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Top 5 Ways to Improve Battery Life in Windows 8

Most of us pine for the day when we will no longer have to walk around with chargers for our mobile PCs. Until that time comes, we must take advantage of the several ways in which laptop battery life can be conserved and extended for its full performance. The Windows 8 architecture offers several predefined plans and methods for saving and promoting battery power. We have organized them under five headings:

  1. Adjust the Balanced Plan. The default power plan for Windows 8 mobile laptops and tablets is the Balanced plan. It automatically powers down to save power when the device is not in use. To customize Balance plan settings, click the battery icon in the taskbar. From the battery screen, you can access the More Power Options screen to change settings for the Balance plan, select the additional Power Saver plan, or go with the High Performance plan for optimal and common-sense power use.

  2. Adjust the Power Saver Plan. The menu on Power Saving settings — Edit Plan Settings — allows you to select how much time the display can be idle before it is automatically dimmed. You provide a time in minutes for battery use and for plugged-in connections. You can also adjust idle time before putting the computer to sleep — reducing it to run at minimum battery power — using the same two categories. Finally, you can adjust the important display settings. Screen brightness takes up a lot of processing power. The Power Save edit window provides sliders to adjust brightness as part of the Power Saver Plan.

    Top 5 Ways to Improve Battery Life in Windows 8
    Edit Plan Settings

  3. Adjust Advanced Power Settings. On the Power Saver Edit window, by clicking Change Advanced Power Settings, you can click the Advanced Settings tab and make particular adjustments on individual components in the Power Option window. These components include the hard disk, USB settings, the use of Sleep mode and the Internet Explorer browser.

    Top 5 Ways to Improve Battery Life in Windows 8
    Advanced Power Settings

  4. Custom Power Plan. You can create your own customized plan by clicking Create a Power Plan on the More Power Options window. The resulting menu allows you to start with one of the default settings — Balanced, Power Saver or High Performance — and name a new plan on the chosen model. After you save the name you can adjust the Sleep and the Display settings to your liking. The name of your plan then appears in the preferred plans list.

  5. Turn off Devices. Your most accessible way of controlling power usage is by cutting off those devices that you are not using and that typically consume extra power. These include a USB stick, a USB mouse and the micro SD card port. Turn off the Wireless connection when you are not using it.

And here’s a sixth bonus tip: Download Battery Optimizer. It’s a free app, works great in Windows 8, and offers several automatic methods and custom power plans for keeping your laptop going longer between charges.


Microsoft optimized Windows 8 using the most innovative and proven technologies currently available. As a result, the company has made strong improvements on the battery life of tablets and laptops running Windows 8.

Average battery life time for the first core of Windows 8 laptops issued in December of last year was 5:09 hours. The Lenova Yoga ultraportable offered 6:18 hours, while the Toshiba U845W ran 6:28 hours. Presently, the Lenovo ThinkPad X230 provides 7 hours in its ultraportable frame. With the additional 9-cell battery, life extends to 12 hours. Coupled to special sheet-battery, the result is 20 hours.

Part of the core criteria that is helping spread the use and convenience of mobile technology is the length of battery life driving the various devices. Intel’s new Bay Trai series — quad-core, mobile Atom processors — promise not only to double processing ability and reduce power consumption, but to reduce the overall price of the devices as well.

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