How to Make your Laptop Battery Last Longer

By Rhett Wilson •  Updated: 10/21/21 •  8 min read

Many people are now working from home, and it’s no fun to own a laptop that makes you keep reaching out to your power cord frequently.

The truth is no matter how new your laptop is, the battery won’t last long if you are not exercising the right measures.

Laptop batteries can last up to eight hours or more, and it would be nice if you enjoy such.

Let’s review some strategies that can help you get the most out of your laptop battery.

Adjust Your Graphics Settings

If you own a laptop with a high graphics processor speed, ensure you only use it to run heavy or graphics-intensive programs.

Every other light program can use the on-CPU silicon to process graphics.

You need to open the GeForce control panel to adjust this setting in a laptop with Nvidia GeForce graphics.

This panel is usually assigned to the right side of your taskbar in the Windows notification area.

Go to the Program Settings tab to allocate each of your applications to a graphics processing chip.

Assign your GeForce discrete chip to the design, editing, and game applications. Everything else should be allocated to the integrated chip.

Adjusting the graphics settings in a MacBook is a different procedure; you will have to locate the Energy Saver and activate the Automatic Graphics Switching feature.

Unlike the GeForce panel, you have very limited control over your graphics. You have to trust that the system makes the right call when assigning programs to the graphics accelerator. 

Reduce Display Brightness

Laptop screen brightness is often considered to be one of the highest contributors to a fast-draining battery.

The screen backlight enables you to see the various colors on an LCD monitor.

Some laptops are designed with power-consuming fluorescent backlights, and most of these modern laptops made with LED backlights still saps some amount of power. 

Reducing your screen brightness will extend your battery life, giving you more hours to work on your system.

Almost all laptops come with keyboard shortcuts to increase or decrease display brightness. Most times, these keys are among the F-row keys; F1 to F12.  

To adjust your display settings, find the icon for screen brightness; it looks like a sun logo.

Then find the Fn key located at the bottom of your laptop keyboard.

These are functional keys, so you will have to hold them down to adjust your brightness.

If you do not have these adjustment functions on your keyboard, you can also do it via your windows settings. 

For Windows 10 systems, you will find a brightness adjustment slider in the Action Centre.

Click on the notification option at the bottom right corner of your desktop; it looks like a message icon.

Use your mouse to move the slider to adjust the screen’s brightness.

If there isn’t any slider shown, go to the Expand option and click on it; the adjustment setting should now appear. 

On a Windows 8 or 7 laptop, you can adjust your display brightness in your control panel section.

Search and open your control panel, click on Hardware and Sound and head to Power Options.

You will notice a Screen Brightness Slider below your power plan settings.

The MacBook operating system does not have the battery saver mode, but it is designed with a battery health setting to adjust your screen brightness.

This setting is already enabled; it reduces your laptop power consumption rate automatically and increases your system’s lifespan.

Open your Energy Saver through System Preferences and click on Battery Health to manage your screen brightness manually.

A dark mode feature now runs in the latest Mac and Windows operating systems, which also helps reduce battery power usage effectively, but this feature works only for laptops with OLED screens. If you have this type of laptop screen, you can activate the dark mode feature under Personalization and Colours in your Windows settings.

Minimize Laptop’s Workload

Your laptop will drain faster if it works too hard. The lower the laptop’s workload, the slower the battery gets drained.

When your laptop is not in use, ensure you close all programs that you do not need running and remove external devices. 

If your system is left with very few applications to run, it will extend your battery life. Also, avoid running hardware-intensive programs when not necessary. 

Even when you end unnecessary programs, your browser can still take up a lot of battery. Avoid opening several browser tabs at once to save your battery life.

Also, when you browse, do not open video streaming websites. Those sites demand large battery power because they keep your screen active and consume some processing power.  

Reduced audio activity can also help with saving battery life.

High audio output from your laptop system will consume more power than when there is no audio activity or plug-in audio devices.

If the sound is not needed, turn down your speakers or turn it off completely. 

Turn Off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Function

If your Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are not in use, remember always to disable them.

These take up a lot of battery, so you always have to turn them off whenever you don’t need them.

In some systems, you can turn off your Wi-Fi using a key on your keyboard but disabling the Bluetooth might require a process.

For a Windows 10 system, Go to your Action Centre and click on the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth icons to deactivate these features, or you can type in the command Win+A to access the Action Centre. 

Old laptops might have a utility in the Start Menu to easily turn on or turn off Bluetooth. However, you can still always open your Control Panel window, click on Device Manager, you should see the Bluetooth adapter. Right-click on the icon and press Disable. A double-tap on the icon should activate your Bluetooth again.

Buy a Backup Battery

This goes for a detachable battery system. Getting a spare battery is worth the expense.

Several batteries are available for many laptop systems, and you can even get a stronger high-capacity battery than your originally installed battery. 

You can take off the DVD or CD drive on most laptops and install another battery in the drive space.

It would help if you got a universal battery with several connectors that can fit in any laptop for systems with irremovable batteries. 

Charge up the external battery, and connect to the battery laptop’s power socket anytime your internal battery dies.

The external battery will serve as a power source to the internal battery.

Current laptops can now be charged with a USB-C power bank, and you can get one for your system. 

Always Check for Proper Airflow

Heat can quickly reduce the lifespan of your battery. When your vents are clogged or obstructed, it prevents airflow, which isn’t good for the battery’s health.

So you have to ensure that your vents are clean and your fans are functioning optimally. If your system struggles with overheating issues, please get a cooling pad.

Check out our list of best laptop cooling pads here.

FAQs

Should I shut down my laptop every night?

Do not just keep your laptop in sleep mode. Try always to shut down your system when you want to go to bed. Some professionals advise you to shut down your system at least twice every week. This will completely shut all background processes running in the background.

At what percentage should I charge my laptop?

You should keep your laptop battery between 40 to 80 percent. Ensure your laptop doesn’t overheat and your inbuilt cooling fans are up and running. Your system isn’t in danger when you overcharge, although it is best to avoid leaving your laptop plugged in all the time. Especially when not necessary.

Are 2 hours of battery life good for any laptop?

It depends on the usage. An average battery can give around 400 cycles. This is why your original battery with specifications of up to three to four might run low after two hours. The battery hours reduce with time.

Why does my laptop battery last only for an hour?

Your laptop power settings can affect its battery life. Setting your screen brightness level at the highest and your processor at full power will consume a lot of battery power. Wrong power settings can reduce the working hours on powerful laptops.

Is it OK to charge my laptop at least twice a day?

Charge your laptop only when your battery runs out. In low battery situations, you can charge your battery as many times as the battery gets low. However, note that if you need to charge your battery a lot, you will have to replace it soon.

Final Word

These tweaks will help increase your battery life and get you longer hours on your laptop.

Always take into consideration a battery’s runtime whenever you need to get a laptop. We will keep updating you with more laptop battery tips.

Rhett Wilson