Tip o' the Week 335 – Battery life on Windows 10


clip_image001Everyone with a laptop or tablet will know the range anxiety of running out of juice. Making a few tweaks to reduce your machine’s battery drain could give you a good chunk of additional run time before needing a plug.

For a start, check out Battery saver – clip_image003it’s basically a port of functionality that was in Windows Phone for a while, meaning that when the battery charge falls below a set level, the machine will automatically clip_image004clip its wings to eke out the remainder.

Look in the Battery saver options (just type Battery at your Start menu), and you’ll also see the current charge and estimated duration, but also will let you see a breakdown per app, allowing you to control on an app-by-app basis how they will affect your battery life. One such trick might be to decide which apps you want to allow to run in the background, as each one will use some amount of system resources, though for the most part, it makes sense to leave them as “managed by Windows”, and then the battery saver will intervene if required.

If you’d like a bit more info on what your machine’s battery is doing, try running (WindowsKey+R) powercfg /batteryreport, which will generate an HTML report showing you details. To view the file, just type battery-report at the Start menu and you should see the battery-report.html file show up in the list.

Clearly, you can manually turn off things you don’t need – like Bluetooth or even WiFi (if you’re mobile and don’t need/want to connect), you could dim the screen or get into the practice of looking for marginal gains by doing things like switching off Start Menu transparency or even picking your colours appropriately

If you’re already running a preview of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update (now due to go public on August 2nd), then make sure to use the Edge browser: the browser tunes itself to be kind to your laptop or tablet’s battery life. Using test data and real world info collected from telemetry, the Edge team has revealed that it is notably more power efficient than Chrome, Opera and Firefox. Read more here.

Opera took issue, though Thurrott concurred (“Opera is still a thing?”, said one commenter).
Paul even suggested that he might use Edge more than Chrome, at least for now.

WSJ found that Edge was more power efficient than Chrome, and PC World agreed, though with a smaller margin of victory (though marginal gains are all about the 1%...) So, if you’re a Chrome fan, you might want to take a look at Edge under the Anniversary Update and see if it’s improved enough to win your heart over.

Read more battery saving tips for Windows 10 here (though they are very phone-centric rather than PC oriented).

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