How to Increase Laptop Battery Life (2022)

Who wants to make an urgent dash to a power outlet to rescue their laptop battery? That's no fun, especially if your family is working and learning from home these days in various corners of the house that may not have a convenient socket nearby. Luckily, modernlaptopsare much more efficient than their predecessors. Nowadays, even inexpensive desktop-replacement laptops and somegaming behemothscan last for more than eight hours on a single charge.Ultraportable laptopsoften endure for 14 hours or more.

Still, the inconvenient truth is that the battery in your PC or Mac laptop won't last as long as the manufacturer advertises unless you pay attention to some key factors: your power settings, how many apps you're running, even the temperature of the room in which you're working. The good news is that none of this requires much effort to sort out, once you know which settings to adjust. Let's take a look at the highest-yield, least-effort ways to get the most out of your laptop's battery.

The first stop on our battery-life betterment tour is your laptop's performance management tool. In Windows 10, it's a slider accessed from the battery icon in the task bar.It aims to group all of the settings that affect battery life into a few easy-to-understand categories.

How to Increase Laptop Battery Life (1)

(Credit: PCMag)

In Windows 11, you'll find it inSettings > System > Power & Battery > Power Mode.

How to Increase Laptop Battery Life (2)

(Credit: PCMag)

The company that made your PC determines exactly which settings the battery slider controls. But in general, keep these guidelines in mind:

  • TheBest Performancemode is for people willing to trade off battery runtime to gain speed and responsiveness. In this mode, Windows won't stop apps running in the background from consuming a lot of power.

  • TheBetter Performance (or Recommended)mode limits resources for background apps, but it otherwise prioritizes power over efficiency.

  • TheBetter Batterymode delivers longer battery life than the default settings on previous versions of Windows.

  • TheBattery Savermode, a slider choice that will appear only when your PC is unplugged, reduces the display brightness by 30%, prevents Windows Update downloads, stops the Mail app from syncing, and suspends most background apps.

For Macs: Use macOS Battery Settings

Recent Mac laptops have extensive battery and power settings that you can control. In macOS Monterey or later, open the System Preferences app and click on Battery.

How to Increase Laptop Battery Life (3)

(Credit: PCMag)

Make sure that "Slightly dim the display while on battery power" is checked, and "Enable Power Nap while on battery power" is unchecked. (With Power Nap enabled and your MacBook asleep, the machine will wake up now and then to check for updates. Disabling it keeps your MacBook fully asleep until you choose to wake it up.) On recent MacBook Pro laptops, the display brightness adjusts to 75% when you unplug the computer from power if you have "Slightly dim the display while on battery power" enabled.

(Video) Triple your Battery Life for FREE! THIS METHOD REALLY WORKS!

Depending on which laptop and which version of macOS you have, you may see additional options in the Energy Saver preferences pane. These include "Optimize video streaming while on battery" for disabling HDR video playback and "Optimized battery charging." Some Macs also have an Energy Mode setting, which is similar to the Windows performance management tool described above. If you see Energy Mode in the Battery section of system preferences, you've got the following options:

  • Low Power: Reduce energy usage to increase battery life.

  • Automatic: Have your Mac automatically use the best performance level.

  • High Power: Increase energy usage to improve performance during sustained workloads.

Simplify Your Workflow: Closing Apps, and Using Airplane Mode

If you spend lots of time working off the plug, it's a good habit to adjust your laptop use in more battery-conserving ways, such as by sticking to one app at a time and closing everything else when you're not using it. It's a bit like turning off the lights when a room is vacant. If you're going back and forth between the kitchen and the pantry all the time, or between Firefox and Microsoft Word, by all means keep both sets of lights (and apps) on (and open). But if you're just cooking, or just watching a YouTube video, you'll be best served by turning off and closing everything else.

How to Increase Laptop Battery Life (4)

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In addition to shutting down other programs while you single-task, consider enabling Airplane mode in Windows, or turning off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth in macOS, if you know you'll be editing a document with no need for web access. In addition to reducing distractions, Airplane mode eliminates a significant source of battery drain: not only the wireless radios themselves, but also the background apps and processes that constantly use them, such as updaters and push notifications.

Close Specific Apps That Use Lots of Power

Having multiple apps and processes running on your system at the same time will chew through battery life more quickly, and chances are you probably aren't actively using everything that's currently running on your PC. In Windows, the Settings app is the first step to find energy-hogging programs.

