What's new in managing power settings

In this version of Windows, you have more control over how your computer uses and manages power than ever before.

Using the battery meter to monitor power consumption

You can use the battery meter to put a different power plan into effect. Although the battery meter is more commonly used with mobile PCs, it can also appear on a desktop computer if the computer is plugged into a USB uninterruptible power supply (UPS) or other short-term battery device.

The battery meter is located in the notification area of the Windows taskbar. The battery meter makes it easy for you to monitor the power consumption of your mobile PC while you're using it.

When you hover over the battery icon, you can see the percentage of battery charge remaining and the power plan that Windows is using.

Picture of the battery icon that shows the active power plan and how much charge remains
Hover over the battery icon to view the active power plan and how much charge is left on your battery

Note

  • Many mobile PCs are equipped with more than one battery. Click the battery icon to see the charge remaining on each battery. Hover over the icon to see the combined charge.

The battery meter also indicates whether your mobile PC is plugged in or running on battery power. When the charge on your battery is low, the battery meter displays a notification directly above the battery icon.

The battery icon changes appearance to display the current state of the battery so that you can see how much charge remains. When the battery charge is above 25 percent, the battery icon is green. When the battery charge reaches 25 percent, a yellow triangle with an exclamation point (!) appears above the green battery icon. When the charge reaches the low-battery level, a red circle with a white "X" appears above the green battery icon.

When you click the battery icon, the battery meter indicates how much charge remains. From the battery meter, you can also switch to a different type of power plan (for example, from a plan that optimizes system performance to a plan that saves power).

Picture of the battery meter that shows power plans and remaining charge
The battery meter

To change a power plan's settings or to select a power plan that isn't shown on the battery meter, click More power options. For more information, see Battery meter: frequently asked questions.

Power plans

Power settings in this version of Windows are based on power plans. A power plan is a collection of hardware and system settings that manages how your computer uses power. Power plans can help you save energy, maximize system performance, or achieve a balance between the two. The three default power plans—Balanced, Power saver, and High performance—meet most people's needs. You can change settings for any of these plans, or, if these plans don't suit your needs, you can create your own plan by using one of these plans as a starting point.

Note

  • Your computer manufacturer may provide additional power plans.

Though the Balanced power plan is the active plan by default in this version of Windows, you can choose a different power plan as the active plan. If you decide you want to change the active plan back to Balanced, you can do so at any time.

The following table describes each power plan.

Balanced

This plan balances energy consumption and system performance by adapting the computer's processor speed to your activity.

Power saver

This plan saves power on your mobile PC by reducing system performance. Its primary purpose is to maximize battery life.

High performance

This plan provides the highest level of performance on your mobile PC by adapting processor speed to your work or activity and by maximizing system performance.

Manage your power settings

You can manage all of your power plan settings by using Power Options in Control Panel. You can further optimize the computer's power consumption and system performance by changing advanced power settings. No matter how many settings you change, you can always restore them to their original values.

Note

  • Your computer manufacturer may provide additional power plans and settings.

Turn off your computer by using the Power button

In this version of Windows, it's easy to turn off your computer: Just click the Power button on the Start menu.

Picture of the Power button
Power button

For more information, see Turn off a computer: frequently asked questions.