10 Tips to Maximize Your Laptop's Battery Life

edited December 2023 in PC Tech

There are many frustrating situations in the PC world. Watching your laptop battery drain is definitely at the top of the list. We have come up with a list of everything you need to know to maximize the amount of time between charges on a Windows 10 laptop.

1. Use the Windows Performance Management Tool

Computer operating systems constantly monitor their resources at the process level. Operating systems use this information to perform effective memory management and other essential activities.

In Windows 10, it's a slider accessed from the battery icon in the taskbar. Your PC manufacturer determines which settings the battery slider controls. But keep these guidelines in mind:

  • The Best Performance mode drains your battery quicker to gain faster speed and responsiveness. Windows will continue to run apps in the background that consume a lot of power.
  • The Better Performance (or Recommended) mode prioritizes power over efficiency and limits some background app resources.
  • The Better Battery mode delivers longer battery life than the default settings on Windows.
  • The Battery Saver mode shows when you unplug your PC. Display brightness is reduced by 30%; the Mail app stops syncing, Windows Update downloads cease, and most background apps are suspended.

2. Check power and sleep settings

PC users often make one common mistake: setting a laptop to sleep instead of hibernate when turning it off. When a Windows 10 PC hibernates, it saves the current memory state into a file and shuts down. So, you can resume work where you left off when you press the power button to restart.

Laptops consume more power in sleep than hibernate mode.

To hibernate your PC:

  1. Open power options—click Start, then click Settings > System  > Power & sleep  > Additional power settings.
  2. Click Choose what the power button does.
  3. Select Change settings that are currently unavailable. Under Shutdown settings, click the Hibernate checkbox (if it's available) and select Save changes.

Two alternative ways to hibernate your PC:

  1. Select Start, and then select Power  > Hibernate.
  2. Press the Windows logo key + X on your keyboard and select Shutdown or sign out > Hibernate.

3. Check battery usage by app

If your laptop battery drains faster than before, it could be a power-hungry app consuming more than its fair share of battery resources.

Windows Task Manager contains tabs that show what is running on your computer, including background software. The task manager is relatively easy to launch and navigate.

There are a few different ways to launch this application:

  1. Search for Task Manager directly using the search box in the taskbar in the lower-left of your screen.
  2. Right-click on the start button and choose the task manager option.
  3. Use the keyboard shortcut of Ctrl + Shift + Esc.

Once the application is open, you will see stats for memory disc, network, and power usage trends. The power usage tab can show when an app draws a lot of power from your battery. To close such an app, you can select it in the task manager and click on the end task button.

To view which apps have consumed the most battery resources over the past week or the last 24 hours:

  1. Unplug your laptop.
  2. Click Start, then click settings > system > battery to see the overview of current battery life.
  3. Click on the see which apps are affecting your battery life.

You can also go to Settings > Privacy > Background Apps and turn off all or stop specific apps from running in the background.

Performing these little tasks regularly will keep apps that consume insane amounts of power in check.

4. Simplify your workflow; close apps, switch to airplane mode

The more software programs and apps that are open and running on your laptop, the less time the battery can hold a charge. When more programs are open, it requires more power for the computer to keep them running.

Turning your PC on airplane mode in areas where wireless communication and connection are unnecessary could prove helpful in extending your battery life.

Airplane mode prevents your device from searching for or receiving wireless signals. You will not be able to connect to any external services such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, etc.

Select the Network icon on the taskbar and click on Airplane mode to turn it on.

5. Run the Windows Power Troubleshooter

The Windows Power Troubleshooter will automatically detect system settings that affect power usage and restore them to their default settings. This tool can either scan and fix issues automatically or let you choose the settings to restore.

To launch the power troubleshooter in four easy steps:

  1. Select Start > Settings > Update.
  2. Select Security > Troubleshoot.
  3. Select the troubleshooting type you have in mind and click on Run the troubleshooter.
  4. Allow the troubleshooter to do its job and provide answers to possible questions on the screen.

6. Stop automatic email synchronization

Automatic synchronization of mail is another factor that contributes immensely to the draining of battery life.

When your laptop automatically checks your mail constantly, it consumes power. What should you do to stop this? You set your windows to sync your mail less often.

  1. Select Start > Settings > Accounts.
  2. Click on Email & accounts.
  3. Click the manage button.
  4. Adjust settings for download new content switch it from as items arrive to hourly or manually.
  5. Click the Done button.

With that, you are a step closer to maximizing your battery life.

7. Always reduce the brightness of your screen

The brightness of your laptop screen is a major factor responsible for draining your laptop battery.

As much as you would love to keep your screen brightness high all the time, you have to consider your battery life.

Reducing the screen brightness will make your laptop save a lot of power, maximize your battery life, and reduce your carbon footprint.

  1. Select Start > System > Display.
  2. Use the slider to adjust Screen Brightness to the level that suits you.

8. Switch off your keyboard backlight

A keyboard backlight is a set of lights that light up your keyboard when you are in places with low illumination. We tend to leave the backlight on most of the time, even in well-lit areas.

This backlight contributes to draining the laptop battery. Switch off your keyboard backlight to optimize power when you are in places with enough lighting.

Most laptops have a specific function key that controls the backlighting; this key could be an icon that depicts keyboard lighting.

9. Disconnect any external device you are not using

You might connect a few external devices like phones, external hard drives, etc., to your laptop. These external devices drain the battery immensely.

To save power and maximize your battery life, always disconnect all external devices plugged into your laptop when you are not using them.

It might be challenging to adhere to these special warnings. Still, it's a must-do if you want to maximize your battery life.

10. Make sure your laptop is cool at all times

To maximize your laptop's battery life, make sure you keep your computer at a cool temperature.

When we use our laptops, we tend to neglect the temperature. A very high temperature drains the laptop battery quickly and can eventually destroy the battery.

To avoid this, don't use your laptop in rooms that are not adequately ventilated, in the sun, or in any other place with extremely high temperatures.

These strategies will help you improve battery life on your Windows 10 notebook. 

Patrick Yu is a Senior Project Manager at Level Interactive and has 8 years of experience writing business, legal, lifestyle, gaming, and technology articles. He is a significant contributor to Acer Corner and is currently based in Taipei, Taiwan.



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