How to Extend Chromebook Battery Life (Optimize and Maximize!) – 2019

How to Extend Chromebook Battery Life (Optimize and Maximize!) – 2019

So, you want to extend your Chromebook battery life and get the most of it before you have to replace it.

We’ll be covering some of the most proven and effective methods for making your battery last as long as possible in this guide.

This way, you can squeeze the most performance out of your laptop before the battery finally gives, and then you can get the most out of your money also.

Sound good? Let’s roll.

 

Extending battery life per charge cycle (getting the most juice of your Chromebook)

Extend Chromebook battery. Battery funny meme.
Want to extend your Chromebook battery? You’re in the right place, friend. Read on.

Here in the first section, we’ll cover how you can squeeze more battery power out of each time you charge your laptop before you have to charge it again.

Minimizing the battery life should be a relatively simple process that you can do. You’ll be able to easily get significantly more time out of each charge before you need to charge again.

Read on to see how you can effectively extend your Chromebook’s battery!

 

Turn down the brightness

This is the most battery-draining feature that can easily be controlled by the user (i.e. you) to limit how fast the battery gets used.

Simply turning down the brightness a few notches will easily extend the runtime for significant chunks of time. Depending on how much battery percentage is left on your current charge, and how low you turn the brightness, you can definitely squeeze out an additional hour or so of usage.

To maximize your battery runtime, lower the brightness down a decent amount (20-30 points), or adjust until you can see the screen well enough with a noticeable dim.

The point is to turn it low enough so that it’s just barely to get annoying because it’s so dim, but at the same time, you can still read and see everything on the display.

If you don’t know how to adjust your Chromebook’s brightness, here’s how:

  • Hit the “brightness up” key to make the screen brighter.
  • Hit the “brightness down” key to make the screen dimmer.

(New to Chromebooks? Check out the beginner’s guide to Chromebooks).

It’s as straightforward as that.

Chromebook have dedicated brightness controls, so you just need to hit a single key to make changes to the brightness level. You’ll see a little brightness percentage pop up in the left corner to show you the current brightness level.

 

Adjust brightness as needed

If you really want to get fancy, you can adjust on the fly.

For example, if you’re just browsing pictures or watching funny cat videos, you can definitely turn down the brightness. You don’t really need full focus to do those leisurely activities on your laptop.

However, when you start getting productive and need to do some real work, you can turn the brightness up temporarily, then turn it back down when you’re done.

(Are you a productive ninja? Check out the best apps for productivity on Chromebooks).

  • So pictures, cat videos, and social media: brightness down.
  • And productive work, spreadsheets, docs, research, homework, classwork, reading: brightness up.

Adjust as needed.

This will maximize the most juice you can get out of a single charge, as you’re adjusting your battery usage as needed, and you’re adjusting to the specific task you’re doing on the Chromebook.

This method works best because you have the brightness when you need it, and you get the most runtime out of your battery for that charge.

 

Limit your resource usage

This is the second most significant thing you can do to instantly conserve your battery power and make it last longer.

Simply reducing anything that uses up resources on your Chromebook will extend the battery power.

This means closing tabs you’re not using, shutting down apps you’re not using, or closing background music, video, games (like Fortnite), or any other resource that’s just sitting around in the background.

You may think this doesn’t’ do much, but it really does. Once you start adding up all the wasted resources your laptop wastes on background processes that you don’t necessarily need open, you’ll see how much further you can push the battery’s runtime.

No one needs to have 12 tabs open with music one one, a paused video on another, social media, email, and various other random tabs launched all at once. You need to get into the habit of closing out tabs you’re done with and only have exactly what you need at the very given moment.

For example, if you’re doing some research for a paper, there’s no reason to have shopping tabs and social media tabs active. Shut them out and you’ll get more battery juice of your Chromebook.

Besides, you’re supposed to be working, right? This will also help you focus and boost your productivity.

