It can be really annoying when you are bang in the middle of an important presentation, or completing a report, and your laptop battery decides to give up the ghost. While in most cases you might get time to save your work, the interruption itself can cost you dearly.
Worse is if you don't get time to save what you were working on, and all your hard work is lost. Though an annoying problem, if you take care of your laptop battery, then you should never face this situation.
Of course, don't expect unrealistic battery times; realize that even the best batteries will provide you only 2-3 hours of backup, depending on what programs you are running. Here are some tips to follow to ensure that your battery does not die on you in just 10-30 minutes.
How to Make Battery Life Last Longer
Dim Your Screen
Almost all new laptops come with an option of dimming the screen. Some of these laptops also have an option to control the CPU's cooling performance. Cut these to their lowest levels to make the most of your battery savings.
Sending an email to a client while working on a spreadsheet and listening to a new album of Justin Timberlake, all on battery power, will lead you nowhere, as the battery drains out faster while multitasking, since it gives a lot of load to the CPU. Do one thing at a time, and close all other applications that are not important.
Cut Down on External Devices
Using USB devices and DVD drives consumes a lot of battery when your laptop is unplugged. Shut these applications when you are not using them. Even the USB mouse, while inactive, will lead to a faster battery drainage. Hence, cutting down on the use of external devices, like USB devices, DVDs, Bluetooth devices or Wi-Fi will help increase battery life.
Hibernate or Standby?
While the standby option does save battery life, it is nowhere close to what is saved when you choose the hibernate option. Hibernating saves everything the way it was, and completely shuts down the laptop, saving more battery.
You must clean your battery's metal contacts once every two months. Use a soft cloth and rub it with alcohol to moisten it. This will help in keeping the transfer of power from the battery more efficient.
Defrag Your Hard Drives
Defragging your hard drive will make it work more efficiently. An efficient hard drive always works faster and eases the load on the battery, reducing its consumption and leading to battery savings. But make sure you do not carry out defragmentation of your hard drive while working on battery power!
Set Power options
Laptops come with various options for their power settings. Make sure you keep your laptop's power settings to 'optimized use' or in 'power saver' modes while working on battery. It will increase the backup for your laptop.
Extra Tips to Keep in Mind
Adding more RAM does help in saving power. It reduces the load on the CPU, leading to power savings. Another great tip could be switching off autosave options in MS Word and Excel while working on battery.
Try to reduce the graphics used by changing your screen's resolution and shutting down all the fancy graphic drivers like graphic cards. Mute the speakers. Turn off all scheduled tasks. Clean out the air vents using a soft cloth. Your laptop will operate more efficiently when it's temperature is low, saving precious battery power.
These tips are tried and tested, and are sure to save a great deal of your laptop's battery. It will also increase battery life if you regularly follow them. If your battery is giving you one hour of back up instead of its usual two hours, then perhaps it is time to change the battery.