11 Ways to Increase Your Windows 7 Laptop’s Battery Life

7. Hibernate instead of sleep.

When you close the lid on your notebook and put it to sleep, the computer is still sending some power to the RAM and motherboard in order to keep the current session in memory so your system can wake quickly. Some newer lightweight notebooks such as the ASUS ZenBook UX31 have been designed to use little power during sleep, but most notebooks suck down quite a bit of juice unless they’re completely powered off.

In Hibernate mode, your notebook will save its memory to disk and completely power off, rather than just going to sleep. It will take nearly as long to wake from hibernation as it does to boot, but once it wakes, your session will be right where you left it.

To make your computer hibernate on demand, simply click the arrow next to the Shutdown button and select Hibernate. If you do not see Hibernate available as an option, your computer does not support this mode.

If your computer supports hibernation, you may want to set it to hibernate every time you close the lid.

To set your notebook to hibernate upon lid close:

  • Type Lid into the Start menu text field.
  • Click “Change what closing the lid does.”
  • Select Hibernate from the “When I close the lid” menu under On Battery.
  • Click Save Changes.

8. Disable Bluetooth.

If your notebook has Bluetooth, you’re probably not using it much. However, the radio is still sucking power, even when nothing is connected to it.

To disable Bluetooth:

  • Type Network Connections into the text field in the Start Menu.
  • Select View Network Connections.
  • Right-click on the Bluetooth Network Connection > Disable.

9. Turn off Wi-Fi when not in use.

If you’re connected to the Internet via Ethernet, or if you’re working some place that has no wireless signal, you can save a lot of power by turning off your notebook’s Wi-Fi radio. Most notebooks have a Function key on the top of the keyboard that toggles Wi-Fi on or off, though some have a dedicated button or switch.

10. Minimize hard drive usage.

If your notebook has a 5,400- or 7,200-rpm hard drive, it’s sucking up a lot of juice just spinning that magnetic platter around. There are several ways to save power by minimizing disk activity.

  • Defragment your hard drive on a regular basis. If you run Windows 7’s Disk Defragmenter program every couple of weeks, your drive will spend less time spinning around looking for data.
  • Replace your hard drive with an SSD. Because they have no moving parts, SSDs use less power than hard drives. They also don’t need to be defragmented.
  • Add more RAM. Going from 2 to 4GB or 4 to 8GB of RAM should allow your computer to use less virtual memory and more physical memory, which means fewer hard drive accesses.

11. Turn off visual effects.

Such visual effects as Aero glass, showing window contents while dragging, and slide-out menus tax your CPU and, by extension, your battery.

To disable these effects:

  • Type Advanced System Settings into the Start Menu text field.
  • Select “View advanced system settings.”
  • Click Settings under Performance.
  • Select “Adjust for best performance.”
  • Click OK.

Top Windows 7 Battery Savers

Avram Piltch
Avram Piltch
The official Geeks Geek, as his weekly column is titled, Avram Piltch has guided the editorial and production of Laptopmag.com since 2007. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram programmed several of LAPTOP's real-world benchmarks, including the LAPTOP Battery Test. He holds a master’s degree in English from NYU.
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  1. Andy Says:

    The LED backlights in most notebook “LED” displays use the same amount of power no matter what is shown on screen. Displaying greater areas of black on the display only “blocks” the light emitted from the backlight, the backlight intensity isn’t reduced in most cases. If anything, for a TN LCD panel to display black, you need to apply voltage to the crystals so displaying black on a LCD actually uses more power than displaying white. You can google this.

    Only emissive display technology such as Plasma, CRT or AMOLED use less power the more areas of black is displayed on the screen.

    Perhaps you could try a battery life test to see for yourself if “high contrast mode” actually makes any noticeable difference?

    Andy :)

  2. theo Says:

    Google Chrome’s frequent updates are actually needed.. Is there a way to do this manually after disabling the googleupdate service?

  3. ashley Says:

    can someone please tell me how i can disable it ? its not that i dont like it .
    its just i didn’t mean to get it on purpose can someone please help !

  4. Rose Says:

    We can also upgrade system’s RAM as system needs not to rely on virtual memory and we can save a good chunk of power.

  5. Andy You Are Wrong Says:

    Andy, you are wrong. I tested it out myself, I made a white picture that fit my entire screen, then I left it on the screen for 5 minutes, when I came back, the battery life expectancy was very low. When I used a black screen, keep in mind this is all in full brightness, the black screen increased the battery life.

  6. Acma Tech Says:

    One point I like to add in above article is – Dont put your laptop on sleep mode if you are not working fro 3-4 hours. By this way battery will save and will last long.

  7. Noah G Says:

    Turn off superfetch, too. This can cause disk thrashing and thus use more energy

  8. Diamond Says:

    I really like this, thanks. My laptop is one of those that doesn’t keep a charge for long. And this isn’t a good thing when I have to charge it in the middle of class. I also had one other question. Will having the computer being plugged in while running reduce the battery life?

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