The laptop battery life is a crucial factor to consider when shopping for a new laptop. But whether you buy a high-end or a mid-range model, the simple truth is that your battery life will run down in time, especially if you don’t maintain it properly.
There’s nothing quite as annoying as your laptop dying on you due to poor battery life when you have a deadline to meet, and your adapter is nowhere close. But what if you could do more to get more hours from a single laptop charge?
Here are a few easy ways to extend your unplugged laptop time.
1. Always Monitor Your Battery Health
Batteries age, and when that happens, you’ll need a replacement. The only way to know if your battery is old is to monitor your battery health. Monitoring your battery health gives you a clear picture of what’s going on with your laptop.
If you own a MacBook, click on the battery icon while holding down the option key to confirm your battery status. If it shows a “service battery” or “replace now” notification, you know it’s working way below its capacity.
By heading to the power tab, you can also get information on the number of charging cycles your battery has been through. Compare the rated maximum on the manufacturer’s website to the cycle count value of your laptop, and you’ll be able to see how many cycles are left.
2. Close Power Draining Apps When Not in Use
Some applications and processes are heavy battery drainers and can quickly consume your battery life. You may not be actively using some of these processes, but they’re in the background sucking your battery dry.
Windows users can call up battery saver by typing “battery saver” into the search bar to see the apps draining their battery the most. These are often background apps you opened earlier, such as Adobe Reader or Spotify. If any app you aren’t using appears on the list, and you see it’s using up most of the power, close it.
To see the processes, open the task manager, and click on startup. It’ll show you a list of programs that start when you turn on your computer. Feel free to disable any you don’t frequently use, as they are only a drain on your battery.
For Mac users, go to Users and Groups, and select “Login Items.” You should see a list of apps that start when you turn on your Mac and that will consume the battery in the background.
3. Check Your Ram
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). An SSD runs on flash memory and consumes less power than a hard disk drive. In addition, you’ll have faster access to data, and your system will run faster, extending your laptop battery life.
4. Close Unused Tabs
Make sure you close any tabs you’re no longer using. Web browsers like Chrome and Firefox take up a lot of power, and opening up multiple tabs will only increase the drain on your battery. Additionally, you can try a less power-consuming browser like Microsoft Edge, which has a sleeping mode for browser tabs to save energy.
5. Reduce The Number of Full Discharges
Another way to save battery which most people aren’t aware of is to reduce the number of full discharges, that is, the number of times your battery drains to zero.
You may not know this, but every battery has a limited amount of charge cycles, so letting it charge and discharge completely every time only speeds up the degradation process.
People regularly deplete their batteries, which reduces their longevity. It’s acceptable to clear your laptop a few times, but doing so regularly is excessive. In the long term, completely draining the batteries prevents them from charging. So, do all you can to minimize those full discharges.
6. Cool It Down
Heat is a big enemy of any laptop. Not only does it affect the battery in the short term, but it also damages the long-term life of the battery. Try investing in a cooling pad to help keep your laptop temperature down when you use it.
If you allow your laptop to heat up too much, it may lead to a thermal shutdown, and too many of those can damage your battery health quickly. This also goes to storage conditions. Do not allow your laptop to sit in a hot vehicle.
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