20 Ways To Increase Laptop’s Battery Life

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increase laptop battery lifeMobile computing has got better with lighter components, better chips and faster processors. But the Achilles heel of a laptop has remained its battery. So here are we are going to look at ways to increase laptop battery life.

Modern graphic intensive operating systems and resource hungry applications are cutting down the life of your laptop’s battery every day. The average battery life per continuous use still stands at a maximum of three to four hours. So, a fast depleting battery could very swiftly put the crutches on your ‘mobile’ road trip.

Falling just short of carrying an extra pack of batteries in the back-pack, are several ways to keep the juice flowing through the batteries.

1. Ship shape with a defrag

Regular defragmentation helps to arrange data more efficiently thus making the hard drive work less to access the data. The quicker the moving hard drive works lesser is the load placed on the battery. Thus, your batter can last longer. The effect is minimal, but this efficiency goes hand in glove with hard drive maintenance.

2. Kill the resource gobblers

End the background processes that are not vital. Monitor the resource usage through a “ËśCtrl-Alt-Del’ which brings up the Windows Task Manager (in Windows). If you’re not on the internet, it is safe to shut down the immediate non-essential programs running in the taskbar like the antivirus and the firewall. Weed out unnecessary programs running as start-ups by launching the System Configuration Utility from Run ““ Msconfig ““ Tab: Startup. Uncheck the programs which you don’t want to launch and reboot the computer once.

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3. Pause the scheduled tasks

It may be a defrag or a virus scan, but make sure it is scheduled for a time when you are near a power outlet. If not then nix them for the moment.

4. Unplug external devices

USB devices are the biggest drainers of battery power. Unplug all external devices like an external mouse, PC cards, Wi-Fi, external speakers, Bluetooth and even an attached iPod.

5. Empty the CD/DVD Drives

Even if you don’t intend to use it, don’t leave any CD/DVDs as leftovers in the drives. A spinning drive sucks battery power like a sponge.

6. Go local

Desist using the DVD/external drives while running on batteries. Shift the content to the hard drive or run using (free) virtual drives like Pismo File Mount or even Microsoft’s Virtual CD ROM Control Panel.

7. Lower the lights

The LCD screen of a laptop is another huge power sink. Calibrate the brightness to the lowest level you can tolerate using the Function key toggles or using the Display Settings applet in the Control Panel.

8. Kill the sounds

Mute the speakers and try avoiding the use of multimedia software to maximize the battery life. Installed sound schemes also drain a battery perceptibly.

9. Rid the screensaver

To maximize battery life by a little, switch off the screensaver.

10. Visit Power Options

Get familiar with power management through the “ËśPower Options’ applet in the Control Panel. Both XP and Vista come with advanced power management features which shut off components like the monitor and/or the hard drive after specified intervals. This again depends on the chosen “ËśPower Schemes’ (for XP) in the same applet. For instance in XP, “ËśMax Battery’ under Power Schemes can be selected for maximum battery optimization.

Similar settings can be found under “ËśMobile PC’ in the Control Panel of Vista.

11. Turn off the looks

Today’s OS’s like Windows Vista come with features like “ËśAero Glass’ which are resource guzzlers. One can turn it off and go for the “ËśClassic’ appearance which consumes less power. In Vista, click on Desktop – Preferences – View Colour – Appearance – Classic Appearance and Windows Basic graphical interface. In XP it’s – Display Properties – Theme – Windows Classic.

Linux and even Macintosh are better optimized for longer battery life.

12. Hibernate is better than Sleep

In the Stand By mode (or sleep mode), the computer turns of the hard drive and the display but memory remains active while the CPU slows down. This draws on the battery. In contrast, hibernation mode is better because the computer saves the current state and shuts itself down completely thus saving power.

13. Get the most…work on the least

Working on too many programs while on the battery is a sure fire power drainer. Keep use of graphic intensive applications to a minimum. Working on a spreadsheet consumes much less than playing your favourite game. To increase the life of the battery open just one or two programs concurrently.

