6 Ways to Make Your Laptop Battery Last Longer

Tips for maximizing power management to keep your old laptop battery running.

The latest generation of ultraportable laptops and Ultrabooks use significantly less power than those made even a year or two ago. Though the promise of all-day battery life has huge appeal, the reality is that most owners of older laptops don’t dare wander far from an electrical outlet. Though your aging laptop battery will never be as good as the day you first turned on your machine, there are still ways to keep it running strong for many charge cycles and extend your time untethered from a power cord.

Laptop Battery Power Settings Control Panel

1. Be a Power Miser

Be aggressive with your computer’s power-saving features. Go to Control Panel > System and Security > Power Options > Change Battery Settings and opt for the Power Saver plan or create a Custom Plan. If you choose the custom option, set minimal times for when the display will dim and turn off, when the computer will go to sleep, and how bright your monitor will be. Also, under Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Power Options > System Settings, set the PC to Hibernate instead of Sleep when you close the lid.

2. Drop Non-Essential Components

Turn off power-sucking items such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Internet radios (via the hard switch or through icons found on your taskbar in the lower right of the screen). And, avoid using USB-connected devices such as external hard drives unless absolutely necessary as these are most likely running off your laptop battery.

3. Carefully Handle Scheduled Tasks

Make sure that your periodic virus scan or backup is set to a time when your machine is running on AC power. Otherwise, you’re burning off more than an hour of battery power every time each of them runs.

4. Stay Off the CD/DVD Drive

If you can, copy music, video or other media to your hard drive before you run it. The CD/DVD drive uses major power while it runs.

How to Manage Startup Tasks to Extend Laptop Battery

5. Take Out Your Laptop Battery

If your machine is usually powered by an AC outlet and rarely runs on the battery, you’re wasting charge cycles. Pop out the battery and save it for times when you know you’ll need it and you’ll likely lengthen the life of your laptop battery.

6. Disable Unused Software

Some applications run in the background on startup, soaking up your laptop battery life. To prevent unnecessary launches, hit the Start button, then type “MSCONFIG” in the Search field and hit Enter. Click the Startup tab and uncheck any items you don’t want to automatically launch when you turn on your computer, then restart your machine. (You can still manually start these programs if needed.)

6 Ways to Make Your Laptop Battery Last Longer

Tips for maximizing power management to keep your old laptop battery running.

The latest generation of ultraportable laptops and Ultrabooks use significantly less power than those made even a year or two ago. Though the promise of all-day battery life has huge appeal, the reality is that most owners of older laptops don’t dare wander far from an electrical outlet. Though your aging laptop battery will never be as good as the day you first turned on your machine, there are still ways to keep it running strong for many charge cycles and extend your time untethered from a power cord.

Laptop Battery Power Settings Control Panel

1. Be a Power Miser

Be aggressive with your computer’s power-saving features. Go to Control Panel > System and Security > Power Options > Change Battery Settings and opt for the Power Saver plan or create a Custom Plan. If you choose the custom option, set minimal times for when the display will dim and turn off, when the computer will go to sleep, and how bright your monitor will be. Also, under Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Power Options > System Settings, set the PC to Hibernate instead of Sleep when you close the lid.

2. Drop Non-Essential Components

Turn off power-sucking items such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Internet radios (via the hard switch or through icons found on your taskbar in the lower right of the screen). And, avoid using USB-connected devices such as external hard drives unless absolutely necessary as these are most likely running off your laptop battery.

3. Carefully Handle Scheduled Tasks

Make sure that your periodic virus scan or backup is set to a time when your machine is running on AC power. Otherwise, you’re burning off more than an hour of battery power every time each of them runs.

4. Stay Off the CD/DVD Drive

If you can, copy music, video or other media to your hard drive before you run it. The CD/DVD drive uses major power while it runs.

How to Manage Startup Tasks to Extend Laptop Battery

5. Take Out Your Laptop Battery

If your machine is usually powered by an AC outlet and rarely runs on the battery, you’re wasting charge cycles. Pop out the battery and save it for times when you know you’ll need it and you’ll likely lengthen the life of your laptop battery.

6. Disable Unused Software

Some applications run in the background on startup, soaking up your laptop battery life. To prevent unnecessary launches, hit the Start button, then type “MSCONFIG” in the Search field and hit Enter. Click the Startup tab and uncheck any items you don’t want to automatically launch when you turn on your computer, then restart your machine. (You can still manually start these programs if needed.)