How to increase and optimize laptop’s battery life

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We all desire for a good laptop battery life in daily use and also its own longevity. Here I present you with several tips and tricks to optimize battery life without damaging your laptops.

First to get a power efficiency report:

  1. Click Start, type CMD, right click cmd.exe and click Run as Administrator.
  2. On the command line, type powercfg -energy to view a power efficiency report.

this will help you to check your battery performance time to time.

Following are some observed performance changes before and after applying tweaks:

 

Now some tips that you should follow for  a longer battery life-

1. Disable search index

The search index indexes your files for quick searching. This is a convenience but comes at a great cost to battery life when it’s running. To save power, consider disabling the search index. To disable the search index:

Click the Start button, click Control Panel, and type index in the top-right search box. Click Change how Windows searches.Click Modify.Remove all locations by unchecking them and click OK.

2. Disable automatic updates

Many programs like iTunes, Java etc. come with their own auto updating software. These programs frequently communicate with update servers and, collectively, can take a toll on battery life. It’s important to keep software up to date; however, you should consider disabling update checkers for software installed on your PC. Good software lets you disable this behavior when you install it; some software may require a little bit of digging to disable automatic update checking.

3. Optimze hard disk with a defrag

Regular defragmentation helps to arrange data more efficiently thus making the hard drive work less to access the data. The quicker the moving hard drive works lesser is the load placed on the battery. Thus, your batter can last longer. The effect is minimal, but this efficiency goes hand in glove with hard drive maintenance.

4. Kill the resource hungry background processes

End the background processes that are not vital. Monitor the resource usage through a “Ctrl-Alt-Del’ which brings up the Windows Task Manager (in Windows). If you’re not on the internet, it is safe to shut down the immediate non-essential programs running in the taskbar like the antivirus and the firewall. Weed out unnecessary programs running as start-ups by launching the System Configuration Utility from Run “Msconfig “ Tab: Startup. Uncheck the programs which you don’t want to launch and reboot the computer once.

5.  Keep the battery contacts clean

Clean your battery’s metal contacts every couple of months with a cloth moistened with rubbing alcohol. This keeps the transfer of power from your battery more efficient.

6. Pause the scheduled tasks

It may be a defrag or a virus scan, but make sure it is scheduled for a time when you are near a power outlet. If not then nix them for the moment.

7. Remove Peripherals 

USB devices are the biggest drainers of battery power. Unplug all external devices like an external mouse, PC cards, Wi-Fi, external speakers, Bluetooth and even an attached iPod.

8. Empty the CD/DVD Drives

Even if you don’t intend to use it, don’t leave any CD/DVDs as leftovers in the drives. A spinning drive sucks battery power like a sponge.

9. Stop useless windows services

You probably also have a handful of Windows Services that you can disable to conserve system resources. To see which services are launching automatically on your laptop, click the Start button, type SERVICES.MSC in the Search field, and press Enter. The services management utility will open and you’ll see a huge list of services installed on the system.

10. Never use battery regularly

Never use battery regularly especially on GAMING or VIDEO EDITING like resource hungry processes-it will save your battery life which is by default ~300 cycles of charge and discharge only!!!! GAMING or VIDEO EDITING like processes on battery will lead to death of your battery within a few months of use and you will be forced to replace the same.

11. Take care of your battery

Exercise the Battery. Do not leave a charged battery dormant for long periods of time. Once charged, you should at least use the battery at least once every two to three weeks. Also, do not let a Li-On battery completely discharge.

12. Lower the brightness

The LCD screen of a laptop is another huge power sink. Calibrate the brightness to the lowest level you can tolerate using the Function key toggles or using the Display Settings applet in the Control Panel.

13. Kill the sounds

Mute the speakers and try avoiding the use of multimedia software to maximize the battery life. Installed sound schemes also drain a battery perceptibly.

14. Disable Your Wireless Internet & Bluetooth

If you’re not using the internet or Bluetooth, consider disabling the hardware to save battery power. To disable your wireless, bluetooth, or both cards, either:

15. Stop screensavers

To maximize battery life by a little, switch off the screensaver.