 

Micromanage your battery usage

Then when it’s time to take a break, close out your research paper, and fire up those social tabs, funny cat videos, and what your friend had for breakfast. You can micromanage your tabs this way to maximize your battery life.

Sure, it’s more work, but once you get into the habit of only having the tabs you need, you’ll save battery and you’ll also speed up your Chromebook.

And if you think closing/opening tabs is a waste of time and annoying, then consider using a session manager. This is basically an app that lets you open a set of tabs with one click, so you can have “work” tabs and “fun” tabs all launched at the same time with a single click.

So now you have no excuse to not jump between tabs to save power.

And lastly, if you must have specific tabs open but still want to save power, consider getting a tab suspender, which will automatically “suspend” a tab to free up resource usage and save battery while keeping the tab on Chrome.

One that I highly recommend is The Great Suspender.

So there you have it. Simply managing which tabs are active on your session of Chrome will prove to be effective in extending your Chromebook’s battery guaranteed. Less tabs means less resource usage, which means less CPU processing, which means less battery drain.

Simple enough, right? Start with turning down your brightness and closing out unused tabs and you’ll squeeze out some more time per charge.

 

Close unnecessary apps

This goes hand-in-hand with minimizing resource usage up above.

Chromebooks have the ability to run Google Play apps now, and running your favorite Android apps on your Chromebook can lead to many apps draining the battery like crazy.

Having Subway Surfers, Minecraft, and Facebook all running on your Chromebook at the same time will definitely drain your battery juice like no other. This is why you need to shut down any apps running in the background that you’re not using.

You’d be surprised at how much longer your battery will run when you have just one app running that you’re actually using.

 

Close unused tabs

You can speed speed up your Chromebook by closing tabs, as shown by this Toy Story meme.
Close out unused browser tabs. Seriously.

We’ve discussed this already under the “minimizing resource usage” section. Closing out tabs on the Chrome Browser that are not used will save you battery life and extend it out.

Turn off Bluetooth

Not using Bluetooth? You can shut off the Bluetooth receiver to minimize your resource usage and save some battery.

Turning off the Bluetooth is simple:

  1. Click on your account picture at the bottom-right.
  2. You’ll see a label for “Bluetooth”
  3. Toggle it off by clicking on it.

That’s pretty much it. Your Chromebook’s Bluetooth receive will now be shut off so obviously Bluetooth paired accessories won’t work.

However, if you typically don’t use them much, you can just leave it off and turn it on with just a click when you actually use them.

For those who don’t use anything Bluetooth-related on their Chromebook, you can leave this feature off to save a ton of battery power going forward!

By nature, Chromebook don’t have much they can pair with anyway, some exceptions that can be Bluetooth paired are:

You can also check out this tutorial to see how to pair Bluetooth devices to your laptop.

 

Turn off WiFi

This may be an option for those who are constantly on-the-go, travelers, or those who don’t necessarily need WiFi on all the time.

I know, for the bulk of Chromebook users, they’re probably thinking “what good is a Chromebook without Internet?”

But there is a small population of users who don’t really need the WiFi receiver on all the time. And thus, turning off WiFi will save the battery power from constantly searching a WiFi signal.

Here’s how to disable the WiFi on a Chromebook:

  1. Click on your account picture at the bottom-right.
  2. Click on WiFi.
  3. Toggle it off.

As an example, users who may be on a boat, train, plane, etc. may not need WiFi for a period of time. Simply shutting it off for that time period will save power.

Others who are on the go and don’t need to constantly look for a signal may also benefit from pausing the signal search by shutting off WiFi on their Chromebook, then enabling when they need the connection.

See how both of these cases, the user doesn’t actually need to waste using the WiFi receiver during both those prime examples?

The same applies to you. Maybe during your commute to work or school or wherever, you can disable the WiFi receiver. Then when you get to your destination, you can enable it again. The power save depends on how far your commute is and how long it takes.

Some people have hours upon hours of commute time, and turning off the WiFi will definitely save power during those unnecessary hours.

