5 September 2017

How You Can Prolong the Life of Your Laptop’s Battery

This is a guest post compiled by Jo-Ann from LaptopNinja for Josphatinfo

What a laptop gives you that a desktop PC doesn’t is convenience. If the lights go out, your laptop remains running and you can enjoy a few more hours of uninterrupted work. But even most importantly, you have mobility, you can move about with ease and work on-the-road. So if your roomie happens to be hosting his club members just when you’re supposed to be polishing your final draft, no problem: you can just leave and find a quieter place to work.

But only if your battery’s healthy. Otherwise, your laptop is no better than a desktop PC.

Truth be told, your battery is not going to last forever. Most average batteries start with 3-4 hours of runtime, but in a year or two you can only get 1-2 hours. On average, your battery starts to lose its capacity for holding charge after 400 cycles (i.e. 400 recharges). In the end, you may be lucky if your battery can last an hour off-power.

Of course, how long your battery lasts depends. One, on how often you use your laptop, which determines how many recharges it takes within a period of time. And two, there are various tactics that, regardless of how often you use your laptop, can help to prolong the life of your laptop’s battery.
Below are some of the measures you can take to earn your battery a few more months. They can be grouped into short-term and long-term strategies.

Short-Term Strategies
1. Adjust Power Settings
You can easily adjust the settings of your laptop to reduce power consumption even when you still have to use the display and the keyboard. There are situations when certain settings are unnecessary.

      ==>> Keyboard Backlighting

The keyboard backlighting is one of those settings that people ignore or just assume do not consume much power. Well, while it may not eat much power in a given time, it leaves a mark on your battery over time. So unless you happen to be in the dark and you need your backlight to see each key, you can turn it off entirely.

      ==>> Screen
Another slow but equally notable power drainer is the screen. Sure, you need the screen. But really, it does not have to be in maximum brightness or resolution all the time. Certain functions, such as typing, can do with lower brightness and resolution. A display of 50 percent brightness can significantly save you a good amount of power and buy your battery a little more time. Equally, a basic resolution (1,366 x 768) or even lower significantly reduces the power that your laptop consumes in graphic processing without having a negative impact on your performance.

      ==>> Sound
Many sound settings are not always necessary. There are sounds you may switch off altogether. Otherwise, you may switch from your laptop’s larger speakers and choose to use earbuds instead. This way, your speakers do not get power, and that unused power is saved for you to use another day.

2. Turn Off Unnecessary Apps and Processes

Contrary to what you believe, it’s not only the hardware that eats up life from your battery. The software is as crucial, and many running apps and ongoing processes will also take up a significant amount of your battery’s juice. So just as you do with the hardware, turn off what you’re not using.
You need to find your Processes Tab and switch off what’s running on the background. Be careful not to close apps that you’re using. But those related to music and video players, or even cloud storage services, can just be disabled especially for laptops that are purely meant for professional work.

Long-Term Strategies
1. Unplug Your Battery

Leaving your battery plugged in all the time wastes its cycles. Unless you have an urgent task and there is the risk of a power outage, you can pop the battery out when the laptop is plugged in. Besides, as long as your battery is plugged into any AC outlet, the battery is in the meantime irrelevant. You can then put the battery back when you need to leave with your laptop. This can significantly buy your battery some considerable extra time.

2. Tune-Up
You can alternatively tune-up your laptop for more efficient power use. Maintenance tasks and upgrades can result in a faster system overall, and which in turn ensures your battery lasts longer. For example, regular defragment of your hard drive makes the retrieval of data more efficient, which then reduces the time required to access data.

In conclusion, all these measures can help make the most of your battery until that time you decide to replace your aging notebook with a laptop having a longer battery life. Other strategies include: disabling devices and ports not in use, activating Battery Saver and upgrading components.

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