Laptops tend to lose their charm quickly when you’re constantly looking for the nearest power outlet to
charge up. How do you keep your battery going for as long as possible? Here are 15 easy ways to
1. Defrag regularly - The faster your hard drive does its work – less demand you are going to put on
the hard drive and your battery. Make your hard drive as efficient as possible bydefragging it
regularly. (but not while it’s on battery of course!) Mac OSX is better built to handle fragmentation so it
may not be very applicable for Apple systems.
2. Dim your screen – Most laptops come with the ability to dim your laptop screen. Some even
come with ways to modify CPU and cooling performance. Cut them down to the lowest level you can
tolerate to squeeze out some extra battery juice.
3. Cut down on programs running in the background. Itunes, Desktop Search, etc. All these add
to the CPU load and cut down battery life. Shut down everything that isn’t crucial when you’re on
4. Cut down external devices – USB devices (including your mouse) & WiFi drain down your laptop
battery. Remove or shut them down when not in use. It goes without saying that charging other
devices (like your iPod) with your laptop when on battery is a surefire way of quickly wiping out the
charge on your laptop battery.
5. Add more RAM - This will allow you to process more with the memory your laptop has, rather
than relying on virtual memory. Virtual memory results in hard drive use, and is much less power
efficient. Note that adding more RAM will consume more energy, so this is most applicable if you do
need to run memory intensive programs which actually require heavy usage of virtual memory.
6. Run off a hard drive rather than CD/DVD - As power consuming as hard drives are, CD and DVD
drives are worse. Even having one in the drive can be power consuming. They spin, taking power,
even when they?re not actively being used. Wherever possible, try to run on virtual drives using
programs like Alcohol 120% rather than optical ones.
7. Keep the battery contacts clean: Clean your battery’s metal contacts every couple of months
with a cloth moistened with rubbing alcohol. This keeps the transfer of power from your battery more
8. Take care of your battery – Exercise the Battery. Do not leave a charged battery dormant for
long periods of time. Once charged, you should at least use the battery at least once every two to
three weeks. Also, do not let a Li-On battery completely discharge. (Discharing is only for older
batteries with memory effects)
9. Hibernate not standby – Although placing a laptop in standby mode saves some power and you
can instantly resume where you left off, it doesn’t save anywhere as much power as the hibernate
function does. Hibernating a PC will actually save your PC’s state as it is, and completely shut itself
10. Keep operating temperature down - Your laptop operates more efficiently when it’s cooler.
Clean out your air vents with a cloth or keyboard cleaner, or refer to some extra tips
11. Set up and optimize your power options – Go to ‘Power Options’ in your windows control panel
and set it up so that power usage is optimized (Select the ‘max battery’ for maximum effect).
12. Don’t multitask – Do one thing at a time when you’re on battery. Rather than working on a
spreadsheet, letting your email client run in the background and listening to your latest set of MP3′s,
set your mind to one thing only. If you don’t you’ll only drain out your batteries before anything gets
13. Go easy on the PC demands – The more you demand from your PC. Passive activities like
email and word processing consume much less power than gaming or playing a DVD. If you’ve got a
single battery charge – pick your priorities wisely.
14. Get yourself a more efficient laptop - Laptops are getting more and more efficient in nature to
the point where some manufacturers are talking about all day long batteries. Picking up a newer
more efficient laptop to replace an aging one is usually a quick fix.
15. Prevent the Memory Effect - If you’re using a very old laptop, you’ll want to prevent the ‘memory
effect’ – Keep the battery healthy by fully charging and then fully discharging it at least once every two
to three weeks. Exceptions to the rule are Li-Ion batteries (which most laptops have) which
do not suffer from the memory effect.
Bonus Tip #1: Turn off the autosave function. MS-Word’s and Excel’s autosave functions are
great but because they keep saving regular intervals, they work your hard driver harder than it may
have to. If you plan to do this, you may want to turn it back on as the battery runs low. While it saves
battery life in the beginning, you will want to make sure your work is saved when your battery dies.