 

Enable WiFi only when necessary

To enable WiFi on your Chromebook:

  1. Click on your account picture at the bottom-right.
  2. Click on WiFi.
  3. Toggle it on.

You may need to configure a network for your Chromebook to connect to.

And lastly, for those who want to know what exactly they can do with a Chromebook offline, there are plenty of games, apps, and extensions that run offline.

 

Unplug peripherals

Any extra peripherals you have plugged into your Chromebook will drain battery power.

This pretty much means anything you have that uses power, such as an external Chromebook mouse, microphones, webcams, or other USB-powered accessories will drain power from your laptop over time.

This means you should unplug anything you’re not using at the very moment in time to maximize and extend your Chromebook battery.

For example, there’s no reason have your external USB mouse plugged in to your laptop if you’re not using it, or walking between classes, or commuting to work.

You can safely unplug it during that time, then plug it back in when you power up your laptop.

Simply removing these USB-powered devices from your laptop will make a small difference in conserving battery life, especially if the USB device, such as your webcam or mouse, has lights on it or draws a lot of power.

Some mice have fancy LED lighting, such as gaming mice, and this easily drains power.

If it lights up, polls the CPU, or does anything else that’s resource intensive, this will drain your battery. I mean, where do you think that mouse gets the electricity to power those fancy LADs from? Your Chromebook’s battery.

So remove that device when you don’t need it, and you’ll save yourself some battery juice to extend your battery’s charge.

 

Shut down or sleep when idle

Another common thing people do is simply leave the laptop in sleep mode when they’re not using the machine.

I don’t blame them. Who wants to wait for the computer to boot up the next time they use it, right?

Well, this common notion can be an exception for Chromebooks. Why?

Because they’re already so fast at startup.

Think about it: if you’re on a traditional Windows or Mac, boot time takes quite some time.

But on a Chromebook? It’s mere seconds.

The few seconds your laptop takes to boot up will save you minutes of time on the battery- and maybe even hours depending on how long you let it sleep for.

 

Power down when possible

If you’re one of those people that puts your Chromebook to sleep at night, consider completely shutting it down next time overnight.

When you boot it up again, it’ll take slightly longer to boot up, but barely.

And you’ll save a bunch of battery power by shutting it down completely rather than letting it idle.

Yes, your Chromebook still uses power even in sleep or standby mode.

And the only reason you’d leave it in this mode is so you can continue working on what you last were doing when you boot it up.

And so it boots faster the next time you pop the lid, right?

But if you shut it down completely, you’ll save a lot more power. And you can remedy both those situations:

You can quickly continue doing what you were last working on by using a session manager for Chrome. This will launch your previous session in a single click (saves you time) and you continue pretty much right where you left off.

One that you may find helpful is Session Buddy.

As for the boot time, I’m pretty sure an additional 3 seconds won’t hurt you =].

So always shut down when you don’t plan to use your chromebook for extended period of time (such as overnight).

Of course, it doesn’t make sense to do this when you’re on lunch break or walking from class to class.

But all other times, consider powering down completely to save power.

 

Extending battery life overall – saving your battery

How to save your Chromebook's battery.
You can make your Chromebook’s battery much longer by following these suggestions.

These tips will help extend your Chromebook’s battery life in general, meaning that the following best practices will help you get the most out of your battery during your laptop’s lifetime.

You can save your Chromebook’s battery by doing these best practices.

For those who are unaware, batteries have a limited charge/discharge cycle. Eventually, the battery gets corroded and inefficient, which means it doesn’t hold the same charge it used to.

Here are some common signs that your Chromebook’s battery needs to be replaced:

  • Your battery drains quickly.
  • Your battery doesn’t fully charge or discharge
  • The battery percentage jumps or skips certain numbers
  • The laptop shuts off when a battery percentage still remains
  • Your Chromebook charges slowly
  • Your Chromebook charges too quickly
  • You notice that your Chromebook’s battery life is decreasing

All these are signs that your battery may be getting to the point where you need to either replace your Chromebook’s battery, or purchase a new laptop.

