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Squeezing Battery Life from your Laptop – Maximize Laptop Run Time

If you are like most people nowadays, you are probably dependent upon your laptop.  Our notebooks are our virtual windows to the world, and our ability to get projects done and meet deadlines.

If you have ever found yourself in a situation where you desperately needed more battery life to finish a project, and your laptop was dying; this article is for you.  How to maximize your laptop run time:


Steps to do before you use your laptop:

Add RAM if you haven’t already.  Having more RAM than you need will reduce the hard drive activity; thus conserving battery life.

Lower your screen brightness for good when on battery power.  It may seem annoying; however you won’t notice the lower brightness after a few days.  Your battery will thank you for it by lasting longer.  Up to 30% longer if you dim just as much as 25%.  Brightness is a battery killer.

Switch to a boring wallpaper.  Moving or graphically intense wallpapers slightly reduce battery life.

Re-install Windows every 6 months.  After a few months, your laptop will be full of missing shortcuts, registry errors, programs you don’t use, spyware, and maybe even a virus or two.  Resetting your laptop will breathe new life into your laptop, and since it will be leaner and faster, it will also run longer on the same battery.  Also related: defragment your hard drive regularly.


Steps to do when your laptop is almost dead or dying:

Dim the screen.  Alot.  This will reduce the largest drain on your battery.  Turn on an overhead light if you can instead.

Launch the task manager (ctrl+alt+del) and check what programs are running.  Close all programs you are currently not using.  Everything.  Immediately.

Turn down the sound.  Every little bit helps.  I have personally done this while watching a movie, and the laptop lasted 15 minutes longer than it normally would have after the low battery warning came on.  It’s simple physics.  Make sure you turn down the volume on the laptop itself, not your speakers or headphones.

Remove all USB devices that are connected.  These use power from the laptops battery to run.

Turn off wireless if you can.  Bluetooth as well.  Again, reducing the connections will improve battery life.

Temporarily turn off the screen when you are thinking and not reading or typing.  You can quickly do this via some laptop shortcuts, locking the computer (Windows Key+L), or simply closing the lid.

Remove any CD or DVD in the CD drive.  Your laptop scans its optical drive regularly to see if a CD is still detected. This uses a small amount of power.

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