Bonus Tip #2: Lower the graphics use. You can do this by changing the screen resolution and
shutting off fancy graphic drivers. Graphics cards (video cards) use as much or more power today as
hard disks – Thanks Andrew
Update 7/7/07: Bonus Tip #1 to give caution about turning off autosave, tip #8 to change information
about discharging batteries – thanks to all who pointed it out. Added Bonus tip #2, Tip #1 to add in
clause in regards to Mac OSX, Tip #1 about the spinning of hard drives – thanks to all who pointed it
Ah, the laptop computer — the ultimate platform for digital enjoyment. Laptops enable you to connect,
play and work wherever and whenever you want. But if you lose battery power and can't plug in on
the go, your laptop is no better than an oversized coaster.
Laptop technologies have really come a long way.
With advances in processor architecture and mobile-optimized technologies and software, you can
experience a near-desktop experience for playing games, listening to and downloading music, and
surfing the Internet — all without being leashed to the nearest outlet.
OK, you've come a long way. Now come just a little further.
But even with these built-in, mobile-optimized technologies, you may still have to plug in before you’re
ready. To squeeze every last drop of power out of your laptop battery, follow these tips and tricks and
you'll stay mobile longer:
1. Charge the battery! Consider keeping it plugged in for 12 hours before you unplug.
Tip! Over time, you may find that you have to recharge your battery more often to get the expected
level of performance. If that's the case, it's time to replace your battery. Look for lithium ion (Li-Ion)
replacement batteries for the greatest longevity.
2. Switch on the optimized battery or power feature. You'll find this option — sometimes referred
to as max battery mode — in your laptop system's built-in power management control panel. You can
select the option to reduce the amount of time your inactive laptop stays on before powering itself
down and going to sleep.
Tip! Turning off power-draining facilities like backlights can preserve quite a bit of battery life.
3. Check to see if your laptop has the optimum amount of RAM. You can do this by right mouse
clicking on My Computer. The amount of RAM you have will appear under your System
Information. RAM enables your system to run program instructions using the computer's memory
instead of its hard disk drive (HDD), where it stores data. Refreshing the RAM requires less power
than spinning the hard drive, so having the correct amount of RAM means less drain on your laptop
Tip! Consider 2 GB or more RAM for the best performance!
4. Remove the battery and clean the metal contacts. Wipe them with alcohol, ideally every two
months, to ensure that the power transfer between the laptop and its battery is as efficient as
possible. Allow the battery to dry thoroughly before replacing it!
5. Unplug any laptop accessories you aren't using. Even if they're not in use, accessories drain
power from the battery.
Turn your wireless local area network (WLAN) switch off if you don't need a wireless connection —
a button or LED on your laptop usually lights up to indicate wireless activities.
Use your laptop in the best possible lighting conditions. In brighter conditions, you won't need to set
your laptop screen to maximize brightness so you can save additional battery life.
6. Defragment the hard drive so your system operates as efficiently as possible. The built-in
defragmenting utility included with Windows®*-based operating systems decreases the time your
system must spend searching for files by rearranging file fragments, so they are closer together on
the hard drive. Less time searching means less spinning for the hard drive and less use of battery
Tip! Defragment your hard drive at least every two months!
Follow these battery-saving tips and tricks and you'll be well on your way to staying unleashed longer!
Want even more battery saving tips? Check out these sites:
View tips for maximizing battery life from Microsoft
Check advice on optimizing battery performance (http://www.laptop-battery.org/batterytips.html)
10 ways to extend battery life from Lifehack (http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifehack/10-ways-to-
1. Switch off the wireless card if you do not plan to access your network or Internet
connection. For Mac laptops, there is a button for powering on and off your wireless device
is found on the toolbar at top.
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Turn the volume level down, or mute it, if you do not plan to use it.
Reduce the LCD's brightness level. If you use your laptop in a well lit area or outdoors on a
sunny day, try setting it at two or three bars.
Disable Bluetooth. If you don't use this device, you can safely disable it to avoid draining
your laptop's battery.
