Laptop batteries have come a long way in the last few years, but one thing remains – the need to squeeze the most power out of your laptop.
This has become especially important lately since most laptops today have built-in batteries instead of large, removable old units.
If you can’t seem to stay away from a wall socket, it’s time to check your device. With these tips, you can increase battery life and keep your device running longer!
Tips to Increase Laptop Battery Life
Here are some battery-saving tips to help you make the most of your life while unplugged.
Tip 1: Check Your Power Settings
You can change your laptop’s power options with a few quick steps, especially on Windows 10 and 11 and newer macOS versions.
Open the Control Panel on Windows, then select a power plan from Performance, Balance, or Silent mode.
You can fine-tune the settings further by clicking “Change plan settings” and “Change advanced power settings,” including when you want to be notified about
Battery Saver Mode
I’ll cover how to change your battery settings to adjust for your needs, especially if you’re going from being plugged in at all times to living off battery power.
- FOR WINDOWS: Click the battery icon in Windows 10 or 11 and check for “Battery Saver” mode. Clicking this will make your display dimmer, close most background apps, and stop any Windows Updates. This low-power mode is the best setting if you can squeeze the most out of your battery.
- FOR MACS: If you’re using a Macbook running low on power, you’ll have slightly more control over how your device uses its power. Open the Apple menu, click “System Settings,” then “Energy Saver.” Once there, check for the “System Preferences” tab. I recommend turning off the “Enable Power Nap” function to ensure that your laptop is asleep when it goes into sleep mode.
Try Airplane Mode
If you’re bringing your laptop on a flight (or need it to stay on during your commute), you can set it to Airplane mode to help conserve battery power.
This will disable all devices on your laptop that require connections, like Wi-fi and Bluetooth. Since being connected to other devices drains your battery, this will help you save some charge.
Tip 2: How Many Apps Are Running?
If you’re in the habit of running multiple apps at once, your laptop battery will only last a short period, even if the rest of your device is healthy.
Background apps are the enemy of long battery life. If you’re letting many apps run in the background, you can expect a much shorter battery runtime.
In real-world applications, it’s best to focus on a single task while unplugged instead of flipping between Microsoft Word and a Youtube video for a few hours.
Close those power-hungry apps to give your poor battery a bit more juice. Also, if your laptop’s set to “High Performance,” closing those apps won’t make much difference.
- Close Those Tabs: If you’ve devoted yourself to a single program like Google Chrome but opened up a dozen or more tabs, that will still use tons of power. You can reduce your battery power by closing irrelevant tabs and keeping only the essentials. This can also help improve performance in a pinch, especially on older laptops.
- Close Apps on Startup: If your laptop is having troubles immediately after startup, it may be time to open it up and diagnose the issue! But if that’s not possible, you can also get better performance from your device through Task Manager. On a Windows rig, open up Task Manager and navigate to the “Startup” tab. There’s a good chance you have several programs that are set to open automatically in the background. While you may not be using them, these programs still threaten your battery life and should be set to “Disabled” on startup if they’re not vital.
NOTE: This method is specific to Windows devices. You can open “Activity Monitor” on an Apple device.
Tip 3: Check Your Screen Brightness
A surefire way to use less power and save on battery is to lower your screen’s brightness. Lower screen brightness doesn’t require as much power to maintain, which will help improve battery life.
This also applies to apps or laptops with a “dark theme.” A brighter screen uses up more battery life, so manually setting your device to dimmer will help you stretch your laptop battery.
Here’s another small technique, but I should mention that this only works on high-refresh-rate laptop models: Reduce your screen’s refresh rate.
For example, if your laptop’s display can run at 60Hz and 240Hz, it’ll use up a greater battery at 240Hz. Reduce your refresh rate to help prolong your device’s lifespan!
Tip 4: Time for Fewer Connections
If you have external devices hooked up to your device, they’ll suck up more battery power and severely impact your battery life. That makes sense, right?
To keep your device from running out of battery during the day, leave your mouse and keyboard at home, and stick to your earphones or headphones instead.
This also means switching to your touchpad instead of relying on an external mouse while out of the house.
ADDITIONAL NOTE: What About Power Banks? If the worst’s come to pass and your battery keeps running out, you can pick up a power bank powerful enough for a laptop. This will help your battery charge and keep you productive whether you’re plugged into the wall. When looking for some of these external power sources, look for one with a high charge capacity of around 20000mAH.
Tip 5: Clean Your Workspace
When it comes to increasing your battery runtime, every factor counts, even the temperature of your workspace. Severe laptop heat can seriously reduce battery life and negatively impact battery health.
Ensure that the vents of your device are clear from dust and other obstacles to airflow. Remember to physically clean your device every 2-6 months to keep it from overheating.
Note that both ends of the temperature spectrum can harm your device’s battery. Extreme temperatures, either intense cold or blazing heat, can affect battery runtime.
Keep your device on a firm surface, too, to ensure that it can get proper airflow through to the internals instead of suffering in the heat.
REMEMBER: Your environment isn’t the only source of heat to watch out for if you’re running your laptop’s graphics processor hard while gaming. It can also impact your battery life.
Tip 6: Keep Your Battery Healthy
All laptop batteries are rated for a specific number of charge cycles, which can be explained as a full discharge from 100% to 0%.
I’d like to strongly emphasize this: Don’t let your laptop battery get to 0%. That’s because letting a laptop’s battery drain completely and then charging it again will cost a full charge cycle.
Now, while a laptop battery is rated for a set number of cycles, it’s always best to stretch the lifespan of your laptop’s battery as much as possible by only partially discharging it at all times.
Depending on your laptop’s manufacturer, it may have built-in program settings to stop your battery from ever reaching 100%, which is also helpful.
Tip 7: Pick up a Battery Usage Monitor
If you’ve tried several power-saving tips and closing apps, but neither method has worked, it’s time to identify what’s draining your battery.
You can download a 3rd-party battery monitor to help narrow down potential issues and problematic apps. This will help track your battery usage and show which apps consume the most power.
Mac users can choose BatteryDiag, while Windows users can pick up BatteryCare.
The battery report may indicate that your laptop battery’s capacity differs from its designed capacity. This is a natural occurrence with well-used laptops and isn’t a cause for major alarm.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)
Learn how to get more power out of your laptop’s battery here!
How Long Should My Laptop’s Battery Life Be?
All batteries will eventually experience shorter lives as they are charged and discharged; This is just a side effect of consistent usage.
However, battery discharge aside, your notebook’s battery life should be 7-8 hours on a single charge, assuming your device is newer, and you’ve been caring for it properly.
This estimate will change depending on the applications you’re using while unplugged and how power-efficient your notebook is.
When Should I Charge My Laptop?
You don’t have to keep your battery fully charged at all times, especially if it’s a more modern device. Newer laptops get their power from lithium-ion batteries (Li-ion), which lack the issues of older batteries.
Despite being more efficient, that doesn’t mean these newer batteries aren’t prone to charging issues too. It’s best to charge your device once it reaches about 20% charge.
Keep it charging until it reaches 80% for both more charge cycles and to maintain its battery health.
So that concludes all of my tips for extending battery life and keeping your device healthy. You also don’t have to worry about overcharging if your laptop has a lithium battery!
Battery technology continues to advance alongside modern laptops, but there will always come a time when you can’t leave your laptop plugged in because you’re on the go.
Try these tips to make it through the day without running to a socket when that time comes!