Maximizing Battery Performance
- Breaking In New Batteries: New batteries should be shipped in a partially discharged condition and must be charged before use. Rechargeable batteries should be cycled - fully charged and then fully discharged - 2 to 4 times initially to allow them to reach their full capacity. New batteries are hard for your device to charge; they have never been fully charged and are therefore "unformed". Sometimes your device's charger will stop charging a new battery before it is fully charged. If this happens, simply remove the battery from your device and then re-insert it. The charge cycle should begin again. This may happen several times during your first battery charge. This is perfectly normal.
- Preventing the Memory Effect: Keep your battery healthy by fully charging and then fully discharging it at least once every two to three weeks. Exceptions to the rule are Lithium-Ion batteries which do not suffer from the memory effect.
- Battery Storage: If you don't plan on using the battery for a month or more, we recommend storing it in a clean, dry, cool place away from heat and metal objects. NiCad, NiMH and Lithium-Ion batteries will self-discharge during storage.
- Clean your battery: Clean your battery's metal contacts every couple of months with a cloth moistened with rubbing alcohol. This keeps the transfer of power from your battery more efficient.
- Exercise your Battery: Do not leave a charged battery dormant for long periods of time. Once charged, you should use the battery at least once every two to three weeks.
- Defrag regularly: By increasing speed and efficiency for your hard drive, you will reduce the workload on your hard drive and battery. Make your hard drive as efficient as possible by defragging it regularly while it is plugged in via adapter.
- Dim your screen: Reduce your screen brightness down to the lower levels to squeeze out some extra battery juice. You may also consider reducing your CPU and cooling performance.
- Reduce running background programs: Prevent adding to your CPU load and reducing battery life. Shut down non crucial applications when you are utilizing your battery.
- Limit external devices: USB devices, like your mouse and WiFi, drain your laptop battery. Remove or shut them down when not in use.
- Increase your RAM: This will increase processing efficiency within your laptop's native memory as opposed to virtual memory. Virtual memory results in hard drive use, and is much less power efficient. Note that adding more RAM will consume more energy, so this is most applicable if you do need to run memory intensive programs which actually require heavy usage of virtual memory.
- Run off your hard drive: As power consuming as hard drives are, CD and DVD drives are worse. Even having one in the drive can be power consuming. They spin, taking power, even when they are not actively being used. Wherever possible, try to run on virtual drives using programs rather than optical drives.
- Use the "Hibernate" option: Placing a laptop in "standby" mode saves some power; however, the "hibernate" function saves substantially more. "Hibernating" a PC will save your PC's state as it is, and completely shut itself down.
- Keep the operating temperature down: As with many technology products, laptops operate more efficiently in cooler environments. Clean out your air vents with a cloth or keyboard cleaner.
- Set up and optimize your power options: Under 'Power Options' in your windows control panel, set the power usage to its optimized level.
- Avoid multi-tasking: Limit your concurrent applications and devices to avoid draining battery life.
- Turn off your "autosave" function: Applications with autosave functions save during regular intervals, however, they create additional work for your hard drive.