With wireless internet being so easy to use in places like coffee shops, my laptop has become my new handbag accessory. Most often, power supply outlets are not as easy to find, and I depend on the longevity of my laptop battery to last me for an hour or two of net surfing. If you are like me and you need to maximize your laptop's battery stamina, I have compiled some tips below to help you get more from your battery.

  • Power down the display
    Notice how on a Mac laptop, the screen fades when you haven't used your laptop for a few minutes? This is because the laptop is lowering the brightness of the screen to yield more battery life. By manually adjusting the brightness, you may get up to an hour of extra laptop time. For a PC computer, you can do this by going to Start/Settings/Control Panel/Display and clicking the Settings tab.
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  • Decrease hard drive activity
    To minimize the frequency with which your hard disk has to speed up to access data, you should defragment your hard drive regularly. This optimizes the placement of data on the drive so that it can be found more quickly. You can find the Disk Degfragmenter in the Start/Programs/Accessories/System Tools menu.
  • Disable startup items
    Startup items load into memory every time Windows boots up, which causes other open applications to spill over into virtual memory and adds to congestion in your hard drive. You can disable the startup options by opening the associated programs and going to the Options or Preferences menu. You can also remove them from the Start/Programs/Startup folder or by clicking Start/Run, entering C:\MSCONFIG, and clicking OK. Select the Startup tab and clear the checkbox beside any unnecessary background items, like qttask (QuickTime).
  • Condition the battery
    When you purchase your notebook, charge the battery to 100 percent, discharge it completely, and then fully charge it to 100 percent again to help the battery remember exactly how much electrical charge it can hold. From then on, you’ll never need to completely discharge the battery again, but always make sure when charging it that you let it reach 100 percent.
  • Tips
    Keep your battery cool as high temperatures can be very bad for it and if your battery goes dead every two hours, this means that you need to get a new battery!