How to configure the Windows 7 Power management tool on your Dell PC

How to configure the Windows 7 Power management tool on your Dell PC

This article provides information on what the power management tool in Windows 7 does and how to configure it to best suit your needs on your Dell PC.

Table of Contents:

  1. Windows 7 Power Management Tool
  2. Power Options
  3. Configure an Existing Plan
  4. Create a Custom Plan
  5. Resetting to Default
  6. Need to Know

Windows 7 Power Management Tool

I'm going to take you through how to manage power settings and create custom plans in Windows 7.

There are several new power management options in Windows 7 than you may not be used to in Windows XP.

You might look to change plans to either save battery power on your notebook or reduce the power usage on a desktop.

We will look at how to manage and configure the power plans and how to create custom plans to suit you.

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Power Options

To bring up the power plan options click on the Start Button and type power settings into the search bar in the Start Menu that pops up and hit the ENTER key.

The Power Options window opens up and from there you can select any of three different preset plans :


Offers full performance when you need it and saves power during periods of inactivity

Power saver

Saves power by reducing system performance. This plan can help notebook PC users get the most from a single battery charge

High performance

Maximizes system performance and responsiveness. Notebook PC users might notice that their battery doesn't last as long when using this plan

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Configure an Existing Plan

From the first screen you can configure several options such as Requiring a password on wakeup and what the power button on the computer does.

If you set When I press the power button to Do nothing, you won’t have a problem with the PC shutting down when you hit the power button by mistake.

To change any of the preset power plans just click on Change plan settings.

You can change how long it takes before the monitor is turned off or the computer goes into Sleep mode when it isn't in use.

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Create a Custom Plan

To create your own custom plan you click on Create a power plan from the Power Options section.

Pick the preset plan that is closest to what you want and give the plan a new name.

Go through and select the sleep and display settings you want to use and click the Create button.

once your plan is done, you’ll see it under the preferred plans list.

Click on Change advanced power settings, there are several things you can change to suit what you need.

These settings should only be used if you know what the setting controls.

Note: If you change something without understanding what it does, your computer may not function correctly after you restart it.

Choosing between the preset settings should be fine for most people.

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Resetting to Defaults

If you want to go back to the default settings, just click on Restore default settings for this plan.

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Need to Know


You will find that the options change depending on whether you are setting a plan for a notebook or desktop system.

The main difference is pretty self explanatory. A notebook PC has more than 1 power source and uses stored power in the form of a main battery. The less demands on the machine when on battery power then the longer the battery will last. Therefore what happens on battery power gets it's own section.

The standard rule of thumb is to turn off anything that isn't needed when on battery.

Note: This is common reason for people thinking devices have stopped working. If a device stops everytime you take the system off mains power, check the power settings for that device on battery power.

Windows 7 makes it easy to manage power settings for different computing situations.

You can also use this tool to troubleshoot your computer if it starts shutting down or going into sleep mode, by going in and creating a plan for everything to never turn off and testing then enabling power save on devices in turn to see where the fault returns.

Microsoft discusses Power management on Windows 7 in the article below, if you're interested in finding out more :

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Article ID: SLN152020

Last Date Modified: 06/04/2018 09:15 AM

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