How to extend laptop battery life from 3 to 7+ hours

How to extend laptop battery life from 3 to 7+ hours

Laptop batteries truly make a laptop portable. To truly make a portable computer portable we need to extend laptop battery life or charge to last for at least 5+ hours.

The problem is that most budget laptops don’t come with a high capacity battery. My laptop (and I won’t name it directly) is one. It is a standard 6 cell Lithium Polymer battery that my manufacturer claims should run my system for 3 hours.

extend laptop battery life

That is NOT good enough. It makes it necessary to extend laptop battery life at least to 4 hours or more. Now there are a few tips that are popular and will work. I will just list them down below. They are not what this post is about. So, you can just quickly go through them. I will not explain them in detail.

Recommended ways to extend laptop battery life

  1. Reduce screen brightness
  2. Enable Power Saving Mode in Power Options
  3. Use an SSD if possible
  4. Have more physical memory as this reduces the number of times swapping of virtual memory becomes necessary
  5. Switch off Wi-Fi or Bluetooth if you are not using them
  6. Unplug peripherals if not in use
  7. Enable Airplane mode

These are regular stuff. If you want to know more about the details about these ones on how to extend laptop battery life you can copy each phrase above and do a simple Google Search. Some of these articles hit the nail on the spot.

The Killer Tip to Last Longer

The Killer Tip is actually simple and going to work regardless of your Windows version. I am assuming you are using a relatively modern system anyway. But the Power Options option should be available to you.

Here’s what you need to do to extend laptop battery life.

Go to Power Options to enable the Power Saver mode
Quick way to extend laptop battery life – Go to Power Options to enable the Power Saver mode

Go to the Power Options. The navigation will be slightly different if you are using Windows 8 plus, in which case this falls under Advanced Power Options.

Extend laptop battery life by simply reducing the screen brightness
Extend laptop battery life by simply reducing the screen brightness

Go to the Power Options and choose the one with Power Saver. You can create a new one anyway, but Power Saver is a good starting point.

You can leave these settings as they are above or adjust them slightly. Lower the brightness as much as you are comfortable with. That has a major impact on your battery life.

Click on the link that says ‘Change advanced power settings’

Extend laptop battery charge by tweaking some of the features above
Extend laptop battery charge by tweaking some of the features above

This is where things get interesting. You can tweak with a number of features to save power.

The default settings are good. But do check the Graphics options if your PC has a dedicated graphic card.

Extend laptop battery charge by reducing the processor frequency
Extend laptop battery charge by reducing the processor frequency

Now come down to the section below that says ‘Processor Power Management’

Here you can change the fundamental options. If your processor is clocked at 2.5 GHz and you keep the ‘On Battery’ setting to 1.4 GHz that will underclock your system. This saves me a significant amount of power. Tweak with the values a bit to find out when your system becomes too slow for you to work properly with. I usually keep it around 1.2 GHz. Since I work with word documents and some Web browsing most of the times I am travelling that is good enough for me.

Next you will find out the Processor state. I have safely reduced it to up to 30% and still maintain a working system. Of course, going further below has no measurable impact. Most probably the Operating System ignores any further understating. But that is okay.

Overall, I get a massive boost to my battery life and I am able to comfortably extend laptop battery life by at least an addition 4 to 5 hours at a maximum and around 3 to 4 hours beyond the manufacturer promised 3 hours of backup.

There are certainly drawbacks to this method. You cannot run heavy duty applications when you are on this stripped down Power Plan. But when you need to eke out the juice out of your battery and you are on the move, this may help you get going. Or at least limp along.