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.
#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 ;
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.
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.
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.
#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!