14. Ram in more RAM

Adequate RAM reduces the load on Virtual memory which by default resides on the hard drive. Though every extra bit of RAM uses up more power, it increases overall savings by short cutting access to the power hungry hard drive.

15. Keep it clean

A laptop with blocked air vents will generate more heat thus reducing the life of the battery. Clean the air vents regularly to keep operating temperatures low. Allow for open space around the vents for air to circulate freely. Keep the area around the laptop clean to avoid entry of dust.

16. Temperature is a silent killer

Undue heat kills off a battery slowly but surely. Avoid leaving the laptop under direct sunlight or inside a closed car.

17. Avoid the memory effect

A problem more for the older Ni-MH batteries than for Li-Ion batteries on which most modern laptops run. Memory effect relates to the loss of battery charge when they are repeatedly recharged after being only partially discharged. It can be prevented by discharging the battery fully and then completely recharging it. Li-Ion batteries on the other hand have no problems with partial discharges and re-charges and complete discharge is never recommended for this type.

18. Update software and drivers

This sounds a bit incongruous but then newer drivers and software are often designed to be more efficient (and hopefully less resource hungry).

19. Use the right adapter

Ensure that the adapter you use to charge the laptop battery is an original one or one with the correct specifications. A mismatch in the wattage could cause an overload thus damaging the laptop and the battery.

20. Pack it up

If you don’t plan to use the laptop on batteries for quite some time, ensure that the charge is nearly 40 percent – remove the batteries and store it in a cool place.

A typical lithium ion battery has an overall average life of 2-3 years. With some care and caution, its mortality can be delayed.

Have you found your own way to increase battery life of your laptop? Share the “Ëślife giving’ tips with us in the comments.

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72 Comments - Write a Comment


Rick Beato

Well, I bought a laptop in 2007 and the battery was kaput in a year. Bought a new battery and have been trying to run on the cord as much as possible when I am at home. To be honest, I wonder if it is helping — I guess I will see by this fall if my battery outlasts the previous one!


It will help slightly going by my experience…because even if connected directly to the outlet, it is the battery which is actually running the laptop. The A.C is not bypassing the battery but merely keeping it fully charged.Do correct me if I am wrong.


You’re wrong. When a laptop is plugged in, it runs on AC power.


wrong the adapter is dc power for a reason


Yes, running on AC will of course help – but with Li-Ion batteries (modern laptop ones), the killer isn’t the number of charge discharge cycles, it’s the temperature. Running your laptop on mains power is great, but if the battery is sitting in it, getting hot, you’re really wearing it out. Take out your battery while running on mains, if you can, get a charger so you can charge the battery while outside your laptop. The cooler the better, there are people who put the battery in a plastic bag in the fridge when not in use.

Suresh Khanal

Oh O!O!O! I’d never thought. Though it so funny but putting batteries in pastic inside freeze could really increase battery life! Interesting. But I wonder when shall I take out the batteries to put in freeze!



In addition to step 4 you can also switch internal devices that suck power , such as the wifi , bluetooth and IrDa.
Some laptop even have keyboard shortcuts to do to turn wireless devices on and off .. on the LG laptop I’m using right now the shortcut is Fn + F6.
When I’m on battery power I switch off wifi when I don’t use the Internet and switch it back on when I need to check my mail or browse the web.

Another good way to save power is to install Eboostr ( eboostr.com/ ) which is a cache program that can reduce the use of your harddrive by using flash RAM and system RAM.
Normal use of it saves power , but for laptops it has a special powersave mode that saves even more.

Anything that reduces the use the harddrive saves power.
You can disable drive indexing in Windows – that also helps to reduce the use of the harddrive.



It doesn’t matter if you keep your laptop plugged in. One of the lesser known facts about Li-ion batteries is that their capacity slowly declines with age, no matter if you have the battery sitting on a shelf or if you are using it regularly. Li-ion batteries that are kept in a hot environment (like a hot running laptop) degrade even faster.

