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Why Does My Laptop Battery Drain So Fast?


Any laptop owner will tell you about when they were in the middle of a work call or a difficult level in a game, and the battery decided to die. Unfortunately, incidents like this can make using your laptop for its intended purpose, working and playing on the go, pretty tricky.

There are many reasons laptop battery life gets shorter and shorter with time. Let’s explore why your laptop battery drains so fast and what can be done.

Why Does My Laptop Lose Battery Life?

It can last 8–10 hours on a single charge with no problems when you get a new laptop. However, this doesn’t seem to stay for a long time.

Most laptop owners notice a decline in battery life by the second year of using it. This can be a shorter period if you’re a gamer who needs a unique gaming laptop, which is more expensive and has more advanced features, but also burns through a battery at a faster rate.

Here we’ll discuss the possible reasons why your laptop battery doesn’t enjoy the same longevity and some ways you can navigate that.

Your Display Is On Too Bright

One of the biggest battery busters is display brightness, as it takes a lot of energy to light up the screen you’re looking at. It makes a huge difference to dial it down if you’re working in a fully lit or dimly lit room. 

Aim for about 60% brightness in bright conditions and 40% or less if you’re working in the dark, and you’ll notice a massive difference in battery life. Of course, it might take a little while for your eyes to adjust to a dimmer display, but you’ll get accustomed to the new settings in no time.

You Don’t Make Use of Battery Saving Options

Every laptop has an option to pause the higher processing power to save battery life; it’s usually under the name of “Balanced Performance” or “Battery Saving” mode. 

Choosing this option is great if you’re doing something that doesn’t require fast processing, like browsing the web or working on a word file. It might slow down performance if you’re playing a game. However, playing heavy, AAA games is a job for a plugged-in laptop anyway.

You can also disable the keyboard backlight if you’re not working in darkness, as it takes a lot of energy from the laptop to keep it on. And if you’re not plugged in, disconnect any external devices hooked to your computer via USB since these tend to use the laptop’s battery as a power source.

Turning off your WiFi and Bluetooth when they’re not needed can also save you some battery life, especially if you’re on a flight or a place with no connection anyway. Some laptops come with an Airplane Mode that takes care of these functions at once.

Background Processes Are Draining Your Battery

If you notice your laptop’s battery suddenly deteriorating after downloading and using a particular program even after you exit, you can check your task manager. Some programs remain running in the background, significantly burdening your processor and shortening battery life.

To check your background processes on Windows laptops, press Ctrl + Alt + Del or Ctrl + Shift + Esc. On Mac OS X, press Cmd + Alt + Esc. You can choose any task that’s hogging your processor and end it.

Some programs are notorious for this problem, like Chrome browser and Adobe programs. If it’s necessary to run them, make sure your laptop gets a break every once in a while so it doesn’t shut off suddenly.

There’s Something Wrong With the Battery

If you bought a brand new laptop and noticed the battery draining too fast within the first few months, you could be facing a defective product. If you’re within the warranty period, return it to the vendor to have the hardware checked. It could be a problem no number of hacks can take care of.

However, if you’ve been using the same laptop for some time, it might be the following problem.

Your Laptop Is Getting Old

Let’s face it; nobody wants to come to terms with their gadget’s mortality. Unfortunately, laptops have a limited life of being at their prime, and the first part to fail is usually the battery.

Rugged use for many years can take a toll on the processor and the battery. Accumulation of dust and debris on the cooling fan can overheat the system, causing the processor to run overtime. This can all lead to shorter battery life.

There’s also the problem of software getting advanced and hardware failing to keep up. Your laptop can be too old to run the latest version of Windows and struggle in the process, and that’s normal. 

You can’t expect a 4-year-old laptop to compete with a brand new one, even if the old one has higher specs. The battery won’t be able to support it for the whole duration. The best you can hope for is to manage your expectations about what your laptop can do.

You can also replace the battery altogether. This is especially important if your laptop outright tells you that battery health is in decline and it needs to be substituted unless you don’t mind having the computer plugged in at all times.

Final Thoughts

If you’re always wondering, “Why does my laptop battery drain so fast?” you might need to check some of your habits while using the laptop. In most cases, dimming the display, using a power-saving mode, and unplugging unnecessary external devices can help tremendously.

Some people think there’s a unique formula or ritual they can use to maintain their battery life, like draining it entirely and then recharging from zero. However, this doesn’t improve battery health and can be detrimental to your laptop’s performance.

Following the few steps mentioned above will help you figure out what’s causing the problem and, hopefully, fix it without too much fuss.

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