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How to Improve the Battery Life of your Laptop

By Oluchukwu Ikemefuna

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Battery life is a crucial aspect of laptop usability, influencing its productivity and convenience in various settings. 

In today’s digital age, laptops are necessary tools for work, study, and leisure. However, one common frustration that many laptop users face is the limited battery life. 

Whether you’re a student, a professional, or a casual user, the ability to extend your laptop’s battery life can significantly enhance your productivity and convenience. 

In this article, we’ll be looking at practical and simple strategies to help you improve the battery life of your laptop.

How to Improve the  Battery Life of your Laptop

In our everyday use of laptops, making sure the battery lasts longer is super important. That’s why we’ve put together some easy-to-follow tips to help you get more out of your laptop’s battery. These tips include

1.Adjust Your Power Settings: 

One of the most effective ways to conserve your laptop battery power is by adjusting your laptop’s power settings. Most operating systems offer “power-saving modes” or “battery saver mode” that can help extend battery life.

In Windows, you can access these settings by going to Control Panel > Power Options and on macOS, navigate to System Preferences > Energy Saver.

Choose a power plan that suits your usage needs. For example, selecting the “Power Saver” mode on Windows or enabling “Battery Saver mode” on macOS can automatically adjust settings to conserve energy.

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2. Optimize Screen Brightness:

The display is one of the biggest drains on your laptop’s battery. Lowering the screen brightness can significantly extend battery life. Adjust the brightness manually or enable automatic brightness adjustment if your laptop supports it.

Also,you can consider reducing the screen timeout period to turn off the display when not in use quickly. This simple adjustment can save considerable power over time.

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3. Manage Background Processes

Background processes and applications running unnecessarily can consume precious laptop battery power.You should close programs and apps that you’re no longer actively using to minimise resource usage.

Use task manager or activity monitor to identify resource-intensive processes and terminate them if they’re not essential.

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4. Unplug Peripheral Devices

USB devices, external drives, and peripherals connected to your laptop can draw power even when not in use. Disconnect or unplug these devices when they’re not needed to conserve battery life.

Similarly, disable Bluetooth and Wi-Fi when you’re not using them to reduce power consumption further.

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5. Opt for Efficient Web Browsing:

Web browsing can be a significant factor that drain battery life, especially if you have multiple tabs open or are streaming media content. 

Use browser extensions or features that block ads and unnecessary scripts to reduce resource usage. Consider also using lightweight browsers or mobile versions of websites when possible, as they typically consume less power than their full desktop counterparts.

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6. Keep Your Laptop Cool:

Laptop overheating can not only degrade the performance of your laptop but also reduce its battery life. You should ensure proper ventilation by keeping vents clear of obstructions and using a laptop cooling pad if necessary.

Also avoid using your laptop on soft surfaces like beds or couches, as these can block airflow and trap heat, leading to increased power consumption.

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7. Regular Maintenance and Updates

Make sure you keep your laptop’s operating system, drivers, and software up to date. Manufacturers often release updates that include optimizations for better power efficiency.

Periodically clean your laptop’s vents and fans to prevent dust buildup, which can block airflow and cause overheating.

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8. Utilise Power Management Tools

You can take advantage of built-in power management tools and utilities provided by your laptop manufacturer. These tools often offer additional features and optimizations tailored to your specific hardware.

You can also check out third-party applications designed to optimise battery life. However, be cautious when downloading and installing software from untrusted sources to avoid malware and security risks.

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9. Invest in a High-Quality Battery

If your laptop battery is old or degraded, consider replacing it with a high-quality battery from the manufacturer or a reputable third-party vendor.

You ought to follow best practices for battery care, such as avoiding extreme temperatures and avoiding overcharging, to prolong the lifespan of your new battery.

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10. Hibernate or Sleep When Not in Use

When you’re not actively using your laptop, consider putting it into hibernate or sleep mode instead of leaving it on standby. These modes consume minimal power while preserving your work and session state.

Also, configure your laptop to automatically enter sleep or hibernate mode after a period of inactivity to conserve battery power effectively.

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How to check how well your laptop’s battery works on Windows.

Most laptops have batteries made of lithium-ion. Over time, they can’t hold as much power as when they were new. When you first get your laptop, the battery should be able to hold a full charge of 100%. 

But as time goes on, it might only hold around 20%. But just because your battery is getting older doesn’t mean you should be stuck with your laptop suddenly dying when you’re in the middle of something important. 

Taking steps to keep an eye on your laptop battery’s health can help you avoid that. 

Here’s how you can quickly check if your laptop’s battery is still in good shape:

  • Look up “PowerShell” in the Windows search bar. You’ll see a blue screen for Windows PowerShell.
  • Type in “powercfg/batteryreport” and press enter. This will give you a file path like this: C:\Users\Your Username\battery-report.html.
  • Copy that file path into the Windows search bar. You’ll get a report with details about your laptop’s battery health.

