New power options in Windows 10 for longer battery life on laptops

Power settings and options are changing in Windows. See the new features

There is a new update to Windows 10 coming soon and there are many changes. Among them are changes to Windows power plans and potentially longer battery life from your laptop. Check it out.

New power options in Windows 10 Fall Creator's Update make adjusting the balance between battery life and performance simpler

Windows power plans have always been in the Control Panel in the Power Options section, but this has changed in the latest Windows update. In the past we had several different plans to choose from, such as Balanced, Power saver, High performance, and perhaps a manufacturer specific one.

These are gone and the latest Windows update (I am running Windows 10 Fall Creator’s Update Beta), deleted them. There is just the Balanced plan remaining and no option to select any others. Here is what Power Options in the Control Panel now looks like.

Power Options in the Windows Control Panel

You can change the plan settings, but there are no other power plans. I had at least three here before. If Create a power plan is clicked, there are options to recreate the deleted power plans.

Create a power plan in the Windows Control Panel

Should you recreate your power plans? Windows 10 has replaced the old options with a new gadget. Click the battery/power icon in the taskbar and there is now a slider. Drag it to the left to increase battery life or drag it to the right to increase performance.

Configure the power settings in Windows 10

This is much simpler than before, but it does take a lot of customisation options out of the hands of expert users who could tweak the power settings for individual components. Now you just drag a slider. Is this an improvement?

Click Battery settings in this panel and the battery options in the Settings app is displayed. These haven’t changed much and there is the usual slider to determine when the battery saver feature automatically turns on.

Battery Saver settings in the Windows 10 Settings app

There used to be an option to save battery while watching videos, but this has moved. It is now in a different section and you get there by clicking Change the battery settings for playing video.

Battery options in Windows 10 Settings app

In the Video playback section there is a choice of optimising the video for battery life or for video quality. There is also a new setting and this is Allow video to play at a lower resolution when on battery.

Options for playing videos when using battery power in Windows 10

It is up to you whether you enable it or not. Tick the box if you prefer to maximise the life of the battery.

Related: Calibrate the laptop battery for a more accurate charge display
Related: Dig deep into Windows power settings to extend battery life

The battery life with the latest version of Windows 10 does appear to be better. I ran the laptop for several hours today on the battery and this included some heavy duty work that stressed the hardware. Even with running it hard, the battery seemed to last longer than it previously did.

I run the Windows 10 beta using Boot Camp on a MacBook and so I can use the MacBook as a Mac running macOS or select the Windows partition as the startup and boot to Windows 10.

The original Windows 10 release did not last anywhere near as long on the battery as macOS did. Apple’s operating system and software was way ahead of Microsoft’s on battery life.

Now though, it appears that Microsoft is catching up and has reduced battery drain and extended battery life quite a bit. The MacBook still lasts longer running macOS, but Windows 10 is closing the gap and becoming more energy efficient.

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3 Comments on New power options in Windows 10 for longer battery life on laptops

  1. So in 1709 release I did lose the power profiles except for Balanced. But never gained the slider option, and Mobility Center still gives you the Performance and Battery Saver options? To me Microsoft just did a crappy job at implementing this in the Fall Creator. Frankly, its done nothing but slow my PC and I think its nothing more then aggressive throttling of the CPU. Probably why users like myself using a core i3 see this reduction in performance more so then a core i7 user. This is not being proactive about battery life, and making Win 10 more efficient. This is simply changing the CPU throttling to make it look like Win 10 is more efficient. Smoke and Mirrors I guess is Microsoft’s solution.

  2. Just updated to this fall-update, and also my plan settings are gone.
    But I also do not have the slider when I click on the battery icon. Is there some way I can enable it?
    Thanks in advance

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