Technology

How to preserve laptop battery life

Info Guru, Catalogs.com

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woman using laptop on couch
A lap desk protects the laptop battery from heat
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Here's how to preserve laptop battery life for longevity and better function

Laptops offer a long list of benefits Ė theyíre lightweight, convenient and allow users mobility. Thereís only one major drawback and thatís the power issue. These days, businesses offer Wi-Fi for customers, but many block their outlets so you canít camp out all day. Whatís a caffeine addict on a deadline to do?

Learn how to preserve laptop battery life and youíll never again make a frantic dash for the nearest open outlet. These tips will show you how to save laptop battery power and get every possible second out of that battery.

Donít take the name literally

Yes, itís called a laptop, but that doesnít mean itís made to sit on your lap. While technology has produced highly sophisticated batteries, the fact is they all fade over time. One of the primary factors behind this deterioration is heat.

Since batteries live on the bottom of the machines, setting them on your lap directly exposes them to constant heat. If the couch is your go-to work spot, set it on a lap desk with a cooling mat underneath. 

Donít leave it plugged in

According to Wired, most people keep their computers plugged in at all times. This is not good. Prolong battery life by plugging the machine in just long enough to charge it. You donít even need to charge it to 100%.





The magic of 80/40

Charge the machine only to 80% and plug it again when itís at 40% power. Do this regularly and you can get up to four times more life! The secret behind these magic numbers is stress. Charging to 100% and allowing the power to drain completely puts each cell under stress, reducing the total number of discharge cycles it has.

Mind the minor juice suckers

You may be surprised to learn one trick on how to preserve laptop battery life focuses on the smallest details. The brightness of your screen or having your Wi-Fi card enabled when youíre not online actually drains power unnecessarily. If youíre in a well-lit place, turn the brightness down to save about 30 minutes worth of energy.

Set the screen to turn off after a short period of inactivity. This way if you get distracted or wind up in a long conversation, the screen automatically preserves energy. Unless youíre using them, mute the volume, turn off Bluetooth and unplug the external drive, mouse and other computer accessories.

When working, try to focus on one task at a time so you only need to run one application or software at a time. While youíre at it, go into Applications and close any that run in the background. 

To state the obvious

The goal here is to save power. The odd thing is that many people donít realize their computer has an ĎEnergy Saverí button in the control panel. Click this button as soon as you power up. Otherwise the default will likely be set to Balanced.

Break time

Who can resist a little quality time away from the screen with a real coffee break, especially when youíre already at the cafť? Rather than putting the machine on standby, which will only drain energy, set it to hibernate or shut it down instead.

When the battery does begin to degrade, consider getting a second one so you have a backup on hand when itís needed. There are universal ones made to work in almost any machine. Brands like Dell are designed so you can remove the DVD drive in order to install a second battery, if you want to.

These tips on how to preserve laptop battery life may at first seem more like chores, but they only take seconds to implement. Youíll be amazed how much more life and less hassle will result. 

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