How to Prolong Usage Time on a Laptop - dummies

By Dan Gookin

There are a number of things you can do to get the most usage time out of your laptop’s battery. Here are suggestions for prolonging the laptop’s battery life:

  • Turn down the laptop monitor’s brightness level when it is using battery power. Some laptops do this automatically, as part of the power management system.

  • Create a power plan that spins down the laptop’s hard drive after a few minutes of use.

  • Avoid using the optical (CD/DVD) drive while on battery power. The battery drains faster when you’re watching a movie on your laptop than it does when just accessing a little data, but the optical drive pulls power either way.

  • Mute the speakers.

  • Avoid accessing the network while on battery power.

  • Disable the wireless networking adapter to save battery power.

  • Try to use the laptop’s dialup modem only when the laptop is connected to a power source. Modems drain battery power, and usually when you’re near a phone jack, you can find a wall socket nearby. Use it.

  • The manufacturer’s battery usage statistics are calculated under ideal circumstances. Though your laptop manufacturer may boast that the battery lasts for a full three hours, you should expect less time.