5 Ways to Maximize Battery Power on your Laptop
Laptops and Netbooks boast portability, but many laptop users find that they need to take their power cables with them if they want their device to run for more than a couple hours. While older laptops are typically less efficient, it also isn't uncommon for the batteries to wear down over years of use. Sure, you can purchase a new (or bigger) battery, but let's go over a few ways you can improve the battery life on your laptop.
Laptops are notorious for overheating problems. Make sure to use a cool, flat surface free of cloth or other surfaces that block ventilation (this includes your legs!). Also, keep those vents clean by giving them a regular sweep with a cleaning cloth to keep air flow efficient. You'll notice your laptop has tiny feet that keep the base elevated slightly. This enables just enough airflow for the laptop to cool the internal components; setting it on a blanket or a similar surface will prevent that ventilation.
Kill the Lights
Sometimes, running your laptop at the full screen brightness is great; namely, when it's plugged in. When you are using your laptop on the go however, it's good for battery life to run on a lower power setting. There are also modification options for CPU performance, screen resolution, and the ability to shut off power hungry graphic drivers, that will all work to save you battery power in the long run. You can find all of these options in the Windows Control Panel, under Power Options. In most cases, you can also click on the battery icon on your taskbar as well.
Cut Down on the Background Noise
It's very likely you are running applications on your laptop that you don't need or even know are on. These applications can put the squeeze on your battery as well as slow down the programs you do want to run. To avoid this, disable or close any extraneous programs you aren't actively using. Even passive activities can hurt battery life; if you really need that extra juice to finish up a last minute report, close down your email client and try turning off your media player so you can get it done with power to spare. If you aren't on the internet, turn off WiFi for even more conservation. Also, check out this guide to adjust how many programs will load on start up.
Defrag your Hard Disk
Fragmentation occurs when your hard disk has gone through a great deal of use over time and the data has scattered into little pieces. When your computer goes to retrieve that data, it has to find all those pieces and press them back together before you can access the information. Then when you save your file, the computer has to break it back apart along with the new bits you just added, and find where all of those pieces started out to put them back. Defragmenting puts the pieces back together in a more efficient way to speed up the time it takes to load and save files and saves you major battery life. If you feel slowness has been an issue for your laptop lately, run disk defrag, which is found on the Start Menu > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools.
Get a Memory Boost
If you are using labor intensive programs it might be a good idea to add more RAM. RAM, or random access memory, gives your laptop extra room to 'think' about more things at once without relying on virtual memory. Virtual memory uses the hard drive and is not as power efficient. RAM uses a good deal of electricity as well, but for your heavy lifting programs this option is the most effective use of battery life. Directive can help you decide if this option is right for you, and also help you upgrade.
If you find you laptop has been running out of charge too quickly or is prone to overheating, give us a call at 607.433.2200. We can replace your battery or make adjustments such as scheduled disk defragmentation or setting up your power settings that will have it running smoothly and longer in no time.