If your laptop’s battery life has taken a nosedive, don’t rush to replace the battery just yet. While aging batteries can be a culprit, it’s equally likely that a power-hungry application is greedily consuming more than its fair share of your laptop’s precious energy. Instead of shelling out for a new battery or laptop, consider this: Windows Task Manager might be the key to uncovering the real battery-draining culprits. This trusty utility, now with a few additional tricks up its sleeve, can help you pinpoint and address the issue.
Enhanced Task Manager
Since the Windows 10 Update, Task Manager has been given a makeover, introducing two valuable columns that display power consumption data for both running apps and background processes.
Before we delve into the details, if you’re new to Task Manager, here are three easy ways to open it:
- Use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl-Shift-Esc.
- Right-click on the Start button or taskbar and select Task Manager.
- Locate it using the search box in the taskbar at the lower-left corner of your screen.
Once Task Manager is open, navigate to the Processes tab at the top. You’ll find statistics for CPU, Memory, Disk, Network, and GPU usage. To the right, two new columns come into play: Power Usage and Power Usage Trend. If these columns are not visible, right-click on the header and select them.
The Power Usage column provides insights into whether an app is being conservative or extravagant in drawing power from your laptop’s battery. This measurement closely correlates with CPU and memory usage but provides a clear estimate of an app’s power consumption.
For the Power Usage Trend column, you’ll need to wait a few minutes for it to populate. It reveals the power consumed by an app or process over the past two minutes.
For any app that’s excessively draining your battery, you can select it in Task Manager and click the “End Task” button in the lower-right corner to shut it down.
Battery Usage in Settings For a broader perspective on app behavior, you can examine battery usage trends by going to Settings > System > Battery and clicking on “See which apps are affecting your battery life.” Here, you can review which apps have been the biggest power hogs over the past week, 6 hours, or 24 hours.
This information helps you identify persistent battery-draining apps and make informed decisions about how to manage them.