1 December 2012
1 December 2012,
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One of the advantages of using a laptop, rather than a personal computer system, is the ability to work wherever you want, without the need to be plugged in to a power outlet. Most fully-charged laptop batteries will give you a couple of hours use, depending on the age, type and make of battery. There are, however, things you can do to reduce the battery power used, and increase the amount of time between charges. Here are 10 power-saving tips to extend the battery life of your laptop.

1. Keep your laptop cool

When a laptop gets hot, it increases the demands on your battery. If the cooling vents are blocked by dust, clothing or cushions, the internal fan has to work harder to keep the system cool. This puts extra pressure on your battery. Keep vents clean and clear.

2. Disable wireless

A wireless card can drain your battery power, even if you are not connected to a wireless network. Disable your wireless card when not in use.

3. Turn the brightness down

The higher the level of brightness on your screen, the more power will be drained from your battery. Reducing the screen brightness, even just one or two levels, will significantly increase your battery life.

4. Use sleep mode

Sleep mode, sometimes known as standby mode, stores your open files and programs in temporary memory, and then turns the hard disk and screen off. In sleep mode, your laptop uses very little power, which increases your battery life, while keeping your files and programs ready to use.

5. Utilise the power-saving options

Most operating systems allow you to set your own options for power saving. These usually allow you to specify when to turn off the display and hard disk, along with a number of other options for conserving the battery.

6. Clean the contacts

Battery contacts can become clogged with dirt and dust, which reduces the effectiveness of your battery. Clean the metal contacts on the battery and laptop by using a little rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab.

7. Close unnecessary programs and processes

Running programs and processes can drain your battery. Many of these programs run in the background and are not needed for the normal functioning of your laptop.

8. Defragment the hard disk

Fragmented files on your laptop can cause the hard disk to work harder, as it needs to find all the pieces of files. The harder your hard disk has to work, the more power will be drained from your battery. Use the disk defragmenter once every couple of months.

9. Unplug USB devices

USB devices, such as an external mouse, Wi-Fi adapter or external speakers, can significantly increase the drain on your battery. Unplug USB devices when not in use.

10. Avoid using the CD or DVD drive

The CD or DVD drive can use a large amount of battery power. Avoid leaving disks in the drive, even if you are not using them, as they will spin intermittently, draining your battery power.

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to share if you found this article useful! Next blog post on January 1, 2013: “6 Useful Freeware Programs for Your Computer“.