What has done more for modern business than the laptop? Well, apart from the internet. Having the ability to complete the same tasks that you would do in the office on the move has allowed business efficiency to sky rocket.

However, there is one situation that grinds all this to a halt.

The battery.

If your laptop has been in use for a few years, the battery life may be on the decline and this means that your ability to work on the train, plane, or in a cafe is greatly reduced. Now it may be time to recycle your old laptop and buy a new one. If so, take a look at the wide range of refurbished laptops and PCs we have available on Tier 1 Online.

However, if you would prefer to extend the life of your existing hardware, we’ve put together some tips to help you that don’t cost a single penny.

1. Dim the screen

By far the biggest power drain on most laptops is the screen. Or, to be more specific, the screen’s backlight. Dimming the screen brightness can add 30 minutes or more to your battery life. Virtually all laptops have keyboard shortcuts to adjust the brightness. Have it as low as it will go (whilst being able to still see what’s on the screen) and you’ll find your ability to go mobile increase dramatically.

2. Change the power settings

By default, your laptop might be set to Windows’ ‘Balanced’ setting rather than Power Saver. This essentially means that your computer is balancing the performance of the laptop in equal weight to the battery life. However, if the majority of your work includes Word documents and emails, your PC doesn’t need a lot of performance capacity.

In the Control Panel search for Power Options and check which Power Plan is selected. You should find a battery saver option, and it’s simply a case of selecting it and closing the window.

3. Disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

If you’re not using them, disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Both radios can use a fair amount of power. Obviously, if you require the internet you’re probably going to want to keep Wi-Fi on but Bluetooth is rarely required these days.

Some manufacturers provide a utility (often obvious in the Start menu) for enabling or disabling Bluetooth, but if in doubt, you can head to the Device Manager in the Control Panel, scroll through the list of hardware until you find the Bluetooth adaptor, right-click on it and choose Disable.

4. Don’t leave your laptop on permanent charge

Battery degradation happens no matter what. But over charging your laptop will cause this to happen faster. So when you’re in the office or at home, make sure that if the laptop is fully charged, you unplug the charger.

There are some manufacturers including Sony and Lenovo that provide a utility which limits the battery from fully charging. This helps to prevent battery degradation and means you can leave the laptop always connected to the mains. When you want to use your laptop on battery power and get maximum battery life, disable the limiter and allow the laptop to charge to 100 percent.

5. Remove unnecessary externals

Leaving a disc in your DVD drive is a sure way to reduce battery life, as it might spin up whenever you launch a Windows Explorer window or access the Save option in an application. USB sticks/hard drives aren’t as bad as this but they still do drain some power. The best thing to do is disconnect anything that you don’t need at the time.

6. Switch to internal graphics

If your laptop has an AMD or Nvidia graphics chip, there’s a good chance it will also have integrated graphics (usually Intel). Now, your laptop should be set up to only use the branded graphics card as and when necessary, but it’s worth checking.

7. Manage your memory

If you’re the sort of person who has a dozen different things running on their laptop at the same time then this is the point for you.

When you run lots of programs you’ll use up all the free system memory. Anything extra has to be sent to the hard disk, which is a mechanical device in many laptops. By logic, the harder your computer has the work, the quicker it’s going to run out of energy.

Whenever you’re on the move, keep your running programs to the bare minimum and you’ll see your battery life improve.

If these tip are no help, then it’s probably time to buy a new computer. We have hundreds of reconditioned laptops for sale on www.tier1online.com, all at a very reasonable price. Then we at Tier 1 can organise the collection and safe disposal of your old IT hardware. Call us today on 0161 777 1000 to see what we recommend.

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