16. Visit Power Options

Get familiar with power management through the ‘Power Options’ applet in the Control Panel. All windows from XP ,Vista,7 and 8 come with advanced power management features which shut off components like the monitor and/or the hard drive after specified intervals. This again depends on the chosen ‘Power Schemes’  in the same applet. For instance , ‘Power saver’ under Power Schemes can be selected for maximum battery optimization.

17. Turn off the visual appearance features

Today’s OS like Windows Vista ,win7 or win8 come with features like ‘Aero Glass’ which are power hungry. One can turn it off and go for the ‘Classic’ appearance which consumes less power.Linux and even Macintosh are better optimized for longer battery life.

Click the Start button, click Control Panel, and type visual in the top-right search box. Click Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows.Select Adjust for best performance and click OK.

18. Hibernate is better than Sleep

In the Stand By mode (or sleep mode), the computer turns of the hard drive and the display but memory remains active while the CPU slows down. This draws on the battery. In contrast, hibernation mode is better because the computer saves the current state and shuts itself down completely thus saving power.

19. Avoid graphic intensive applications

Working on too many programs while on the battery is a sure fire power drainer. Keep use of graphic intensive applications to a minimum. Working on a spreadsheet consumes much less than playing your favourite game. To increase the life of the battery open just one or two programs concurrently.

20. Add more RAM

Adequate RAM reduces the load on Virtual memory which by default resides on the hard drive. Though every extra bit of RAM uses up more power, it increases overall savings by short cutting access to the power hungry hard drive.

21. Keep laptop clean

A laptop with blocked air vents will generate more heat thus reducing the life of the battery. Clean the air vents regularly to keep operating temperatures low. Allow for open space around the vents for air to circulate freely. Keep the area around the laptop clean to avoid entry of dust.

22. Keep Your PC Cool

Undue heat kills off a battery slowly but surely. Avoid leaving the laptop under direct sunlight or inside a closed car.If using it on your lap or on a pillow, ensure there is proper ventilation. Never use your PC on a blanket or soft surface where airflow is restricted. This will also keep your hardware working longer as hardware is less likely to overheat and fail.

23. Avoid the battery memory effect

A problem more for the older Ni-MH batteries than for Li-Ion batteries on which most modern laptops run. Memory effect relates to the loss of battery charge when they are repeatedly recharged after being only partially discharged. It can be prevented by discharging the battery fully and then completely recharging it. Li-Ion batteries on the other hand have no problems with partial discharges and re-charges and complete discharge is never recommended for this type.

24. Update software and drivers

This sounds a bit odd but then newer drivers and software are often designed to be more efficient (and hopefully less resource hungry).

25. Turn-off autosave functions

MS-Word’s and Excel’s autosave functions are great but because they keep saving regular intervals, they work your hard driver harder than it may have to. If you plan to do this, you may want to turn it back on as the battery runs low. While it saves battery life in the beginning, you will want to make sure your work is saved when your battery dies.

26. Use the right adapter

Ensure that the adapter you use to charge the laptop battery is an original one or one with the correct specifications. A mismatch in the wattage could cause an overload thus damaging the laptop and the battery.

27. Remove the batteries if not in use for long period

If you don’t plan to use the laptop on batteries for quite some time, ensure that the charge is nearly 40 percent – remove the batteries and store it in a cool place.

A typical lithium ion battery has an overall average life of 2-3 years. With some care and caution, its mortality can be delayed.

28. Get softwares like Battery Optimiser

If you want to do battery optimizations automatically on regular basis then softwares like

‘Battery Optimiser’ may help you for increasing  and optimising your battery life.

Download: http://www.reviversoft.com/battery-optimizer/

OR- you may use ‘Granola‘ its an excellent freeware for saving energy.

Download: http://grano.la/software/download_granola.php

 

At last if you plan for a new laptop then…..

29. Get yourself a more efficient laptop

Laptops are getting more and more efficient in nature to the point where some manufacturers are talking about all day long batteries. Picking up a newer more efficient laptop to replace an aging one is usually a quick fix.

For any queries and help related to my tricks and tips or related to computer hardwares/softwares please comment on our Facebook page ;I will reply as soon as possible.

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