Tips to Reduce Laptop Battery Frustration

Laptop computers have become a popular option over the past few years and I believe will continue to increase in popularity into the future.

Although laptops provide great flexibility, low battery life and battery warnings are often a constant struggle.  I've listed 10 tips below to help you protect and extend the life of your laptop battery.

    1. Defrag regularly to increase efficiency - the quicker your hard drive can complete its work, the less demand you will put on the hard drive and your battery.

    2. Adjust your screen brightness - most laptops come with the ability to dim your laptop screen.  The LCD screen is one of the biggest users of battery power so any reductions you make will help extend battery life.

    3. Monitor operating temperature - your laptop will operate more efficiently when it's cooler.  Clean air vents regularly and make sure the vents are not being blocked by items on or around your computer.

    4. Be careful with external devices - USB devices such as a mouse and WIFI drain your laptop battery.  When not in use, make sure to shut them down.

    5. Turn off the AutoSave function - Microsoft Word and Excel's AutoSave feature is handy as it automatically saves your work on regular intervals.  Using this functionality causes your hard drive to work more than it should and consumes battery life in the process. 

    6. Take advantage of Windows Power Options settings - you'll find Power Options in your Windows control panel.  Review and adjust these settings so that power usage is optimized.

    7. Add more RAM to your system if possible - this will reduce the amount of strain that's placed on the hard disk which is less power efficient.

    8. Maintain the condition of your battery - clean your battery's metal contacts every couple of months with a cloth moistened with rubbing alcohol.  This keeps the transfer of power from your battery more efficient.

    9. Take advantage of Intel SpeedStep technology - Intel SpeedStep and related technology allows users to select the balance of power conservation and performance that best suits them.

    10. Don't run too many programs at one time - to reduce battery drain, work on one or two programs at a time.  Programs running in the background such as i-Tunes, Email, Desktop Search, etc. add to the CPU load and reduce battery life.