How to Increase Your Laptop Battery Life in Nigeria
Luckily, modern laptops are much more efficient than their predecessors. Nowadays, even inexpensive desktop-replacement laptops and some gaming behemoths can last for more than eight hours on a single charge. Some ultraportables can endure for 14 hours or more.
Still, the inconvenient truth is that the battery in your PC or Mac laptop won’t last as long as the manufacturer advertises unless you pay attention to some key factors: your power settings, how many apps you’re running, even the temperature of the room in which you’re working.
The good news is that none of this requires very much work to sort out, once you know which settings to adjust. Let’s take a look at the highest-yield ways to get the most out of your laptop’s battery.
Close your apps when you’re not using them. Never prop up your notebook on a pillow. These and more easy tips will help you squeeze longer battery life out of your Windows 10 or Mac laptop.
Use the Windows Battery Performance Slider
The first stop on our battery-life betterment tour is the Windows battery performance slider, a recent addition to Windows 10. It aims to group all of the settings that affect battery life into a few easy-to-understand categories.
The company that determines exactly which settings the battery slider controls. But in general, keep these guidelines in mind:
- The Best Performance mode is for people willing to trade off battery runtime to gain performance and responsiveness. In this mode, Windows won’t stop apps running in the background from consuming a lot of power.
- The Better Performance setting limits resources for background apps, but it otherwise prioritizes power over efficiency.
- Better Battery mode delivers longer battery life than the default settings on previous versions of Windows. (It’s actually labeled “Recommended” on many PCs.)
- Battery Saver mode, a slider choice that will appear only when your PC is unplugged, reduces the display brightness by 30 percent, prevents Windows update downloads, stops the Mail app from syncing, and suspends most background apps.
Use Battery Settings on MacOS
Apple’s MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro laptops don’t have a battery slider, although many of the same settings described above are present in the Energy Saver preferences.
To open it, click on the Spotlight magnifying-glass icon in the upper right corner of the screen, search for Energy Saver, and then click on the Battery tab.
If you want to approximate the Windows Better Battery or Battery Saver modes, make sure that the options “Put hard disks to sleep when possible” and “Slightly dim the display while on battery power” are checked, and the option “Enable Power Nap while on battery power” is unchecked.
(With Power Nap enabled and your MacBook asleep, the machine will wake up now and then to check for updates. Disabling it keeps your MacBook fully asleep when it is asleep—until you choose wake it up.)
On recent MacBook Pro laptops, the display brightness adjusts to 75 percent when you unplug the computer from power if you have “Slightly dim the display while on battery power” enabled.
So, if you want the best battery life, should you use Battery Saver all the time? Not exactly. Because Battery Saver mode disables some useful features, you might want to use it only when your battery is below 20 percent and a power outlet isn’t near.
Likewise, turning off Power Nap can mean it will take longer to catch up on notifications you’ve missed while you’re away from your MacBook. That’s why most users should use the Better Battery setting and enable Power Nap most of the time.
Simplify Your Workflow: Closing Apps, & Using Airplane Mode
On the other hand, if you’re writing a novel or playing a local video file and don’t need to be distracted by notifications, it’s fine to enable Battery Saver.
It’s a good habit to adjust your laptop use in more battery-conserving ways, such as by sticking to one app at a time and closing everything else when you’re not using it. It’s a bit like turning off the lights when a room is vacant.
If you’re going back and forth between the kitchen and the pantry all the time, or between Firefox and Word, by all means keep both sets of lights and apps on and open. But if you’re just cooking or watching a YouTube video, you’ll be best served by turning off and closing everything else.
In addition to aiming to single-task, consider enabling Airplane mode in Windows, or turning off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth in macOS if you know you’ll be editing a document with no need for web access.
In addition to eliminating distractions, Airplane mode eliminates a significant source of battery drain: not only the wireless radios themselves, but also the background apps and processes that constantly use them, such as updaters and push notifications.
Take Heed of Airflow
Most laptops now come with lithium-polymer batteries that require much less maintenance than batteries of a decade ago, thanks as much to software and firmware improvements as innovation in the battery technology itself.
You no longer have to perform a full battery discharge on a regular basis to calibrate it, nor do you have to worry that draining the battery completely will damage your laptop.
You do have to be careful about heat, however, which will hasten a battery’s demise. The biggest problems come from physical obstruction of the ventilation ports. Dust buildup is one problem, which you can take care of by cleaning the laptop’s vents and fan.
(Periodically, use a can of compressed air to blow out some of the dust.) A more frequent issue that crops up, though, is using the laptop on a pillow or blanket, which can both obstruct the ventilation fan and retain the heat coming off of the system.
Avoid this by using your laptop only on firm surfaces such as a table or a desk, which won’t flex and block airflow or cooling.
Keep an Eye on Your Battery’s Health
All batteries lose charging capacity over time and will eventually need to be replaced. Taking stock of a battery’s health now and then is always a good idea.
To see if your MacBook battery is nearing the end of its lifespan, hold the Option key and click the battery icon in the menu bar to reveal the battery status. If you see a “Replace Now” or “Service Battery” message, your battery is likely functioning far below its original capacity.
You can find more detailed information on how many charging cycles your battery has endured by opening the System Information app and navigating to the Power tab. Check the cycle count value against the rated maximums in Apple’s list to know how many more cycles you’ve got left.
For an equivalent battery-health indicator in Windows 10, you’ll need to roll up your sleeves and delve into world of the command prompts. First, type cmd into the Windows Search Bar in the lower left of the screen to summon the Command Prompt in Windows 10.
Right-click on its search item and choose to run Command Prompt at an administrator level. Then, type powercfg /battery report at the prompt. Your PC will generate an HTML file whose location is displayed in the command prompt window. Open it, and check near the top for your battery’s design capacity, full charge capacity, and cycle count.
Carry a Battery Back Up
Finally, the easiest way to ensure that you always have enough battery power is to bring along an external battery pack.
These external power sources plug in to your laptop the same way your charger does. They generally cost between $100 — (NGN) 38,000 naira and $200 which is (NGN) 76,000 naira, but it comes with adapters for use with many different laptop models. They can be used on more than one system, and even for other devices, such as your phone or tablet.
These strategies will help you make the most of the battery you have. If you’re in the market for a new laptop, however, the battery runtime is going to be one of your key concerns.