The South African energy crisis started hitting the economy in 2007. Today almost thirteen years later the situation has not stabilised. Consequently we will face the foreseeable future with an erratic power supply.

The challenge for all South Africans is to stay productive during prolonged power cuts. Let’s look at 10 tips and tricks that will enable you to get the most out of your laptop’s battery.

 

Background:

To extend your laptop battery it is important to first understand the principle behind battery life. Most laptop batteries today are Lithium based. They do not suffer from battery memory issues like the older Nickel (NiMH) batteries. The NiMH batteries “forgot” their charging capacity. Therefore they had to be routinely fully drained and recharged.

 

However Lithium batteries must not be routinely drained, and should preferably not be drained below 20%. These batteries have a finite battery life of 500 full charge cycles or more. That means theoretically that the battery can be drained to 0%, and charged again to 100% five hundred times. Likewise the battery can be drained to 75% and charged back to 100% two thousand times.

 

In short, to extend your battery life avoid unnecessary use of your laptop’s battery as it has a finite lifespan.

 

Battery Optimizer Utility Screen ShotBattery Optimizer Utility Screen Shot

 

10 Tips and Tricks:

 

1. Keep your laptop connected to mains power as much as possible when in use:

Modern day laptops manage the battery very well. The battery is not charged past 100%. As a result keeping the laptop connected to mains will minimise battery drainage and the use of battery life.

 

2. Make use of a 3rd party app to extend battery life:

Third party apps, such as Battery Optimizer, will optimise system tasks and user profiles to utilise minimum power. It also informs you about the hardware or software services that use the most battery. It provides recommendations on how you extend battery life.

 

3. Never drain your battery fully:

This will damage your battery and may cause the laptop not to charge the battery again. Best practice for extended periods of non-use is to charge your battery to 50% and store it in a cool dry place.

 

4. Fine-tune your operating system settings:

Follow the guidelines as per the manufacturer of the operating system (click  the relevant link below):

 

5. Close unnecessary background apps during battery use:

Applications running in the background use resources like CPU, memory etc, and as a result consumes power. Turn off unnecessary applications when your laptop is running on batteries, to use less of your battery’s finite life. This will also result in longer up time per fully charged battery.

 

6. Use Microsoft Edge browser:

On Windows 10, Microsoft Edge browser enables your battery to last 36% to 53% longer than other popular browsers.

 

7. Prevent overheating of batteries:

Overheating can will cause serious damage to batteries. Therefore that laptop temperature should preferably be below 50 degrees Celsius.

  • Avoid using a laptop on your lap.
  • Ensure enough ventilation for your laptop.
  • Do not leave your laptop in the sun.
  • Monitor the temperature – multiple free tools are available eg CPU Thermometer or RealTemp
  • Switch off and cool off when hot.

Possible causes for overheating may be inadequate thermal paste on your CPU, or fans not functioning correctly. Contact our laptop repair specialist to assist – CLICK HERE.

 

8. Disconnect peripherals during battery use:

Peripheral devices such as USB flash drives, external hard disks etc consumes power. This results in drain of the battery and shorten the finite battery life.

 

9. Keep your software updated with latest patches:

Operating system manufacturers continually optimise the way their software manage and interact with the hardware. In the process they release patches that will optimise the battery and power use.

 

10. Regular restarts:

Restarting a computer clears the background applications and cache. Consequently it reduces the overall load on the laptop.

 

If you following these tips it will help you to get the most out of your laptop’s battery. But there comes a time when it must be replaced.

 

 

Please feel free to contact our repair specialist for any further advice on battery or laptop health, or a quote on a replacement battery – CLICK HERE.

 

On average a laptop battery replacement would cost you +- R799. Specific pricing will depend on your laptop model.

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