Learn to single-task. PC memory that is in-use takes more power to hold data. Also, using
more memory might mean using more swap or virtual memory space on your laptop's hard
drive. All of this puts an additional drain on your laptop's battery. Instead of leaving multiple
applications and windows open, use only what you need at any given time. If your laptop has
plenty of memory, then keep multiple applications open to avoid loading repeatedly from the
hard drive. Close all the applications that run in the background on your computer like your
PDA syncing software or USB hard drive backup software.
Run simple applications that don't use much RAM, disk drive or processing power.
Need to write a letter? Use a basic text editor rather than the processor and RAM heavy
Microsoft Word. Graphics heavy applications like games or movie watching are especially
hard on the battery.
Avoid extreme temperatures. Batteries rely on basic chemistry and will die faster at
extreme temperatures. Try to charge and use the battery at room temperatures.
Use the power management settings on your computer that come built in. On Windows
XP, click "Power Options" in your control panel. On a Mac, look for "Energy Saver" in
Unplug external devices such as a USB mouse or an external drive.
Shut down or hibernate the 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.
Clean the contacts
Clean your battery contacts. Clean the battery's metal contacts with rubbing alcohol on a
damp cloth. Clean contacts increase the energy efficiency. 
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.
Defrag your hard drive. The more fragmented your hard drive is the more your hard disk
needs to work.
Avoid using a CD or DVD. If you store a copy of data you need on an optical disc, 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. Turn off the auto save feature on MS Word or Excel.
Constant saving will keep your hard drive turning and using energy.
Turn off ports. Disabling unused ports and components, such as VGA, Ethernet, PCMCIA,
USB, and yes, your wireless, too. You can do this through the Device Manager or by
configuring a separate hardware profile (see next step).
Create Power-Saving Hardware Profiles. Configure your laptop for the various scenarios
in which you use it (on a plane, at the coffee shop, at the office, and so on). You can do this
through the Hardware Profiles menu by right-clicking on My Computer and selecting
Preferences or by using a freeware utility such as SparkleXP.
Use a cooling pad when using a notebook computer on your lap. But if it's a USB pad
then don't use it as it will most likely use up more battery rather than to conserve it.
Avoid propping your laptop on a pillow, blanket, or other soft surface that can heat up.
If your laptop has an OLED based display then avoid displaying white images. OLED
screens consume a lot less power displaying black.
Avoid many games and other applications. Games that use up lots of graphics and
applications that keep contacting the internet server sending information back and forth
If your not using a internet browser, CLOSE IT! Even if your not using it the internet is
still running in the background getting lot's of information.
Eject the external devices like pen drive, DVD, Hard Disk etc. if not in use
Mac offers expose to switch off the display temporarily. Use that whenever you are
playing mp3 songs and not using the display, or going out for short duration
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Don't turn off a device if you're using it.
Take a break if your battery is running low.
Be sure to charge up completely before you leave the house if there is no place to charge it
where you are going.
Use the battery till it's low before you charge it and when its charged un-plug it and your
battery will last longer plus give better performance.
Clean your desk. It sounds strange, but if you have a dusty, dirty desk, that dust will get into
the vents and clog the cooling fan. Once the dust is inside your laptop, it is much harder to
remove. You can try blasting it out with canned air, but you run the risk of damaging internal
components. You can also remove the vent and clean out the grit, but remember that taking
apart your laptop can void the warranty. So clean your desk at least once a week, if not daily.
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If you are working on the Internet and using the laptop, do not turn anything off or you will
lose your work.
If you use your computer for too long, it could overheat and slowly damage components
(shorten their lifespan).
Be careful when charging your battery. Never hook it up to charge it when you're not around.
With the plethora of battery recalls due to exploding and combustible Li-Ion cells, the
process of charging your laptop's battery shouldn't be taken lightly.
Be careful when cleaning the contacts. Always clean them when the battery is fully drained,
and use a very slightly damp cloth, so as to avoid electric shock and short-circuits.