To maximize and extend the life of your battery, follow these best practices.

 

Minimize heat

For electronics, heat is the main culprit that kills batteries (and electronic devices enterly).

You’ll want to minimize or limit the heat output of your Chromebook when possible.

Of course, this may be a little difficult to control, but you can control how hot your laptop gets using some specific techniques.

For starters, following the above advice from the previous section “extending battery life per charge cycle,” you can shut down apps, close tabs, and also halt processes from running in the background.

All of these will alleviate the battery drain because they’ll lessen the load on the CPU, GPU, RAM, and SSD.

You don’t need to know what each component does- you just need to know that the more tasks you’re running on your laptop, the more resources it uses, which means the more battery it drains, which means the more heat it produces.

When the Chromebook produces heat, it’s a double negative toward the battery:

  • You’re heating up the battery, which kills the overall life
  • You’re also draining the battery for the current session

So this is why you should limit what you do and “X” out of any programs, tabs, or apps you’re not using (or don’t necessarily need to be running).

 

Keep it cool when possible

Other than that, you can also minimize heat exposure to your laptop from outside the system. It’s easier than it sounds.

You can stop your Chromebook from heating up by doing the following:

  • Never place your laptop in direct sunlight.
  • Keep it operating at colder temperatures (don’t use it in hot rooms).
  • Never leave it in the car.
  • Never leave it anywhere that’ll pick up heat (laundry room, outdoors, etc.).
  • Don’t charge it when you’re using it.
  • Don’t overload it with programs and tasks.
  • Use a laptop cooler (they actually work).
  • Use a fan and blow directly at the laptop, or use it in a room with AC.

Of course, some of these are pretty ridiculous, but depending on how much you want to extend your Chromebook’s battery life, you may or may not want to try out some of these methods.

 

Power cycle your Chromebook

Power Cycling simply means to completely drain and then completely charge your laptop.

This is especially effective in getting the most of your battery’s charge when you first get your Chromebook.

Power Cycling should be done for the first week when you start using it.

To do a power cycle, just follow these steps:

  1. Completely drain the battery of the current charge
  2. After it’s drained, press and hold the power button for a few seconds to make sure it doesn’t power on
  3. Plug the Chromebook charger into the laptop, and charge it to 100%. Don’t use it during this time.
  4. After it’s fully charged, use it until it completely drains.
  5. Repeat the process 3 times.

This will then power cycle your battery and set it up for an extended life so you can get the most of your battery before it starts to wear down.

This process basically maximizes the battery’s capacity and will optimize your battery usage, which means the battery will:

  • Last longer overall
  • Hold a charge longer
  • Drain slower
  • Utilize the full capacity

It’s also important to completely drain and fully charge your battery at least once per month going forward. Don’t always leave it fully charged or hovering around the same percentage.

You want to keep the battery percentage random, and around the 40-60% charged range for maximum efficiency for the majority of the month. Yes, this means partial charges over full charges.

And this means to never let it completely drain, unless you’re doing your once per month power cycle.

We’ll cover this next. You can also read more about power cycling here.

Fully discharge at least one a month

This step goes alongside the previous suggestion of power cycling your Chromebook.

After the cycles when you first get your laptop, you should fully drain your battery at least once per month, then fully charge it back to 100%. This will keep your battery at its maximum capacity longer, which in turn will extend your battery life overall.

You can read more about how batteries work in laptops here.

But the summary is to simply drain it completely and charge it up completely- at least per month.

 

Never charge when hot

Charge Chromebook meme.
Charge your Chromebook. Just never when the device is hot.

As we discussed earlier, heat will kill your Chromebook’s battery and internal components faster than anything else.

If you charge your laptop in hot environments (or after it’s been used for some time), this will wear down the battery.

Ideally, you’d want to charge the battery after the Chromebook has had some time to cool down after you’ve been using it. As you know, usage warms up the parts. After you’re done using it, let it sit for 30 minutes or so to cool down. Then charge it as needed.

