Wednesday, August 1, 2012

How to Extend Laptop Battery Life

  • Switch off the wireless card if you do not plan to access your network or Internet connection.
  • Disable Bluetooth If you don't use this device.

Laptop1. Defrag regularly -  The faster your hard drive does its work – less demand you are going to put on the hard drive and your battery.  Make your hard drive as efficient as possible by defragging it regularly. (but not while it’s on battery of course!) Mac OSX is better built to handle fragmentation so it may not be very applicable for Apple systems.

2. Dim your screen – Most laptops come with the ability to dim your laptop screen.  Some even come with ways to modify CPU and cooling performance.  Cut them down to the lowest level you can tolerate to squeeze out some extra battery juice.

3. Cut down on programs running in the background -  ITunes, Desktop Search, etc.  All these add to the CPU load and cut down battery life.  Shut down everything that isn’t crucial when you’re on battery.

4. Cut down external devices – USB devices (including your mouse) & Wi-Fi drain down your laptop battery.  Remove or shut them down when not in use.  It goes without saying that charging other devices (like your iPod) with your laptop when on battery is a surefire way of quickly wiping out the charge on your laptop battery.

5. Add more RAM - This will allow you to process more with the memory your laptop has, rather than relying on virtual memory.  Virtual memory results in hard drive use, and is much less power efficient. Note that adding more RAM will consume more energy, so this is most applicable if you do need to run memory intensive programs which actually require heavy usage of virtual memory.

Laptop Accessories6. Run off a hard drive rather than CD/DVD - As power consuming as hard drives are, CD and DVD drives are worse.  Even having one in the drive can be power consuming.  They spin, taking power, even when they?re not actively being used.  Wherever possible, try to run on virtual drives using programs like Alcohol 120% rather than optical ones.

7. Keep the battery contacts clean - Clean your battery’s metal contacts every couple of months with a cloth moistened with rubbing alcohol.  This keeps the transfer of power from your battery more efficient.

8. Take care of your battery - Exercise the Battery.  Do not leave a charged battery dormant for long periods of time.  Once charged, you should at least use the battery at least once every two to three weeks. Also, do not let a Li-On battery completely discharge. (Discharging is only for older batteries with memory effects)

9. Hibernate not standby – Although placing a laptop in standby mode saves some power and you can instantly resume where you left off, it doesn’t save anywhere as much power as the hibernate function does.  Hibernating a PC will actually save your PC’s state as it is, and completely shut itself down.

10. Keep operating temperature down - Your laptop operates more efficiently when it’s cooler.  Clean out your air vents with a cloth or keyboard cleaner.

11. Set up and optimize your power options – Go to ‘Power Options’ in your windows control panel and set it up so that power usage is optimized (Select the ‘max battery’ for maximum effect).

12. Don’t multitask – Do one thing at a time when you’re on battery.  Rather than working on a spreadsheet, letting your email client run in the background and listening to your latest set of MP3′s, set your mind to one thing only.  If you don’t you’ll only drain out your batteries before anything gets completed!

Laptop-battery13. Go easy on the PC demands – The more you demand from your PC.  Passive activities like email and word processing consume much less power than gaming or playing a DVD.  If you’ve got a single battery charge – pick your priorities wisely.

14. Get yourself a more efficient laptop -  Laptops are getting more and more efficient in nature to the point where some manufacturers are talking about all day long batteries.  Picking up a newer more efficient laptop to replace an aging one is usually a quick fix.

15. Prevent the Memory Effect - If you’re using a very old laptop, you’ll want to prevent the ‘memory effect’ – Keep the battery healthy by fully charging and then fully discharging it at least once every two to three weeks. Exceptions to the rule are Li-Ion batteries (which most laptops have) which do not suffer from the memory effect.

16. Turn off ports - Disabling unused ports and components, such as VGA, Ethernet, PCMCIA, USB, and yes, your wireless, too. You can do this through the Device Manager or by configuring a separate hardware profile

17. 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.

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.

Does it harm the battery or reduce battery life, to use the AC adaptor for extended periods while the battery is fully charged?

Best Answer - I would have to disagree with the others who say that it hurts your battery & reduces battery life by keeping your AC adapter plugged in with a full battery.

laptop_batteryBattery technology in the last 5 years has improved so much you don't need to worry about overcharge or anything. They have chips in the battery to know when to stop. I leave my laptop and cell phone plugged in at all times unless I cant and they are perfectly fine. I use my laptop for 15+ hours a day at home, work, and on the road, it gets plugged in and out constantly, and its 3 years old. The battery still charges to 100% just fine and lasts 2.5 hours on a charge just like it did when it was new.

Every time you use your batteries power you are adding to the amount of cycles your battery can cycle. If you continually charge your battery to 100% and then take it off the AC Power, and use it all the way down to 0% or even 50% you are taking away from the batteries lifespan. And eventually your battery will not be able to hold a full charge, and eventually will not hold a charge at all, and you will have to buy a new one!

I used to recommend to my customers that if they're going to be using their laptop for extended periods of time with no need for the battery, that they should remove it and just run it off AC power.

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2 comments:

Thanks for your post, My dell 1545 battery is broken ,i have bought a Dell inspiron 1545 Battery I will make my battery life long by your useful guide.

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