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Six Tips for Improved Laptop Battery Life

Laptop computers now outsell desktops, and many people use a laptop as their primary computer. The benefit of owning a laptop is that you can use it anywhere you like. However, that benefit becomes a drawback when the battery dies and the user has no access to a power outlet. This article offers six tips that anyone can put into action to make their laptop last longer between charges.

Lithium-ion batteries in laptop computers have improved greatly over the years. However, the power demands of laptops have increased as well. No matter which laptop computer you own, you probably have found that you can never get as much life out of the battery as you would like. Thankfully, there are several ways to extend the life of laptop batteries. By putting some of these steps to use, you may find that you can use your laptop for longer periods without being forced to look for a power outlet.

1. Disable any features of your laptop that you are not actively using. For example, turn the wireless adapter off if you are not using it to connect to the Internet. If you have any external USB devices such as hard drives that you are not using, disconnect them. Every internal and external hardware component draws power, and each one that you disable will extend the life of the battery slightly.
2. Dim the screen as much as possible without causing eyestrain. Most laptop computers have buttons or keyboard shortcuts that lower the brightness of the display. The display of a laptop draws a great deal of power at its full brightness level, shortening the life of the battery.
3. Adjust the power settings in your operating system so that the computer is set to "Power Saving" or "Maximum Battery" mode. A modern laptop processor has the ability to adjust its own clock rate according to the demands of the applications running on the computer. When the operating system is set to "Power Saving" mode, it limits the maximum clock rate of the processor to conserve power and extend the life of the battery.
4. Use your laptop in comfortable environments. In hot environments such as in direct sunlight, the fan of a laptop computer must work harder to keep the components of the computer within the proper operating temperature range. A fan draws more power at higher speeds. Additionally, avoid using your laptop on surfaces that block the air vents, such as carpets and blankets.
5. Avoid leaving your laptop on when you are not using it. If you plan to step away from the laptop for several minutes, put in "Sleep" or "Standby" mode before leaving.
6. Add additional memory to your laptop. By default, a laptop hard drive spins down after several minutes of inactivity to conserve battery life. A computer with more RAM can store a greater amount of data in memory, requiring less usage of the hard drive.


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