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Improve Battery Life on Windows 11

Battery optimization is one of the most important aspects of effective use of notebook computers. Sadly, battery optimization is also the most overlooked aspect of optimization. A good battery life will lead to an improved user experience. Optimizing your battery on a Windows 11 would have a direct bearing on your experience with the notebook computer. Spending half an hour on battery optimization would help in prolonging the life of battery in terms of backup time.

Here, we will look at some of the most simple ways to optimize the battery on a Windows 11 based computer.

Reduce the number of background apps

Each app that runs in the background will consume some battery percentage. Most apps consume less than 1 per cent battery while running in the background on a Windows 11 based computer. But, on average, you may have more than 60 apps at any given piece of time. All these apps would be running in the background, and chipping away at your battery slowly.

Not all apps are required to run in the background at all times. For instance, there are some apps that can be stopped from running in the background. Some examples would be:

  • Microsoft Teams
  • Microsoft People
  • Microsoft Photos
  • XBox Game Bar
  • Your Phone

There would be other apps that are third party apps, and these apps would also be running in the background. ‘Zoom meetings’ is one of the most notorious apps that would consume a lot of battery while running in the background. Unfortunately, it does not allow to be modified by the user. Zoom users are out of luck in terms of battery consumption, because meetings on Zoom are really very battery intensive.

Changing the apps settings to ensure that these do not run in the background will lead to incidental benefits in conserving battery charge and prolonging battery life on a Windows 11 computer.

To change the background running activity of specific apps, you will need to go to the Control Panel —>System—>Power and Battery. From here, you could find the apps running in the background and the battery consumption on a percentage basis. You could choose to review background battery consumption for the last 24 hours or the last 7 days. I prefer to use the last 7 days data to decide which apps can be stopped from running in the background.

Background Apps - Windows 11

In the battery section, you will see an option to check battery usage. Click on that to bring up a list of apps that have been running on your computer in the background. The image above shows the list of apps that are running on the computer. The background percentage is listed alongside the apps. All these background apps would be consuming a part of the battery charge.

Update the Battery Power Mode setting

Use the Best power efficiency mode in the Power settings. You can later the power efficiency settings through the Control Panel —->System—->Power & Battery. You can also search for ‘battery settings’ in the search box. This will bring up the option to open the ‘Power & Battery’ screen. Choose the ‘Power Mode’ setting. You will have 3 options for optimizing the battery:

  1. Best performance – this option will consume a lot of power
  2. Balanced – this is the default setting, and suitable for most users.
  3. Best battery efficiency – this setting will allow you to boost battery efficiency of the computer

I will suggest that we could use the ‘best battery efficiency’ power mode to conserve battery life and prolong the battery life on your laptop.

Power mode on Windows 11 with best power efficiency setting

The battery mode setting is one of the most effective setting to conserve battery charge, and prolong battery life. If you are noticing severe battery degradation on your Windows 11 computer, do tweak the power mode setting to the ‘Best battery efficiency’ setting.

Battery Saver Mode

The battery saver mode is designed to conserve battery life and improve the backup times on the battery. As a default setting, the battery saver mode gets activated whenever your battery goes below 20%. I suggest that we keep the battery saver mode to kick-in at the 50% battery levels. This will add to your battery life and slow down the pace of battery degradation.

You can change the battery saver settings through the Control Panel —->System—–>Power & Battery. The setting to change the battery saver mode level is right there on the power and battery settings, as displayed in the image below.

Battery Saver mode in Windows 11

Optimize screen brightness

Windows 11 allows you to change the in-built screen brightness through the Display personalization settings. To access the screen brightness settings, you will need to go to the Control Panel —–>System—–>Display. You will see the first option that allows you to ‘adjust the brightness of the in-built display’. On my system, I have set the in-built brightness at 60. This ensures that my screen is soft to the eyes, and does not lead to intense battery degradation in normal usage. The setting at 60 also keeps the screen just like a Kindle device.

You can see the image below to help optimize the screen brightness on your Windows 11 computer:

Optimize the screen refresh rate

The refresh rate of your computer will determine the life of your battery charge. Higher the screen refresh rate, lower the battery backup time. For a prolonged battery life, it is important to keep the screen refresh rate at a lower rate.

If you are facing a higher than usual battery degradation on your Windows 11 computer, it may be a good idea to reduce the screen refresh rate. On my system, I have a couple of screen refresh rates. There is 60.1 Hz screen refresh rate and another option to set the screen refresh rate to 40.2 Hz. While the default setting is to use the screen refresh rate of 60.1 Hz, I can change it to 40.2 Hz in an attempt to optimize the battery charge time.

You may see the image below to see the screen refresh rate on the Windows 11 computer. Screen refresh rate can be accessed through the Control Panel —->System—->Display—->Advanced Display Settings.

Screen refresh rate of Windows 11 computer.

Optimize Browser Tabs

The biggest battery consumer on your laptop will be the multiple open tabs or windows of the browser. In my case, the Chrome and the Edge browsers are the most significant battery consumers. If you could reduce the number of simultaneous tabs in operation for the browsers, you will improve the computer’s battery life easily. You would need to improve your Internet habits to try and work with a few browser tabs and windows. At a given point of time, you may not need more than 5 to 6 tabs on your browser. Beyond that, the browser becomes a battery hog and causes the battery to degrade very fast.

Optimize Appearance settings

One of the biggest changes in the Windows 11 has been the addition of the mica effect on the graphics or windows. Some people call it the acrylic affect on the windows. While the graphics look slick, there is no doubt that these augmented graphics cost system performance and battery usage.

If you are noticing severe battery degradation while using the Windows 11 based computer, we suggest that you must try to optimize the appearance settings. The Windows 11 system offers you multiple options to optimize the appearance on the system. There are options that are available to change the appearance to one of the following:

  • Let Windows choose what’s best for my computer – this is the default setting
  • Adjust for best appearance – this comes at the cost of system and battery performance
  • Adjust for best performance – this will remove mica or acrylic effects from the appearance.
  • Custom – it allows you to pick individual appearance settings.

I have picked this option – Adjust for best performance. This has a direct bearing on the system performance and battery usage and the pace of battery degradation.

Appearance settings on Windows 11

You can access the appearance settings for the Windows 11 computer by typing ‘Appearance settings’ on the search box. It should automatically bring up the appearance settings or the performance options. Depending on your choice, you may choose any of the four modes of appearance.

Sleep Mode

It would be in your best interests to activate the sleep mode after a pre-determined period of inactivity on the notebook. I am still surprised as to how under-estimated the sleep mode is. Configure the sleep mode to activate after 10 or 15 minutes of system inactivity.

Sleep mode settings can be modified through the Control Panel —->System—->Power & Battery —-> Screen and Sleep.

You can configure your computer to enter sleep mode on the battery mode. The time could be a period of time you are comfortable with. In my case, I have set the time to be 5 minutes on battery.

Sleep mode on Windows 11

Conclusion:

Battery optimization will help achieve better backup time. We suggest that users can try to tweak the power mode on the Windows 11 system and also reduce the in-built screen brightness. Activating the battery saver mode will also add to the battery backup times.

Reduce the number of background apps that run on your computer. Good habits in Internet surfing will also ensure better backup times. Configuring the system to enter sleep mode and optimizing the appearance settings are other important tweaks with measurable improvements in the battery life.

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