Let’s say you decide to take a weekend trip upstate, or to the beach, or heck, even to your parents’ house. You throw together a weekend bag, with your toothbrush, a change of clothes, and your laptop, because GLOW isn’t going to binge-watch itself. You’re halfway to your destination when you realize — d’oh. You forgot your laptop charger, and now you’re going to need to make your laptop battery last way longer than you expected to.
Of course, you could just not use your laptop for the duration of your trip (or whatever scenario you find yourself in without your charger and a dying laptop). But what if you need your computer because you thought you’d make some edits on a presentation due on Monday? Or you, like me, need to read your daily news on a bigger screen, rather than on your tiny iPhone (which, of course, you brought your charger for). There are a few things you can do without having to shell out for a brand new charger that you’ll, hopefully, be keeping in your weekend bag from now on. Here are just a few of the tips and tricks that’ll keep your laptop from dying on you while you’re temporarily away from your charger.
Quit out of programs you’re not using
This is the same thing you do on your phone (or so you hear) to save some battery. If you’re not using certain applications, quitting out of them will reduce the strain on your computer’s processing, leaving you with a happier battery
Close unnecessary browser tabs
Similarly, if you have 9000 browser tabs open at a time (guilty), your computer will use up a lot of energy keeping those pages loaded. If you don’t need to read what’s on those tabs immediately, put them in a “read later’ bookmarks folder and shut it down.
Turn off Wifi and Bluetooth
You’ve probably heard that turning on airplane mode will save your battery life on your iPhone, and the same principle holds true for your laptop. If you don’t need to be plugged in, turning your Wifi and Bluetooth off will save battery power that your computer isn’t using to search for new networks.
Unplug your gadgets
Keeping your external hard drive connected to your computer will transfer power from your laptop to the device, draining your battery quicker. The same goes for any other thing you might plug in — webcams, external keyboards, etc., though if you brought all those things and not your charger, WYD?
Turn down your brightness
This one is another big duh moment. Your display is a huge drain on your laptop’s battery life, so the less power you can make it use, the better. The same thinking applies to watching YouTube videos or playing games — if you’re trying to save your battery life, don’t do that.
Turn off your keyboard backlight
If you have a newish Mac, your keyboard may have little lights behind the keys to illuminate them. This is great if you are a mole person who lives in the dark, but not really necessary if you are using your laptop in any kind of lighting, and especially bad if you’re down to 20 percent battery. Turn this function off by pressing F5 until your keyboard goes dark.
Mute your speakers or use headphones
This trick surprised me, although it makes perfect sense; when you hear audio coming from your laptop, that audio needs power in order to become audible (and the louder it is, the more power it needs). Mute your laptop or, if you absolutely need to listen to something, use earbuds.
Hopefully these tricks will buy you enough time to finish up whatever you have to do on your laptop, then get to enjoying your mini-break. Next time, just remember to bring your charger — you'll be so much less stressed, and your laptop much happier, for it.