If you are on the go often, you probably use your laptop a lot. And as much as I’m sure we all wish laptop batteries would never die, or at least die when you’re home and near a charger, the fact is they do and it always seems at the worst times.
So how do you extend your battery life?
There are many different ways to cut down on the power you are using while working on your laptop. They are also easy and quick to do. You don’t need to do all of them at the same time, but just be aware of the different options.
Maybe even print out this article and keep it in your laptop bag just in case you’re somewhere without a power socket and you see that little battery icon quickly draining.
- Dim the Display
Most, if not all laptops come with the option of dimming the screen. This will take away a lot of the electricity used because the backlights can actually draw a lot of power. And of course, the dimmer the screen, the more electric that is saved.
Another note on your screen, a darker screen saver takes less juice that a brighter one. It may only be a fraction of the power you use, but hey, every little bit counts, right?
- Unplug Peripherals
Peripherals are the devices that are attached to your computer. Mouses, printers, flash drives, etc. take up take power from the computer.
For example, a wired mouse needs energy from the computer to run. A wireless mouse also uses energy because the signal receiver plugged into the USB drive is using power to receive the signals.
Use the touchpad to move the cursor instead and save a watt or two.
- Turn Off Wireless Internet
Most laptops give you the option to turn off the Internet receptor. It is basically a built in peripheral. It wastes power as well.
- Close Unnecessary Applications
The more programs and applications you have open on your computer, the more CPU the computer uses.
This means the computer has to “think” more. That uses up extra power. So if you’re not using it, close it.
And especially for Windows users, if you need to close a bunch of apps to save power, then close them, and then restart your computer.
This is because many apps, even after turned off in Windows, will continue running in the background even though you can’t see them running. It’s annoying, but something to remember.
- Take Out Disks
You don’t want to have a CD or DVD in the disk drive. If you do, then the drive is continually spinning, even when you aren’t playing music, gaming, watching videos, etc. Take the disks out and save some power!
- Turn Your Computer Off
Putting your laptop on “Standby” uses more energy than necessary. Shut the thing down, or at least put it on hibernate! The extra power used to start Windows or any other OS is easily less than the power wasted on Standby.
- Clean Out Air Intake
Computers are kind of like humans. They need air. But unlike us, they need it to cool down, not to breathe.
Over time, the air intakes can attract dust just like any other air filter. The more a computer has to try to get cooled down, the more air it tries to pull in, and the more power it has to use. Dust off that dust, so the computer can use less air to cool down.
It’s the same idea as an AC filter or furnace filter. They need to be cleaned just like your computers air intake.
Followed correctly, these tips can save you a noticeable amount of power. Of course, you can always just buy a netbook, with that huge battery life of 9+ hours…and even more for the Linux versions!