Windows 10 tip: Hunt down battery-draining apps

Buried deep in the Settings app on a Windows 10 laptop or tablet is a list of which apps and desktop programs have been burning through your battery lately. You'll also find special Battery Saver settings that can extend your remaining battery life dramatically.


Which apps and desktop programs have been draining your battery?

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Is your laptop battery running down faster than you expected? Windows 10 can help you track down the culprits and rein them in.

Start in the Settings app. Click or tap System, then Battery saver to open an Overview page that tells you how much estimated battery life is left. But to get to the good stuff, tap Battery use, which opens a list showing battery use across all apps (including Windows desktop programs).

The default view shows usage over the past 24 hours, but you can choose a different value from the drop-down list at the top to show the last 48 hours or the last week instead.

Scroll through the list to see which apps are the most power-hungry. Tap any item in the list and then tap the Details button to see how much of that usage was from the system versus display versus Wi-Fi. The most valuable detail here shows what percent of use occurred in the background, when you might not have even been aware of it.

Armed with that information, you can adjust background settings for Windows 10 apps, restricting the ability of apps to run in the background if you don't need them. (Note that Windows desktop programs, including browsers like Firefox and Chrome, are always allowed to run in the background.)

The Battery Saver option lets you clamp down on background tasks when the remaining battery level drops below a threshold you define (20 percent, by default).

If you're at work in an area where you have poor network reception or you just don't want to be disturbed by background notifications, consider switching into Battery Saver mode temporarily. Just tap the battery icon on the right side of the taskbar and then tap Battery Saver.

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