Boost your battery

When it comes to battery life, netbooks have the worst reputation. So what can you do to improve this situation? WINDOWS takes a look at a number of measures you can implement to get your notebook batteries surging with longer life.

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Boost your battery
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By  Gareth Van Zyl Published  November 10, 2009

The battery icon

One of the first ways you can start to control the battery life on your notebook or netbook is by clicking on the battery icon at the bottom of your taskbar and adjusting the balance or power saving settings. You should then be able to set the battery settings to ‘Balanced' or ‘Power Saver'. High performance is sufficient enough for if you want to watch videos or play games, but other than that it just eats up your battery power.

Switch off wireless devices

If you're not using your wireless devices such as Bluetooth or WiFi, it's a good idea to switch it off completely as it takes up precious processing power. It's often about rationing off which tasks you use and which tasks you don't use.

Avoid DVDs/CDs

Using the optical drive on your system can create a huge draw of power use on your system. The reason for this is that your processor decodes audio and video and this takes up battery power. It can use up to 30% of your computer's battery power. Rather, when watching or listening to media, it is a better idea to switch to downloaded or streaming digital content, such as iTunes. (Of course, this would mean avoiding rule number 2 and switching on your WiFi.)

Clean air vents to keep batteries cool

When air vents are blocked up, the computer needs to use more power in order to keep it going. Unblocking the air vents will keep things going more smoothly and running much faster. A cooler netbook equals a longer lasting battery.

No more unwanted background activities

You want to be able to squash all unwanted background activities. Some of the biggest culprits include automatic updates, anti-virus software and Windows Indexing. To switch off Windows indexing, it's a matter of right clicking on the My Computer icon, and unchecking the index drive for faster searching. You can also access the task scheduler to disable any running tasks that you deem might be unnecessary and scheduled defragmentation activities. Your anti-virus software might also have activities running that you might want to switch off.

Exiting programs in Task Bar

If you dig deep into the task bar at the bottom right hand corner of your screen, you can often find programs that are running in the background that you should switch off, especially if those programs are unnecessary.

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