How to Improve the Performance of a Dell Laptop Battery

Summary: Learn how to improve the performance of a Dell laptop battery. Find information about changes you can make on a laptop to enhance the battery life.

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Utilize power saving features to extend battery life

Duration: 00:26
Closed captions: English only

Laptop configuration and power settings can impact the battery performance. This includes settings such as:

  • Display brightness
  • Keyboard backlight
  • Display resolution
  • Windows power plan
  • Processor speed
  • External devices that are connected to the laptop

Consider the following to help reduce the power consumption of the computer and conserve battery charge:

  • Disconnect external devices when not in use.
  • Reduce the brightness of the screen.
  • Reduce the amount of open software.
  • Turn off WiFi or Bluetooth (or both) when not in use.
  • Utilize the power save feature in Microsoft Windows.
  • Avoid exposure to extreme temperatures. If the system is exposed to extreme cold or hot temperatures, allow it to reach normal temperature before use and before charging.
  • Power Off your device before placing it in a laptop bag or other enclosed area.
  • Always use the original AC adapter provided with the laptop. Do not use third-party AC adapters or batteries.
  • Install and use Dell battery management software like Dell Power Manager or Dell Command | Power Manager on applicable systems.

Power plan, also known as power scheme, is a collection of hardware and system settings that manages how computers use and conserve battery power.

  1. Click Start and type Control Panel.
  2. Click Control Panel, then click Hardware and Sound.
  3. Click Power Options, and select a power plan.
Power Plan Description
Balanced (recommended) Automatically balances performance with energy consumption on capable hardware.
Power saver Saves power by reducing computer’s performance where possible.
High performance Maximizes computer’s performance and responsiveness. Uses more power.

Dell Power Manager and Dell Command | Power Manager allows you to select a Battery Setting that is optimized for specific system usage patterns. For example, some settings focus on extending battery life, while others provide fast charge times. Available settings may be limited, depending on the battery. Possible battery settings include:

  • Standard - Fully charges the battery at a moderate rate. This setting provides a balanced approach to extending battery life while still providing a reasonably fast charging time. Recommended for users who frequently switch between battery and external power sources.
  • ExpressCharge™ - Quickly charges the battery using Dell's fast-charge technology. Recommended for users who need the battery to charge quickly. If the system is powered off, then the battery typically charges to 80 percent within one hour and 100 percent in two hours. Charge time may be longer if the system is powered on.
  • Primarily AC Use - Extends battery life by lowering the charge threshold, so that the battery never charges to 100 percent capacity. Recommended for users who primarily operate the system while plugged into an external power source.
  • Adaptive - Automatically optimizes battery settings based on the user's typical patterns. Recommended for users who want to set and forget.
  • Custom - User selects when the battery starts and stops charging. Recommended for advanced users.

To learn more, see the Dell knowledgebase article Guide to Dell Power Manager or Guide to Dell Command | Power Manager.

Battery health affects the performance of the laptop and battery run time. It is important to check the battery health and make the necessary changes to improve performance. On Dell laptops, battery health can be measure using different ways.

To learn more, see the Dell knowledgebase article: How to check battery health status on a Dell laptop.

Frequently asked questions

Battery life or battery run time

Battery life or battery run time is how long a battery lasts between charges. Battery life depends on battery capacity (number of cells or watt-hours (Wh) of a battery). More cells or higher watt-hours in the battery can power the laptop for a longer time under the same operating conditions.

Battery capacity

Battery capacity is a measure of charge that can be stored in the battery. The capacity of a battery reduces as the battery chemically ages which results in lesser hours of usage between charges. The maximum battery capacity measures the capacity of the battery relative to when it was new.

Battery lifespan

Battery life span is how often a battery can be recharged before the charge capacity starts to reduce. Normal characteristic of a rechargeable battery is that the charge capacity reduces gradually with each discharge-charge cycle. Typically, you will notice reduced battery life after 18–24 months. If you are a power user, you may notice reduced battery life sooner than 18 months.

Powercfg is a hidden tool in Microsoft Windows that can generate a report of the battery history. The report includes information about battery performance and allows you to observe any decline in battery capacity. To generate a battery report:

  1. Press and hold Windows logo and press R key.
  2. In the Run dialog box, type cmd and press Enter key.
  3. In the Command Prompt window, type powercfg /batteryreport and press Enter. (note the space between powerfg and /batteryreport.)
  4. Open File Explorer and browse to C:\Users\Your_Username\.
  5. Double-click battery-report.html to open the report in the browser.


SLN85590_en_US__1Battery(1) SLN85590_en_US__2Power(1) Visit our Battery and Power site for additional resources and information.


Informational videos

How to Increase Laptop Battery Life (Official Dell Tech Support) on YouTube - (1:56)

Maximize Laptop Battery Runtime - (1:25)

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Last Published Date

21 Feb 2021



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