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Why is My Dell Laptop Battery Draining So Fast

Last Updated Jan 25, 2022
dell laptop on table

Have you ever been using your Dell laptop for school, for work, or simply for entertainment only to be surprised by a pop-up that says that your battery is low?  It feels like you just fully charged the laptop a few minutes ago.  Whether you just lost track of time or the battery genuinely ran out quickly, many factors can result in your Dell laptop battery draining fast.

Dell laptops can quickly lose battery due to:

  • Battery intensive settings such as high brightness or keyboard backlights
  • Background applications and processes
  • Default system settings that do not optimize battery life

Fortunately, there are many ways to tackle these battery draining issues.  This can create a lasting battery life, allowing you to use your Dell laptop.  This article will cover ways in which you can improve your laptop’s battery life right now.

How Do I Fix My Dell Laptop Battery Drain?

Here are some steps you can take that will have the largest impact on improving battery life.

Lower Screen Brightness and Turn Off Keyboard Backlight

Undoubtedly, the largest chunk of battery life eaten is dedicated to powering any light system on your laptop.  If you constantly leave your Dell laptop at high brightness settings, you can be sure that this is draining most of the battery. 

Luckily, one of the largest battery drainers also has one of the most straightforward solutions.  You can turn down your brightness settings through the keyboard shortcut fn + F2 and lower the brightness as much as possible.  You may also press fn + F3 to increase the brightness if it gets too low.

It is best to take a gradual approach to lowering brightness to avoid unnecessary eye strain.  Lower the brightness to a level that is lower than what you were using initially while still being fairly comfortable.  Allow your eyes time to adjust before you try and lower the brightness again and repeat. 

In addition, keyboard backlights are yet another energy-intensive process.  Sure, it may look pretty, but if you need all the battery life you can get, it is best to turn it off.  Turning off keyboard backlights is quite simple; just press the fn + F5 keyboard shortcut to toggle it off.  Pressing the shortcut again will toggle it back on.

Use Task Manager to Close Applications

Closing unused applications is a great way to preserve some extra battery life.  However, some applications and processes still run in the background even after you close them.  This can slowly eat away at your battery life without you even realizing it.

This is where the Task Manager comes in.  Task Manager allows you to select applications and processes and completely close them so that they are no longer running on your laptop.  Here’s how to use it:

  • Press the Windows key on your keyboard (this is signified by the Windows logo)
  • In the search bar, type in Task Manager and select the application
  • From here, you may click any application or process that you do not want running and press End task

This will stop the closed application from using your laptop’s available resources, saving you battery life.

Dell Battery Management Utility

Now we get into a bit more advanced system settings that will definitely improve your battery life and increase the lifespan of the battery.

Power Plan Settings

To help optimize your laptop towards improving battery life, you can set a specific power plan option.  A power plan is just telling your laptop how much resources you want to dedicate towards whatever you do on the Dell laptop.  Of course, less resources mean a longer battery life.

Here’s how to set a Power saver power plan:

  • Press the Window key on your keyboard
  • Type in Control Panel and select the application
  • Click on Hardware and Sound > Power Options
  • By default, it should be set to Balanced power plan; change this to the Power saver option

If you do not see any other power plan options:

  • Click on Create a power plan
  • From here select Power saver and give the power plan a name
  • Click Next > Create

This will create small optimizations for your laptop that will allow it to use less battery.

Use Dell Power Manager

Dell laptops specifically come with an application called the Dell Power Manager.  This allows you to change very specific system settings, which will then result in improved battery life.  For those who want the best battery life possible and do not mind taking a bit of time to do so, the Dell Power Manager is definitely worth exploring.

Here are just some of the notable features of the Dell Power Manager:

  • Advanced Charge, which controls battery charge, states to prolong battery life
  • Battery Extender which lowers CPU power level and screen brightness, among other things to extend battery life
  • Adaptive settings which automatically optimize battery settings based on your typical use patterns

This only scratches the surface of what this application can do.  There are a lot of other advanced settings that you can explore to find new ways to get the most out of your battery.

Conclusion

Your Dell laptop can quickly lose battery for a variety of reasons.  However, there are just as many ways to tackle these issues and get a longer battery life so you can be more productive or enjoy using your laptop longer.

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