How to Set Low Battery Warnings on a Windows XP Laptop - dummies

How to Set Low Battery Warnings on a Windows XP Laptop

By Dan Gookin

All Windows laptops can be configured to provide you with various low-battery warnings. Furthermore, you can configure Windows to automatically hibernate or shut down your laptop when the battery gets way too low. In Windows XP, obey these directions to set various battery warnings:

  1. Open the Control Panel’s Power Options icon.

  2. Click the Alarms tab.

  3. Place a check mark by the item Activate Low Battery Alarm When Power Level Reaches.

  4. Use the slider to set the battery percentage level for the Low Battery alarm.

    Ten percent seems like a good level.

  5. Click the Alarm Actions button.

  6. Choose what happens when the alarm kicks in.

    For example, specify Sound Alarm or Display Message. Add an action, such as Hibernate, Sleep, or Shut Down.

  7. Click OK to close the Alarm Actions dialog box.

  8. Repeat Steps 3 through 7 for the Critical Battery alarm.

  9. Click OK to close the Power Options Properties dialog box.

The visual warnings you specify appear. Obey them!


It might make no sense to have options for low and critical battery levels when the laptop is plugged in, but consider what happens when the battery is charging: If you plug in a laptop when its battery is low and the Plugged In setting for Critical Battery Action is set to Shut Down, the laptop turns itself off even when it’s plugged in.