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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 that you can make on a laptop to enhance the battery life.

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Article Content


Utilize power saving features to extend battery life

Duration: 00:26
When available, closed caption (subtitles) language settings can be chosen using the Settings or CC icon on this video player.

The performance of a battery can get impacted due to several reasons such as power settings, how many apps are running, and even the temperature of the room in which you are working.

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 computer 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 a Dell battery management software such as Dell Power Manager on applicable computers.

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 the computer’s performance where possible.
High performance Maximizes computer’s performance and responsiveness. This setting uses more power.

Dell Power Manager allows you to select a Battery Setting that is optimized for specific computer 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. This is 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 computer 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 computer is turned 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 computer while plugged into an external power source.
  • Adaptive - Automatically optimizes battery settings that are 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. This is recommended for advanced users.

To learn more, see our Guide to Dell Power Manager.

How to get better battery runtime on your computer

Dell computers are portable powerhouses. Like the gas mileage for race cars varies based on how fast it goes, the battery runtime on your computer varies based on what configuration you have and how you are using it. Turning your screen brightness all the way up and running multiple power-intensive programs can drain your battery quickly. Below are some basic and advanced tips for getting more battery runtime out of your Dell computer.

Some Simple First Steps

Manufacturers make battery runtime claims based on specific tests in controlled environments. For example, on our XPS 13 Plus with an OLED screen, we download and run Netflix from the Microsoft Store to see how long the battery lasts. That length of time can vary based on the panel and configuration of your laptop.

The first tip to improve battery runtime is to adjust your screen brightness. The panel in a laptop is one of the biggest power draws in the computer. Clicking it down a few notches can get you significant battery savings. Also, if you are using an OLED screen, consider switching to dark mode in apps or applying a dark theme to Windows.

Screen brightness
Figure 1: Screen brightness

Windows 11 offers a battery saver mode that is one of the easiest ways to improve your battery runtime. To enable it, click the battery icon in the System Tray and then click the option for Battery saver.

If you are still looking to maximize your battery, consider closing apps that use a lot of power. To look at Battery usage per app, click the Windows logo and then select Power Options. Scroll down to Battery usage and expand that menu. This reveals a Battery usage per app ranked list of applications by estimated power consumption.

Battery usage per app
Figure 2: Battery usage per app

If you are still looking to maximize your battery, consider closing unused applications. If you are still trying to eke the maximum amount of battery from your computer, you can enable Airplane Mode to further stretch your usage. Be aware that you cannot access the internet or online files in Airplane Mode!

Battery-Saving Tips for Advanced Users

If you have exhausted your options in the built-in Windows settings, there are several advanced tools and changes you can use to extend the battery runtime on your Dell computer.

First, to further understand how different applications are using your battery, open Task Manager by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Escape. Ensure that the More details dropdown is selected and then scroll to the right of the screen to see Power usage. This column of data can show you what apps are consuming the most power while running your computer. Knowing what applications are consuming your battery most can help you decide which power-hungry apps to close. Closing applications without understanding what the app can be risky. Be sure that you are aware of what any app is doing before you click close.

Task Manager Power usage
Figure 3: Task Manager Power usage

Disabling Intel’s Turbo Boost functionality can also increase your computer’s battery runtime, at the cost of some performance. First enter Dell’s BIOS settings. For more information about how to get to BIOS settings, reference How to Access UEFI (BIOS) System Setup from Microsoft Windows on your Dell Computer . Under the Performance tab, scroll down to Intel Turbo Boost Technology and then change the selection to Off. This reduces your computer’s maximum performance, but it also positively affects your computer’s battery runtime.

Disabling Intel Turbo Boost Technology
Figure 4: Disabling Intel Turbo Boost Technology

Another advanced tool that you can use to understand how your computer is consuming energy is Intel’s SoC Watch. Intel SoC Watch analyzes the energy that is used by the CPU to identify any specific computer behaviors that are using too much energy. You can learn more about Intel SoC Watch and download the tool from This hyperlink is taking you to a website outside of Dell Technologies..

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.

Learn How to Check Battery Health Status on Dell Laptops.

Additional Information

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. The 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 powercfg 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.

Informational videos

How to Increase Laptop Battery Life (Official Dell Tech Support)

Watch this YouTube video to learn how to increase the battery life on a Dell laptop.

Duration: 00:01:56
When available, closed caption (subtitles) language settings can be chosen using the Settings or CC icon on this video player.

Maximize Laptop Battery Runtime

Watch this video to learn how to maximize the battery runtime on a Dell laptop.

Duration: 00:01:25
When available, closed caption (subtitles) language settings can be chosen using the Settings or CC icon on this video player.

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Battery icon Power charger icon Go to our Battery and Power site for additional resources and information.

Article Properties

Affected Product

G Series, Alienware, Inspiron, Latitude, Vostro, XPS, Legacy Laptop Models, Mobile Workstations

Last Published Date

29 May 2024



Article Type

How To