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11 Tricks to Make Your Laptop Battery Last Longer Than Ever

Having your laptop constantly run out of juice is no fun. That's where these handy tips come in. You're welcome.

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Adjust the display

Tweaking a few minor display settings can help to keep your laptop charged for much longer. Turn your brightness down as much as you can without it getting to the point where you could strain your eyes. Also, try switching out your vibrant background for something with dark colors, or just a black screen. It might be nice to see a picture from your latest beach vacation every time you open your computer, but it’s using up unnecessary energy. One last display adjustment you can make is setting your screen to automatically turn off after a certain amount of time. Tim Katsch, Vice President of iDropped and former device repair technician says that having it shut off after 60 seconds of no movement on your screen is ideal. Also, try these tips to keep your smartphone battery charged for longer.

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Don’t keep it plugged in 24/7

Keeping your computer plugged into the charger all the time, even when you’re not using it, is bad for the battery. Katsch says that your computer battery should never be at a full charge or no charge at all. So, don’t keep your computer plugged in all day and don’t use it until it dies. Keeping the charge between 50-80% is ideal. Katsch recommends plugging in your computer in the morning, and then once it’s fully charged, keep it unplugged for the rest of the day.

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Turn off your computer at the end of the day

Katsch says that turning off your computer at the end of every day is the best way to get the longest lifespan out of your battery. Turning it off clears any applications and other excess information that has built up throughout the day, giving it a fresh start in the morning, which will help to keep the battery charged for a longer amount of time.

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Keep your operating system up to date

Always check to see if your computer has the latest version of the iOS or Windows operating system. And, when your computer tells you to install an update, don’t ignore it. “Manufacturers will release updates or patches to fix bugs. In the past, some have been bugs that cause your battery to drain faster,” said Katsch. If your computer doesn’t keep a charge and is also slow, these tips will help to make your computer faster.

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Keep your laptop cool

You never want your laptop battery to get too hot or too cold. Many times people will rest their computer on top of their covers while sitting in their bed, and even though they may not feel it, the battery heats up. It’s best to keep your computer on a flat, hard surface so that air can flow underneath, keeping the battery at a good temperature, which will ensure that it will stay charged for longer.

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Turn off and unplug things that aren’t in use

Turning off simple things, even though it might seem like it won’t make a difference, can have a significant impact on the life of your laptop battery. Switch the sound off, turn off the backlight on your keyboard if you have one, turn off the Bluetooth if you’re not using it, and the Wi-Fi if you’re able to work offline. Another thing that can help is removing your wireless mouse, thumb drives, the external keyboard, and/or external hard drives. They all use power when plugged in even in you’re not using them.

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Shut down unused and highly intense apps

If you’re not using an app, make sure that you exit out of it. If they are running, they will use up your battery. Also limit the use of highly intense apps such as games and editing software, they use up a lot of energy and will drain your battery much faster. Make sure you know the ways that computer hackers get into your computer.

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Disable Spotlight search

“Spotlight Search [on Macs] can be handy when you need to find something, but it drains the battery by constantly updating its search index,” said Katsch. You can disable Spotlight indexing by going to System Preferences > Spotlight > Privacy and drag your hard drive icon from your desktop into the list or click the + button to add your hard drive. Choose OK when prompted. If you want to turn the Spotlight search back on, you can simply remove your hard drive from the list.

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Turn off auto app updates

Make sure that you change your settings so that applications only updated when you are plugged into a power source. Updating things such as Microsoft Word can drain a lot of your laptop battery. These keyboard shortcuts will make Internet browsing much faster.

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Turn off notifications

When you go to a lot of websites, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, news sites, and even your email they ask to enable notifications when there is activity on your profile or a breaking news story. This is using battery because your computer is constantly refreshing information from those sites even though you may not have them open.

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Use a private window

When using the Internet, work in an incognito or private window. This will disable your computer’s auto-fill function, using less energy to run the application. Even though it may take you longer to search things (since Google won’t give suggestions) or log into your accounts (since your username and password won’t be saved) it will save your battery. Now that you know how to increase the battery life of your computer, make sure you aren’t making any of these other common computer mistakes.

Morgan Cutolo
Morgan is the Assistant Digital Managing Editor at Reader’s Digest. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2016 where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. When she’s not writing for rd.com or keeping the 650+ pieces of content our team produces every month organized, she likes watching HGTV, going on Target runs, and searching through Instagram to find new corgi accounts to follow.