How to Increase Laptop Battery Life (5)

(Credit: PCMag)

Type "See which apps are affecting your battery life" into the Windows 10 search bar for a list of apps that are consuming the most power. In Windows 11, you can access this list in the Power & Battery settings pane under Battery Usage. If you see an app that you rarely use hogging a lot of power, make sure you close it. Often, these are apps you've opened in the background and forgotten about, such as Spotify or Adobe Reader.

Next, type "See which processes start up automatically when you start Windows" into the search bar, or open the Task Manager app. In the Startup tab, you'll see every utility that runs as soon as you start your PC. Anything with a name like "Download Assistant" or "Helper" is usually safe to disable. For example, unless you frequently open Spotify playlists, tracks, or albums from links in a web browser, you can disable the Spotify Web Helper.

To perform similar app purges in macOS, search for Users & Groups, then click the Login Items tab, where you'll find a list of apps that are designated to run in the background when you start up your Mac.

Adjust Graphics and Display Settings

If you have a powerful graphics processor (a discrete GPU) in your laptop, you can ensure that only games or other graphics-intensive apps need to use it, while everything else can get by using the more efficient on-CPU silicon for graphics processing. In Windows 11, go to Settings > System > Display > Graphics, where you can adjust which graphics processor each app uses, or let Windows automatically decide which one is best. This option may not be available on all Windows 11 laptops with dedicated GPUs.

How to Increase Laptop Battery Life (6)

(Credit: PCMag)

(Video) Tips to Extend Laptop Battery Life

To perform a similar assignment on a Mac, open the same Battery preferences pane mentioned earlier and make sure the "Automatic graphics switching" option is checked, as in the screenshot below from macOS Big Sur. You don't have the same kind of fine-tuned control over each program like you do in Windows 11, so you'll have to trust macOS's judgment when it comes to which app should use which graphics accelerator.

How to Increase Laptop Battery Life (7)

(Credit: PCMag)

Take Heed of Airflow

Most laptops now come with lithium-polymer batteries that require much less maintenance than batteries of a decade ago, thanks as much to software and firmware improvements as innovation in the battery technology itself. You no longer have to perform a full battery discharge on a regular basis to calibrate it, nor do you have to worry that draining the battery completely will damage your laptop.

How to Increase Laptop Battery Life (8)

(Credit: Molly Flores)

You do have to be careful about heat, however, which will hasten a battery's demise. The biggest problems come from physical obstruction of the ventilation ports and grilles. Dust buildup is one problem, which you can take care of by cleaning the laptop's vents and fan. (Periodically, use a can of compressed air to blow out some of the dust.) A more frequent issue that crops up, though, is using the laptop on a pillow or blanket, which can both obstruct the internal fan or fans and retain the heat coming off of the system. Avoid this by using your laptop only on firm surfaces such as a table or a desk, which won't flex and block airflow or cooling.

Keep an Eye on Your Battery's Health

All batteries lose charging capacity over time and will eventually need to be replaced. Taking stock of a battery's health now and then is always a good idea.

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On an Apple MacBook laptop, to see if your battery is nearing the end of its lifespan, hold the Option key and click the battery icon in the menu bar to reveal the battery status. If you see a "Replace Now" or "Service Battery" message, your battery is likely functioning far below its original capacity.

You can find more detailed information on how many charging cycles your battery has endured by opening the System Information app and navigating to the Power tab. Check the cycle count value againstthe rated maximums in Apple's list(Opens in a new window)to know how many more cycles you've got left.

How to Increase Laptop Battery Life (12)

(Credit: PCMag)

For an equivalent battery-health indicator in Windows 10 or Windows 11, you'll need to roll up your sleeves and delve into the world of the command prompt. Here's our complete guidefor how to generate a Windows battery report.

Review the Battery Management Settings

Some recent laptops can now automatically monitor the temperature history and charging patterns of the battery. Via software from the manufacturer, this information can be used to adjust "full" charging to remain below 100% of the battery's capacity if you don't regularly use it. (Reducing the number of charging cycles can help prolong the battery's life.)

How to Increase Laptop Battery Life (13)

(Credit: PCMag)

It's a good idea to use this monitoring, but if you'd rather disable this management software to ensure you're always charging the battery to maximize capacity, many manufacturers let you do it. On an Intel-powered MacBook running macOS 10.5.5 or later, choose System Preferences from the Apple menu, then go to Battery > Battery Health. Deselect the "Manage battery longevity" option, then click OK. Macs with Apple Silicon have battery management permanently enabled.

