A power plan is a collection of hardware and system settings (like display, sleep, etc.) that manages how your PC uses power. The power plans you can use depend on the kind of PC you have.

PCs that support InstantGo

InstantGo allows your PC to wake up instantly from sleep with your applications and data up to date. PCs that support InstantGo include all Windows RT 8.1 and certain Windows 8.1 PCs. To find out if your PC supports this, check the info that came with your PC or go to the manufacturer's website.

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Which power plans are available?

The only power plan that Windows provides for PCs with InstantGo is Balanced. This plan offers full performance when you need it and saves power when you don't. You can customise this further to meet your needs or create your own plan (using Balanced as a starting point). Your PC manufacturer might also provide additional power plans.

Can I create a power plan?

Yes. You can create and customise your own power plans.

  1. Open Power Options by swiping in from the right edge of the screen, tapping Search (or if you're using a mouse, pointing to the upper-right corner of the screen, moving the mouse pointer down, and then clicking Search), entering Power options in the search box, and tapping or clicking Power options.

  2. Tap or click Create a power plan and follow the instructions.

Can I delete a power plan?

The only power plans you can delete are the ones you create and those provided by the PC manufacturer – you can't delete the Balanced plan, or the plan that you're using.

Also, you might not have the required permissions to delete a plan because your system administrator may have restricted access to it.

To delete a power plan

  1. Open Power Options by swiping in from the right edge of the screen, tapping Search (or if you're using a mouse, pointing to the upper-right corner of the screen, moving the mouse pointer down, and then clicking Search), entering Power options in the search box, and tapping or clicking Power options.

  2. If the plan you want to delete is selected, select another plan, then tap or click Change plan settings next to it.

  3. Tap or click Delete this plan and then tap or click OK.

Why can't I change power settings?

Restrictions imposed by your system admin, or your PC's hardware configuration might limit which settings you can change. For example, if your PC is part of a network at an organisation – such as a school or business – your system admin might have turned off or even removed certain settings. In that case, ask your administrator for help.

If you're connected to a PC using Remote Desktop Connection, you must be signed in as an administrator on the remote PC to change its power settings.

What is fast start-up?

Fast startup is turned in by default in Windows and is a setting that helps your PC start up faster after shutdown. Windows does this by saving system info to a file upon shutdown so when you start your PC again, Windows uses that system info to resume your PC instead of restarting it.

Notes

  • The fast start-up setting doesn’t apply to Restart. You need to shut down and then start your PC again for fast start-up to take effect.

All other PCs

Here are answers to some common questions about power plans for all other PCs.

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Which power plans are available?

Windows provides the following plans:

  • Balanced. Offers full performance when you need it and saves power when you don't. This is the best power plan for most people.

  • Power saver. Saves power by reducing PC performance and screen brightness. If you're using a laptop, this plan can help you get the most from a single battery charge.

  • High performance. Maximises screen brightness and might increase PC performance. This plan uses a lot more energy, so your laptop battery won't last as long between charges.

    Note

    • High performance doesn't appear on the battery meter by default. To turn on High performance, open Power Options by swiping in from the right edge of the screen, tapping Search (or if you're using a mouse, pointing to the top-right corner of the screen, moving the mouse pointer down, then clicking Search), entering Power Options in the search box, tapping or clicking Settings, then tapping or clicking Power Options. Tap or click Show additional plans, then choose High performance.

If these plans don't meet your needs, you can create your own using one of these plans as a starting point. Your PC manufacturer might also provide additional power plans.

How do I choose a different power plan?

If you're using a laptop, click the battery icon Battery icon in the notification area, at the far right of the taskbar, then choose one of the power plans (Balanced or Power saver) that appear on the battery meter by default. Your PC manufacturer might provide additional plans and might have customised the battery meter.
Battery meter showing power plans
Battery meter showing power plans

If you aren't using a laptop, or if you want to use a power plan that isn't on the battery meter, do the following:

  1. Open Power Options by swiping in from the right edge of the screen, tapping Search (or if you're using a mouse, pointing to the upper-right corner of the screen, moving the mouse pointer down, and then clicking Search), entering Power options in the search box, and tapping or clicking Power options.

  2. Choose the one you want to use.

    If you can't see the power plan that you want, tap or click Show additional plans.

Can I create a power plan?

Yes. You can create and customise your own power plans.

  1. Open Power Options by swiping in from the right edge of the screen, tapping Search (or if you're using a mouse, pointing to the upper-right corner of the screen, moving the mouse pointer down, and then clicking Search), entering Power options in the search box, and tapping or clicking Power options.

  2. Tap or click Create a power plan and follow the instructions.

Can I change the default power plans that appear in the battery meter?

Windows chooses the two power plans that appear on the meter, but you can change them.

To change the power plans that appear on the battery meter

  1. Open Power Options by swiping in from the right edge of the screen, tapping Search (or if you're using a mouse, pointing to the upper-right corner of the screen, moving the mouse pointer down, and then clicking Search), entering Power options in the search box, and tapping or clicking Power options.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • Tap or click Additional plans, and then select a plan.

    • Create a new power plan. For more info, see the "Can I create a power plan?" question in this topic.

    By default, the power plan that you select or create becomes the active plan and it then appears on the battery meter.

Can I delete a power plan?

The only power plans that you can delete are the ones you create and those provided by the PC manufacturer. You can't delete the Balanced, Power saver or High performance plans, or the plan that you're using.

Also, you might not have the required permissions to delete a plan because your system administrator may have restricted access to it.

To delete a power plan

  1. Open Power Options by swiping in from the right edge of the screen, tapping Search (or if you're using a mouse, pointing to the upper-right corner of the screen, moving the mouse pointer down, and then clicking Search), entering Power options in the search box, and tapping or clicking Power options.

  2. If the plan you want to delete is selected, select another plan, then tap or click Change plan settings next to it.

  3. Tap or click Delete this plan and then tap or click OK.

Why can't I change power settings?

Restrictions imposed by your system admin, or your PC's hardware configuration might limit which settings you can change. For example, if your PC is part of a network at an organisation – such as a school or business – your system admin might have turned off or even removed certain settings. In that case, ask your administrator for help.

If you're connected to a PC using Remote Desktop Connection, you must be signed in as an administrator on the remote PC to change its power settings.

What is fast start-up?

Fast startup is turned in by default in Windows and is a setting that helps your PC start up faster after shutdown. Windows does this by saving system info to a file upon shutdown so when you start your PC again, Windows uses that system info to resume your PC instead of restarting it.

Notes

  • The fast start-up setting doesn’t apply to Restart. You need to shut down and then start your PC again for fast start-up to take effect.