Laptops make it possible to do your personal computing anywhere. However, this comes with a price, your unplugged usage is restricted by the life of your laptop battery unless a handy wall socket in nearby. A laptop battery rarely provides more than an hour of use when listening to tunes, watching movies or playing games. Some people have overcome this shortcoming by buying extra batteries and external power sources. However, this can be a pricey option. There are a number of simple ways you can improve your laptop battery to give you more running time.

1. Use the Power Options


Power management options in Windows, known as Power Options, are a great way to draw less battery power and add to your running time between charges. The power options give you the ability to control your hardware activity, set sleep and hybrid sleep options and take advanced measures to control your laptop battery usage.

Vista gives you much more control over how your laptop battery will be used than previous Windows operating system. However, Windows XP also gives you a comprehensive way to save your laptop battery power.

2. FilesRemove all USB devices.

Yes, USB storage devices drain your laptop battery. USB storage devices, a mouse and even a wireless adapter require a large amount of your battery power to remain active. You should remove all unused USB devices to conserve your laptop battery power.

3. Keep your DVD/CD player empty.

Listening CD or watching DVD in one of the major causes of laptop battery drain. There are a tremendous amount of mechanical process that occur to spin the disk in your CD/DVD drive.

Keep these drives empty by copying the movies and songs to your hard drive. The movies can be loaded without into your RAM without the need for battery consuming CD/DVD hardware.

4. Clean up your computer

A messy filing system can spell murder for your laptop battery. Your CPU needs your laptop battery power to keep all files on your computer active. Even unwanted files need your computer’s resources. Remove temporary files, unnecessary programs and other clutter to cut down on laptop battery power consumption. A good Defrag schedule will also reduce the clutter and require your computer to work less to find files. The more efficient your computer’s performance is the more efficient your power usage. For more ways to streamline your computer’s performance, check out Ways to Speed UP Your PC page.

5. Turn off Your Wireless Adapter

A built in wireless adapter is a handy piece of hardware. However, all hardware needs your laptop battery power. So, the wireless adapter should be turned off when not in use. There is usually a switch in front of your laptop. If wireless adapter can’t be turned off with a physical button, use the Power Options. Be sure that you conserve your laptop battery by switching this off when its not in use.

6. Turn down the Brightness

It takes a lot of energy to light up your screen. Simply turning screen brightness down a by a small increment will significantly add to your laptop batter power. You can reduce your screen brightness in a number of ways. Some laptops have a button on their base. However, you can reduce it using one of the function keys usually F6, or simply reduce it using the Power Options.

7. Increase Your RAM

Ram acts as temporary storage for data. This takes a tremendous load of your computer CPU and hard disk. Ram makes it possible to use less processing power and reduces the need to constantly read data off your hard disk. This in turn reduces the amount of battery power consumed by your computer. Savvy Vista users know that the more gigs you have of RAM the less bulky and resource demanding the O.S. is on your processor.

8. External Battery Power

Recently supplementary batteries have become much cheaper and smaller. Some weigh a little as 500 grams and are designed to sit comfortably underneath your laptop. This option sometimes triples the laptop batter life when not plugged in. However, this is still the most expensive option.
Finally, remember to avoid using sleep options and screen savers. These options will drain your laptop battery power. If active, these features should be used for very short periods of time.

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