A few signs that your battery might not be in great shape include it running out of power faster than usual and your laptop getting really hot all the time.

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How to Check your Laptop’s Battery Life on Mac

You can check if the battery in your Mac laptop is working okay.

To see the battery’s condition, go to the Apple menu > System Preferences, then click on Battery. 

Look for Battery Health on the right side. It might show:

  • Normal: 

This means that the battery is working fine.

  • Service recommended: 

It means that the battery is still okay, but it doesn’t hold as much charge as it did when it was new. You might need a new battery.

Note that the battery might not be working right, and you might not notice any changes. 

If that happens, get in touch with Apple or an authorized service provider. Getting repairs from someone not trained or using non-Apple parts could mess up your computer. You can keep using the battery until it’s checked without hurting your computer.

To adjust battery settings, click the Info button next to the battery’s condition.

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What are the Signs of a Damaged Laptop Battery?

A spoilt or close to damaged Laptop Battery will exhibit some certain features that screams that it needs a change. Some of these signs include:

1. Shorter Battery Life

Let us say you use an Ultrabook and your ultrabook doesn’t last as long on a full charge as it used to, this is a clear sign it needs a new battery. 

Normally, a fully charged battery should keep your ultabook running for about six hours or more. If it only lasts a couple of hours now, it’s likely time for a new one.

2. Slow Charging

If your laptop takes forever to charge, it’s a red flag. A good laptop battery should charge quickly and still work well even when not plugged in.

But if it’s taking ages to charge, or only charges when it’s plugged in, you might need to swap out the battery.

3. Unexpected Shutdowns

You should keep an eye on how often your device suddenly turns off, especially right after charging. 

Even though the occasional glitch might not mean much, if it’s happening a lot, it could mean your battery’s gone bad. 

Try charging it again, but if it keeps happening, it’s likely time for a new battery.

4. Age of Your Device

No laptop lasts forever, no matter how great it is. If your laptop is acting up, it might just be getting old. 

Laptop batteries usually start to fail after a year or two or after being charged 300-400 times. 

So if your laptop’s been around for a while, it might need a new battery.

5. Overheating Problems

Laptops are supposed to stay cool while you use them. If yours feels hot to the touch, it’s working too hard, and its battery might be struggling. 

An overheated laptop often makes noise because its fans are working overtime to cool it down. 

To avoid more damage, unplug it and stop using it if it’s overheating.

6. System Warning Messages

Most laptops have ways to check on their health. Macbook users might get a warning when something’s wrong, while Windows users can run a check to see if the battery needs replacing. Your laptop will usually tell you if it’s time for a new battery.

If you think a bad battery is causing problems with your Windows laptop or MacBook, get in touch with tech experts to get it fixed or swapped out.

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FAQs

How can I adjust the power settings on my laptop to improve battery life?

To adjust power settings, navigate to Control Panel > Power Options on Windows or System Preferences > Energy Saver on macOS. Choose a power plan like “Power Saver” mode on Windows or enable “Battery Saver mode” on macOS to conserve energy.

Does screen brightness affect battery life, and how can I optimize it?

Yes, lowering screen brightness can significantly extend battery life. You can manually adjust brightness or enable automatic adjustment if supported. Also, consider reducing the screen timeout period to save power.

How do I manage background processes to save battery power?

Identify and close unnecessary programs and apps using task manager or activity monitor. 

Should I unplug peripheral devices when not in use to save battery?

Yes, disconnect USB devices, external drives, and peripherals to prevent unnecessary power drain. Also, disable Bluetooth and Wi-Fi when not in use to reduce power consumption further.

How can efficient web browsing help conserve laptop battery?

Use browser extensions to block ads and unnecessary scripts, and consider using lightweight browsers or mobile versions of websites. 

What steps can I take to keep my laptop cool and improve battery life?

Ensure proper ventilation by keeping vents clear and avoid using your laptop on soft surfaces. 

Why is regular maintenance and updates important for battery life?

Keeping your laptop’s operating system, drivers, and software up to date can improve better power efficiency. Clean vents and fans periodically to prevent dust buildup.

How can I quickly check my laptop’s battery health on Windows and macOS?

On Windows, open PowerShell and type “powercfg/batteryreport” to generate a battery health report. On macOS, go to Apple menu > System Preferences > Battery and look for Battery Health.

Conclusion

In conclusion, enhancing the battery life of a laptop is essential for maximizing productivity and convenience, especially in today’s mobile-centric world.

By implementing the strategies outlined above, users can effectively prolong the lifespan of their laptop batteries and optimise their usage. 

References

  • intel.com -How to Increase Laptop Battery Life
  • paklap.pk – What are the symptoms of a bad laptop battery?
  • support.apple – Check the condition of your Mac laptop’s battery

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Blessing Ukibe
Blessing Ukibe

Medical Student at Nnamdi Azikiwe University|Tech content expert at Silicon Africa Technology|Lover of fun books and fun fun ☺️

Articles: 148

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