How to Improve the Battery Life of Your Devices

You know that feeling — a sense of dread when you realize your laptop battery is at 5 percent, and you frantically try to wrap up the work you’re doing before the screen goes black. Or when you whip out your smartphone to quickly snap a photo of a fleeting moment — only to find your device is dead.

Yes, we’re talking about battery life (or lack thereof). Did you know there are ways you can extend how long your devices last between charges? Here are a few strategic tricks you can put in place today.

Optimize Your Settings

Whether it’s a phone, a tablet or a computer, there are many ways you can cut down on the amount of battery life your device use making a few tweaks to its settings.

  • Dim the Display Backlighting: You can do this manually by lowering the setting to a dimness that’s still easy to view. You may also have the option to auto-adjust, which means you won’t have to think about changing the settings every time the lighting changes.
  • Opt for Battery-Saver/Low-Power Mode: One surefire way to save the life of your battery is to turn on battery-saver mode on your device. This is a quick fix to curb programs and apps from “working” in the background, make the screen time out more quickly and slow down processes to conserve battery life.
  • Turn Off Location Services and Push Notifications: Tracking your phone’s location at all times uses a lot of juice. Many apps will ask to use location services, but you may not need accurate whereabouts for all of these to function properly. Go through your apps, and turn off that feature where it’s not needed. And getting push notifications throughout the day can drain your battery, too, so turn off any that aren’t essential.
  • Beware of Bluetooth: Since Bluetooth is always listening for signals when it’s on, it will consistently chip away at your battery. You can potentially add up to one hour of battery life by simply keeping Bluetooth off when not in use.

Conserving Your Battery With Apps

If you make tweaks to your settings and still find your battery drains too quickly, you can download an app to help determine the culprit so you can further optimize your settings. In addition to helping pinpoint what’s killing your battery, many of these apps also automatically optimize your settings to maximize your device’s power usage. There are a number of battery-saving apps available for download on Android and iOS.

Maximize Your Battery With Solar Power

Even with the optimizations you make, your devices will still need to be charged at some point. And if it’s at an inopportune time (because, of course, that’s usually when it happens) or you’re off the grid and don’t have access to an outlet, having a backup solar charger can be a life-saver. The solar chargers of today can actually charge multiple devices — so long as there’s sun available. Here’s a list of the top eight best solar chargers right now.

The best thing about these simple tweaks for extending the life of your devices between charges? Most of them come at no cost to you. If you’re willing to put a little skin in the game and spend a few bucks for extra battery backup, consider adding a solar-power charger to your repertoire — a no-fuss (and cost-effective) way to keep your devices going when you need them most.

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