How to Increase Laptop Battery Life

The worst feeling when you’re working on a laptop is when your battery icon pops up and says, “Your battery is low.” Whether you are editing a video on the go or playing an online video game while your other devices are charging, working around a battery that drains quickly feels awful. Not only do you spend more time tethered to your charging cable, but you also can lose hours of work if your laptop battery dies unexpectedly.

Thankfully, modern laptops offer more power than previous iterations as battery technology has become more advanced. Even inexpensive laptops have a battery runtime spanning 4 – 6 hours on a single charge. Nevertheless, gaming laptops, laptops with broken batteries, or older generations still have batteries that can drain extraordinarily quickly.

If you’ve ever wondered how to increase your laptop battery life to get all your work done on a single charge, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s cover everything you need to know about maximizing your battery life and our top battery-saving tips.

Reasons Your Laptop Battery Drains Quickly

Your laptop’s power source is a delicate piece of hardware, and many internal and external effects could rend your battery life to zero in a couple of hours. Here are the most common reasons that your battery power is draining quickly:

  • Your laptop is consistently at high or extreme temperatures. Even the temperature of your computer affects your laptop’s battery health. High temperatures can occur if your laptop runs an intensive application or game for an extended period.
  • Your laptop’s screen brightness is at its maximum. Having your laptop’s screen at the maximum will increase your battery usage. You can change the brightness level of your computer in the display settings.
  • Connecting peripherals like a monitor, keyboard, and more. Combining a variety of external devices with your gaming laptop will impact your laptop’s battery. 4k external monitors, keyboards with backlights, and controllers will increase your power usage and reduce battery performance.
  • Your laptop has too many applications open. Your laptop’s battery drains faster when too many applications run simultaneously. These can be at the forefront or running in the background, but either way, they use more battery. Laptops can also experience higher energy consumption when running intensive applications, such as programs that process lots of data or games with high graphical requirements.

Most, if not all, laptops use lithium-ion batteries for their energy management. These come in two types, Lithium Polymer, and Lithium Ion, but both are susceptible to gradual discharge over time. The older your laptop is, the less charge it will hold and the quicker your computer will drain.

How to Increase Your Battery Life

You can quickly and easily alter a few crucial settings to increase your laptop’s battery life and let you work for longer. These tips don’t require any special programs and can be done by anybody. Let’s jump right into it:

Optimize your Battery Settings

The first step to extend battery life is to navigate to your power settings and make some much-needed changes. The power settings will differ if you have a Windows or Mac laptop, so there are guides for both below:

Windows Laptops

Access to the power management settings on a Windows laptop is straightforward; click on the battery icon that sits in the bottom right section of your taskbar. Clicking on it will reveal a slider you can adjust with various power options. You can also click on power settings to be taken to a more extensive battery menu.

Your selection of battery options will depend on the manufacturer of your laptop, but here are the general descriptions of each option to help you make an informed choice:

  • Best Performance. Usually the rightmost option, this setting allows users to trade extended battery life for better performance. Windows won’t automatically close your background apps if they use lots of power, and your battery life will drain faster if it’s on battery.
  • Better Performance. The recommended setting for most laptops, this setting will automatically close background apps that are using more power, but for other locations, it will prioritize more efficiency over battery life.
  • Better Battery. This power mode prioritizes battery power over performance, meaning that most of your laptop’s efficiency will be decreased to maximize battery life.
  • Battery Saver. Usually the leftmost option and available while your laptop is unplugged from its charging port, the battery saver mode gives users the most power to save their battery. The screen brightness will be heavily reduced, it will change mailbox sync settings, and your apps in the background will be suspended.

Macbook Laptops

Modern MacBook laptops have many more options to maintain your battery’s health than previous generations. Navigate to your Macbook’s System Preferences and choose the Battery option that is there.

There are a few settings you’ll want to change if you want to conserve your battery’s life, namely:

  • “Slightly dim the display while on battery power” should be enabled.
  • “Enable Power Nap while on battery power” should be disabled.
  • “Optimize video streaming while on battery” should be enabled.
  • “Optimized battery charging.” should be enabled.

Newer generations also allow changing your battery dynamically using the MacBook’s Energy Mode.

