Categories Windows Vista

10 Ultimate Tips to Save Your Laptop Battery


With the explosion of laptop sales in recent years, consumers have had to take into account a new criterion of choice when buying a new PC: battery life. Often, manufacturers give a very approximate time for office use. However, it is very easy to earn valuable battery minutes by applying these few tips that you don't necessarily think of.

Credit: roflwaffle07

#1 — Cut WIFI/Ethernet connections

WIFI or wireless Internet connection consumes a lot of resources. For mobile use, this feature becomes useless unless you are close to a hotspot and you also want to connect to it.

Otherwise, let’s turn off this energy-intensive interface. To do this, there are several methods:

  • Press the keys FN + F2 (this last key may vary depending on the PC models);
  • Use a switch directly accessible on the gear (this again depends on the models);
  • Open the start Menu then look for the Windows Mobility Center. Then click on the button Disable wireless ;
Capture décran - Centre de mobilité Windows sous Vista
Screenshot — Windows Mobility Center under Vista

For Ethernet connections — cable networks, simply unplug the cord. The feature will not be completely disabled — because it is more complicated to reactivate later than WIFI, but anything connected to the PC less saves energy.

#2 — Reduce screen brightness

Another important power station, the display and its degree of brightness more or less. To save as much as possible, press the keys FN + F5 to decrease the display intensity of the screen. The key shown here depends on your computer model. It is usually represented by a sun.

You can once again use the Windows Mobility Center to configure the brightness by simply lowering the cursor provided for this purpose.

#3 — Change to economical diet plan

The Windows notification area has a battery-shaped icon. So click on it and check it Energy saving. In this way, the use of the processor and the graphics card will be reduced to their minimum. You will notice in passing that the Aero interface has turned off — since it requires the use of the graphics card.

Capture décran - Mode dalimentation, Economies dénergie
Screenshot — Power Mode, Energy Saving

At first glance, it might be useful to switch to economic mode just before going on the move so that the PC launches directly into energy-saving mode. Personally, I don't recommend it because the PC will take a lot more time to start and paradoxically will need more energy to get started properly. This is particularly true on Windows Vista.

#4 — Free USB ports

Each USB port consumes electricity and therefore has a negative impact on battery life. A simple rule is to unplug all devices without exception.

Use your touchpad — touchpad, as a mouse. If you cannot use a mouse then turn off your touchpad via the button on your PC.

#5 — Close unnecessary applications

Any memory application consumes energy. Just use one application at a time:Internet browser, email client, instant messaging, office software, etc.

Under no circumstances, do not engage in any of the following activities:

  • Video games;
  • Video editing;
  • Photo editing;

Don't hesitate to kill unnecessary processes. To do this, press the keys simultaneously Ctrl + Shift + Echap then click on the tab Process. Then make a classification by memory use by clicking on the heading of the column in question. Identify unnecessary faulty elements and right click Complete the process.

Capture décran - Gestionnaire des tâches, killing process
Screenshot of screen — Task Manager, “killing process”

A very fast way to close update systems — which will try to connect to the Internet without success if you have applied the first advice, email clients such as Outlook running in background task despite their closure, etc.

#6 — Turn off the webcam

Again, if the webcam stays on permanently, cut it through the button provided for this purpose or using the software provided during purchase. Note, however, that it is very likely to turn on demand only. In this case, go to the next point.

#7 — Close Vista sidebar

If you use the sidebar that contains the different widgets so close this one completely. Don't forget that it is only shrinking in the notification area at first. So you have to right click on the icon in question to make it disappear completely.

#8 — Stop Execution of Windows DreamScene

This goes without saying but the use of DreamScene — animated video background available only for the Ultimate version of Vista, requires a lot of system resources and therefore energy.

To stop it, right click on the Office then Interrupt DreamScene.

For DreamScene fans, you can download 24 quality HD videos.

#9 — Disable Security System

If you are not connected to the Internet and do not plan to connect removable storage devices that you do not know the source (USB key, SD card, CD, DVD, etc.), then you do not need to use a security suite (antivirus, antispyware, etc.).

For the most part, these software uses real-time protection that checks your data continuously and thus slows down their access. In the end, it’s the battery that takes a hit.

So close all these apps or at least put them to a dead end. To go further, kill the process outright as indicated in point 5. Rest assured, the processes will be automatically restored during the next restart.

#10 — using an operating system preloaded on the motherboard

This recent feature is not yet available on most laptops. Some sets of ASUS mobile phones — Express Gate technology, have it, but this remains to be checked for other manufacturers.

Anyway, there is a key to start an alternative operating system — based on Linux, directly from the motherboard. Thus, in a few seconds you will be able to launch basic applications (Internet browser, media player, etc.) in an ultra-restricted environment and therefore low energy consumption.

Ideal for short and specific uses and therefore on the move! Although still in the experimental stage, it is strong to bet that more and more models will be equipped with this new technology.

Bonus

#1 — Use Extended Standby

When you reach the critical battery usage threshold, hurry to record your work and then switch to extended standby mode to restore it as soon as you have access to a power supply.

For more information, see the article Enable/Disable Extended Standby.

#2 — Maintain your battery

It is recommended not to discharge a battery completely and remove it when you do not plan to use it. However, if you are often the victim of repeated micro-cuts or voltage drops for multiple reasons, I advise you to let it plug in — I speak knowingly...

