How to Extend the Life of Your Laptop Battery
You can extend the life of your laptop’s battery by using its hardware and software features strategically.
If you’re not using a device, turn it off. For example, switch off the WiFi transceiver when you don’t need to communicate wirelessly.
Avoid unnecessarily using the hard drive. If your word processor is set to autosave your work every 5 minutes, consider changing that to every 10 or 15 minutes.
Resist the temptation to play a music CD while you work. Instead, convert the songs to MP3 or WAV files, and play them from your hard drive or from a separate music player like an iPod.
Don’t use external devices that draw power from the laptop battery. These include desktop mice and memory card readers.
Find a comfortable environment. Extreme heat (over 80 degrees) makes your battery discharge more quickly than usual and could, in the worst case, result in a meltdown; cold temperatures make batteries sluggish.
Make sure the cooling vents aren’t blocked by dirt or by objects. The fans within laptops are critical to your system’s health.
Turn down the light. The LCD uses a backlight that illuminates the screen from behind. Use your laptop’s power-control utilities to automatically reduce backlighting when it runs on batteries, or try manually reducing the screen brightness using the appropriate function key.
Reduce the load on your microprocessor. Unless you really need to run multiple programs at the same time, avoid multitasking. Close any applications and utilities that you don’t need open.
Be aware of the varying demands of different software. Most basic office programs, like Word and Excel, are more efficient than digital image editors and music editors, which demand a lot of memory and processor effort.
Use Standby and Hibernate modes appropriately. Use the Standby (or Suspend) feature for quick timeouts, and the Hibernate feature when you take a break of more than 20 minutes.