Have you ever been in the middle of important work, only to have your laptop suddenly power off because it ran out of juice? If you can empathize, you’re not alone. A laptop with a low battery life can drive you crazy.
If these troubleshooting tips don’t help, it might be possible that your battery is damaged somehow and you might need laptop repair. Chances are though, if you follow this advice, you’ll enjoy a much longer lifespan when it comes to battery power.
You can make your laptop run longer on its battery by turning off or reduce all the things that expend power in your computer. If you are going on a long trip, or just taking your laptop to a local coffee shop, use these tips to help your laptop battery power last longer.
The battery itself
- Make sure your battery is fresh. They can leak power if they aren’t utilized soon after charging. If you have charged your battery all the way 2 weeks after you last charged it, you may find that it is empty.
- Instead of charging your battery to full every time, adjust the maximum charge to 80-85%. This will help prolong your batteries lifetime.
- Clean the battery contacts with rubbing alcohol with a damp cloth. This will increase the efficiency of energy.
- Avoid using your laptop in extreme temperatures. Batteries will run out of juice at these temperatures, so try to use the battery and charge it at room temperature.
- Use a cooling pad when you use your laptop on your lap.
- Try not to prop your laptop on a blanket, pillow or other soft surface where it can heat up.
- Did you know that external devices like an external hard drive or USB mouse can drain battery? Try unplugging them.
- Try not to use DVD or CD. If you keep a copy of information you need on disc, copy it to your hard drive or to a USB drive before you use your laptop for an extended period of time. Optical drives use large amounts of battery power to spin CDs and DVDs.
- Avoid using applications that keep hard drive spinning.
- If you need to play music, try to use a handheld MP3 player instead of playing songs on your computer – that will make the hard drive work, which drains energy.
- Turn off “auto save” on Excel or Word. Constantly saving will cause your hard drive to turn, using energy.
- Eject any external devices like hard disks, USBs, DVDs, and anything else if they are not in use.
- Use built in power management settings on your laptop. On Windows, select “Power Options.” On Mac, choose “Energy Saver.”
- If you don’t plan to use a network or the internet, switch off your wireless card.
- If you don’t use Bluetooth, you can disable this feature and save laptop battery.
- Hibernate or shut down the laptop instead of using standby if you aren’t using it for a while. Standby will continue to drain your battery to keep your laptop ready to power up when you open the cover.
- Turn off any ports you aren’t using, like VGA, PCMCIA, Ethernet, USB and wireless.
- Create Power Saving Profiles for your hardware. You can set up your laptop for different scenarios in which you might use it, like at a coffee shop, on the plane, at the office, etc.
- You can do this through computer settings.
Hard drive defragmentation is important. If your hard drive is fragmented, it needs to work more. Note that you won’t need to defrag a hard drive on a Mac, these laptops do this on their own when necessary. Additionally, don’t defrag your solid-state drive – this will make it slower.
- Turn down the resolution of your screen.
- If your laptop has an OLED display, try not to use white background images. These screens use a lot less power displaying blank.
- Turn down the LCD’s brightness level, particularly if you use your laptop outdoors in the sun or in a well lit area.
Decrease the number of open tasks
- When your PC memory is being used it takes more power to contain data.
- Using more memory might lead to using more virtual memory or swap space on your hard drive.
- Use only what you need while you are working.
- Close apps that run in the background like thumb drive backup software or syncing software.
- Try to run simple applications like a basic text editor instead of Word. More advanced programs consume processing, disk drive and RAM power.
- Avoid using heavy apps like games and avoid watching movies – these are particularly hard on the battery.
Now that you have adjusted these settings, your laptop should hopefully last a lot longer. You can take it on a road trip, or on the airplane and not have to worry about your laptop suddenly powering off on you.
If these troubleshooting tips didn’t work, it’s possible there is something wrong with your battery, and you should bring it to a repair shop to get to the bottom of the problem.