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