On Windows laptops, meanwhile, instructions vary by manufacturer;here's(Opens in a new window)Dell's how-to guide.

Carry a Battery Backup

Finally, the easiest way to ensure that you always have enough battery power is to bring along anexternal battery pack.

These external power sources plug in to your laptop the same way your charger does. They generally cost between $100 and $200, but come with adapters for use with many different laptop models. They can be used on more than one system, and even for other devices, such as your phone or tablet.

(Video) How to Improve Laptop Battery Life (Official Dell Tech Support)

How to Increase Laptop Battery Life (14)

(Credit: Anker)

These strategies will help you make the most of the battery you have. If you're in the market for a new laptop, however, and battery runtime is one of your key concerns, check outour roundup of the laptops we've tested with the best battery life.

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(Video) 15 Tips to Improve Battery Life in Windows 10 Laptops - Improve Laptop Battery Performance (2021) 🔥

FAQs

How do I increase my laptop battery life? ›

Here are some simple tips to increase the life of your laptop's battery.
  1. Change your built-in power-saving options. ...
  2. Laptop manufacturer battery maintenance tools. ...
  3. Take a battery monitor for deeper insights. ...
  4. Keep the brightness down. ...
  5. Keep it cool. ...
  6. Avoid full discharges. ...
  7. Kill power-hungry apps and processes.
23 Mar 2020

How do I change my laptop battery to 80%? ›

If your system has Power Management Options, then select the drop-down for Battery Health Manager and select Maximize my battery health. This setting maximizes the battery health by lowering the maximum battery charge level to 80%. Next, press the F10 key to save the changes and exit.

How long does 100% battery last on laptop? ›

How long should a laptop battery last after each charge? After the laptop has gone through a full single charge and the power adapter is unplugged, the average laptop battery life is between one and ten hours.

What kills laptop battery faster? ›

Running several apps at once is sure to kill your battery quickly. Plug in a few power-draining devices via USB. Grab your optical mouse, flash drive, and that keyboard vacuum. Last, insert a DVD into your laptop's drive and hit play.

Can I leave my laptop plugged in 24 7? ›

A battery cannot be overcharged.

There's no danger of overcharging a battery if you leave it plugged in all the time, even 24/7. As soon as it hits 100 percent, it will cease charging and won't start again until the voltage falls below a certain level.

What is critical battery level? ›

When the battery charge reaches 5 percent, you're at the critical-battery level and your laptop goes into hibernation/sleep.

Should I unplug my laptop at 80%? ›

In order to squeeze as much life out of your lithium-polymer battery, once your laptop hits 100 percent, unplug it. In fact, you should unplug it before that. Cadex Electronics CEO Isidor Buchmann told WIRED that ideally everyone would charge their batteries to 80 percent then let them drain to about 40 percent.

Is it good to use laptop while charging? ›

In sum, there is no evidence in the scientific literature to justify the alarming claim that the WhatsApp video makes – that using a laptop while it is charging will cause cancer in the body.

Is 3 hours of laptop battery good? ›

Overall, the average lifespan of a laptop battery on a single charge probably ranges from as low as 2-3 hours to as high as 7-8 (or more) hours. Again, though it really just depends on what you are doing with your laptop.

What is the maximum life of a laptop battery? ›

On average, a laptop battery has a lifespan of between two and four years (around 1,000 full charges). Total lifespan depends on the battery type, how you treat the computer, and how often you use your laptop.

What uses the most battery in a laptop? ›

The biggest battery drains for your laptop
  • Display brightness. While the CPU takes up a heavy chunk of battery life, the display is the number one power drain on your laptop. ...
  • CPU throttling. The CPU is one of the more power-sapping components in any PC or laptop. ...
  • Built-in devices. ...
  • Windows settings.
5 Jan 2017

Can more RAM save battery? ›

Did you know that your RAM size can also affect your battery life? More RAM means your computer can perform processes faster, and your hard drive won't be as stressed, increasing your battery life. Alternatively, you could replace your hard disk with a solid-state drive (SSD).

What wastes the most battery on laptop? ›

Part 1: Why is My Laptop Battery Draining Fast?
  • There could be too many processes running in the background.
  • A heavy application (like gaming or any other desktop app) can also drain the battery.
  • A change in the system settings, causing the fast draining of the battery.

