Laptops are fickle machines. Trying to do what a PC tower does in a fraction of the space is no small feat, so it’s only natural that they run into problems now and again. This is especially true for gaming laptops.
With so much going on, your gaming laptop is going to struggle to supply the juice that all of your components need, hence why your gaming laptop batteries tend to drain so fast.
As with everything computer-related, though, the truth of the matter is more complicated than saying, “the more you use it, the faster it drains.” That’s why we’ve put together a list of 10 specific reasons why your gaming laptop battery is draining fast.
Why Your Gaming Laptop Battery Drains Fast
There are quite a few reasons for your gaming laptop battery draining fast. Here are 10 of the most common:
- Corrupted Firmware.
- Running too Many Processes in the background.
- Playing Performance Intensive Games.
- Not Having Proper Battery Ventilation.
- Playing on too High Brightness.
- Using the Wrong System Settings.
- Having too many Peripherals and Accessories.
- Having too Many Online Connections.
- Constantly Letting Your Battery Drop Below 20%.
- Not Removing Your Laptop’s Preinstalled Bloatware.
The reason your laptop battery drains fast is likely a combination of a few of these ten reasons. We’ve broken each one down below to help you identify if that’s the problem you’re facing, as well as how to fix it potentially.
Keep in mind that there are plenty of other reasons that can cause a battery to drain fast. Something as simple as old age can result in your battery struggling to hold a charge, so if none of these seem to be the cause of the issue, consider investing in a new battery altogether.
1. Corrupted Firmware
Corrupted firmware is rare. Not impossible, though. If you end up with something like corrupted BIOS, your battery’s performance should be the least of your worries. This can interfere with your Laptop in ways you wouldn’t even think possible. In a worst-case scenario, it can even lead to your hard drive becoming corrupted and you being locked out of your machine.
There are several different ways your Laptop’s firmware can end up corrupted, meaning there’s a variety of ways to try and fix it. In general, you’ll know if your computer is corrupted, so this likely isn’t the reason for your phantom battery drainage issues.
2. Too Many Background Processes
This should be pretty self-explanatory. The more things you have running, the more juice your Laptop uses up. This isn’t just about running apps in the background, either. It can be as simple as opening too many tabs or using Chrome over the power-friendly Microsoft Edge.
This is one of the most common reasons for your laptop battery draining fast, so you should aim to fix this one before the others on this list.
Identifying background processes is simple. If you have any apps open in the bottom taskbar that you’re not using, close them. This includes the likes of Steam and Discord.
Many of these apps tend to stick around once you close them, though, continuing to suck up your battery life. Apps like this need to be closed down in the task manager.
While in your task manager, ax any apps that are running that you don’t need. Anything from your Windows Explorer to Adobe Creative Cloud can run when you don’t want it to, killing your battery in the process.
3. Playing High Hardware Demanding Games
Again, this is an obvious one.
As a rule of thumb – the more complicated your Laptop has to work, the faster its battery drains. This is why the running background process eats battery, and it’s why high-performance games do, as well.
If you’re using a gaming laptop from 2014 and trying to run Cyberpunk at max graphic settings, your machine is going to burn itself out. You’re forcing your hardware to work overtime, pulling more juice from the battery so that each component can keep up.
This is an aging problem that’ll only get worse as your Laptop gets older. Newer games require more necessary hardware to run, meaning your Laptop might have an artificial best-by date.
Other than updating your hardware, the only way to avoid this battery draining issue is to run new games at low settings so that you’re not stressing your CPU and GPU.
4. Battery Too Hot
If you’ve ever sat in bed with your Laptop on your, well, lap, then you know this issue all too well.
Laptop batteries tend to heat up dramatically, especially when you have the charger plugged in. This lack of ventilation can be disastrous for your battery. Not only will it result in your battery draining faster, but it can also impact how much charge it can hold in the first place.
