You can make your laptop battery last longer by turning off or reducing all power-consuming functions of your computer. Whether you're going on a long trip or just taking your laptop to your local coffee shop, use these tips to keep your computer's battery running for as long as possible.
Step 1. Turn off the wireless connection if you do not plan to use the internal network or the Internet
Macintosh laptops have a button to turn wireless on and off. It is located at the top of the keyboard among the function keys.
Step 2. Make the sound level lower or turn it off completely if you do not plan to use sound on your computer
Step 3. Decrease the display brightness level
If you are using your laptop in a well-lit room or outdoors on a sunny day, try setting the display brightness to two to three units of brightness.
Step 4. Disable Bluetooth
If you are not using this device, you can safely turn it off to avoid unnecessary drainage of power from your laptop battery.
Step 5. Learn to give the computer one task
The computer's memory in use consumes more power in order to store data. In addition, using more memory can mean more frequent switching between windows on the screen or active use of the paging file on your laptop's hard drive. All of this requires additional drain on your laptop's battery. Instead of leaving a few applications and windows open, only use the ones you need at a given time. If your laptop has a lot of RAM, then keep a few applications open to avoid repetitive loading of the hard drive. Close all applications running in the background on the computer, such as PDA USB sync programs or backup software.
Step 6. Run simple applications that do not use a lot of RAM, do not require active disk operations, and do not consume the processing power of your processor
Use a basic text editor rather than the memory-intensive Microsoft Word. Apps like playing games or watching movies use up a lot of battery power.
Step 7. Avoid extreme temperatures
Batteries operate on basic chemical reactions and discharge faster at extreme temperatures. Try charging and using the battery at room temperature.
Step 8. Use the power management settings on your laptop that are already built into it
In Windows XP, click the Power Options feature in Control Panel. On Macintosh laptops, search for "Energy Saver" in System Preferences.
Step 9. Disconnect external devices such as USB mouse or external drive
Step 10. Instead of using "standby" mode, turn off the computer or put it into "sleep mode" if you do not plan to use the laptop for some time
Standby mode continues to consume power to keep your computer ready to run when you lift the lid.
Step 11. Clean the battery contacts
Clean the metal contacts of the battery with a soft cloth lightly saturated with rubbing alcohol. Clean contacts increase energy efficiency.
Step 12. Use batteries immediately after charging
Batteries lose power if they are not used quickly enough after charging. If you do not use a fully charged battery, 3 weeks after you have charged it, you may find it empty.
Step 13. Defragment your hard drive
The more fragmented your hard drive is, the more power it needs to function properly with your data.
Step 14. Avoid using CD or DVD players
If you store the information you need on an optical disk, copy it to your laptop hard disk or to a flash drive before leaving the house. Optical drives consume a lot of power when playing CDs and DVDs. Try to avoid applications that make your hard drive or optical drive work. Want to listen to music? Try using your portable MP3 player rather than listening to songs on your computer. Listening to music on your computer will require additional hard disk work, which consumes power. Turn off the automatic save function in MS Word or Excel. Storing data permanently will require constant hard disk operation and will increase energy use.
Step 15. Disable ports
Disable unused ports and components such as VGA, Ethernet, PCMCIA, USB, and yes, your wireless, too. You can do this through Device Manager or by setting up a separate profile (see next step).
Step 16. Create a power saving profile on your computer
Customize your laptop for the different situations in which you use it (on an airplane, in a cafe, in an office, and so on). You can do this through the Hardware Profiles menu, right-clicking on My Computer and choosing Preferences, or using a freeware program such as SparkleXP.
Step 17. Use a cooling pad if you are using the laptop on your lap
But if it's a USB dock, then don't use it as it will likely use more battery than it will save.
Step 18. Avoid leaning your laptop against a pillow, blanket, or other soft surface that might get hot
Step 19. If your laptop has an OLED display, avoid displaying white splash screens
OLED displays consume much less power without a splash screen.
Step 20. Remove external devices such as flash drives, DVDs, hard drives and so on if you are not using them
- Use the battery before you charge it. When it's fully charged, unplug it and your battery will last longer and give you better performance.
- Clear your table. It sounds strange, but if you have a dirty, dusty desk, dust will get into the vents and clog the cooling fan. And once the dust gets inside your laptop, it will be much more difficult to remove it. You can try blowing it out with compressed air, but you risk damaging the internal components. You can also remove the cover and dust off, but be aware that disassembling your laptop may void your warranty. So, clean your desk at least once a week, if not daily.
- Be sure to fully charge the battery before leaving the house if there is nowhere to charge your laptop in the area where you are going.
- Take a break if your computer is running low.
- Macintosh laptops offer an Expose function that temporarily turns off the screen. Use it whenever you listen to music, but don't use the display or go out for a short time.
- Be careful when charging the battery. Never plug or charge it when you are not around. There are many known cases of batteries exploding due to flammable lithium-ion particles. Charging your laptop battery should not be taken lightly.
- If you use your computer for too long, it can overheat and damage components, shortening their lifespan.
- If you are surfing the Internet using a laptop, do not turn off anything or you will lose your work.
- Be careful when cleaning the contacts. Always clean them when the battery is completely discharged and use a slightly damp cloth to avoid electric shock and short circuit.