More information can be found here:



Yes, that’s true. Thanks for this info:)


That’s not entirely true. Yes Lithium Ion batteries lose capacity over time whether used or not. Generally I’ve seen this estimated at 20% per year – which matches up pretty well with the 2-3 year life number. But the temperature is a significant contributor to battery life. You’d see an enormous difference between a battery sitting in a laptop say on a flat desk with poor air circulation and one charged to about 40% and placed in a refrigerator.

If your argument is, you paid for the battery & it’s going to lose 20% a year whether you use it or not, that’s certainly a very good piont. But if your want to say the battery life will be no difference between being plugged in and in a laptop vs. not, that’s not true.

Battery University has about the best info I’ve found on this subject.


While that’s partially true, not entirely. Yes Lithium Ion degrade over time, whether used or not. 20% a year is what I’ve seen as the baseline – which fits with the claim of a practical usage lifetime of 2-3 years. But heat is a huge factor. A battery that sits in your laptop on a flat poorly ventilated desk will have a much lower capacity after a year than one that sits in a refrigerator (and kept at about 40% charge). Granted it doesn’t do you much good to not use it – and have it still losing it’s capacity. To really maximize life while actually using it, pull the battery & keep it charged at 40% while using it for long periods at home, take it with you when you need to be mobile. BUT the inconvenience, not to mention, danger of accidentally pulling the plug while you’re running without a battery in probably make this a bad idea.

The other really good point that follows is to not buy an extra battery to let it sit until the first runs out. While it’s often cheaper to buy when you purchase the laptop, age deterioration will more than counter the price benefit. You really are best off buying a newly manufactured battery when the old one is no longer productive enough for you.



I bought a UPS device (not the most powerfull one – u don’t need it) for 40$, and when I remove the battery from the laptop so it will not be used. I do the same at work where I also have UPS installed. That means that I use my battery very rare. After quite some time now the battery is as almost new (30 charges only) and I don’t see any loss in time.


I think you are right,The battery is only the need of emergencyĂŻÂĽĹ’When the DC is convenient , we had better not use the battery,thereby reducing the number of battery chargingĂŻÂĽĹ’ so as to extend its life span !



I think you are wrong. Have you tried removing the battery from a running Laptop. I have, and it stays on. If it were running directly on battery when plugged in, I think it should go down..IMO.



Hey, I have a Dell’s laptop can you tell me if can I boot that with USB ?


Hi James…I really don’t know about Dell laptops…because I use an Acer and a HP. But my guess is that you can. You just have to investigate this a bit further.



My strategy is: buy a mac… the end.


Buy a mac? You cant even remove the batteries from the new macbooks and run only on AC power. My brand new macbook gets 3.5-4 hours using only airport and safari, same as most of my friends with new windows machines.


after reading your comment, i decided to take the battery out of my new macbook while it’s turned on and plugged in. The macbook stayed on and i’m typing this while the battery is NOT in the macbook. so you sir are completely wrong.


It’s better if you use an UPS. The battery acts as an UPS for a laptop and protects it from voltage fluctuations. I am sure you wouldn’t want your components to get damaged in any way…


yeah for sure I don’t want my macbook damaged at all. But isn’t that why apple put the white block at the end of the power cord. I don’t really know, but i assumed that was regulating the power coming through.


Sometimes, removing the battery is the ONLY way to use a MacBook Pro. At least if the charger circuit dies on you. In the first week you own it. Yes, it happened to a friend. His response was to not bother with the warranty, but to rather use it as an excuse to buy a VERY nice soldering iron.


Yeah,the laptop is very convenient, but it’s really very hard to maintain the laptop battery. Most of the time I use AC power.



20 ways to absolutely kill the joys of owning a laptop.



You can help extend the life of your battery by removing it from the laptop when you are going to be on AC power for a long time. This is due to heat and overcharging, why can’t they just bypass the battery while on AC only checking it every once in a while to make sure it’s fully charged?

Just make sure you have it charged before traveling!


