4 Ways to Increase Your Laptop Battery Life

At Trenmead one of the most frequent complaints we hear is battery life – and that can so easily be remedied!  More than ever before people have become reliant on the batteries in their laptop, smartphones, tablets and other devices.  Most people don’t even do the most basic things to ensure their battery lasts, probably because they simply don’t know what to do.  Although these tips are mostly aimed at laptops the principles do carry over to your smartphone and tablets so use this as a guide for all your battery devices.

1. Clear Vents, Let The Air Flow!

Never sit your laptop on a sofa cushion, on a mattress, or for that matter anything soft that hinders airflow through the little slots on the bottom and sides of your machine. Those vents are for the fans that work hard to keep your machine cool, but unsurprisingly they can also suck up dust, this has the effect of clogging up the fans and causing your laptop to work harder than it needs to.  How would you like it if your boss made you do more work than was necessary?  The harder the machine works, the more battery power it is going to use. If you hear a loud buzzing (like a fan spinning really fast), or your laptop base is so hot you could cook an egg on it, you really need to move it to a tabletop or hard surface to work on. (You can even get lap trays that have airflow space if working on your lap is what you prefer!) If this buzzing is consistent, the laptop doesn’t cool down or you need assistance cleaning the dust out of the vents, contact us and our Wembley based IT Support engineers will be happy to help.

2. Screen Brightness

When you don’t need the screen brightness turned up to the max, turn it down!  The screen is the number one battery drain on any mobile device, including your laptop.  Adjusting this setting through the ‘Power Options ‘will prove beneficial, I promise. If you are using Windows 7, 8 or 10, type “power” in the search field by the power menu. Click on ‘Power Options’ and you will see the slide bar at the bottom of that window, aptly named ‘Screen Brightness’. You can adjust accordingly from here.  Keep the backlight to a minimum where convenient and you will see a noticeable difference in your battery life.  Settings or system preferences for other devices will enable you to locate screen brightness options.

3. Hibernate / Sleep

In the Windows ‘Power Setting’ menu, you can also tweak your Power Plan to help optimize battery life. Two settings to note are the ‘Choose when to turn off the display’ and ‘Change when the computer sleeps’. These are on the left-hand side of the window and can also be accessed by clicking the ‘Change Plan Settings’ link in the middle of the same window. In this menu, you have the ability to tell your computer what to do when it is plugged in, and when it is not plugged in. So when you are just running on battery power and are not hooked up to any power outlets, adjust the display to turn off or dim after a short period of time.  You generally want your laptop to hibernate and sleep sooner when it’s inactive and not being charged. On Mac systems use the system preferences and look for the ‘displays’ and ‘energy saver’ icons, they work in pretty much the same way.

4. Unplug

When the battery is full and the laptop is not in use, unplug it from the mains. Generally speaking, and according to Battery University, a battery lifespan will give you 300 to 500 full discharge cycles or charges. Leaving it plugged in, when already fully charged, can significantly decrease the amount of charges that the battery can take, permanently damaging them and shortening the length of life.  Ultimately you will have to have the battery replaced. Battery University actually recommends operating your laptop at between 40-80% charge to get the longest life out of the battery.

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