How to improve your Dell laptop's battery performance

How to improve your Dell laptop's battery performance



As laptops have become more advanced so the need for increased power consumption and longevity has increased for mobile system users. On many occasions it can come down to mobility over performance and battery life. This article provides information on how to improve your laptop battery's performance and lifespan. The article also expands to give some helpful tips and information on how to diagnose and test your battery health and performance.

Note: You can search for available battery replacements on our support site using the following link:

Dell laptops come with one of two kinds of batteries:

  • Swappable

A swappable battery is made of lithium-ion cells and you can easily remove and replace it with a fully charged spare battery when you run out of power. This battery is a great option for those who need to stay up and running no matter where you are.

  • Built-In

A built-in battery is usually made of lithium-ion polymer and is designed to fit the non-traditional shapes of thin and light laptops, such as the XPS and Inspiron 7000 series. These batteries are not easily removable and will need trained technicians to replace it. This battery is a great option if you want to pack light.

Battery Life:
Is how long your battery will last between charges. Battery life is based on a battery's capacity, or the number of cells or watt-hours (Wh) of a battery. The general rule is that the more cells or the higher the watt-hours powering the same laptop under the same operating conditions, the longer the battery will last when unplugged from an outlet.

Battery Capacity Battery Life Choose if you want
Large (9 cell) 90 Wh Longer battery life and longer battery pack lifecycle.
Standard (6 cell) 48-60 Wh Lighter weight

Note: Your actual battery life will depend on your settings and usage. Refer to the Extending battery life and lifecycle so that you can set up your laptop to get the most out of your battery.

Battery Pack Lifecycle:
Is how often a battery can be recharged before its charge capacity starts to degrade (for example, when a fully charged battery is reduced to 60 percent of the original battery charge capacity). This reduction of charge capacity in turn leads to a significantly reduced battery life. Reduced charge capacity is normal on all rechargeable batteries.

A lower capacity battery will wear out faster than a higher capacity battery because you have to charge it more often. Typically, you'll notice reduced battery life after 18-24 months. If you're a power user, you may notice reduced battery life sooner than 18 months.

Battery size:
Large capacity batteries are great for extra battery life, but more cells and higher watt-hours also mean that the battery size and weight will increase.
When buying a replacement battery, make sure that you consider whether longer battery life or lighter weight best fits your mobile style.

The easiest way to get the best battery life out of your Dell laptop is to select one of the pre configured power plans. The pre configured power plans automatically adjust key settings that can have a significant impact on battery life, such as reducing screen brightness or dimming the display when you are not actively using your laptop.

To extend battery life as long as possible during a working session

  1. Turn off wireless - Your wireless card is a significant drain on your battery. If you don't need to be connected to a wireless network, then you should turn off wireless. Press the F2 key or use the wireless switch to turn wireless on and off.
  2. Avoid multitasking - If you limit the number of applications you have running or the number of windows or tabs you have open, your battery will last longer.
  3. Limit power-intensive activities - Batteries will last a lot longer if you are reading emails and editing documents than if you are watching a movie or playing a video game.
Change the Power Plan
  1. On the notification area of the taskbar, right-click the Battery icon.
  2. On the options list, click Power Options.
  3. Select a power plan on the battery meter, such as Power Saver or Balanced.

Extending battery lifecycle

Windows 10:

Windows 10 has a built in 'Battery Saver' mode that can be activated to extend your system's battery life. The Battery Saver mode will monitor and limit background activity and other features such as push notifications. You do have the option to enable or disable this mode within settings or within advanced Battery Saver settings you can customize the mode to best suite your needs.

How to turn on Battery Saver mode

Figure 1: Click on the Action Center icon within the taskbar and select the tile for Battery Saver.

Win10 Battery Saver tile in Action Centre

Figure 2: If running Cortana then type Battery Saver into the search box and select from the results.

If running Cortana then type Battery Saver into the search box and select from the results

Battery Saver

Within the Battery Saver settings page you will be able to turn on and off the feature and customize the feature to best meet your needs.

Figure 3: Turn Battery Saver On or Off

Additional settings available via the Battery use and  Battery saver settings links

Figure 4: Additional settings available via the Battery use and Battery saver settings links

Turn Battery Saver On or Off

Within the Battery use settings you will be able to view battery use across multiple applications over a selected time period. You can also change settings for background applications that may be using up battery power.

Figure 5: Battery use shows further info on apps and their power usage.

 Battery use shows further info on apps and their power usage.

Figure 6: Battery Saver Settings screen allows you to customize further Battery Saver feature.

Battery Saver Settings screen allows you to customize further Battery Saver feature.

