Prolonging your laptop's battery

Some short and long term solutions to extending your laptop's battery life

A few things which I’ve found help to extend the battery of my laptop.

Short-term battery saving

  • Turn off backups. If you use tools like Backblaze or Dropbox make sure that you have them paused if your laptop’s battery is dwindling.
  • Turn off power hungry apps like Slack (you sometimes know which ones these are when your laptop fan starts to whirr just after you’re started them)
  • Don’t have lots of applications running, do you really need your browser, mail, calendar, music, messages…? Delegate some of these things to your phone.
  • Dim your screen, even a few clicks down will help and you will quickly get used to it.
  • Close those multiple browser tabs - you are potentially running lots of ads/JavaScript in there which can have an impact.
  • Do tasks which are less battery intensive, need to do a little bit of typing? Just do that and nothing else.
  • This should go without saying but don’t watch videos/play games.
  • Change power settings. If your laptop has a battery saving mode switch into that.
  • Unplug any peripherals. Don’t be charging your wireless headphones or using that USB fan from your already dwindling laptop battery.

Long-term battery saving

  • Don’t let your battery completely run out of charge this has long term implications on the health of your battery. I get that it happens sometimes but multiple times is damaging, so resist the temptation of that last 10 minutes you know you can suck out of the battery.
  • Buy another charger. If you use your laptop in your living room and bedroom but frequently forget to bring your charger up the stairs having a charger at each spot you use your laptop just makes it easier to charge your battery.
  • Don’t use 3rd party chargers. Yeah you might be able to save a bit of coin but these chargers may not regulate the power in the same way that the official ones will.
  • Use the appropriately powered charger for your laptop. I worked in an office recently where folk were using a combo of MacBook Pros, MacBooks and MacBook Airs. Folk would grab any charger that fitted in their laptop but MacBook Pro chargers are much more powerful that Air chargers and ultimately are too powerful for the Airs and can end up damaging the battery.

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