One of the first things to go over time as you use your laptop is the battery life before the laptop battery itself eventually gives up the ghost. This is especially annoying and inconvenient when your power supply is not reliable and you need the security of knowing that even if the lights go out you can still keep using your device. These small changes will keep your battery running longer from day to day when you’re off direct power and improve battery life long term. Here are some ways to protect your battery life and increase how long it lasts.
1. Dim your screen
One of the biggest consumers of power in a laptop is the screen. A lot of power is consumed in trying to keep your display clear and bright. Turn down the screen brightness and you save yourself some power. It has the added benefit of saving your eyes as well.
2. Change your power settings
Windows offer four power settings options. Best performance is for those who are willing to sacrifice battery life at the altar of performance. Backgrounds apps continue to run consuming a lot of power and you get the best speed and responsiveness but your battery runtime is incredibly diminished. Better Performance mode limits resources for background apps and prioritizes power over efficiency. Better Battery mode performs relatively well while delivering longer battery life. Battery saver mode is the most aggressive. It reduces the display brightness, prevents windows update and suspends most background apps. It is the most effective at saving your battery.
Should you use the nuclear option i.e. battery saver mode all the time? No. Because it shuts down some critical background apps. So go with the recommended setting of your device. The same applies to MacOSs.
3. Use hibernation instead of sleep mode
When your laptop is idle for a while it by default enters sleep mode. Sleep mode is a lower-power mode that lets you resume your system quickly but it continues to use your battery and over time will drain your battery completely. Opt instead for hibernation mode which essentially shuts down your machine after saving a snapshot of your current session. When you resume, it takes a little longer than sleep mode but takes you right back to where you were having saved your battery power.
Also, set your laptop to turn off the display sooner to conserve all the power that is used to keep the display on.
4. Turn of power-hungry devices and apps
Disable devices that you are not using that consume a lot of power. They include things like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, LAN, USB, and Webcams all of which can be turned off from the Device Manager and also from Settings in windows machines. Disable Bluetooth and wifi when not in use, consider going on airplane mode because they can really drain power. Also, disconnect or remove unnecessary peripherals like plugged in hard disks and DVDs if you are not using them.
5. Lighten your software load
Reduce the number of applications you have running at the same time or in the background. Don’t use a screensaver, all they do is drain your battery. The more programs you have running and the heavier the programs, the faster your battery will drain. The less your computer has to do the more power it can save.
6. Get a second battery
Batteries are consumable and over time will become depleted retaining less and less charge which is why most batteries are not covered by laptop warranties. Most laptops have removable batteries. If yours does, consider getting a second external battery and interchanging them, and if the battery is totally depleted capacity-wise replace it altogether. Laptop batteries are readily available.
7. Airflow – Keep it cool
Laptops generate significant heat while running. Ensure that when you’re using the machine the ventilation spots for cooling it are not obstructed by anything from books to your legs where the laptop may be perched. Pillows, blankets, etc. block the ventilation causing the heat being generated to be retained. As much as possible, use your laptop on surfaces such as desks that will not block airflow and cooling. Heat is the silent killer of batteries. Also don’t leave your laptop under direct sunlight or in a closed car on a hot day. Dust build-up also compromises the ventilation. If you notice any dust build-up, get it cleaned using a blower.
8. Don’t Overcharge
Don’t leave your laptop constantly charging. This also accelerated battery capacity depletion. Unplug as soon as it’s full, overcharging is damaging.
No matter what you do, your laptop’s capacity will decline over time but these tips go a long way in staving off the speed of decline. Don’t wait for your laptop to get to 0% before charging. Charge it before that. Keep it cool which will prevent the wear and tear caused by heat. Heat is the battery’s biggest enemy. Show your battery some love with these tips and keep it around a little longer.
Here’s a piece on how to prolong your phone’s battery life.