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15 Ways to Increase Laptop Battery Life

laptop-battery-Life

Battery is the most vital part of a laptop. It is the component that makes laptop truly a portable device. Most of the laptops on an average give about 3 to 4 hours of backup on a single charge. But due to many reasons the actual time can be much less for some users. You can increase laptop battery life by using some simple methods . Following methods will make your laptop run longer on battery:


1. Adjust screen brightness

This is the single most important factor affecting battery life. Whether it is laptop, phone or tablet screens are major source of power drain. Lets face it, you don’t need maximum brightens all the time.  Adjust the screen brightness according to your requirements. When indoor lower your screen brightness to minimum comfortable level. The difference between minimum and maximum brightness can be as large as 1 hour of battery life.

2. Keep DVD drive empty

DVD drives consume lot of power every time CD/DVD spins in the drive. So don’t keep your drive filled all the time. This suggestion will raise on question:

Question: But what if I need to use some CD/DVD frequently ?

Solution: Just make an ISO image of your disk and copy it on your hard drive. You can then use it as a regular regular disk using

Virtual Drive software like DAEMON Tools Lite or Magic Disk

 

3. Disable WiFi

WiFi consume a significant amount of power. Disable WiFi when not needed. It’s significance can gauged from the fact that most notebooks have function keys dedicated to this purpose.

4. Disable Bluetooth

Nowadays bluetooth and Wifi come on a single chip to save power. Bluetooth consume very small amount of power. But if you want to save every last bit of power disable it.

5. Remove external device

External devices like portable DVD writers, hard drives, USB hubs, etc can be real power guzzlers. Disconnect any device as soon as its use is over.

Disk defragment

6. Defrag your hard drive regularly

Yes defragmenting hard drive can save some power. While this may not be obvious. Here is why: When your hard drive is fragment the data spreads over the hard drive

A single file may physically have its different parts at locations on the hard drive. To read this file the head of the hard drive has to move to different location. Thus consuming more power in the process.

7 .Close unused application or resource hogs

This is very simple method. You process, hard drive, graphics, etc all consume different amount of power at different load levels. The more you stress them the more power they will consume. Close any unused application or resource hogs. Sometimes using a  lighter alternative of an application may save power.

7. Replace HDD with an SSD

The SSDs are newer breed of storage device that do not have any moving parts like hard disk drives. The power consumption is significantly less. That is why most Ultrabooks have SSDs. Another advantage is performance. An SSDs are much faster than traditional spinning drive and can breath new life into your laptop. The remove hard drive can be converted to a portable drive using hard drive casing.

8. User Power Saver profile

Windows, Mac or Linux have built in profiles for battery mode. In Windows it is called “Power Saver”. Use it whenever on battery. You can also fine tune the power profile by going to advanced power settings. Though default profile is sufficient.

9. Add more RAM

The recommended amount of RAM  for Windows 7 32bit is 2GB and Windows 7 64bit is 4GB. When you have less than recommended RAM you will easily exceed this. Then pagefile will be used more often. As a result hard drive thrashing will occur and more power will be used. The amount of RAM required also depends on usage. If you are a heavy multitasker then adding more will help. Since RAM is pretty cheap these days it is highly recommended that you upgrade it.

1o. Regularly clean your laptop

Make sure the openings of the laptop are free of any obstruction. Otherwise the laptop will heat up and fans will be consumed. Over the time dust may accumulate in the exhaust vent. Get is cleaned from a any laptop service shop.

11. Keep it cool

If your laptop overheats get a laptop cooling pad to keep it cool. Make sure it is not USB powered otherwise it will itself consume power.

Another tip is not to keep your notebook on soft surfaces like bed, sofa or pillow. This closes the vents as well as act as an insulator for heat.

12. Mute sound

This point is obvious. But here it is for the sake of completeness. Speakers consume some power. If you don’t need sound just mute it.

13 .Keep your drivers and OS updated

Newer drivers not only give you better performance but also are more power efficient. Hardware manufacturers are continuously trying to decrease power consumption. Therefore a lot of time

For the same reason as above keep your OS updated. These updates will also protect against latest security exploits.

15-hibernation-sleep14. Use hibernation and sleep

When leaving your laptop for short duration put in on sleep. It will consume a very small amount of power but you can quickly revive it from sleep. If planning to take a longer break it is better to put it on hibernation. No power is consumed in hibernation mode. In both sleep and hibernation your work remains saved.

15 .Turn off aero ( Windows only)

Windows Aero is the transparency effect on windows borders. Some users have reported small to negligible saving in battery life by turning by off Aero. We recommend to test it yourself.

Conclusion

By following above methods you can easily increase laptop battery life. Some of these methods don’t cost anything. There is no reason not to use them. Methods like upgrading RAM will cost you but if battery life of you laptop is important to you then we recommend these methods

If this guide helped you or we have missed an important point then let us know in the comments below.

 

About Aamir Rizwan

Aamir Rizwan is a passionate blogger and the founder of TechAnger.com. He likes staying at the top of latest technology. In his free time he enjoys listening music, watching House MD and playing third person shooters.

  • John Scott

    I think it stands to reason that hardware rendering could be a factor in power savings too. People with duel graphics switching also should think about using Intel graphics rather then a Nvidia or ATI solution. In 2D form Intel uses way less power. Some other less obvious tweaks is to set your CPU to throttle itself to less then 50% speed. You can do this in the advanced power setting profiles in Windows. What I always found interesting is that if you ran Windows 7 on a Mac with BootCamp the power consumption was dreadful but OS X managed much better with the Mac hardware. A reasonable expectation but why Windows 7 cannot deal better with Mac hardware is a big question? After all, its basically like PC hardware anymore. Some of that inefficiency maybe with the bad drivers Apple supplies for BootCamp. Another reason to keep your computer up to date on drivers. Sometimes performance and/or power savings can be had with more recent drivers.

    • Thank you for commenting John. Your observations are correct.
      Switchable graphics use more power than integrated. Even if you only have discrete graphics the graphics cards are smart enough. They have low power 2D and high performance 3D modes. The 3D mode only kicks in while playing games.
      Many people use CPU throttling to decrease temperature of their laptop. This should also save battery. I will include this point. Although Speedstep in Intel CPUs already lowers the power consumption. Making sure that Speedstep is working is more important.
      Drives play a major role in battery life. In my case I get lower battery life on Windows 8 compared to Windows 7. Many drivers work but are not updated for Windows 8. In your case OS X is optimised for the hardware so it should give better battery life. Windows 7 should not be far behind. If your MacBook runs hotter on Windows 7 then clearly it is a case of bad drivers.

  • Babu Vk

    how to set laptop battery low and high alarm? any software?

    • This small application called Battery Alarm should do the trick: http://batteryalarm.codeplex.com . It can play any sound on low battery as well as when the battery is fully charged.

      Windows also has an inbuilt system for low battery notification. To change the settings Goto Power Options>Change plan settings > Change Advanced Power Settings. Scroll down and select battery. There you can set the levels for various low battery warnings.

  • Jacqueline Graham

    Cool and useful info. Thanks