Reduce your Background Apps

Applications in the background are silent but will drain your battery more quickly if left to their devices. To know which of your applications drains the battery the most and how many apps you regularly have in the background, navigate to your Search Bar.

From there, type “See which apps are affecting your battery life,” and you’ll be prompted to open a window. You’ll be taken to your Battery Usage setting, which you can also navigate through the Power settings on your laptop’s Control Panel.

Scroll through the applications displayed on the window, and close any that consume more power.

Utilise Airplane Mode

With the amount of information that is incoming every second from laptops, sometimes the best thing for our mental health and our laptop’s battery is to turn everything off and focus on a single thing.

Using airplane mode is an excellent way to focus on your essay, assignment, or that novel you’ve been meaning to write without needing access to the internet. Airplane mode also significantly reduces your laptop’s need for a battery and is an excellent way to prolong your work if you don’t have access to a charger.

Airplane mode also reduced the apps in the background, many of which need an internet connection to function.

Reduce your Laptop’s Temperature

The conditions that a laptop battery is in also matter significantly in extending its life span. If you take a lot of your work at home, work on schoolwork from home, or frequently use Google Classroom at college, the environment around you can be too hot for your laptop’s battery health.

Purchasing an air pad for your laptop is an excellent way of allowing air to dynamically cool your battery down and reduce the strain from a hot environment. Similarly, if you live in a warm or hot climate, ensure you use your laptop in a cooled area if possible.

Optimize your Graphics Processor

This is more applicable to users with a laptop with a discrete GPU or a powerful graphics processor in general. You want your discrete GPU to be used by applications that need it, not all the other applications on your laptop.

To optimize how your GPU is used on your 2-in-1 laptop, you’ll need to navigate to Settings, System Preferences, Display, and Graphics. You’ll be shown a list of apps, and here you can decide which one of your GPUs (between discrete and integrated) your application must use.

Pack a Spare Battery

If your laptop is beginning to degrade over time and you need to continue to work, such as continue creating on Cricut Explore Air 2, then it’s recommended that you pack a spare battery with you.

Bringing a spare battery with you when you take a work trip or to college is a life-saver and will quickly be an essential part of your routine if you travel frequently. An external battery pack will allow you to charge your laptop on the go without having to sit and order a coffee to use the charging stations.

This practice has a cost associated with this, as batteries can run you back about $100 – $200, but since they’re rechargeable, you’ll receive a lot of mileage out of it. External power sources are the measure of last resort if none of the other measures we’ve mentioned work out.

Replace your Laptop’s Battery

Similarly to bringing a spare battery, replacing your laptop’s battery with a new one is a costly but easy way to ensure that your computer will survive a few more years. As lithium batteries degrade, you’ll find that the battery lasts for less time.

Replacing the battery is an easy way to improve performance for the long term if the other suggestions we’ve mentioned on this list don’t work out.

Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question about increasing your laptop’s battery life? We’ve compiled the most frequently asked questions we receive below for you to peruse through.

If you don’t have any questions, feel free to read about the best laptops for $600 or less or the best laptop to purchase for your child.

Is it OK to keep the laptop plugged in all the time?

It’s OK to keep your battery plugged in all the time, and it won’t impact your battery health. However, the best way to prolong your battery is to keep it partially charged over time.

If you keep your laptop plugged in until it reaches around 60 – 80% and then unplug it until approximately 40%, you’ll increase your laptop’s battery life. This plug-and-unplug dance is challenging to maintain intuitively, so know that the difference between doing this and keeping your computer plugged in is not substantial.

What drains the laptop battery the fastest

High battery usage per app is the quickest way to drain your battery to zero, and running multiple applications at once is a surefire way of receiving a battery report from your computer that you don’t want to look at.

To improve battery life, close all your unnecessary applications (you only need to open Zoom in 30 minutes anyway) and ensure that no background applications are draining your battery.

At what percentage should I charge my laptop?

You should consistently keep your laptop battery above 40%. Keeping your laptop’s battery between 40 – 80% is the sweet spot to ensure your battery has a longer lifespan.


There you have it! Recognizing what is draining your battery power and then acting on it is the easiest way to begin reducing drainage and increasing your battery’s life in the long run.

Once you’ve read this article and implemented our tips and tricks, we recommend you read through our review of the Google Pixelbook 12-inch Chromebook or our choices for the top 15-inch laptops under $500.