Battery Saver Settings provides further customization of the feature:

  • Choose the percentage of battery power left in which the feature will become active.
  • Allow push notifications.
  • Lower screen brightness within Battery Saver mode.
  • Select applications that will be skipped by battery saver changes.

Dell Utilities:

Leaving your laptop plugged in all the time or never allowing your battery to fully charge when it's plugged in can actually reduce your battery's charge capacity and shorten its lifecycle. However, Dell has introduced two new battery charge settings, Dell Desktop Mode and Dell Longevity Mode, that help extend a laptop's battery pack lifecycle.

Note: Install the Dell Quickset application from our Dell Support website. If Dell Desktop Mode and Dell Longevity Mode are not supported on your laptop battery, you'll have to self-monitor your battery-charging behavior. For more information, refer to Dell knowledge base article How to Download and Install a Driver?

Dell Desktop Mode

Desktop Mode monitors the charge status of the laptop battery, and if it spends most of the time at 100 percent charge while connected to the power adapter, Desktop Mode will automatically adjust the charge levels of the battery. The adjustments include regularly allowing the battery to discharge or drain, even while plugged in. The benefits help slow the reduction of charge capacity over time and may even decrease the need to purchase a replacement battery during the life of your laptop.

To turn on Desktop Mode in Microsoft Windows

  1. On the notification area of the taskbar, right-click the Battery icon.
  2. On the options list, click Dell Extended Battery Life Options. The Battery Meter dialog box is displayed.
  3. Click the Desktop Mode tab.
  4. Click Enable to turn on Desktop Mode.
  5. Click OK.
Note: When desktop mode is enabled, the battery charges between 50 percent and 100 percent while the power adapter is connected. To ensure batteries are charged to 100 percent, disconnect and reconnect the power adapter and the battery will charge to 100 percent.

Dell Longevity Mode

Longevity Mode monitors the charging and discharging behavior of your battery. If you're frequently connecting and disconnecting your laptop to a power source without allowing the battery to charge fully, Longevity Mode will moderate the extent to which your battery charges to protect your laptop battery health.

To turn on Longevity Mode in Microsoft Windows

  1. On the notification area of the taskbar, right-click the Battery icon.
  2. On the options list, click Dell Extended Battery Life Options. The Battery Meter dialog box is displayed.
  3. Click the Longevity Mode tab.
  4. Click Enable to turn on Longevity Mode.
  5. Click OK.
Note: When longevity mode is enabled, the battery charges only between 88 percent and 100 percent of its capacity.
  • Remove USB powered devices whenever possible.
  • Close all unnecessary programs when not in use.
  • Decrease the screen brightness.
    Note: For more information refer to Dell Knowledge base article Instructions to Download and View Manuals. Refer to the Quick Start Guide.
  • Turn off the backlit feature on your keyboard, if your computer has that feature.
    Note: For more information refer to Dell Knowledge base article Instructions to Download and View Manuals. Refer to the Quick Start Guide.
  • Keep the Vents clear.
    Note: Make sure all the vents are clear and free from dust and debris. If the vents are blocked in any way, the system will struggle to keep the airflow moving and the system fans will be constantly working to keep the system cool. This dramatically reduces the battery performance. If you are using the system on a soft cover or on your lap, use a tray or other hard surface to ensure all the vents are kept clear.
  • Change the Power Management Plan.
    • Change your power plan settings to shut down your screen and hard drive when not in use.
    • If your laptop is running Windows 7, you can download and run Microsoft's Automated Troubleshooter External Link to resolve common power consumption problems.
Note: Microsoft FixIt troubleshooter guides and software may not be compatible with Windows 10 systems.
  • Update the BIOS.
    • Watch this video to learn how to update the BIOS

      Video (English Only)- My Dell in 99 seconds: Update system setup (1:46)

For Computers with Windows 10
Note: The Command Prompt selection must be the Admin version if you do not have this then please contact your system administrator.
You may be prompted to give permission by Windows User Access Control (UAC) before continuing.
  1. Right-click on the Start Menu to bring up the menu.

  2. Select Command Prompt (Admin) from the menu.

    Figure 1: Windows 10 command prompt (admin) selection

    command menu prompt

  3. Type in powercfg /batteryreport /output "C:\battery_report.html" into the command prompt window that appears.

    Figure 2: Screenshot of Command Prompt (admin) with the command line required.

    Batteryreport command prompt screenshot.

    Note: In the example above the report will be saved to C:\battery_report.html the C: drive root folder but you can change this to another folder if more convenient.
    Without the /output and specifying the directory the file will be stored in the C:\Windows\system32\ directory by default.
  4. Navigate to the C: root folder either through My Computer or through Explorer. You should see a file called battery_report (HTML File) listed.

    Figure 3: Screenshot of the location of the output file battery_health.

    Win10 batteryreport output file location C root.

