Is your laptop an extension of you? Do you take it everywhere you go? Are you constantly fighting a battle between you and the battery life of your laptop on the go? Here are some simple tips and tricks to keep in mind when using your laptop that will prolong its battery life, both in the short term and the long term as well.
Dim the Screen
Adjust your laptop screen so that it is less bright. Set the brightness as low as you can without straining your eyes and keep your laptop at this setting whenever possible. This is an easy way to give yourself more time in between charges when using your computer’s battery.
Similarly, if you do not need sound, keep your laptop on mute. If you like listening to music while you work, use your MP3 player or smartphone instead. Running multimedia like music or video is a major strain on your computer’s battery.
Do One Thing At a Time
Focus on one thing at a time to avoid overwhelming your computer and close whatever you do not currently need. Each new program you run on your computer puts an additional strain on the battery. You may be able to multitask like a pro but your laptop battery may not be able to for extended periods of time.
Turn off and disconnect any external devices that you do not need. Are you working on a project in Word or Excel that does not require the internet? Then turn off your Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Connecting to the internet (or constantly searching for a new internet connection when you are on the move) uses a lot of energy so be conscious of when you do and do not need to be wired to the web.
Also remember to take out any CDs or DVDs that are not being used. Leaving them in your computer will keep the drive spinning which needlessly saps a lot of battery power.
Cool It Down
A hot laptop is an inefficient laptop when it comes to energy. When you set up your laptop, keep in mind where its vents are and do not block them. Avoid leaving your computer on a pillow or a blanket. This is the equivalent of suffocating your computer and you will quickly be able to feel how hot it gets when it cannot “breathe.”
You can also buy a can of compressed air (they are a cheap purchase at any electronics or hardware store), which you can use to periodically clean out the vents. Spraying compressed air in the vents will clear out any dust or whatever else may be blocking your laptop’s vents. Just be sure to turn off your computer first.
Do Not Run the Battery Down to Zero
A number of people falsely believe the best way to keep your battery in good condition is to drain it until it is down to nothing before recharging. This is not advised and can actually damage your laptop’s battery, ultimately reducing its long-term lifespan. Open the energy settings on your laptop and set them to automatically turn off your laptop at a specified battery level. This will act as a safeguard to prevent your computer from ever completely emptying its battery power.
Remove the Battery
Are you planning on only working in the office this week where AC power is readily available? Remove the battery until you need it again. First, turn off your computer when the battery is more than half charged, then remove the battery and store it in a cool, dry place. This is a smart move that can prolong the life of the battery.
Tweak Settings and Personalize
These are just a few basic ideas for maintaining a healthy laptop battery life but you can always do more. Take a moment to explore the energy settings on your laptop. Personalize the power settings to a custom setting that fits how and when you use your computer. Doing this, in addition to the occasional defrag, will ensure that your computer is running as efficiently as possible.
These tricks won’t save you a lot on energy bills as the change they make is not significant in your overall energy consumption – if you wish to save, look for cheaper energy prices in your area on sites like texaselectricityproviders.com or further tips on home energy conservation. They can help you a lot in the long run!