How to Extend Battery Life on a Windows PC

Authored by: Tech Pro Team

1. Introduction

Nobody wants to have to scramble to find their power adapter and make an urgent dash to a power outlet to rescue their laptop battery before it runs out of juice. You also might not like the idea that your desktop computer is running all day, especially if you're not there to use it. Luckily, modern computers have become much more efficient than their predecessors. This guide will go over settings designed to extend battery life or reduce power consumption, as well as other settings that can also positively impact the amount of power your device needs to operate.

Photo of a laptop displaying remaining battery life property window.

2. Enable Battery Saver

While active, Battery Saver will limit or disable background activity to conserve battery life. By doing this, your battery will last longer before needing to be charged.

More information about battery saver can be found at:

  1. Click on the Start menu.
Windows 10 Start Menu
  1. Click on Settings.
Windows 10 Settings
  1. Click on System.
System Settings
  1. Select Battery from the menu.

Enable Battery Saver Automatically

When enabled, battery saver will automatically turn on when your battery falls below the selected percentage.

  1. Check the box that states "Turn battery saver on automatically if my battery falls below".
Turn Battery Saver on automatically
  1. Move the slider left or right to choose when battery saver will turn on.
Battery percentage sliderr]

Enable Battery Saver Immediately

If you know you will be on battery power for an extended time, you can turn on battery saver on demand to start saving power and extend the duration of your battery charge.

You can only turn on battery saver while your laptop is on battery power. I will default to off once you plug your charger in.

  1. Click the toggle to turn on battery saver.
Turn on battery saver toggle

3. Change Power & Sleep Settings

The power settings your computer uses can affect certain behaviors of your machine and will also directly impact how much power your computer will consume at the same time.

Turn Off Screen Timer

Screens use a good amount of power. You can lower the idle timer before your screen turns off to conserve battery power.

Sleep Timer

When your computer goes to sleep, you will use much less power than when your computer is running normally. You can lower the idle time before your computer goes to sleep to conserve battery power.

To Access Power & Sleep Settings

  1. Select the Start button.
Windows 10 Start Menu
  1. Select Settings.
Windows 10 Settings
  1. Select System.
System Settings
  1. Select Power & sleep.
Power and Sleep

Change Screen Turn Off Timer

  1. Under the Screen category, Select the timer under "On battery power".
Screen off on battery timer
  1. Choose the idle time before your screen turns off.

Change Sleep Timer

  1. Under the Sleep category, Select the timer under "On battery power".
On battery power Sleep timer
  1. Choose the idle time before your computer goes to sleep.

4. Change Screen Brightness

Your computer screen's backlight is one of the biggest power-consuming components of the machine. Thus, lowering screen brightness settings can drastically decrease the amount of power your computer consumes.

To Access Brightness Settings

  1. Click the Start button.
Windows 10 Start Menu
  1. Select Settings.
Windows 10 Settings
  1. Select System.
System Settings
  1. Select Display.
  1. Use the slider to change your brightness of the display.
Brightness slider

5. Turn Off Bluetooth

While enabled, Bluetooth adapters within Windows 10 machines are constantly scanning and checking the area for available Bluetooth devices. Turning this off can reduce the amount of power your machine consumes.

Not all computers are equipped with Bluetooth technology. If you do not have Bluetooth, there will be no option to toggle Bluetooth off.

To Turn Off Bluetooth

  1. Select the Start button.
Windows 10 Start Menu
  1. Select Settings.
Windows 10 Settings
  1. Select Devices.
Devices Settings
  1. Click the toggle to turn off Bluetooth.
Bluetooth toggle

6. Turn Off Unneeded Apps

If there are apps that you seldom use when on battery power, you can prohibit them from running in the background when your PC isn't plugged in.

Not all apps will have the ability to be changed in this way.

  1. Select the Start button.
Windows 10 Start Menu
  1. Select Settings.
Windows 10 Settings
  1. Select System.
System Settings
  1. Select Battery.
Battery menu
  1. Click See which apps are affecting your battery life. You’ll see a list of apps and how much battery each one is using relatively. This can help you choose which apps to allow versus which apps to disallow.
See which apps are affecting your battery life
  1. You can new view apps and services that are using your battery. Some apps will let you disable their ability to run in the background. You can uncheck "Let Windows decide when this app can run in the background" to prevent them from running in the background.
Checkbox to enable to disable apps from running in the background.

7. Turn Off Location Services

Some apps need to know when you’re in a specific location to work correctly. For instance, if you're looking for directions to get you where you’re going, or give you a lists of shops or restaurants near you, many apps and services request location information from your device. While helpful, the work that location services does in the background can needlessly drain your battery.

To Disable Location Services

  1. Click the Start button.
Windows 10 Start Menu
  1. Click Settings.
Windows 10 Settings
  1. Select Privacy.
Privacy Settings
  1. Select Location.
  1. Click Change.
  1. Toggle "Location access for this device" to off.
Location Services toggle

8. Monitor Battery Level

The way you use your computer is the single biggest reason why your battery may drain more quickly from day-to-day. Keep up with your computer's battery usage frequently! Often times, your machine will give you an idea of how long your battery will last based on its current level of activity. To check your computer's battery level, move the mouse pointer over the Battery icon on the taskbar.

Windows 10 battery icon. Screenshot

9. Airplane Mode

Airplane Mode turns off all wireless signals going to and from your Windows 10 device. When in Airplane Mode, you cannot wirelessly connect to anything, such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, etc. If you know you're going to be using your machine in an area where you won't need this sort of communication, enabling airplane mode can help save battery life.

  1. Select the Notifications icon, then select Airplane Mode to turn on airplane mode.
Notification icon

Airplane mode

10. Disconnect Unused Accessories

Most USB devices require some form of power when they are connected to your machine. If you're trying to save as much battery life as possible, make sure to disconnect any accessories or devices you do not need when working off battery power.