We depend on our laptops to keep us cruising along the information superhighway. They have become an part of our lives whether it is for work, to socialize online or for entertainment. Their portability makes them a constant companion for most of us.
That said, it can get frustrating when your trusted gizmo runs out of juice at a critical time. With every day of usage the strength of the laptop battery keeps diminishing and then it’s time to replace it. While there’s not much you can do to stop its aging process, you can take care to make sure your battery lasts long.
Most modern laptops come with Lithium batteries which are powerful and easier to maintain than the old Nickel-based batteries laptops used to be shipped with a while back. However, you still need to care of them, to get the most out of them.
Recommended Reading: Pro-Tips to Extend the Battery Life of Your Android Device
Tips to Prolong Laptop Battery Life
Watch the Temperature
Excessive heat and excessive cold can damage your battery. If you leave your laptop out in the sun, for example, this may cause irreparable damage to the battery. Most manufacturers recommend you operate their laptops at room temperature.
You can get temperature monitoring programs like Speed Fan to see if your laptop hasn’t heated up too much.
Defragment your Hard Drive
If your hard drive isn’t operating at peak efficiency, it will use a lot more power. You can take care of your hard drive by defragmenting it regularly and using programs like Advanced System Care to keep it running well.
You can also schedule your system to regularly clean itself.
Ensure your system has adequate RAM (2GB is usually sufficient). When your system uses drive memory instead of RAM it exerts additional load on the battery.
Keep your Software Updated
This may seem like a very simple step to implement, but it can fundamentally change how your battery works and responds to long hours of work. Most manufacturers regularly release software updates that you should install diligently. Many of these updates help your machine perform better and help extend your battery life.
Don’t Constantly Discharge the Battery
Lithium batteries don’t need to be discharged to 0%, unlike its predecessors – the Nickel based batteries. You will cause excessive stress and even damage the battery if you do discharge it fully. Instead, experts recommend that you discharge your battery to 20-30% often and charge it frequently too.
According to experts keeping your battery between 40% – 80% can extend its life almost 4 times.
Remove your Battery
You need to remove your battery if your laptop is plugged in and running demanding applications that are pushing up its temperature for a long period. The heat from the hardware will damage your battery.
On the other hand, if you are just going to be surfing the net and your battery is at 100%, you don’t need to remove it.
Turn off the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
This is the simplest tip of the bunch. Just turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth services when you’re not using them. You’ll be surprised by the difference this makes to your battery life.
Use a Low Brightness Setting
The higher your brightness setting, the faster your battery will drain. Use a low brightness setting whenever possible. Also, lower brightness is easier on the eye if you sit in front of a screen for a long time.
Related Reading: Flux is a Smart Application That Protects Your Eyes From Straining
Use a Lower Screen Resolution
Higher screen resolutions drain the battery faster. If your laptop has a fancy graphics card, you could play with the settings to save power. You can lower resolution, tweak the color settings or even disable it entirely.
Clean your Battery Regularly
Cleaning the metal part of the battery that connects to your laptop every few months (with alcohol) will help it transfer power better. However, do make sure it is properly dried before you replace the battery.
Adjust the Power Settings
Play with the power settings to find a setting that helps your battery last longer. For Windows laptops, we recommend the max battery mode. This reduced the amount of time your laptop stays on when inactive.
Limit Use of External Devices
Do not plug in external devices like hard drives, USB fans or speakers to your laptop when it’s on battery. These devices are power hogs and drain your battery very quickly.
Turn Off Demanding Applications
Don’t use demanding applications when your laptop is operating on battery. Keep multitasking limited. Keep a single application open at one time. Any unnecessary programs and updates running in the background should be shut down.
If you use Chrome as your primary browser definitely read our article about top extensions to control the memory usage in Chrome.
Disable your Optical Drive
CD/DVD/Blu-Ray drives are power hogs. They also use power even when they’re not in use. You could disable these drives if you don’t use them. You can instead just use an image mounting application like Daemon tools and play your CDs or DVDs from your hard disk drive.
Get an SSD Drive
SSD drives spin faster, boot up faster and access everything faster. In short, they are much more efficient than normal HDDs. If your budget allows, get a SSD drive to run your applications and operating system.
Don’t Leave the Battery Unused
If you are going traveling, don’t leave your battery at full charge. Instead, get it down to about 40% and then store the laptop in a cool area. Some experts even recommend, for best results, that you store the battery in a moisture proof cover in a fridge! We’re yet to try that one.
These tips should help your battery stay alive longer. Of course, no battery lives forever. If none of these tips work, it may be time to replace your battery. If you’re a regular laptop user, you must have a trick or two up your sleeve. Do share them here with our community in the comments below.