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Improve Battery Life in Windows 7 with the Built-In Power Troubleshooter

Anybody who has a Windows 7 laptop is going to be concerned with how to make the battery last longer, but did you realize there’s a built-in troubleshooting wizard in Windows 7 that helps you maximize your battery life?

This is, of course, only one of the ways to maximize your battery life—your best bet is to adjust your screen brightness and get rid of crapware applications that abuse the CPU.

Using the Troubleshooter

You can click through a whole bunch of Control Panel links to get to the troubleshooter, but it’s a whole lot easier to just type improve power into the search box, and then click on the resulting item in the list.

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The wizard will apply the changes by default, but you can click the Advanced link and uncheck the option for applying automatically if you’d like.

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Once you’ve run the wizard, it will check for any potential problems in your settings—if you’ve adjusted your power plans in a way that isn’t a good idea, for instance. You can also use the View detailed information link…

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This will show you a huge list of items, and you can see that the wizard didn’t find any problems with those items.

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Even if your PC doesn’t have the problems listed, it’s actually rather interesting to look through—for instance, did you realize that a screen saver wastes battery power?

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 10/28/10

Comments (13)

  1. Hariharan

    Did you realize that a screen saver wastes battery power?

    Yes I did. But this OS still sucks when being operated on Battery.

  2. Malachi

    I type in improve power and nothing comes up. Help!

  3. Sergei Denisow

    I have tried to do according to the article today’s one power saver.
    I should ask if there would be another way of doing this in Windows 7 Home Primium as this does not work in this version.

  4. brendan

    It worked for me. It found 2 things it auto adjusted. Cool trick Geek! Thanks!!

  5. Bikram

    @Malachi : I didn’t get it either by typing that. Do this -

    Open control panel, search for ‘trouble’ [:P Pun intended.
    On the result page, click the 2nd link – ‘find and fix problems’.
    On the next page, click ‘Improve power usage’ which is near the bottom of the window.
    There you have it. :)

  6. Dan

    For those can’t find it – make sure you go into “trouble shooting” in the control panel otherwise you will not find it. The article could be clearer about that.

  7. Brie

    If you have an issue with Windows 7 Home Premium, go to the control panel and in the search box type in “improve power” and it will have no results but there will be a blue link thing, just click that and click the first link in the pop up window.. complicated, but that’s how to find it. :D

  8. Ed

    The best screensaver is a blank screen. It prolongs the life of your RGB diodes, and saves on battery power. For that matter, the best desktop wallpaper is a no wallpaper, just a black screen. I’ve had both screensavers and wallpapers disabled for years. People who look over my shoulder find it weird to see black all around, but that’s because everyone is hooked on color icons and color GUI’s. Speaking of icons, I don’t have any on my desktop. I run everything via shortcuts using the freeware AutoHotkey.

  9. Human

    LOL Ed. Maybe command prompt is more suitable for you?

  10. Q

    go to Windows Help and support and type “Improve power” Select the 1st option that comes up in the list that says “Open the Power troubleshooter” and you should be able to go form there.

  11. Jon

    Make sure you are on a laptop too. It won’t show up if you are on a desktop as there is no battery.

  12. Joost

    I found manually, typing the search string does not work.
    After I execute the troubleshooter, it does not report the problems, it will just set it to what windows thinks that is best. And killing my setting that were more energy saving. STUPID

  13. shea

    @jon SERIOUSLY!!! your a noob. if you were a true geek you would know that desktops run on mains so there was na point in your post… i used Bikram’s technique to get it to work :P

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