How To: Use the new battery settings in Windows 10

Battery Saver Menu

A lot of the stuff you have found in previous versions of Windows are still there in Windows 10, albeit in different forms or in areas you might not know about yet. One of these things are the battery settings. Some of the items are still the same while there are also some new features to learn about like the battery saver and in this post, we are going to look at all of them.

Power & sleep

Power & Sleep Settings

To access this menu, go to Settings > System > Power & Sleep. This panel contains most of the basic settings that you should already be familiar with. The options you will find here will let you select when your screen turns off and when your PC goes to sleep after you have not used it for a certain amount of time. If you would prefer to have both settings disabled, you can choose the “Never” option instead.

Power Options

The link below “Related settings” will open up the Power Options menu which has stayed exactly the same so if you have used it in any previous Windows version then you will find it familiar instantly. For more information on what you can do in that menu I suggest you read our guide on tweaking and managing the power plans.

Battery saver – Overview

On top of the Power & sleep menu lies the battery saver feature, one that may well save precious time in your laptop so that you can finish that Word document or that movie, depending on the night. At the very top you will find your current battery level as well as the estimated time remaining in your battery, provided of course that your manufacturer actually supports the feature. Clicking on the “Battery use” link will give you some extra insight on what is consuming all that battery in your PC in a user-friendly interface.

Battery Use Overview

By default, the feature will show your battery consumption over the last 24 hours but you can change that to 48 hours or 1 week from the drop-down menu. The percentages below that will give you the consumption levels of the main PC areas such as the System, Display and Wi-Fi. The second row of percentages will tell you what percentage of your battery is being consumed by apps that you are actively running and apps that are running in the background. This will vary wildly depending on your configuration and the apps you have installed but if the background apps are using a lot of your battery then you may want to consider replacing them.

App Battery Use

The apps that show up at the very bottom are the ones with the highest battery consumption levels. Clicking on any one of them will let you go to Details which will give you additional information about how much of your battery they are using and how. This is particularly useful in apps that run both on the foreground and the background so that you can determine what is going on if the numbers look strange.

Battery Use Background Apps

If you click on the “Change background app settings” link, you will find a bunch of Microsoft apps that run in the background automatically so that they can receive info, send notifications and stay updated regardless of whether you use them or not. I strongly recommend that you disable each and every one of them that you do not actually use as that will not only help you conserve power but it will also block the apps from sending out information all the time.

Battery saver – Settings

This is where things get interesting as the battery saver utility is new to Windows 10. In essence, the feature is exactly the same as what you can find in most modern mobile devices where the system shuts off certain functions in order to preserve battery. By default, the battery saver is turned off and you will need to enable it and configure its settings manually though you will be glad you did so.

To alter the battery saver’s settings, click on the respective link at the very bottom of the panel. The very first box needs to be ticked in order to turn battery saver on. You should also consider changing the battery level threshold though 20% is a very fine point where your laptop will be struggling for power but will still have enough battery to get it through a few tasks. The lower screen brightness setting should also be enabled as it will play a huge role in slowing down your battery’s consumption levels.

Battery Saver Settings

The option that lets you allow push notifications from any app while the battery saver is on is trickier as the default settings of the utility will force it to automatically block all push notifications in order to preserve battery. If you would like to allow specific apps only then you can click on the plus (+) icon next to the “Add an app” option. It is highly recommended that you only let very few apps through (if any) because you will otherwise defeat the very purpose of the battery saver.