10 ways to improve battery life


10 ways to improve battery life

If you’re like me you push your machine to the limit, you’re juggling those invoices and twitter content, then you need to finish off those few last slides for your important presentation before emailing a potential client a quote that you promised before the end of the day.

As you watch your workload increase you can almost feel your battery life trickling away before you.

You want your laptop to work like it did when it was fresh from the box & you could get 2 or 3 days usage before you’re left scrambling in a mad panic for your charger, which isn’t where you left it, of course.

So, here are 10 ways to prolong that mid-flow, laptop dying, agony:

1. Dim the screen

Even the modern laptops with their LED backlights will take their toll on your battery life. If your laptop is a little older you might be subject to the energy-draining fluorescent.

There are usually a couple of buttons on the function row (top row) with little pictures of suns on them. The smaller sun will dim – the larger sun will brighten.

Image showing the dimmer key to show how to increase battery life

2. Don’t leave your battery on permanent charge.

You may think that the perfect way to ensure your laptop never dies, is by keeping it plugged in – seriously, just get a tower if you’re gonna be stationary. To me a laptop gives me the freedom to work anywhere – like today I am sat writing this from Newtons Co-Working space in Bury.

You can’t ‘over charge’ your laptop but it's not healthy in the long term to always have your laptop hooked up to the mains.

3. Manage your memory

If you, like me, run a lot of applications at once and have tabs upon tabs upon tabs open in your web browser, your battery life will benefit if you do less at once.

Everything you have open is using your free system memory, when that’s full it must be ‘banked’ to your hard drive. This decreases your battery life (as well as performance). If you need to have lots of things open at once this next tip might be better for you.

4. Upgrade to SSD

Essentially a SSD (solid state drive) has no moving parts like your typical mechanical hard drive, as a result they use less power to operate. This means you have more power for prolonged use. There is also the added benefit of SSD making your laptop a hell of a lot quicker.

5. Shut down!

This might seem like a silly and obvious tip but I ALWAYS shut the lid of my laptop when I’m done and come back to it in the morning and need to plug it in! Just shut down your laptop when you are done and it will save your battery life.

6. Turn off things you don’t use.

Bluetooth, for example. If you aren’t using it, disable it. Bluetooth will be searching in the background for more Bluetooth to be friends with. While it’s soul searching, it’s battery draining. Same goes for unplugging items like USB sticks on power up, albeit a little power, over a long period the power used by your memory stick will impact your usage time.

7. Keep it cool

It is natural for your laptop to get warm whilst charging, but don’t leave it in the sun, in a big fluffy case, when charging. If your battery gets too hot it can become permanently damaged.

8. Nap time

Setting your laptop to take a snooze after X amount of minutes of inactively will also help to increase battery time. – Even dimmed the screen is using power – along with everything else running on your laptop. If you wander off and forget to shut down your laptop, the sleep mode will have saved some power for you.

9. Reduce the pixels

You can reduce the pixels on your screen, so it’s not working as hard. We would recommend going from 1080p to 720p. This fix might not be for everybody, graphic designers and gamers will notice a difference – but if you’re browsing the web and sending emails 720p will serve you just fine.

10. Battery Saving mode

Windows 10 has a feature now where you can extend battery life by limiting background activity and push notifications when your device is on low battery. You can set this to turn on automatically if your battery falls below whatever percentage you choose. You can find this option by clicking on your battery icon in the bottom right corner.

Battery saver mode to increase battery life

Always ask

If you struggle with any of these tips please send me an email and I’ll talk you through how to do it.

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