#3 — Buy a secondary battery

This is probably the simplest solution but still count EUR 100 for an equivalent battery. Be careful to find out what type of battery is compatible.

#4 — Additional readings

I also recommend reading this article entitled Increase the battery life of portable PC on the Illumination website.

If you have managed to implement much of this advice, you should see a significant gain when the length of time you use your laptop. In my situation, I managed to save almost 15 minutes on a laptop that is very energy-intensive due to its video game configuration. If you too know about other battery optimisation solutions, leave a comment!

16 comments

Leave a Reply to JPDouet Cancel reply

  • JPDouet

    Beautiful skewer of advice... as usual with Maigret’s Blog.

    For #5, I recommend using “Process Explorer” which makes it easy to “kill” applications and their dependencies. On the other hand, it also allows to relaunch an application when it takes too much memory (so consumes more); I'm thinking about Explorer.exe.

    I have also removed almost all the programs installed by manufacturers and which start to boot for most of the time useless or so little. In addition with “Autorun” (a related application of Process Explorer), you can disable the start-up application and “prepare” your machine for use in battery mode; I do this for my netbook before I travel.

    CDT

  • Very good article by the friend Maigret (as usual), it’s nice to read this quality on Sunday morning in front of his coffee croissant
    Small additional advice may be added to the #1: Cut the bluetooth if not used
    P.S: More than 3 days before the arrival of Jaunty 9.04 and a little more before HADOPIRE’s return:-p

  • @YR : a promising software indeed I will try as soon as possible. Thank you!

    @Wolforg : I thought I had forgotten one: Bluetooth! Thank you for calling him back.

    I look forward to the new Ubuntu so that I can test all its power and propose new tutorials.

    @agatzebluz : it is true that the different methods apply to Vista but they are still easily transposable for XP. On the other hand, the segment netbooks is different from that of laptops that run them for the vast majority under Vista.

    And thank you for your visit!

  • JPDouet

    @agatzebluz: I personally have a laptop on Vista and a NetBook on XP (SC10 from Samsung). For the latter I already apply most of the tips of this article + what I wrote in my comment (see above); that is to say to “prepare” my NetBook for use only battery mode.

    By doing this I start my XP system with only 300 MB of RAM used (on the 1 GB available): WiFi disabled, bluetooth disabled, anti-virus disabled, firewall disabled, network card disabled, launchers/updater (Java, Flash, Acrobat Reader...) disabled.

    By default, I set the display to 1/3 in battery mode. It is true that the NC10 has an autonomy of 5 to 6 hours, I hold 6 hours without problems whether it is in video (with VLC only), in word processing and a little bit of local web development.

    And as mentioned above do not hesitate to use autorun and process explore that one can find here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/0e18b180-9b7a-4c49-8120-c47c5a693683.aspx

    In addition, Geek & Tech (Maigret’s Blog, I'm doing a little pub for a follower ) made an article

    — on Process Explorer: https://protuts.net/remplacer-le-gestionnaire-des-taches-de-windows-vista-par-process-explorer-de-microsoft/
    — on AutoRun: https://protuts.net/optimisez-votre-pc-en-controlant-les-programmes-lances-automatiquement-grace-a-autoruns-par-microsoft/

    CDT

  • JPDouet

    @Maigret: I don't use MSConfig.exe and I admit that I just discovered — via your article — the function on the number of processors and other boot options.

    To answer the question, I would say that AutoRun goes bcp further in the ability to disable applications or services or even DLL, to take stock of what is charged to the launch of explorer.exe or even internet explorer, DLL, winlogon, sidebar Gadgets of Vista, drivers....

    Do not hesitate to download it (see the link I gave in a previous comment in this same article), there is no need for installation. This way you will see the extent of what is possible to do. Be careful not to crash the registry

    CDT

  • Thank you for the quote

    TB article as usual! Good tips, mostly applicable also under XP (which is my case).

    For my part, I save a lot of battery only by lowering the brightness of the screen to the minimum and cutting the internet (this is almost in the order of single to double). On the other hand, I admit that I never thought of cutting off my antivirus, I'm going to test this illico!

    Regarding the processes, I see (from the screenshot of your task manager) the presence of a very useful column “description”, which I do not have on mine. Is this a novelty of Vista? Because, to complete a process, you still have to know what it corresponds to (and finish a process at the bluff, it’s always a bit risky...). If that is the case, this is in any case a good initiative!

  • @JPDouet : I'm going to study all this in detail. And know that Geek & Tech has been a partner of Maigret’s Blog for a few days and that I personally know its author.

    @lobelya : thank you for your comment!

    I'll send you the compliment for your quality item. As far as Vista is concerned, I think this is a novelty.

  • Reference article as usual...

    I save my battery with minimal brightness (I have good eyes) and always use extended standby. That’s the most economical thing.

    On Ebay there are also more powerful batteries than those of the manufacturer. With one of these batteries I hold almost 8h with an EEPC 901 and an active 3G connection (in Edge it consumes less). In addition, on eeepc, I use software that reduces CPU frequency and fan speed to save more energy.

    Finally, I have reduced to the maximum windows XP that runs with the minimum process (18 in my case for web use instead of 54 I think base) but it is tripping (my xp is barely 280 MB). Finally and here I did not, test the cpu load of the software used and find its equivalents less energy-intensive

  • Small Lu

    personally I managed to save nearly 30 minutes of battery, by taking over a basic Windows visual, removing software from the quick start. stopping the smart menu processes, in addition to the rest!