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How to Control Your Battery Usage in Windows 10

November 5, 2016

Uh oh, the battery charge on your Windows 10 laptop is down to 10 percent, and there’s no AC outlet in sight. What can you do? Well, you want to squeeze as much as you can out of your current battery charge before it loses all its juice. Let’s look at how different settings in Windows 10 can coax your laptop to last longer on a single charge.

First, you can determine how long before your screen turns off and your PC goes to sleep, both of which can extend your existing battery charge. Click on the Start button > Settings > System > Power & sleep. In the top half of the screen, you’ll see settings to control how long before your screen goes blank, both under battery power and when plugged in. The options range from one minute to never. In the bottom half, you’ll see the settings to control how long before your PC takes a nap, with the same options from one minute to never under both battery and AC power.

Depending on how long your battery lasts on a full charge, you’ll probably want to set your screen to turn off and your PC to go to sleep after a couple to a few hours on battery power and several hours to never when plugged in. Your options should vary, however, based on whether you’re constantly using your PC or bouncing back and forth between your PC and other tasks.

At the bottom of the window, click on the link for Additional power settings. At the Power Options window, you can create customized power plans that manage how long before your screen turns off and your PC goes to sleep.

This way you can choose a specific plan that goes into action based on where you are and what you’re doing.

You can also decide what happens when you press the power button and the sleep button or close the lid on your laptop.

Next, you can extend your existing battery charge by telling Windows 10 to automatically turn off certain features. Go back to the Power & sleep screen. Click on the category for Battery. Here, you can turn on Battery saver mode. This mode limits background activity and push notifications and lowers the screen brightness when your battery charge falls below a certain percentage. You can move the slider to determine at what point Battery saver kicks in.

At the top of the window, click on the link for Battery usage by app.

At the Battery usage by app window, you can see which apps chew up the most battery life and limit your use of the most battery-hungry one when your power is running low. In some cases, you can also control whether or not certain apps—such as Cortana, the Windows Store, and Mail—are allowed to run in the background.

Finally, move back to the Battery category and click the link at the bottom of the window for “Battery saving tips.” A Microsoft webpage pops up with helpful advice on how to regulate and restrain your battery settings to get the most bang for your buck.

For more, check out these other Windows 10 tips:

How to Back Up, Restore Your Documents in Windows 10 How to Use and Tweak Your Windows 10 Lock Screen How to Manage the Start Menu in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update How to Try Out Windows 10 for Free for 90 Days How to Clean Up Windows 10 With the Refresh Windows Tool How to Juggle Multiple Windows 10 Apps With Virtual Desktops How to Free Up Disk Space on Your Windows 10 PC How to Launch Windows Without Entering a Password

This article originally appeared on PCMag.com.

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