Whether you’re on a train heading into work, sitting by the lake at your local park, or hiding in the woods while typing your 50,000 word manifesto, eventually we all need to conserve laptop battery power until we can find a place to plug in. Changes in our Operating System’s power management and improvements in portable hardware technology have made it easier than ever to milk every last second out of our laptop’s battery. Follow these tips when away from a power source:
Prolong Your Laptop’s Battery Life
These are some simple things you can do to save power and extend laptop battery life:
- Mute the speakers – While you can’t live without a display, you can temporarily live without sound.
- Turn off WiFi and Bluetooth – Even if you’re not using them, they’re still looking for a signal and draining your battery.
- Lower the brightness on your display – Manually turn down the brightness as much as possible if your laptop didn’t automatically do this for you.
- Turn off any scheduled tasks – Defragging the hard drive while trying to conserve battery life would not be a good idea.
- Do not use the DVD drive – If your DVD drive is spinning up, it’s consuming a lot of battery power.
Setup Your Own Power Plan
If you frequently find yourself away from a power source you might want to carry an extra battery and create a customized power plan for your laptop.
- To setup your own power plan, click on Start and then Control Panel.
- Under System and Security, click Power Options.
- In the left-hand pane, click Create a power plan.
- Choose a plan that closely resembles what you need.
- In the Plan name box, type something to identify the power scheme–like “On the run,” and then click Next.
- On the Change settings for this plan page, choose the display and sleep settings you want to use when you’re plugged into power and when you’re not.
You can also click on Change Advanced power settings to control how your hardware acts under this power scheme. In the example above, we can change how soon the hard drive powers down when idle.
If you think you’ll find yourself away from civilization for a long time–while camping or in an airplane, for instance–the Lenmar PowerPort Laptop – Portable Battery and Charger is a great way to power and charge your laptop. It even allows for you to connect and charge other portable devices, such as phones and MP3 players.
Whatever method you use, plan ahead by knowing what settings to disable and what power scheme to use while on the road. Let us know if you have any other additional tips to extend laptop battery life.