Laptops and mobile computing devices are the object of preference for a huge number of people these days. It is so mostly due to the fact that you can take your tablet, laptop or smart phone anywhere and keep connected to the world. In order to do so a fully functional and reliable battery is of key importance. Especially in case of laptops, the battery life is usually just a couple of hours at best and might not be sufficient for longer out door endeavors than that. Now-a-days companies are coming up with laptops with better technologies enabling longer battery lives, but for the users of a bit older laptops we have a few ways to improve the battery life of their laptop computers.
Check Display Options
When you are off the AC power make sure that your laptop is set on the more efficient display options. Flashy graphics do look pretty but they eat up battery really quickly. Windows 7 gives options to set the display according to your preferences, to increase battery life you can select the options which are more pro-performance, for example go to ‘more power options’ and dim the display or change the power plan to ‘Power saver’
You can select different power plans for when your laptop is plugged-in and for when it is not. The computer will shift automatically to the preferred plan in accordance with its power status. You can also customize these power plans to your liking,
Check Hardware Performance
Extra hardware that keeps running behind is also a big cause of battery drain. Turn off the Wi-Fi adapter of your laptop if you do not need internet connectivity. Similarly, turn Bluetooth adapter off when not in use as it consumes a lot of battery. By cutting off just these two you can improve your battery life up to 20%-30%.
Remove or shut down extra external USB devices such as mouse, keyboards, external modems, external hard drives and webcams etc. as they draw their power directly from the battery for operation.
From a bit more technical perspective, add more RAM to your system. This will keep your computer from saving the short term data on hard drives which highly consume the battery while they are active.
Since working hard drives is very cumbersome on the batteries so we have to make sure that they are put to use as little as possible. To accomplish this ensure that your hard drives are ‘Defragmented’ on a regular basis. Regular defragmentation will allow the computer to take less time in finding the desired data on the HDD resulting in an improved battery life.
Try not using the CD, DVD- ROMs or the Blue-Ray reader on your laptop, believe or not they suck more power than hard drives. Try running programs and media from HDDs while off power.
Turn Extra Programs Off
Do you have extra programs running on your computer, hidden somewhere in the trey? They are consuming battery so turn them off. These extra programs can be found in the trey icons on the right bottom corner of your Windows 7 display. If you cannot find any icons of a program that is definitely running then go to ‘Task Manager’ and terminate the program from there.
While on battery, learn not to multi-task. If you are trying to, let us say, write a post for your blog then turn off the messenger, the email, the browser and the media player because the battery will finish off before you could properly finish off any of the tasks you were trying to complete.
Check the Operating Temperature
Batteries are made to work in specific working conditions. The currently used Li-ion battery cannot work in any temperatures. There’s a range of temperature in which a battery works to its optimum level and the average room temperature lies in that range.
To keep the battery operating at its maximum potential make sure that the laptop has its air inlets and outlets cleared. The laptop should be placed on hard, flat surfaces such as table tops. Soft surfaces such as bed or blankets hinder the flow of air to and from the working parts thus increasing the temperature of the machine. If you have to place the laptop on such a soft surface make sure it is elevated a little from the surface. You could use books or other stuff to help pitch the laptop up a little.
Keep Battery Clean
Keeping the battery clean is an easy yet effective way of saving battery life. Check that the metal contacts of your battery and laptop are not covered in grime or rust. If so, cleaning them up regularly can help a lot.
Note that currently Li-ion batteries are used in laptops mostly which should not be drained fully. Try to keep them charged as much as possible and shut down the computer before they dry out completely. If you have a very old laptop then doing the above mentioned practice will harm your battery because those batteries exhibit the ‘memory effect’, meaning that keeping them charged all the time will result in dead cells. The battery will seem fully charged but it will not give the same performance. In this case drain the battery on regular intervals.