5 Tips for Better Laptop Battery Life

12/04/2011 15:23

Tip 1: Power Down the Display

Do you know one of the most effective ways to conserve laptop battery life is to lower the brightness of the screen display? Its been known that lowering one level of screen brightness will yield up to 10 more minutes of battery life. You can easily do this by going to Start > Settings > Control Panel > Display and clicking the Settings tab. You can also disable those cool effects like ClearType fonts and fade effects to reduce the CPU's power consumption.

Tip 2: Turn Off Unused Devices

And here's another tip for you. As you may know, many modern laptops have a Wi-Fi built in. Unknown to many people, that Wi-Fi connection is a power guzzler! Make sure you turn off the Wi-Fi connection using the external Wi-Fi on-off switch. If your laptop does not offer such a switch, you should go to the Control Panel > System > Hardware > Device Manager and disable the infrared transceiver, Ethernet adapter and Bluetooth radio.

Tip 3: Decrease Hard Drive Activity

Your laptop hard drive is another power eating culprit. To save power, you should reduce the frequency with which your hard disk has to spin. To do this, you can try defragmenting your hard drive regularly. This can be done using the Disk Degfragmenter in the Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools menu.

You can also optimize the Windows' paging file - the area of the laptop hard drive that serves as virtual memory whenever your RAM is full. Optimizing the paging file size ensures your hard drive is accessed less frequently when you run out of system memory. To change it, go to the Control Panel > System > Advanced > Performance Settings > Advanced > Virtual Memory Change. Set both the initial and maximum paging file size to 1.5 times the capacity of your installed RAM size.

Tip 4: Disable Startup Items

Here's another tip. Disable your unneeded startup items! I find it very irritating whenever my laptop boots up and I've to wait like 20 seconds for all manner of little program bits to load into memory. You can disable those startup programs. Go to the associated programs and click on the Options or Preferences menu to do this. You can also go to the Startup tab in your Start Menu and clear programs you don't want to run at boot time.

Tip 5: Condition the Battery

One thing you should remember about laptop batteries. You need to condition it. When you first buy your laptop, charge the battery to 100 percent and then discharge it completely. Next, charge it to 100 percent again. This is not a pointless exercise - it 'conditions' the battery and helps it remember exactly how much electrical charge it can hold. After you do that, you will never need to completely discharge the battery again.


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I hope this article has shown you some good tips on conserving laptop battery life. Follow the above tips so that the next time you're sipping coffee in Starbucks, you have lots of battery life left in your laptop for surfing and working. Until next time, happy computing!