Windows Advanced Power Options Explained

Battery

Confused about how to rank low, critical, and reserve battery? You’re not alone. Oddly, these settings aren’t arranged in priority order within the Power Options menu. The correct order is: Low Battery, Reserve Battery, Critical Battery. Whatever percentage you give the Low setting, it must be higher than Reserve, which must be higher than Critical.

  • Critical Battery Action offers options for Do Nothing, Sleep, Hibernate, and Shut Down. Unless you’re running a battery test, we don’t suggest utilizing the Do Nothing setting; Sleep or Hibernate will save your work. Shut Down is pretty extreme, particularly if you’ll be near an outlet within a day or so.
  • The Low Battery Level default of 11 to 15 percent is a good idea because it provides ample warning of an impending shut down without leaving you so little battery that you can’t finish what you’re doing.
  • Critical Battery Level can be set to as little as 3 percent, but remember you will need some power for the Hibernate setting and even more for Sleep. Staying at the default 5 percent will let you get the most out of your battery while retaining enough juice for Hibernation. Enter 10 percent if you set the Critical Battery action for Sleep.
  • Low Battery Notification causes your notebook to display a pop-up warning when your battery is running low, alerting you when it hits the percentage you set in the Low Battery Level option.
  • Low Battery Action offers options to Do nothing, Sleep, Hibernate, and Shut Down. If set to Sleep or Hibernate, a notebook will perform this action shortly after the notification. Users can turn the notebook back on to finish a task, but we recommend setting this to Do Nothing to give you time to prepare for the battery’s inevitable death, or to find the power cord.
  • Reserve Battery Level is the percentage of battery left at which point your notebook will flash a warning, whether the low battery notification is on or off. If you’ve ignored the previous warning, 7 percent here will at least give you a few minutes to shut down before being cut off in the middle of a task.
Advanced Power Options Explained

Page 1: Hard Disk, Desktop Background Settings, and Wireless Adapter Settings

Page 2: Sleep and Hibernation Settings

Page 3: USB Settings and Processor Power Management

Page 4: Display and Multimedia Settings

Page 5: Battery Settings

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