Generally speaking, your laptop fan needs a little bit of help when it comes to cooling down your battery, especially after prolonged use. Invest in a ventilation stand and try not to play while you charge.
Do that, and you should reduce the overall temperature of your battery. Again, though, sometimes it’s too late for a problem like this to be fixed, in which case you should get yourself a new battery altogether.
5. High Brightness
Your Laptop and phone automatically do this as a part of their power-saving modes, but there’s no reason you shouldn’t be doing it regularly.
When your screen is at full brightness, your battery must work a lot harder to output that light. Turning that brightness down takes a lot of that pressure off the battery, helping it conserve its energy.
Turning down your brightness isn’t a tiny boost, either. Sometimes it can be the difference between 30 minutes of life and two whole hours.
So, try to keep your brightness as low as possible. This isn’t always ideal, especially when you’re watching shows and playing games. If you’re browsing, though, cut down that light and protect your battery last two or even three times as long.
6. Wrong System Settings
Changing your system settings ties into our last point about brightness.
Your Laptop has power-saving options automatically built into it. The threshold for these settings to kick in is around 20% when your laptop screen darkens and you get a notification.
Most people assume this is just a low battery warning. They’re wrong. This power-saving mode is fully customizable and laden with features to help you save your battery.
You can adjust when the mode kicks in, what it changes, and how it optimizes power-saving over performance.
Many laptops even have sliders built in that allow people to quickly and easily change whether they want high-performance or longer battery life.
This is only the surface when it comes to system settings and battery, too. There are many things to change to make sure you get more bang for your buck with your battery charge.
7. Too Many Peripherals
We all love accessories; there’s no doubt about that. Most of us have a range of equipment from mice to keyboards, headsets to external storage.
However, having all of this equipment hooked up to your Laptop can be another reason your battery is draining fast.
Like we’ve been saying, the more your Laptop has to do, the faster its battery drains. Well, when you have a keyboard, mouse, headset, USB, SSD, and Bluetooth speakers all connected to your machine at once, that’s a whole lot of tasks for it to manage.
Not only does your Laptop have to run all the drivers for those peripherals, but it needs to read inputs from them, resulting in even more battery loss.
A lot of this can’t be helped, sure, but do you need your headset plugged in when you’re playing Stardew Valley by yourself? No, you don’t.
Make sure you only connect the accessories you need at any given time, and your battery life will go a lot further.
8. Too Many Online Connections
For a lot of people, their Laptop’s online connections start and end with their home Wifi.
That’s all well and good, but it’s far from the truth. Not only do you have your home network, but if you use Bluetooth, that’s another connection. Have you ever plugged in an Ethernet cable? There’s another. Needed Wifi on the go and hooked your Laptop to your phone’s hotspot? That’s number three.
We could go on and on from connecting your printer to your Laptop to relying on wireless peripherals, but that would take all day.
Instead, take yourself into your computer’s connection settings and get rid of any you don’t need. The fewer of these pointless connections your Laptop is managing, the more you’re going to get out of your battery.
9. Letting your Battery Drop Below 20%
There’s a reason your power-saving mode comes on around the 20% number. It has to do with how your battery holds power and discharges.
Rather than going into specificities, it’s better to state that you should keep your machine above 20% as a rule of thumb.
When your Laptop drops into that 20% range, it changes how its battery behaves. Over time, it affects your battery’s ability to hold a charge, resulting in rapid draining, especially once you hit that power-saving margin.
To avoid this, make sure you keep your battery topped up, balancing it between 80-90% and 20%.
You don’t want to leave it charging all the time. That can be just as bad, if not worse, for the battery. Instead, maintain a proper balance to prolong your battery’s life.
It can be annoying to micromanage this, but it will help in the long run. It’s not the most important thing you can do for your battery, but every little bit does make a massive difference when it comes to keeping your battery healthy over a series of years.
10. Preinstalled Bloatware
Last but not least, let’s talk about preinstalled Bloatware.