Hi cet, I have a new Dell laptop (Latitude E6400) that has an option to turn off the battery charger via a function key combo. While on AC power, if I hit Fn+F2 the battery stops charging and the system runs just on AC power. If AC power is lost, it automatically switches back to the battery without missing a beat. This might help extend the life of the battery, assuming I remember to use the feature!



Standby is murder on batteries. Definitely hibernate or shutdown. Then again i dont want to use my laptop differently then intended. Suck it up and buy a new battery when yours hits the wall. With “NetBooks” getting so cheap i think i will just buy a new netbook everytime my battery starts to fail. dubya viralnomore.com



Well, Right now I don’t have a laptop. However had a plan to buy it soon. Awesome tips. Glad to know these things very earlier. Hope these tips will increase my laptop battery life in future.

Thank you



Replace your hard drive with a solid state hard drive (SSD). SSD needs a lot less power than a regular hard drive and it is much more durable as well. No moving parts and hence no hard drive sound.



On point 17, I think recent research has found that Li-Ion batteries ARE ALSO affected by memory effect (contrary to common belief) when managed inappropriately… haven’t got a reference handy for this, but a quick search might bring up something. I believe backward battery technology is actually limiting the development of new hand held devices and laptops. If there are some R&D breakthroughs in battery technology we might see fast progress in the development of better laptops (MacBook is a nice place to start!)



@20.Pack it up

Yes it’s very important to disconnect your battery when plugged in. I didn’t and now my battery last for for 4 minutes only :-(


Mr. Spork

Turning off Aero in Windows Vista should not positively effect battery life, in fact, it would likely shorten it a bit. Aero is a very misunderstood technology – many people think it’s just eye-candy that have no beneficial purpose. In fact, Aero offloads graphics processing responsibilities to the GPU, which can handle it much more efficiently than the CPU. The GPU consumes power regardless of the load and typically doesn’t have throttling capabability on par with the CPU so you won’t save power by sparing the GPU this load.

Novice tech writers make their name by demonizing Vista features it seems, unfortunately, good tech gets bashed because Vista hate is so popular and real research, testing and writing is not as easy.


Testing a laptop battery’s run is hardly a switch-on switch off task. There are I believe a lot of variables to consider. Spork, what you say is true…but it is also true that Aero (or the GPU) does impinge on the battery…though by a minuscule 1-4%. (as claimed by this blog. The 1-4% as cited by the Windows Vista team blog could mean the difference between saving a file or losing it.



Here’s a simple DOS batch I wrote a while ago to disable WinXP services that are often unneeded while offline/traveling. I’ve unempirically found that using it, in conjunction with turning off wifi, sound, and lowering LCD brightness, gains me an extra hour or two on a battery that normally lasts about three:

REM -------- Automatic Updates
net stop wuauserv /y
REM -------- Background Intelligent Transfer Service
net stop BITS /y
REM -------- Bluetooth Support Service
REM net stop BthServ /y
REM -------- Computer Browser
net stop Browser /y
REM -------- DHCP Client
net stop Dhcp /y
REM -------- DNS Client
net stop Dnscache /y
REM -------- Error Reporting Service
net stop ERSvc /y
REM -------- Help and Support
net stop helpsvc /y
REM -------- IIS Admin
REM net stop IISADMIN /y
REM -------- Machine Debug Manager
net stop MDM /y
REM -------- Print Spooler
net stop Spooler /y
REM -------- Remote Registry
REM net stop RemoteRegistry /y
REM -------- Security Center
REM net stop wscsvc /y
REM -------- Shell Hardware Detection (Provides notifications for AutoPlay hardware events)
net stop ShellHWDetection /y
REM -------- SSDP Discovery Service (Enables discovery of UPnP devices on your home network.)
REM net stop SSDPSRV /y
REM -------- Symantec AntiVirus
net stop "Symantec AntiVirus" /y
REM -------- Symantec AntiVirus Definition Watcher (Monitors and maintains virus definitions.)
net stop DefWatch /y
REM -------- Symantec Event Manager
net stop ccEvtMgr /y
REM -------- Symantec Settings Manager
net stop ccSetMgr /y
REM -------- Task Scheduler
REM net stop Schedule /y
REM -------- TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper (Enables support for NetBIOS over TCP/IP (NetBT) service and NetBIOS name resolution)
REM net stop LmHosts /y
REM -------- Themes
REM net stop Themes /y
REM -------- Windows Firewall/Internet Connection Sharing (ICS)
net stop SharedAccess /y
REM -------- Windows Image Acquisition (WIA) (Provides image acquisition services for scanners and cameras.)
net stop stisvc /y
REM -------- Windows Time
net stop W32Time /y
REM -------- Wireless Zero Configuration
net stop WZCSVC /y
REM -------- World Wide Web Publishing
REM net stop W3SVC /y
REM -------- Infrared Monitor
REM net stop Irmon /y

