With modern laptops we can reach (on paper) even 10 hours of autonomy, but this does not mean that we will get this result in every condition of use and in every situation! A good laptop with Windows 10 should guarantee at least 3-4 hours of autonomy in any condition of use: if we notice that the laptop cannot reach even two hours, there is probably something that immediately discharges the battery, making us dependent on the electrical outlet. In most cases we can intervene directly from the operating system, while in other cases we will have to follow special procedures to restore the correct functioning of the battery.
In the following guide we will show you all typical Windows 10 problems that speed up the discharge of the lithium-ion battery, so as to be able to intervene promptly and reach at least 3 hours of autonomy with any notebook.
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When it comes to autonomy on laptops the first responsible is almost always the display: Leaving too high brightness will dramatically reduce battery life, as well as strain your eyes in situations where there is little ambient light. To be able to remedy then we press at the bottom right on the Windows 10 Notification Center and move the brightness bar present, so as to find the right compromise between ambient brightness and display brightness.
This does not mean that we have to write on a monitor without light: the right value to have a good energy saving is between 15 and 25, but a lot also depends on the ambient brightness and the characteristics of the display we are using (if it is anti-reflective we can decrease it by a few percentage points, while if it is not anti-reflective we have to get as close as possible to 25, especially during the day).
Windows 10 power saving
Another very effective method to increase the autonomy on laptops is to take advantage of the Windows energy savings. First of all, make sure that, when we are not connected to the mains, the battery icon is always present at the bottom right: if the battery icon is not visible, press the arrowhead upwards and drag the icon battery next to the volume icon or network icon. After correctly positioning the battery icon, press on it and set the sliding bar on the item Improved Battery, so as to have an excellent compromise between energy saving and laptop power.
In addition to this change, it is advisable to set the automatic activation of the maximum energy saving, so as to further extend the life of the battery when it starts to run out. To automate this change, click on the battery icon at the bottom right, click on the item Battery settings, we set 50% in the drop-down menu Automatically turn on battery saver when and we also activate the voice Reduce screen brightness when battery saver is on.
Doing so every time we use the notebook battery we will have a good balance between power and autonomy between 100% and 51% of the remaining charge and maximum energy savings when the battery drops to a value equal to or less than 50%.
Energy saving of the manufacturer
Some laptop models with Windows 10 have a special proprietary power saving mode, which also controls the speed of the CPU and other internal components. If our notebook is one of these, it is advisable to immediately open the manufacturer’s management app or the energy saving app and disable any settings named Performance O Boost, especially if we are using the battery.
If possible we set the normal mode or, if we already have less than 60% of remaining charge, we immediately set the maximum energy saving mode, which will overwrite the settings seen on Windows 10 and will allow to obtain an even more effective energy saving.
Calibrate the battery
If we notice that, despite the advice seen above, the battery drains quickly or makes suspicious “battery percentage jumps” (such as from 60% to 30% in a few minutes), most likely the battery is no longer calibrated and shows an incorrect residual charge valuecausing the notebook to shut down earlier than expected.
To quickly calibrate the laptop battery, unplug the electrical outlet and use Windows 10 until it is completely discharged (the computer will shut down). As soon as it is turned off, we try to turn it back on and check if we get to the desktop: if the desktop appears, let’s use it a little more until the final shutdown, otherwise we immediately read the next step.
Now that the battery is completely discharged, we connect the electrical outlet to the notebook off and let it charge for at least 4 hours, without ever turning it on (even if the LEDs indicate that the battery is charged). At the end of the 4 hours we turn on the PC with the electrical socket still plugged in and, once we get to the desktop, we do nothing for at least 10 minutes, so as to update the charge values and end the calibration cycle.
This cycle should be done at least once every 6 months, especially if the laptop has already two years of life. To learn more, we recommend that you also read our guide How to calibrate the laptop battery.
Lower CPU performance
If with the advice seen so far we have not obtained any real benefit, we can try the last resort: give up the maximum performance of the CPU and let it work at a lower frequency or workload, so as to obtain a good energy saving (with a Slightly slower CPU).
The simplest method to “slow down” the CPU can be implemented by pressing the bottom left of the Start menu, opening the app Control Panel, opening the menu Hardware and soundby clicking on Energy saving options, selecting as an energy profile Balancedby pressing on Change combination settings and finally pressing on the item Change advanced power management settings. In the new window that opens, we expand the item Processor power saving and, in the field Maximum processor performance level, we set as value 50% next to the item Battery powered. This way, when we go to battery, the CPU will only work at 50% performance, saving a lot of energy.
Alternatively we will have to enter the BIOS / UEFI of the handset e set an Undeclock, i.e. decrease the processor operating voltage and thus slow down performance. Given the complexity of the operation, we recommend that you apply this change only under the supervision of an expert and reading the instructions provided in our guides Change CPU, Graphics Card and RAM speed: better programs e Programs for CPU processor and video card Overclocking.
By following all the tips and tricks above we will solve the vast majority of problems on notebooks that drain immediately, making the most of the battery built into the computer. However, let’s not forget that the battery wears out over time and that we will never get the same autonomy after 2-3 years from the purchase, especially if we have often used the battery when we were away from home with the notebook.
To learn more we can also read our guides Extend the battery life of your laptop e Use smart battery saver in Windows 10 on laptop.