For those of you not in the know, Bloatware is the name given to all those pointless programs that come already installed on your devices. Everything from PlayStations to phones gets Bloatware.
In the case of laptops, it’s usually in the form of media players, anti-viruses, and other temporary trial programs that you need to pay to access.
Software developers will typically pay manufacturers to preinstall these programs in the hopes of your purchasing the whole package.
Like other background applications, these can run without you realizing it, eating up a lot of your battery for no reason other than trying to convince you to buy them.
If you notice you have random apps on your Laptop that you never downloaded, they’re probably Bloatware, so feel free to delete them. Just make sure you don’t delete anything your system needs to run; otherwise, you’ll have to reinstall your operating system from a USB drive.
Typical Laptop Battery Mistakes to Avoid
Those are 10 of the most common reasons your Laptop’s battery is draining so fast. Hopefully, you’ve found the cause of your issue amongst them.
We’ve decided to run through some regular tips to help preserve your Laptop’s battery for anyone not sure or those looking for general advice. These tips don’t pertain to any particular issue. Instead, they are simple ways for you to keep your Laptop healthy without spending too much time or effort managing your battery’s usage.
● Don’t Use Your Laptop While it Charges.
As tempting as it might be, try to avoid using your Laptop while it’s charging as much as possible. This can be tricky for those 12-hour playing sessions, but it will quickly destroy your battery’s ability to hold a charge.
If you need to use your Laptop for hours on end, try to chain charges together rather than keep the charger connected. This still isn’t ideal, but it is a way to minimize the damage.
● Don’t Charge Your Battery Overnight.
We cannot stress this enough, do not overcharge your battery. Laptops aren’t phones. Charging them overnight, or overcharging the battery in general, is a quick and easy way to make sure you never get more than an hour out of a full charge.
That’s not to say you can’t charge your Laptop while it’s off, because you certainly can. However, don’t leave it plugged in for hours and hours, even if the machine boasts that you can.
● Prioritize Battery Over Performance
In general, learn towards battery life rather than performance in your system settings – especially when you’re just browsing.
This takes stress off your battery for general, day-to-day use, which will help preserve the hard work for when you need it.
Laptop Battery FAQs
How Do I Keep My Laptop Battery From Draining Fast?
● Lower the brightness.
● Close unnecessary apps.
● Turn off Bluetooth.
● Unplug your charger.
How Long Should a Laptop Battery Last?
One full charge of your Laptop’s battery should last between one and ten hours, depending on what kind of model it is and what you’re using your Laptop for.
When it comes to gaming laptops, you can expect between 2-4 hours from a single charge, on average. This can change depending on the type and model of your Laptop.
If you notice that you struggle to get more than an hour out of a full charge, that can be an indicator of an unhealthy battery, meaning it might be time for a change.
Can I Use My Laptop Without a Battery?
You might think that keeping your Laptop connected to its charger without the battery plugged in is an easy workaround to all of these issues. You’re half right.
While it’s true that your Laptop will work this way without its battery, and your battery will be spared the stress of use, it’s an easy way to destroy and corrupt your system.
All it takes for the Laptop to power down is a loose plug. One wrong movement and the system will perform a hard shutdown. Not only will you lose any work or unsaved gameplay, but this can cause permanent and irreparable damage to both your hard drive and OS.
How Much Does a Laptop Battery Cost?
You might think that needing a replacement is the worst-case scenario. It’s not, though. Unlike something like an LED screen, SSD, or CPU, a spare battery doesn’t cost that much at all.
You can expect to pay roughly $50 for a new battery, subject to change depending on what model you need. Compared to other gaming laptop parts, that’s incredibly cheap.
Hopefully, you’ve found some of this information helpful. There’s nothing worse than a battery that used to last four hours suddenly dying in one.
If you follow these tips, that’s an issue that you will never have to face again.
If your battery is too far gone, then preventative measures will not do much for it. In cases like this, a replacement is your best option. Laptop batteries are cheap, though, so it could be worse.