can be used on more than one system, and even for other devices, such as your phone or tablet.

Willie E. Brake is a Computer Expert and Industry Analyst at All About Technology, a Certified Minority Business Enterprise and Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher, based in Detroit, Michigan.


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