Devices running Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system have a bad reputation these days. Seen by some as an instant disappointment, they run an operating system that changes so much and makes no sense. Some may be right, Windows 8 changes a lot, but most of these changes make it easier for Windows 8 users to spend their days getting their work done.
Extend battery life. Windows 8 has features that make it easier than ever to manage your battery life. There are toggles and quick action settings for novice users to reduce screen brightness and turn off unused features. Both are key to getting better Windows 8 battery life. Changes in the way apps behave and an easier-to-use task manager round out the experience.
Here’s how to improve Windows 8 battery life.
Kill the Extras
There was no talk of battery life without encouraging users to take a close look at what’s going on in the background. Getting better Windows 8 battery life is no different. You should start by checking what’s going on with your device and what you don’t need.
Apps running in the background are one of the biggest killers of battery life from older versions of Windows. These apps, now called desktop apps, are just as deadly on Windows 8. Go to the Start Screen by pressing the Windows button. Then search and hit enter or select.
Task Manager gives a breakdown of everything running on your computer. Both Windows Store and Desktop apps are listed together. You can stop here and end the applications that are running on your machine that you are not using, but I recommend clicking the button to see what is running on your machine in real time.
Use Task Manager to close apps you don’t use. Focus on darker apps in the CPU category, but be careful not to run into Background Processes and Services you’re not familiar with. If there’s an application or program that you find running too much that you don’t really use, consider removing it from the Control Panel under Add or Remove Programs. Again, be careful.
While you’re here, keep in mind that apps downloaded from the Windows Store technically don’t use CPU power when running. This is because Windows Store apps freeze in your computer’s memory when they’re not on your screen. Therefore, they will never affect your battery life if you are not using them. This is one of the reasons why I encourage casual users to download Windows Store apps over Desktop apps these days. You can turn them off if you want, but you’re not saving battery power or processing power by doing this.
Change Power Profile
Most desktop and laptop users stay in the Desktop interface. This is the part of Windows he is most familiar with. It has different windows that you resize and arrange according to what you are doing. There is also the Taskbar. Most users know that it has a battery meter on it, but they never realize that clicking or tapping on it allows them to get battery life pretty quickly.
By default, Windows 8 machines are in performance mode. When you’re about to unplug your Windows 8 device, switch to Balanced Mode for better battery life. You should notice instantly that your screen goes black. Behind the scenes, other changes are happening, too.
Adjust sleep time, brightness and more by clicking or tapping on More Power Options.
Turn off Extras
Finally, you’ll want to save battery power used by the hardware. I mentioned the screen brightness as the first thing you need to reduce. There are others that are just as important. Wi-Fi is something that is universally accessible, something we tend to let go and forget. The truth is, Wi-Fi uses battery power whether you’re connected to a wireless network or not. Turn it off to get more battery life. The Bluetooth connection does the same thing.
Killing both is extremely easy in Windows 8. Touch users should place their fingers on the right edge of their screen and slowly slide their finger to the left to reveal the Charms Bar. Then tap on it. Mouse and keyboard users should place their cursor in the upper-right corner of their screen to reveal the Charms Bar and then click on Settings.
You can change each setting here individually or click or tap the Wi-Fi icon and turn on Airplane Mode to kill Bluetooth and Wi-Fi as well as easily. To be clear, you should only use Airplane Mode when you are in a state that does not require internet access or a Bluetooth connection, such as on an airplane. You can turn off Bluetooth separately by going into the PC and Devices menu in the Settings app itself.
Good luck getting better battery life from your Windows 8 device.