Tips to save battery power

Ever run out of battery power in the middle of an important meeting or a long flight? Even with advances in technology, your laptop or tablet battery can last only so long on a single charge. The trick is to squeeze the most out of the power that's available.

Here are a few things you can do to help stretch your PC's battery life:

  • Choose a power plan that saves power. Windows 8.1 has two such default plans – Balanced and Power saver. To learn more about power plans and how to change them, go to Power plans: Frequently asked questions.

    Notes

    • This doesn't apply to Windows RT 8.1 or PCs with InstantGo, because the only plan for this type of PC is Balanced, though you can customize this to save more power. To learn how, go to Power plans: Frequently asked questions.

    • Your PC manufacturer might offer additional plans.

  • Reduce display brightness (if your hardware supports it). The display can use more power than any other part of a PC. Some PCs adjust screen brightness automatically based on how much light there is in the room where you're using the PC. You'll need to turn this off before you can reduce brightness.

    Show all

    Turning off automatic brightness adjustment (might not be available on some PCs)

    1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tap Settings, then tap Change PC settings.
      (If you're using a mouse, point to the bottom-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, click Settings, then click Change PC settings.)

    2. Tap or click PC and devices, then tap or click Display.

    3. If the Adjust my screen brightness automatically slider is on, tap or click the slider to turn it off.

      Note

      • This setting might not be available on some PCs.

    4. Tap or click Apply.

    Reduce display brightness (might not be available on some PCs)

    1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, then tap Settings.
      (If you're using a mouse, point to the bottom-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, then click Settings.)

    2. Tap or click Brightness or Screen (depending on the features of your PC) and make the change you want.

    Some PCs also have a dedicated button or dial to change the display brightness. To find out whether your PC has this, check the info that came with your PC or go to the manufacturer's website.

  • Turn off or unplug devices that you aren't using. Many USB devices use your PC's power just by being connected, so you might want to unplug these devices when you're not using them. If you use a USB mouse, you can save power by replacing it with a touchpad or tablet pen.

  • Turn off PC cards and integrated wireless devices. These devices also use power, so turn them off if you don't need them.