While laptop is good for mobile use, its miserable battery life is always its Achilles’ heel. If you are a power user, the standard laptop battery can usually last about 2 to 3 hours whereas a standard user can see his/her battery run for about 4 -5 hours. Today, we will show you how to improve and optimize your Windows laptop battery life.
First of all, Windows built-in app does not provide us with advanced statistics and options about the laptop battery. We will need to use a third party app to monitor and see the stats of the battery. I am using BatteryBar free on my Windows 7 and Windows 8 computers. The basic version of BatteryBar will let you see advanced statistics about your laptop battery in real time like the total capacity of the battery in mWh, charge rate if the laptop is being charged, full run time and battery wear.
The main reason why I use BatteryBar is that it will install a statusbar icon which will show you the total time left in full discharge. You can click on the BatteryBar icon to change the values in hours and minutes or percentages.
Improving Laptop Battery Life
Normally, the laptop LCD screen consumes the most battery power. Windows gives us an option to adjust the brightness of the screen. Reducing the screen brightness to even one point will usually improve the battery time by 10%.
To adjust the screen brightness in Windows 8, just go to Charms bar search ( WinKey + Q) and search for “adjust screen brightness”. Under Settings, you will be able to get “Adjust Screen Brightness” result. Click on it to open the configuration app.
You can adjust the screen brightness by moving the slider left or right.
You may also want to pause or stop some applications and services that are not needed when the laptop is not plugged in. Choosing which services to disable and which applications to close is the tricky part. If you are doing it manually, you will have to go through each and every service in order to be sure that you are disabling only unnecessary services.
Windows offers another way to configure this by using different power plans. You can go to Windows Power Options to select from three pre-configured power options:
- Power saver
- High performance
There are third party software which will be able to do all the settings discussed above automatically. We only have to configure the settings in the software and everything else will be automatic. The software discussed above, BatteryBar, also does this but these settings are included in the paid version. We will be using another free software for this purpose.
BatteryCare is another free software which will show advanced statistics about the laptop battery like the total capacity, current capacity, charge/discharge rate, voltage, wear level of the laptop battery etc. The real strength of BatteryCare lies in its settings.
In the settings, we will be able to adjust different optimizations like disabling the sidebar gadgets and aero theme, pausing Windows services on battery mode. You can check each item which you want to disable. This will save some power.
Another great feature of BatteryCare is that it can automatically switch to a different power option when the laptop goes without power. For example, normally my laptop is set to high performance when power is plugged in but when it’s on battery, it will automatically shift to power saver mode.
Another feature of BatteryCare is the calculation of calibration time. It will automatically notify you when your laptop battery has reached 30 discharge cycles. After that you can calibrate your battery which will improve the overall life of the battery.
Hopefully these tips and utilities will keep your informed about the condition of your battery. You will be able to replace it in time without any problems.
Image credit: Orange warning low battery signal by Big Stock Photo.