Whether you are a regular laptop user or a businessperson, a dependable laptop battery ensures you stay connected even on the go. But with resource-heavy applications and media eating up battery power, most users find that the average battery lasts less than four hours of continuous use. This poses a problem for people who are constantly working in mobile locations such as cafes, hotspots or other places that may not always provide ready access to electrical outlets. Conserving battery power can be tricky but these tips are a good place to start.
– Power Management: This is key to saving some serious battery power. Use the ‘Power Options’ utility from the Control Panel, on Windows XP or Vista to specify components such as the monitor or hard drive to shut off after fixed intervals. Set the ‘Power Scheme’ to ‘Max Battery’ and your operating system optimizes battery usage.
– Disk Cleanup and Memory: A clean and uncluttered disk helps conserve your battery. Run Disk Defrag regularly, delete Temp files, and if possible opt for a better RAM. Having more memory on your computer will be able to cope with more arduous desktop tasks, which will in turn save battery power.
– Lower Sounds and Effects: Your laptop LCD display itself may be guzzling lots of power so keep brightness as low as is workable and turn off sounds schemes. The brightness and sound schemes of your computer can suck up battery juice very quickly.
– Task Manager: This is an effective tool to cutting down battery usage by keeping non-essential programs from running in the background. You will want to sort the list of programs that are running processes by their memory usage. Determine which applications are using the most memory that you are not using and end the process. Use the System Configuration Utility to remove specific programs from launching on startup.
– External Devices: These often wreak havoc on your laptop battery power, so keep any external devices unplugged. This also applies to CD/CVD drives, which are best kept empty when not in use.
– Screensaver: Turn off your screensaver and you may be able to get more from each battery recharge.
– Try a “classic” more simple desktop theme. You know that desktop theme that looks bland and boring? It’s ugly, but you can save a good amount of processing power by having a more stripped down, basic desktop theme. Little things like having the basic Windows icons, no drop shadows and other features removed will help conserve memory. This will in turn conserve more battery power.
– Recharge Right: This may not really be applicable with the new-age Li-Ion batteries, but experts recommend that you drain the battery as much as possible before recharging it. This prevents possible loss of battery charge when recharging after a partial discharge.
Practice these common methods and be smart about which applications you need open to work and which ones are superfluous to your needs. Doing so will help make sure that you get the most out of your battery and don’t find yourself scrambling for an outlet when you least expect it.
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