Tips on Extending Battery Runtime in Laptops & Tablets

27 Mar

One of the common issues that annoy any laptop or tablet user is the drained battery. When it’s brand new, you might not face any problem with the battery of the laptop but within a few months, you will find yourself looking for a plug-point more frequently.

But, you can extend the battery life of your laptop or tablet by following these tips:

Regular defragging

If your hard drive will work faster, less battery would be consumed. You can make the hard drive work efficiently by defragging it on a regular basis. Defragging means, re-arranging the file systems, so that a single file is stored in contiguous space, instead of putting parts of it in the gaps between other files. Defragging simplifies the file retrieval and reduces the energy consumed by hard disk.

Remove external devices, when not in use

External devices like USB will drain down your laptop battery. It is suggested to shut them down, when not in use. If you are charging devices like iPod or cellphone, the battery will discharge even more quickly.

Lesser use of CD/DVD

CD and DVD drives consume lot of power because they spin continuously, even if they are not being used actively. If possible, avoid using these devices and run programs on hard drive of the laptop. Ideal thing is to copy the data to the hard drive and save on battery.

Avoid multitasking

Programs running in background like Desktop Search or iTunes add to the CPU load, resulting in lesser battery life. It is suggested to shut down all the backgroud programs, if battery is crucial. When you have to finish off the important work and battery is low, avoid multitasking. Running lot of applications at the same time will definitely consume battery faster. So, you should not work on the spreadsheet, check emails, and listen to songs at the same time, else the battery will drain out completely before anything gets completed.

Optimizing the power options

You can always customize the power options in your laptop to get maximum battery life. If you have a Windows XP, you will find the “Power Options” in control panel. Mac devices have “Energy Saver” in System Preferences.

Dim your laptop screen

Most laptops have the option to dim the screen. Select the lowest level or the one that delivers optimal viewing to get some extra battery minutes.

The memory effect

If your laptop is very old, you must prevent the “memory effect” by fully charging and then fully discharging the battery, at least once in a week. This doesn’t apply on laptops with Li-Ion batteries because they do not suffer from memory effect.

Hibernating, a better option

Prefer to hibernate the laptop instead of keeping it on standby mode. It is true that putting the device on standby mode saves some power and you can resume instantly. But, hibernating will actually save the power because your laptop will completely shut itself down.

Controlling the operating temperature

A battery will drain faster at extreme temperature. Make sure that you charge the battery and use the laptop at room temperature. Apart from this, always clean the keyboard and air vents for keeping the device cooler.

Good care of battery

It is important that you take care of the battery, if you want it to give maximum output. Clean the metal contacts of the battery by rubbing with alcohol. Also, make sure that a charged battery is not left dormant for longer time. A charged battery should be used at least once in 2-3 weeks. Moreover, a Li-Ion battery should not be left to get discharged completely.

Switch off wireless

Always switch off the wireless network if you do not have plan to access Internet. Plus, disabling Bluetooth is really important because both these applications are battery consuming.

Lower volume level

Lower down the volume level or mute it, if you are not playing music on the laptop.

Care while selecting wallpapers

If your laptop has an OLED display, avoid displaying white images (as wallpaper).These screens consume less power displaying black images.

Disable autosave

MS Office application’s autosave function is of great help because the data you enter gets saved automatically at a regular interval. But, it makes your hard drive to put-in some extra efforts. If the battery is less, turn off the autosave feature. For example in Word 2007, there is Word Options button which helps you to customize save options. 

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Posted by on March 27, 2012 in Uncategorized


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