Avoid charging it right after you use it, as it’s still hot from usage, and then charging it immediately after will only generate more heat as the battery charges.

 

Charge only when cool

Best practice calls for charging the Chromebook after it’s had some time to cool down. And this can easily be done for most people.

For example, if you’re going to charge it after a few hours of use, simply turn it off, step away, then plugin the charger. Just give it a brief pause before you charge it.

Chromebooks don’t get that hot by nature (which is why they don’t have fans), but you can still help extend the battery by waiting a bit before you charge it.

You don’t need to really rearrange your life around how you charge it either.

If you’re done using it and you plan to charge it overnight. Power it down. Go brush your teeth, wash your face, and change into your PJs. Then plug it in your charger right before you go to bed.

See how that gives the laptop some time to cool down?

You don’t need to do anything different- just the order of how you charge it changes everything. Simply doing this will extend the battery of your Chromebook after many charge cycles are completed over time.

Of course, this also matters to external environments also.

If you’re charging in a warm environment, like in directly sunlight, outdoors, or wherever else that may be hot (maybe your room is just burning hot), avoid if possible. Try to charge when cool only.

This is the point where this guide gets kind of weird, but then again, this is for the enthusiast who really wants to extend their battery life.

 

Never use the laptop while charging

This kind of goes along with everything else we’ve discussed in this guide. Charging the laptop while using it is one of the most common questions I get, and I can safely say that it’s best to avoid this when possible.

And I present to you, the most common Chromebook question ever:

  • “Should I keep my Chromebook plugged in?”

When you use your Chromebook when it’s charging, you’re doing many negative things at once that are all affecting the battery life:

  • You’re generating heat, which kills the battery
  • You’re charging while discharging at the same time, which generates heat and stresses the battery

Simply leaving the charger out will avoid these detrimental effects to your battery life.

Don’t charge and use it at the same time if you can avoid it. Instead, charge it up partially, unless you’re power cycling, then use it until it drops to a reasonable percentage (don’t let it fully drain).

Then charge it up again to a partial percentage (check out the next section for partial charging).

 

Keep the charge level partial

This is something that’s lesser known. After your monthly power cycle, keep the battery charged between 40-60% only when possible. Batteries these prefer partial charges over low battery percentages or fully-charged states.

Keeping the battery right in the middle range is ideal.

This means partially charging it if you can.

Of course, some people need to use their laptop all day and charging it halfway isn’t practical. For those who can squeeze by with a partial charge state, or for those who can squeeze in partial charges here and there to keep the charge partial at all times.

This means never letting it fully drain and never charing it full capacity, except for the monthly power cycle you should be doing. This may be hard to do depending on your usage and lifestyle, but if you can somehow manage, you’ll be able to extend the battery life significantly just by keeping the charge partial.

 

How long does a Chromebook battery last?

Meme, how long does a Chromebook battery last?
By optimizing your battery usage, you can avoid this.

There is no exact time frame that a battery is expected to last.

Typically, you can expect anywhere from 3-5 years of usage before you start to really have to consider replacing it. If you’ve always been practicing ways to save the battery during its entire life, you’ll have a battery that’ll last much longer. If you’ve used it haphazardly during its lifetime, you may find that you’ll be replacing it much sooner.

Most Chromebook warranties only last about 1-2 years, so you may expect some issues to occur regarding the battery during that time, as we know manufacture warranties typically end right around when the product breaks down. Based on user testing, they’ve probably narrowed that time frame down to around 1-2 years.

However, with practice and using the various techniques in this guide, you can extend your battery life and make it last much longer beyond typical warranty periods.

Does night light help save battery?

There’s a new feature to Chrome OS that rolled out recently called Night Light.

From what I’ve seen, Night Light dims your screen and renders a warmer color, and noticed a mere battery save by enable it. I could squeeze out about 20 minutes of additional screen time on a full charge compared to having night light off and just dimming the screen. This was done over three trials, and each trial varied in time saved.

I can’t conclude that Night Light actually saves any power. Definitely not.

