4 Tips to Help You Improve Your Battery Life on Windows 11

Prevent your Windows 11 battery from dying so quickly.

Microsoft

The last thing you want is for your laptop to die in the middle of an important work project or in the middle of a Zoom video call, but sometimes that happens, despite your best wishes. It’s ideal to always have your computer connected to power, but if you don’t have your charger, you need to find another way to extend your battery life.

There are many reasons why a battery can drain quickly, but if you are sure Windows 11, Microsoft’s latest operating system has several settings you can configure to save your laptop’s battery. Here are some tips and tricks – like preventing apps from constantly refreshing in the background – to help you keep your battery alive longer on your Windows 11 computer.

Are you still on Windows 10 and want to update? Here’s what you need to do before you can download Windows 11. And if you’re already using Windows 11, we can explain how to help minimize distractions and stay focusedas well as how to free up disk space when your storage is full.


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Prevent apps from refreshing in the background

Applications on your computer run in the background, allowing them to continue running even when you’re not actively using them. For example, they can send you notifications when you receive an SMS, an email or a comment on social networks. However, you don’t always need to refresh your apps, especially when your battery is low, so you can prevent them from doing so:

1. Open the Settings app and go to System.

2. Click on Power and battery.

3. Under Battery, click Light up now (you must be unplugged from a power source).

Once enabled, certain notifications and background activities will be paused to help extend your battery life.

power and battery menu in windows 11

If your battery drops below a certain percentage, the battery saver feature will automatically activate.

Screenshot by Nelson Aguilar/CNET

You can also play around with a few settings to improve the battery saving feature: you can change battery percentage when battery saver is on and reduce your screen brightness when using battery saver.

Reduce the refresh rate of your screen

Refresh rate is how often the image refreshes on your screen every second: the higher the rate, the smoother the motion on your screen. For example, if you’re playing a video game, you want the highest refresh rate possible. Unfortunately for your battery, a higher refresh rate also means more power. If you don’t need a high refresh rate, you can lower it to save battery:

1. Open the Settings the application and click System.

2. Then go to To display so what Advanced display.

3. Finally, change the number displayed next to Choose a refresh rate.

Depending on your laptop or desktop computer, you may see a different refresh rate number by default. If you only have one refresh rate option, unfortunately you have no way to lower it.

refresh rate

Choose a lower refresh rate to help conserve battery.

Screenshot by Nelson Aguilar/CNET

Also, it is important to know that if you lower the refresh rate, it will affect the performance of your computer. In some cases, this can make it harder to perform regular tasks.

Use a dark background or theme

If your Windows 11 computer has an OLED screen, it can take advantage of a dark background or theme to improve battery life. Unlike older LCD/LED displays, each pixel is individually lit on an OLED display, which means that if the background is black, those pixels won’t light up and use up battery power.

1. Open the Settings the application and click Personalization.

2. At the top of the page, choose one of the dark themes.

There are a few dark themes to choose from. Each of them dims your background, as well as all windows and some apps you can use in Windows 11.

Personalization menu in Windows 11

Dark themes help preserve battery life on OLED screens.

Screenshot by Nelson Aguilar/CNET

If you already have a custom dark background, you can go to Settings > Personalization > Colors > Choose your mode and select Dark from the options that appear.

Decrease lock screen timeout

The longer your screen is on, the more power it uses, which is why you might want your screen to turn off quickly when you’re away from your computer, whether it’s for a few minutes or an hour.

1. Open Settings and go to System.

2. Then click on Power and battery.

Under Power you will find several settings to turn off your screen after a certain period of inactivity. You can change the number of minutes from whatever default you have to a lower number like 1 or 2 minutes. However, you should only change the time for settings related to battery power (not when plugged into power), which is when you need to save battery power the most.

Power menu in Windows 11

You can automatically turn off your screen after 1 minute of inactivity.

Screenshot by Nelson Aguilar/CNET


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Steven L. Nielsen