Is your Dell laptop battery draining fast? This will go over several common occurrences when it comes to your Dell laptop battery draining fast. The problem can be caused by either software or hardware causes, so read on to determine the right solution for you!
Start by calibrating your battery. Sometimes your battery management system can drift from reality and report an empty battery when it's still got plenty of charge. To calibrate the battery on your Dell Laptop:
- Charge it to 100%, and keep charging it for at least two more hours.
- Unplug your laptop and use it normally to drain the battery.
- Save your work when you see the low battery warning.
- Keep your laptop on until it goes to sleep due to low battery.
- Wait at least five hours, then charge your laptop uninterrupted to 100%.
Too Many Accessories
Are you regularly charging devices from your laptop? Are you powering devices like an external webcam, keyboard, speaker, etc?
- Try using your laptop without any external accessories plugged in to establish a baseline power usage. This lets you know how much battery life you can expect out of normal use.
Every device drawing power from your laptop takes a toll on battery life. Rule out excessive external devices to focus your efforts on the real issue.
Too Many Processes
Your laptop might be running too many programs and background services. Close some of the programs and services you're using to reduce the load on your CPU. Closing some of those tabs on your browser window(s) will help too.
- Open Task Manager by right-clicking on the Windows start menu.
- Select any programs you wish to close and click End task in the bottom right.
- You can get more information by click More details. The Startup tab shows what programs start with the computer, usually in the background. Disable any unnecessary startup programs.
Your laptop’s software settings may be pulling too much power. You can adjust these settings to be more conservative with your power and stretch your battery life longer. Settings like screen brightness, sleep settings, and CPU usage are all things to tweak.
- Start by switching your battery to prioritize power efficiency. Your computer may run a little slower, but at least you won't be chained to the outlet.
- Open the Settings app and navigate to System > Power & Battery.
- Change the Power Mode to the "Best power efficiency" option.
- Lower your screen brightness. Your screen uses a hefty chunk of battery pumping maximum lumens from the screen. Your laptop may have a keyboard shortcut to do this (mine's Function + Down Arrow), but if not you can find it in the Settings app under System > Display.
- Make sure your sleep settings are set to sane times. Your laptop saves power by going to sleep whenever you step away or are inactive on your laptop. To maximize your battery life, it's recommended to set your laptop to sleep after 15 minutes of inactivity and for your screen to shut off after 3-5 minutes.
- You can adjust sleep times in the Settings app under System > Power & Battery.
- Open the Screen and sleep section and change the settings for sleep and screen off on battery power to shorter times.
Incompatible Firmware Settings
Certain BIOS settings will have an affect on your laptop’s performance and energy consumption. The BIOS is software installed on a chip on the motherboard. This chip and its software initialize hardware related settings. This menu exists before the operating system, so you will need to boot into the BIOS before the operating system loads to change settings.
- Power off your laptop completely.
- Press the power and repeatedly press the F2 key. It will boot into the BIOS menu where you can adjust various power-related settings. You can view more detailed instructions from this Dell article.
- When finished, save and restart. Your laptop will boot into your operating system.
Batteries are a consumable device, and if you've been using your laptop for many years—or are just a bit unlucky—battery degradation is a possibility. If your laptop has seen some time in the trenches, you expose your stuff to extreme climates, or if you're just a power user who grinds through batteries, a replacement might be your best bet.
Try removing the battery from the laptop—some Dell laptop models make it easier than others. If you see that the connection was bad (the connector was askew or pins were bent), try reseating the connection and checking to see if that fixed the problem. Otherwise you'll want to source a replacement battery and opt for a replacement.
If you can't find a replacement guide for your model of Dell, don't fear—opening the laptop, unplugging the battery connector, and removing the screws holding in the battery is all it takes for most models.
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