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How can I improve Windows 10 battery life?

Windows 10 features such as Cortana and background applications can drain power on laptops, but there are some quick fixes that can improve battery life.

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Windows 10 how-to guide

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Some OS features can drain laptop power, but there are simply ways you can improve Windows 10 battery life.

First, make sure you have downloaded the latest update. Microsoft addressed some battery life issues in build number 14332. This build improves the battery life for Surface tablets and connected standby PCs by lowering the priority of nonessential background processes.

Cortana has also been blamed for Windows 10's poor battery performance. The reason for this is that Cortana actively listens for someone to say, "Hey Cortana." This active listening can be handy, but it consumes battery power. Fortunately, it is easy to turn off active listening in Cortana.  Open Cortana, go to the Notebook, and click on the Settings option. The Settings screen contains a slide bar that you can use to turn "Hey Cortana" on or off.

Next, take a look at apps that run in the background. Windows 10 is designed to allow background apps to download data from the internet as a way of providing up-to-date information. For example, a weather app might automatically download the latest weather data periodically throughout the day.

This functionality can provide useful information, but it also drains the battery more quickly. You can disable this type of activity on a per-app basis. Go to Settings, click on System, then Battery Saver. Next, click the Battery Saver Settings link. This screen allows you to control the background app settings, including which apps can receive information, send notifications, or stay up to date while they run in the background.

Next Steps

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This was last published in August 2016

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Windows 10 how-to guide

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Do you know any other tricks to improve windows 10 battery life?
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