Get the most out of your laptop battery

2010 May 29

Keep your laptop battery charged longer, by paying attention to the power settings on your computer.

Some of the newer laptop batteries hold a charge for 9 hours or more, but the life expectancy of many laptop batteries can be under 2 years. What can you do to make your fully charged battery last longer?

Prolong your Laptop Battery Life by Adjusting the brightness of the monitor.

When your laptop monitor is set at its brightest setting, it can eat up more of the electricity stored in the cells. In fact, the light from the monitor is responsible for most of the battery power you’re using. You could have fifteen tabs open on your Internet browser and it will still be the monitor light that’s responsible for your battery dying, not your browsing habits.

Keep Your Laptop Battery Charged Longer

Laptop Power Settings Can Make your Battery Stay Charged

Change your Power Settings to Make your Laptop Battery Last Longer

In a windows based system, click on Start > Control Panel > Power Options and check out the settings for Portable/Laptop power scheme. The settings can be customized as you wish, but they’re designed to turn off the monitor and hard disk as well as to put your system in standby or hibernate mode after specific periods of inactivity. Users who habitually walk away from the computer for prolonged periods throughout the day may want to change some of the settings. For example, while plugged in, the automatic standby and hibernate can be extended a few hours, rather than 20 minutes. While running on batteries, the settings should be fairly low, with the monitor turning off after just 5 minutes of inactivity and invoking system standby after as little as 15 or 20 minutes. Only you know how long you generally walk away from the computer, so these settings should be personalized, with an eye toward saving your laptop battery charge.

Save Laptop Power by Ejecting CDs and DVDs

Simply having a disk in the laptop’s CD or DVD drive eats up a considerable amount of power, even if the disk isn’t in use. If you need to access files on a disk, copy them to your hard drive before switching away from outlet power, to preserve the life of your battery. If you’re watching a DVD movie on your laptop, just keep it plugged in.

Unplug Power-Sucking Devices

When you’re trying to keep your laptop battery charged longer, don’t charge your iPod. Other external devices, like USB keyboards, a wireless mouse, thumb drives, and other fun laptop accessories you purchased at Yakima Networking shouldn’t be plugged into your laptop while you’re running on battery power because these devices use your battery’s charge in order to work.

Unplug External Devices to Save Laptop Power

Make your battery last longer by unplugging your wireless mouse

As laptop batteries age, they begin to hold less power. While your new battery may hold a 9 hour charge today, six months from now it may only hold 5 hours and that charge will get smaller and smaller as it gets older. Before you invest in a new battery, consider also that the battery’s charger degrades over time, too. Yakima Networking distributes power cords and batteries. Stop into the shop to see which needs replaced before making unnecessary purchases.

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