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How to make the battery last longer on charge on Windows 10

A battery depreciates over time. A new battery may last 5-7 hours, while an aged one might only last an hour or fifteen minutes. If your battery has reached this lower end of its life, there isn’t much you can do to get more out of a single charge. If your battery is fairly healthy, or even if it’s new, and you won’t be able to plug it in any time soon, there are certain things you can do to make the laptop battery last longer on a single charge.

Laptop battery last longer on charge

The solutions below will, collectively, help your battery last longer than it would but the reduced power usage will come at a cost. You will have to limit what you use the laptop for, and which features you use.

1. Change power plan

The first thing you should do is change your power plan. Normally, Windows 10 switches over to  the balanced power plan when it detects that the system is not plugged in. If your system hasn’t changed to the balanced power plan, follow the steps below;

  1. Click the battery icon in the system tray.
  2. In the pop-up that opens, move the slider all the way to the left to Best Battery Life.

2. Customize Balanced power plan

The Balanced power plan will try to give you the most out of the current battery charge but you can optimize it further.

  1. Reduce the brightness to zero, or just above zero. Windows 10 systems never go all black like Macs when their brightness is set to zero.
  2. Open File Explorer and paste the following in the location bar. Tap Enter.
Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Power Options
  1. Click ‘Change plan settings’ next to the Balanced Power plan.
  2. Click ‘Change advanced power settings’ on the next screen.
  3. Go through each of the settings in the new window and check if any are set to optimize performance. Change the setting to optimize for power saving.
  4. Expand Sleep and set the device to sleep on shorter notice. Disable wake timers.
  5. Click Apply. You can reset it later if you want.

3. Turn off Bluetooth

If you’re not going to use Bluetooth i.e., you don’t plan on using Nearby sharing, or connecting a headset to the laptop, turn the radio off.

  1. Tap the Win+A keyboard shortcut to open the Action Center.
  2. Look for the Bluetooth tile and click it to turn Bluetooth off.
  3. On that note, if you’re not using WiFi either, turn it off by clicking the WiFi tile.

4. Use integrated graphics

Windows 10 usually decides when an app will use integrated graphics and when it will use the GPU however, in some cases, an app demands that the GPU be used and the OS complies. If you think the app can run with the onboard graphics, you can force it run with the integrated graphics card instead.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go to System>Display.
  3. Scroll to the bottom and click Graphics settings.
  4. Choose the type of app you’ll be restricting from the dropdown i.e. UWP or classic.
  5. Use the Browse button to select the app and add it.
  6. Select the app, and click Options.
  7. In the menu that opens, select Power Saving.

Be careful with this as it might slow the app down.

5. Desktop background

Change the desktop background to a solid black color.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go to Personalization>Background.
  3. Open the ‘Background’ dropdown, and select Solid Color.
  4. Select Black from the swatches.

6. Control app usage

If you’re in a pinch and need your battery to last longer that it normally does, do the following;

  1. Don’t leave your browser, especially Chrome, running if you aren’t using it.
  2. Don’t play games or stop to watch a few videos on YouTube.
  3. Avoid playing media at all, including music.
  4. Off-load work that involves using resource-hungry apps e.g., if you can use Photoshop later when you’re connected to a power source, defer using it until then and work on whatever else you have.
  5. Avoid video/audio calls. Try to stick to a text-based messaging app.
  6. Do not connect your phone to your laptop. It will drain its battery.
  7. Avoid connecting any peripheral device to the laptop while it’s on battery.
  8. Disable any syncing activities that might be running e.g., a back up that might be scheduled.

Conclusion

This isn’t going to double your battery life. These recommendations should be used when you know for a fact that a power outlet won’t be available before the battery is likely to run out. You can add as much as one hour to the time you can get from the charge and of course, it won’t take into account the charge that is already depleted.

We mentioned this won’t work on a battery that has reached the end of its life and is barely holding any charge. That is because an aged battery isn’t physically capable of lasting longer. In many cases, it is unable to even manage power consumption efficiently.

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