Introduction: How to Make Your Laptop Conserve Battery Power With Minimal Performance Loss

Picture of How to Make Your Laptop Conserve Battery Power With Minimal Performance Loss

Who says that your laptop has to suffer slow performance to save a little energy? How much your performance or battery life changes depends on your laptop age, battery age, and other programs and settings. Here are some simple steps to help increase battery life while mostly maintaining if not improving performance.

Step 1: Change the Power Plan

Picture of Change the Power Plan

Every computer has several energy plans in their power settings. Go into the control panel. Go into System and Maintenance (XP & Vista) or System and Security (7). Go into Power Options. Select Max Battery in the drop box and apply the settings (XP) or click on the Power saver option (Vista & 7).

Step 2: Modify Performance Options

Picture of Modify Performance Options

Go into the Start Menu. Right-click computer and go to properties. Go to the advanced tab (XP) or go into "Advanced system settings" on the left side (Vista & 7). Go into the performance settings. Set it to "Adjust for best performance" and apply it.

Step 3: Remove the Desktop Background

Picture of Remove the Desktop Background

For Windows XP, go into the control panel. Go into "Appearance and themes". Click "Change the desktop background". Set it to "none" at the top of the list and apply it.

For Windows Vista, go into the control panel. Under "Appearance and Personalization", click "Change desktop background". Set it to "none" at the top of the list and apply it.

For Windows 7, go into the control panel. Under "Appearance and Personalization", click "Change the theme". Go to the bottom of the list and click "Windows Classic".

Desktop backgrounds are still visualized when windows appear and get moved around and also put some demand on the GPU (& CPU if it isn't strong enough).

Step 4: Happy Power Saving

Picture of Happy Power Saving

Hopefully now your laptop will last longer and still enjoy good performance. If you have any other good power saving suggestions, please share it.


harry599 (author)2010-08-24

i have a idea, i call it charging...

lemonie (author)2009-07-27

What does removing the desktop wallpaper do? Also is anyone running Windows 7 on a laptop (yet)? L

gamerguy13 (author)lemonie2009-07-27

It reduces demand on the system's video card, especially since my video card is shared memory with the RAM.

lemonie (author)gamerguy132009-07-27

By how much? You could advise that people turn down the video settings I suppose, after all if you're looking at a blank desktop you're not playing high-demand games. L

gamerguy13 (author)lemonie2009-07-28

It varies by the type of computer you have. If you have a good video card with its own memory, that leaves more RAM for the OS. Also, it applies more for high resolution backgrounds which take a bit more time to compute and visualize it between open windows.

lemonie (author)gamerguy132009-07-28

Mmm I suppose it does. Would you underclock the CPU / GPU to conserve power, or would that be going too far? L

gamerguy13 (author)lemonie2009-07-28

I really don't know much about over/under-clocking of the CPU.

lemonie (author)gamerguy132009-07-28

I don't on laptops, but if you're just web-browsing you don't need the full power of the machine. You know how hot and sweaty laptops can get, the main bottle-necks on the internet aren't your CPU / GPU - running a bit slower will extend battery life (at the expense of performance, but is the performance needed?) L

ben_k (author)lemonie2009-08-04

Adjusting the power settings on a laptop lowers the clock speed and core voltages by its self. For instance in my netbook, under the power saving mode, the cpu speed is reduced from 1600 mhz to 600. Intel cpu's also have this thing called Speedstep, which reduces the clock speed when the cpu is not under load. AMD as an equivalent called Cool n' Quiet

lemonie (author)ben_k2009-08-04

Thanks - not having a laptop it's good to know. I was thinking that a person could do something manually, but this type of power saving is surely quite to very effective? L

gamerguy13 (author)lemonie2009-07-28

I think it helps somewhat

nanonano58 (author)lemonie2009-07-27

it works well on laptops its like vista

fishhead455 (author)2009-07-29

As Lemonie says...the background is not a problem when you are gaming, which is when you need the resources. And working with clock-speed, (again, Lemonie) will help with the gaming.

gamerguy13 (author)fishhead4552009-07-29

Well, I'm talking about regular, simple tasks. Surely for gaming you want the best performance possible.

sheepborg (author)2009-07-28

if you want to save power turn the background and anything else you black

About This Instructable




Bio: I am an engineering student in the midwest. in my spare time, which become increasingly non-existent, I enjoy cooking, fixing things of mine, and wasting ... More »
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