We have all been in the same situation before when the battery on your laptop is running out but you’re on the move. It is very stressful and potentially disastrous if you urgently need to use your laptop or access the data on it. Many companies have extended batteries and battery packs are available from Duracell but that means carrying more bulk and weight around with you which kind of defeats the object of having a portable machine in the first place. The best thing you can do is optimise your system to preserve battery life. Follow our step by step guide and get the most from even your cheap laptops battery.
Make your screen brightness lower
The backlight for your display uses more power than any other single component in your cheap laptop. If you turn it down to the lowest level that you can withstand you will see an improvement in battery lifespan. This can be done manually using the correct key combination but the best thing to do is go into your power profile settings. This will ensure that the setting remains all the time when you unplug so you don’t have to worry about it resetting itself which is what happens if you use the keys. To do this you must:
Select the power options in the control panel in windows
Change plan settings
Change advanced power settings
Enter the desired percentage for On Battery, then OK
Try this out and experiment with different settings to work out the lowest percentage that you can tolerate.
Stop scheduled tasks from using just battery power
Many applications and processes like updates from Google or Apple schedule themselves to run frequently without even notifying you or requesting consent. If you set this to run on AC power then you won’t waste too much power running your hard drive, processor and wireless when you need it for other things when you don’t have AC. To do this in Windows:
Administrative tools then task scheduler
Select local (left)
Go through individual tasks that have a next run coming up
Double click a task, go to conditions tab, toggle the following options, “Start the task only if the computer is on AC power” and “Stop if the computer switches to battery power”
With those options on then this should start to make a difference to your power on the go.
Keep backlit keyboards switched off
Many cheap laptops and notebooks have backlit keyboards which is useful when you are in the dark but it uses a tremendous amount of battery power. You probably won’t need this feature very much so you can save a nice bit of juice by keeping that light off. Each individual cheap laptop has a different way to turn this off but it probably just means hitting one of the function keys along the top of the keyboard.
Remove USB devices and discs when not in use
It may not seem like it but every USB device attached to your laptop is using up battery power simply by registering with the operating system. In the same way, CDs, DVDs and Blu Ray discs drain power even if they are idle in the drive. Make sure you remove any of these things if they are not in use in order to save more power.
Every USB peripheral attached to your notebook is eating up power just by registering itself with the operating system. By the same token, CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays can drain battery life, even when they’re just sitting idle in your optical drive. Remove any discs along with USB keys, card readers, modems or other peripherals you don’t need while on battery power.
Use the high contrast setting mode
Most modern cheap laptops and notebooks have LED backlit screens which use less energy when they display black pixels than ones which show colours. With this in mind, setting up your system so it shows yellow and white text on a black background can increase battery lifespan. It will also cause text to become easily readable in sunlight. To put Windows 7 into high contrast mode press left shift + left alt + print screen then hit yes when it asks you to confirm the action. Use the same combination to turn off this mode.
Disable messaging apps and software which uses the internet in background
When using your cheap laptop for the web to watch movies or check your emails or whatever, different apps like google talk and skype will constantly use the connection to check if you have any messages or see if your friends are online. Also many apps that update automatically will be checking the internet to see if you need updates for your software. To stop these power suckers before they start feeding then you must stop them from loading up on boot.
Type msconfig in the text field in start menu and click
Choose the startup tab and click
Un tick all messagin programs (they can be launched manually if you need them at any time)
Un tick auto updating software
Check back soon for more battery power saving tips from Portable Universe, Number 1 for cheap laptops!
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