But if you want to try this yourself, why not? Night Light’s pretty cool, too.

It’s pretty much just a feature that saves your eyes from blue light exposure at night so you can sleep better. You can enable night light on Chrome OS by doing the following:

  1. Launch Chrome Browser.
  2. Type “chrome://flags” and hit Enter.
  3. Look for “night light” and enable the feature.
  4. Restart your Chromebook.

The next time you log on, you’ll see options to adjust Night Light settings.

 

Store the battery in the cold

Not planning to use your battery for quite some time?

You can remove the battery from the Chromebook and put it in cold storage to keep the battery’s capacity going at maximum.

Of course, removing the battery means disassembling your Chromebook, which I’ve written a comprehensive guide covering the process. If you need to tear down your Chromebook in order to remove the battery, that’s totally fine.

Not using your laptop for an extended period of time means you should definitely pull the battery out and store it in the cold.

Here’s how:

Step 1: Disassemble the Chromebook (tear down guide here).

Step 2: Get a zipper bag, and seal the battery.

Step 3: Put the battery in your refrigerator for cold storage.

Step 4: When you’re ready to use your laptop again, remove the battery and let it come to room temperature.

Step 5: Place the battery back into the device.

Step 6: Reassemble the Chromebook carefully and making sure you’re connected all the parts correctly.

Note that if you don’t plan to use your laptop for a long time and you’re not that tech-savvy, you may find it helpful to jot down or take a picture of the Chromebook internal parts so you remember exactly how to put the thing back together after you take it apart.

Remember that it may be some time later, so you may forget how to put it back together again. This is why you may find it helpful to right notes to yourself reminding you how to reassemble the Chromebook again when you want to use it.

The next few sections will cover the process of removing the battery for exchange or replacement. You may want to give that a read-through also.

 

Replacing the battery

Replacing the battery would be the very last ditch effort to get your Chromebook like new again.

From reader reports, the very first Chromebook parts to wear and need replacement are typically the keyboard or the battery. When your Chromebook doesn’t turn on, this may be a sign of a battery that needs to be replaced.

For most people, they’d rather buy a new laptop entirely than replace the battery. This is perfectly acceptable and makes sense, as replacing the battery may seem foreign to many users.

However, for those who are daring enough (and have some knowledge about electronics), replacing a battery is super easy and often saves you more money than replacing the whole laptop entirely just because of a battery.

There are many signs of a battery that needs to be swapped, which we went over earlier in this guide. If you’re experiencing of any of the the symptoms of a failing battery, you may consider replacing it.

I wrote an entire guide going over the process of replacing the Chromebook battery. You can check out the tutorial if you’re interested.

 

Now you’ll get the most out of your battery

Optimize Chromebook battery.
Congrats. You’re now a certified Chromebook battery ninja.

Well, that’s about it!

I hope this guide proved to be helpful for you to get the most of your Chromebook battery and extend the life of your battery also.

Following these best practices (remember, you don’t have to follow all of them- just do what’s practical), you’ll be to able to extend your Chromebook’s battery life signanticaly.

And proven to work, of course! If one doesn’t work, try another. Something should work here that’ll help you get more out of your battery.

If you have any questions, or any other tips to provide, feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you ASAP.

Thanks for reading!

About Andy Z.

Andy is a casual-hardcore Chrome OS fan and contributes to the site regularly. He likes computers, tech, sports cars, videogames, and of course, Chromebooks. Thinker. Introvert. Geek. You can find him on Twitter (@platytech), or send him an email (platy@platypusplatypus.com).

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I’ve read in various places that batteries suffer when charged to 100% and left on the charger for long periods. The closer they get to 100% the harder it is on the battery. So I try to keep an eye on the charge and unplug at about +/- 90%. Battery is mostly full but I’m not stressing it. Also don’t let the battery get completely empty. Again I try to watch it and start charging about +/- 25%. Of course I get distracted and over charge occasionally and also forget to check and let it discharge too much some times.… Read more >>