To use it, just and past the above into a .bat text file, and run. Several of the items are commented out, I found I would sometimes need them or that perhaps they shouldn’t be stopped. You might chose to uncomment these to have them stopped as well. The “/y” command line option isn’t necessary for most of these, but it’s useful in case you’re stopping a service with dependencies. One could use a similar batch script using “net start” to restart the services, but I find it’s easier to just restart my system when I’m finished travelling.



I’m surprised that the article doesn’t mention another important way of “saving” your battery life: not keeping it fully charged all the time! Check out the Wikipedia article on Li-Ion batteries. They degrade faster with higher charge. Of course, many users regularly need their battery fully charged, so this wouldn’t make sense for them. Some users don’t, though. 99% of my laptop usage is from a home office where I have AC power, so I set my battery power manager to keep my battery charged only 20-30%. Over the 14 months I’ve owned it, it has only degraded about 5 watt-hours in capacity, from 84 to 79. Of course, this level of control over battery charging isn’t available on all laptop brands, but on my Lenovo, it’s a great way to save my battery.



9hrs? probably because you have solid state drive?



Uninstall Windows Vista.



Your drive shouldn’t be spinning even if there’s a CD in there as long as the CD isn’t in use.

And rather than just muting the speakers: unload the sound drivers! Seriously, unloading sound, wireless, wired, and bluetooth drivers will save a *lot* of battery because then those parts aren’t even powered.

Oh, and turn off the backlight if you have the option. In a well-lit room, black text on white is visible with the LCD’s backlight turned completely off.


Well, it would have been awesome, if there was some app to automate this thing. As soon as you unplug your laptop, drivers get disabled, and when the power is back… the re-enabled. I wonder if that would need a restart, in which case, it would be inconvenient, but still… it’s worth a look at!


It would be very easy in Linux. Just add “modprobe -r sky2 ; modprobe -r iwlagn ; modprob -r snd_hda_intel” (given my laptop’s hardware, that is) to whatever script is set to run on AC-unplugged events.

I have no idea if Windows can handle unloading drivers while-running.


Other things I’m remembering from powertop: tell hal to stop polling for new-cd-inserted events. Yeah, it means it won’t auto-mount, but hell, we’ve got the “mount” command for a reason.



#12 (hibernation) is a great tip, assuming the implementation of it is good. It’s a much better alternative than sleep or complete shutdown, especially if you have a number of lightweight applications running (eg non-bloated browsers) and you want to pick up where you left off when you restart again.

PS: It seems that Chrome may have some minor issues with the comment form? (eg when backspacing/deleting)



I never thought all these things could reduce power consumption. I was of the impression that power on your laptop and it will use the same amount of power no matter what.



I heard that undervolting your laptop could increase battery life. Has anyone here tried it?

Maybe an idea for a MUO article?



And I hope everyone realizes that the old “always run the charge all the way down then charge it all the way back up” wisdom does NOT apply to Li-ion batteries.



“A mismatch in the wattage could cause an overload thus damaging the laptop and the battery.”

