Whether you own a Windows or Mac OS laptop, following these basic tips will make your battery last much longer between charges.
DIM THE SCREEN
By far the biggest power drain on most laptops is the screen or to be more specific, the screen’s backlight.
Simply reducing the screen brightness can add 30 minutes or more to your battery life. If your laptop allows it, use the keys or buttons near the keyboard to adjust the brightness. Typically, you’ll hold the Fn key and press one of the function keys in the top row, or one of the cursor keys labeled with a sun symbol.
AVOID USING CD OR DVD
If you store a copy of data you need on a CD/DVD, copy it to your laptop’s hard drive or a thumb drive before traveling. Optical drives consume large amounts of power to spin up CDs and DVDs. Try to avoid applications that keep your hard drive or optical drive spinning. Need to play music? Try to use your handheld MP3 player, rather than playing songs on your computer. Playing songs on your computer will keep the hard drive working which uses energy.
RUN LESS OF PROGRAMS
If you’re the sort who has 10 or even 20 tabs open in your web browser, you’ll benefit from longer battery life by reducing those tabs. The same goes for running lots of applications at the same time.
When you run lots of programs, or have lots of photos open, you’ll use up all the free system memory. Anything extra has to be ‘paged’ to the hard disk, which as we’ve said, is a mechanical device in many laptops.
SHUT DOWN OR HIBERNATE
Shut down or hibernate your laptop rather than using standby, if you plan on not using it for a while. Standby continues to drain energy to keep your laptop ready to go when you open the cover.
AVOID SOFT SURFACE
Avoid placing your laptop on a pillow, blanket, or other soft surface that can heat up.
DISABLE WI-FI AND BLUETOOTH
If you’re not using them, disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Both radios can use a fair amount of power, so it makes sense to turn them off when you’re on battery power. Most laptops have a switch or key combination to disable Wi-Fi.
KEEP THE BATTERY FRESH
Batteries leak power if they aren’t used fairly soon after charging. If you use your “full” battery 2 weeks after you last charged it, you may discover it is empty.