How to extend the life of your laptop battery

When travelling with your laptop, due  to the short battery life you usually have to carry around a charger and for some laptops it can be big and bulky and just not convenient.  There are however ways you can extend your battery life and thus leave the cumbersome charger at home. Below are some tips to help your laptop’s battery power last longer.

Tips to Extend Laptop Battery Life

If you don’t need sound mute the volume level or turn it off.

Use the power management settings on your computer that come built-in. On a Mac, use “Energy Saver” in System Preferences and on Windows XP, use “Power Options” in the control panel.

Try to avoid extreme temperatures as batteries will drain faster in either very cold or very hot temperatures.

Don’t prop your laptop on a pillow, blanket, or other soft surface that can heat up and keeping the vents clean to prevent heat from building up. Its simple to keep vents clean, just use a can of compressed air to blow out the dust.

If you not using the network or internet, switch WiFi off. The WiFi antenna included in your laptop uses up a lot of batter power so when you need to extend your battery life turn if off when you don’t need it and switch it back on when you want to use it again.

Memory that is in-use takes more power to hold.  Thus single-task by not leaving multiple applications and windows open if you aren’t using them.  However if your laptop has lots of memory it may be better to keep multiple applications open to avoid loading repeatedly from the hard drive – if you are going to be using the applications.

If you are in a well-lit area reduce the LCD’s brightness level to a minimum set it to two or three bars.

Instead of using standby, shut down or hibernate the laptop as standby continues to use energy.

Make sure that your periodic virus scan or backup is set to a time when your machine is running on AC power.

Remove the CD or DVD from the drive as the drive will always want to run that disk.

It is better to run simple applications that don’t use much processing power, RAM or disk drive. Thus to save battery life it is better to use a basic text editor rather than the processor and RAM heavy Microsoft Word. Games and movies are particularly heavy applications and significantly reduce battery life.

Tailor sleep setting so that the computer goes to sleep after a minute or so of inactivity.

If you don’t use Bluetooth disable this device.

Cut down on external devices such as an external drive or a USB mouse.

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

Clean the battery contacts with rubbing alcohol on a damp cloth as this will increase the energy efficiency.

If you rarely use your laptop to check out Flash-based sites uninstall or disable flash – you can save up to 30% of power by not using Flash.

Keep the battery charged – don’t expect that a battery will remain charged if you don’t use the laptop as batteries leak power if they aren’t used fairly soon after charging. .

Defrag your hard drive as this reduces the amount of work your hard disk needs to do.

Avoid using a CD or DVD by copying data, music, video or other media it to your laptop’s hard drive or a thumb drive before traveling. The CD/DVD drive uses a lot of power while it runs.

Disable unused ports and components, such as Ethernet, PCMCIA, VGA and USB.

Use a cooling pad when using a notebook computer on your lap unless it’s a USB pad.

OLED screens consume a lot less power displaying blank so if your laptop has a OLED based display, avoid displaying white images.

If not in use, eject external devices such as pen drives, DVDs, hard disks.

Create Power-Saving Hardware Profiles for different scenarios such as in the office or an a plane.

Add more RAM as memory helps you open and close things faster and consequently using less power.

Finally it may be worth considering a battery extender.

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How To Extend the Life Of Your Laptop Battery

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