Err, no.

The worst that could happen is that you use a charger with less “wattage” than the original, in which case you will kill the charger – not the laptop or battery.

Using a higher wattage charger can’t hurt anything.




turning down my brightness really helped!



Great info ,specially the point no.4 and 19, thanks for sharing!


SAMSUNG Laptop Battery

Great tips, thanks for sharing!


Diabolic Preacher

Good set of tips overall, though I feel it leans towards paranoia. esp. hibernate. and no multimedia apps.

There were some new tips in there and then there were some tips (like classic style windows theme) that we hope the power manager took care of triggering say after a few seconds of running on battery, esp. if you consider AC supply being toggled on n off for a less than a few seconds. You forget to mention defragging is not good if overused.
point 18 is kinda iffy.

Dunno what you think, but I feel the power manager ought to have some trigger to automate your suggestions 3,7,8,9,11. What do you think?



I guess the practicable thing is to stay somewhere in the middle. Computers won’t be fun without multimedia, right!But we can easily not use it when we are on the road and away from a power outlet.Muting sounds and dimming lights can be done through the keyboard itself. I guess there can be a single configurable power saving toggle on the keyboard/OS which can do the job in a snap. Do any laptops have it?


On the way home from the Ubuntu Developer Summit, two of us were brainstorming optimizations we could do in Linux OSes for longer battery life (things like removing drivers, as I mentioned in another comment). We were going to make a script to automate, but now I’m not sure what’s going on with that…will have to check



the Linux Documentation Project explains that those outdated battery types are all but gone from the laptop rechargeable battery scene. However, even with widespread lithium ion usage, there are still many questions about lithium ion battery recharging both for computers and other battery-powered devices.



I use laptop nearly 20 hours a day.
I have difficulty to increase its life.
Maybe I should change battery.
Now it last just 1 hour 30 mins.



When a laptop is plugged in, it runs on AC power



i kept my laptop on ac power for 20 hours and its battery died out completely. just wanted to share.


I think you charge your battery over,nomally,when the battery fully charge,you should stop or remove the battery.



NI-MH batteries DOES NOT have memory effect, that only happens on NI-CD batteries. And only really old laptops use them. Nowdays batteries, are Li-Po or Li-ion and they doesn’t have memory effect. Thanks.


olivia smith

I think you need to download over the battery, normally, when the battery is fully charged, it must stop or remove the battery.



one thing i would like to tell you all by my personal experience for Li-ion batteries, its better if you use laptop with adapter on….its been two years i bought my dell vostro laptop with 9 cell Li-ion battery but it has degraded by just 10-15% yet, I have 90% of the time used it on adapter with battery plugged in.



should we keep our laptop charging whenever we are using it?



should we keep laptop charging while using time.Have any disadvantage?


I do it and have been doing it for the last two and a half years. From experience, it’s no problem. Though, just as an exercise…I do a complete discharge and charge once a month.



Oh,you can’t do like that,this will keep your battery life Shorten.Because each battery has a limited number of charge.If you charging it while using time,this will waste a number of charge once time,time and time again,it’s limited number of charge will reduce quickly,so your battery can not last long.



My computer is a year old and its baterie can only last for 1.5 hours or 2 hours at max… Its a 17″ screen which probably shortens the life. Is that normal.


That’s about the norm 2-3 hrs. Usually some laptops advertise 4 hrs but it’s usually around the 2-3 hrs mark. Mine is in the same state.



hey all!! interesting post… i’ve done most of these steps while at times the hibernate disappears… its been 14months since i got this dell studio n its battery discharges in only 40 mins… :( i’ve always connected the ac while working and i do work 4 12-14hrs a day… i know the battery life is gone, however do u think i neeed a new one or ddo i push my luck?



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I bought a old acer’s lap to my bad luck it’s battery doesn’t have the capacity to run one hour, if I use internet it won’t run half an hour. What should I do now?




What really matters:
Turn the brightness down as low as tolerable.
Don’t be stupid.

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