  5. The report will be separated into sections:

    • The first section will provide information on your system including the BIOS revision, system name and Windows build.

      Figure 4: Page 1 of the battery health report.

      Win10 batteryreport page1 sysinfo

    • The second will show information on the batteries that are installed within your system.

      Figure 5: Page 2 of the battery health report.

      Win10 battery report page2 Installed Batteries info.

    • The third part lists information on the recent usage of the battery battery state and remaining capacity.

      Figure 6: Page 3 of the battery health report.

      Win10 batteryreport file page3 usage history info.

      Figure 7: Usage History

      Win10 batteryreport - Recent usage page.

      Figure 8: Battery Capacity History

      Win10 batteryreport - Recent usage page.

  6. The report will only provide information on the battery and will not advise you on replacing it. It is a good tool to check what the capacity was previously running at and it's current state when at full charge.

    Figure 9: Battery Life estimates

    Win10 batteryreport - Recent usage page.

  7. For Computers with Windows 7 and Windows 8

    1. For computers with Windows 7 and Windows 8 (you will have to go to the desktop in Widows 8), right-click the battery icon in the lower right-hand corner, click Dell Extended Battery Life Options, if that is not an option proceed to Step iv.

    2. Click the Battery Health tab.

    3. Make note of the message on the page, if anything other than "Your battery is performing normally", the battery should be replaced.

      Note: Most batteries have a one year warranty you can check if your battery warranty is active by referring to Dell Knowledge base article Notebook Battery Warranty Support. You can search for available battery replacements on our support site using the Battery and Adapters Accessories page.
      • Dell also offers a free Battery Diagnostic test, to run the test, refer to the Dell Battery Diagnostics section in this article.
      • When your laptop battery is still under warranty, run the Diagnostic recommended and if you are in warranty this can facilitate a replacement part for you with no need to call Technical Support.
      • If your battery warranty has expired, a new battery can be purchased at the Dell Batteries and Adapters web site.
    4. Check the Battery Health in the BIOS, for more information refer to the Check the Battery Health in the BIOS section. Make note of the message on the BIOS screen under General or the Advanced tab, when the battery shows as "Normal" or "This battery is performing normally", then the battery is performing as it should.


Our support site provides multiple diagnostic tests that can be run on your system and output results or error codes that can be then used to identify failures or provide to technical support if warranty service is required. These tests can fulfil a support request online and issue an in-warranty replacement where applicable, or direct you to additional resources to replace your battery.
From our main support site navigate to the diagnostic section or click the link below.
  • To run the test, browse to the Dell Battery Diagnostics. We will then connect to your system via Dell System Detect and if you are in warranty this can facilitate a replacement part for you with no need to call Technical Support.
    Note: If you have already used diagnostics in the past your information should be stored and you will be directed straight to the diagnostic test.

Dell notebooks also include a built-in diagnostics application, called ePSA. For information on how to access the ePSA application, refer to Dell Knowledge base article, Resolve Hardware Issues Using ePSA or PSA Diagnostics and Guide to Error Codes. Once in the ePSA application select the battery diagnostics.

Note: When the battery diagnostics fail, you can log a in warranty service call using the following link - Enhanced Preboot System Assessment. You will need to enter the Error and Validation code as seen on the screen, you will also need to enter the Service tag of the faulty computer, just follow the prompts to complete the process and facilitate a replacement part for you with no need to call Technical Support.
If your battery warranty has expired and the battery diagnostics fail, a new battery can be purchased at the Dell Batteries and Adapters website. Only Dell batteries should be used in Dell notebooks, and Dell batteries can only be purchased from Dell.
A normal characteristic of a rechargeable battery is that its operating duration decreases over time. The battery may eventually need to be replaced. Based on this characteristic, consumed batteries may not be covered under warranty.
  1. Turn the computer off.
  2. Press the power button to turn the computer on.
  3. Immediately start tapping the F2 key once a second until the message Entering Setup appears on the top-right corner of the monitor.
  4. Make note of the message on the BIOS screen under General or the Advanced tab, when the battery shows as "Normal" or "This battery is performing normally", then the battery is performing as it should.
    Note: Most batteries have a one year warranty you can check if your battery warranty is active by referring to Dell Knowledge base article Notebook Battery Warranty Support.
    • Dell also offers a free Battery Diagnostic test, to run the test, refer to the Dell Battery Diagnostics section in this article
    • When your laptop battery is still under warranty, run the Diagnostic recommended and if you are in warranty this can facilitate a replacement part for you with no need to call Technical Support.
    • If your battery warranty has expired, a new battery can be purchased at the Dell Batteries and Adapters web site.



Identifikátor článku: SLN85590

Dátum poslednej zmeny: 01/30/2018 05:16 AM


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