We’ve all been there at some point: You’re nearly done with a project you’ve spent hours working on. Then, just as you’re about to put the finishing touches on everything, your screen goes black and your laptop falls silent. You panic, wondering how you could have forgotten to plug it in and hoping that you remembered to save recently.
As a general rule, batteries will always die on you when you need them most. Fortunately, there are steps we can take to extend their lifespan and make the most of our untethered time on our devices.
We Can Start by Slimming Down
If your battery is draining faster than usual, it may be because processes running in the background of your computer are sapping its power. Check your task manager, and end any non-essential processes that might be lingering in the background. Ending extraneous processes and closing unused applications can also improve the speed and performance of your machine.
Keep it Cool
Heat will naturally cause your battery to drain faster. Processor intensive tasks such as gaming and video editing will cause your computer to get hotter and drain your battery in the process. Make sure that your laptop has plenty of ventilation to keep the battery as cool as possible. Clean dust out of your fans periodically to ensure that your cooling system is running efficiently.
Check Power Management Settings
Just about every PC has power saver settings, whether they’re built into the operating system or tacked on as proprietary software. Find the power management settings in your computer, and make sure that they’re set on “power saver” whenever you’re working unplugged. Occasionally these programs will default to high performance settings which can quickly drain your battery.
Other Fine Tweaks
Some features such as backlit keyboard can cost you more battery power than you might think. Turning down your screen brightness when working unplugged can go a long way towards making your batter last longer. Be sure to disconnect power-draining peripherals such as external hard drives as well.