At what percent should I charge my laptop? ›

According to some studies [1], charging a battery to only 85% to 90% can improve its discharge cycle from 300 to even an extra 1000 recharges. Basically, if you charged your laptop to 85% to 90% instead of to 100%, you could improve your battery lifespan by 6 months to a year.

How many times should I charge my laptop in a day? ›

After purchasing a new laptop computer or battery for your laptop, we recommend the battery be charged for no less than 24-hours. A 24-hour charge makes sure the battery is full and helps with the battery's life expectancy. Once it is fully charged, you should not discharge it fully, if possible.

Does shutting down laptop save battery? ›

Shut down: This is the power-off state most of us are familiar with. When you shut down your computer, all your open programs close and the computer shuts down your operating system. This power-down option also uses an extremely small amount of power, making it a good choice for energy conservation.

Why is my battery at 95% healthy? ›

It's not unusual to see iPhones that, after one year, still have a battery capacity of 95% or above. The reason is a type of fail-safe: Apple builds its batteries with excess capacity, meaning that it doesn't actually use all of its potential operating power when its Battery Health states 100%.

What is the normal battery level? ›

When we take a closer look, we see car battery voltage can range anywhere from 12.6 to 14.4. With the engine off, the fully charged car battery voltage will measure 12.6 volts. This is known as “resting voltage.” When the engine is running, battery voltage will typically rise to 13.5 to 14.5 volts.

What does 80% battery health mean? ›

80% capacity means that, when you charge your phone, you're only getting 80% of the charge you got when your phone was brand new. Your battery becomes less effective with age, though you can technically still use your phone at this point, it does pose a problem.

How do I keep my battery healthy? ›

Choose settings that use less battery
  1. Let your screen turn off sooner.
  2. Reduce screen brightness.
  3. Set the brightness to change automatically.
  4. Turn off keyboard sounds or vibrations.
  5. Restrict apps with high battery use.
  6. Turn on adaptive battery.
  7. Delete unused accounts.
  8. Turn on dark theme.

Is it better to use a laptop plugged in or on battery? ›

Most laptops are set up to use less energy when they aren't plugged in, since battery life is at a premium. As soon as they start receiving AC power, however, they're often set to start running at higher speeds—and thus use more energy.

Should I shut down my laptop every night? ›

While frequent restarts do cause more wear on components, it's fine to shut your machine down daily. From a maintenance standpoint, shut down at least once a week. From a green energy saving standpoint, shutdown and unplug or turn off surge protectors and power strips.

Is 2 hours of battery life good for a laptop? ›

Overall, the average lifespan of a laptop battery on a single charge probably ranges from as low as 2-3 hours to as high as 7-8 (or more) hours. Again, though it really just depends on what you are doing with your laptop.

Is it better to use laptop plugged in or on battery? ›

Most laptops are set up to use less energy when they aren't plugged in, since battery life is at a premium. As soon as they start receiving AC power, however, they're often set to start running at higher speeds—and thus use more energy.

Should I charge my laptop to 100? ›

According to some studies [1], charging a battery to only 85% to 90% can improve its discharge cycle from 300 to even an extra 1000 recharges. Basically, if you charged your laptop to 85% to 90% instead of to 100%, you could improve your battery lifespan by 6 months to a year.

Can I use laptop while charging? ›

In sum, there is no evidence in the scientific literature to justify the alarming claim that the WhatsApp video makes – that using a laptop while it is charging will cause cancer in the body.

Should I unplug my laptop when fully charged? ›

In order to squeeze as much life out of your lithium-polymer battery, once your laptop hits 100 percent, unplug it. In fact, you should unplug it before that. Cadex Electronics CEO Isidor Buchmann told WIRED that ideally everyone would charge their batteries to 80 percent then let them drain to about 40 percent.

Is it OK to leave my laptop plugged in after it is fully charged? ›

Once your battery is charged to full capacity, it will simply stop charging, so keeping your laptop plugged in will not cause any issues to your battery.

Videos

1. Windows 10 Tips for Maximizing Battery Life
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2. HOW TO FIX OR RESET LAPTOP'S BATTERY!
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3. How to Extend Your Laptop Battery Life
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4. How To Improve Your Laptop's Battery Life - Top 5 Tweaks !
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