How To Find Which Apps Are Draining Battery On Windows

If you are using a laptop instead of a desktop PC, then your battery backup has to be one of your concerns. With Windows 11, users are often seen reporting that their battery backup timing has significantly reduced after they upgraded their OS, and in certain cases, it has almost halved.

An individual has even tried Windows 10 and Windows 11 in a dual-boot setup and has observed that the battery timing with Windows 11 is almost 2 hours, whereas, with Windows 10, it was nearly 4 hours on the same laptop!

I have HP 245 G7 notebook with Windows 10 2004 side by side with Windows 11 22000.318 in dual boot.

While on Windows 10 with normal activities it easily lasts 3.5 to 4 hours, in the case of Windows 11 it reaches less than 10% in just 2 hours.

A user on Microsoft Forums

Note that this is not an issue with Windows 11, but rather your settings and preferences along with the applications and tasks running in the background causing Windows 11 to drain your battery relevantly faster. Hence, it is worth noticing which applications are consuming your battery so that they can be stopped, therefore increasing your battery backup time.

The power consumption of your computer significantly relies on the tasks and processes you are performing. For example, we at iTechtics often need to run multiple Virtual Machines (VMs) on a laptop with the AC power unplugged. At that time, we only get about 60-80 minutes of battery backup. But while the VMs are powered off, we get about 3 hours of backup time.

That said, there are several other methods, apart from ending the task/ application consuming the largest amount of battery, using which you can extend the backup battery time of your computer.

Which App is Consuming Battery in Windows?

Here are the steps to check which application on your computer is consuming how much battery power:

In Windows 11

  1. Navigate to the following:

    Settings app >> System >> Power & battery
  2. Click Battery usage to expand it.

    Expand battery usage
    Expand Battery usage
  3. Here, scroll down to the “Battery usage per app” section and sort the listings by Overall usage.

    Sort by Overall usage
    Sort by “Overall usage”

    The apps below will now be shown in descending order, meaning the app that consumes the largest portion of the battery will appear on the top. Here, you can also see the percentage of the battery each app consumes as compared to the overall battery drainage.

In Windows 10

  1. Navigate to the following:

    Settings app >> System >> Battery
  2. Here, scroll down to the “Battery usage per app” section and you will find the apps listed in descending order, with the app with the most consumed battery at the top.

    Battery consumption per app in Windows 10
    Battery consumption per app in Windows 10

You can now use this information to prevent these apps from running in the background and save your computer’s power consumption.

How to Improve Battery Life on Windows PC

Let us now discuss the various things you can do on your Windows PC to improve its battery backup timing.

End App Processes that Consume Significant Battery

First things first; If the apps that are consuming a significant amount of battery are not being used, then you must end their respective processes from running in the background. This can be done using the Task Manager.

  1. Open the Task Manager.

  2. In the Processes tab, look for the app that you want to end from the list and click on it.

    Select app to end process
    Select an app to end the process
  3. Now click End task from the bottom of the manager.

    End task
    End task

The task/ process should now stop running. You can repeat the last step for other apps as well if they are consuming large portions of your battery.

Prevent Apps from Running in the Background

Applications often tend to run in the background so you can pick up where you left off. However, this results in unnecessary power consumption if you do not plan on using the app at all. In that case, you can revoke its permission from running in the background. Here is how:

  1. Navigate to the following:

    Settings app >> Apps >> Apps & features
  2. Here, look for the app you do not want running in the background under the “App list” section. When found, click on the ellipses (3 dots) in front of the app and click Advanced options.

    Open advanced app options
    Open advanced app options

    If you do not see the “Advanced options” option, it means you cannot control its permissions.

  3. On the next page, select Never from the drop-down menu under “Let this app run in the background.”

    Revoke permissions to run in the background
    Revoke permissions to run in the background

You can repeat steps 2 & 3 for more applications that you do not want running in the background.

Run the Power Troubleshooter

Windows comes with its built-in troubleshooter, which can also fix issues about power consumption. You can run this troubleshooter to automatically fix any power issues if detected.

Note: Some of the automatic fixes apply to your custom settings, such as screen brightness, sleep settings, display-off settings, etc. You can re-apply your custom settings again after running the troubleshooter. These are also addressed separately in the sections down below.

  1. Navigate to the following:

    Settings app >> System >> Troubleshoot >> Other troubleshooters
  2. Here, click Run in front of the Power troubleshooter.

    Run power troubleshooter
    Run power troubleshooter
  3. The troubleshooter will now launch, automatically scanning and fixing any determined issues. When fixed, click Close the troubleshooter.

    Close troubleshooter
    Close troubleshooter

Change Power Mode

Windows comes with pre-defined power modes that make changes to your operating system’s settings. They are essentially a trade-off between performance and battery optimization.

By default, Windows has 3 power modes:

  • Balanced: This mode automatically adjusts power consumption against the efficiency of the hardware.
  • Best Power Efficiency: Saves energy by running the hardware on minimum resources.
  • Best Performance: Offers maximum hardware efficiency by running them on max power.

You can also manually enable the Ultimate Performance mode if battery timing is not an issue.

In the case you want to extend your battery life, you must set your OS’s power mode to “Best Power Efficiency.”

Here is a complete guide on how to change power modes in Windows 11/10.

Turn On Battery Saver

Battery Saver is another Windows feature that automatically makes certain changes to your OS to extend your system’s battery life. Enabling it will increase your battery backup. However, before you turn it on using the given steps below, we must warn you that it can make a significant impact on your system’s performance, such as processing speeds, low screen brightness, etc.

Other things are also affected, like it temporarily turns off some things that use a lot of power, like automatic email and calendar syncing, live tile updates, apps you’re not actively using, etc.

  1. Navigate to the following:

    Settings app >> System >> Power & battery
  2. Click Battery Saver to expand the options, then click Turn on now to enable battery saver instantly.

    Turn on battery saver
    Turn on the battery saver

Use Dark Theme

If you are using a modern laptop, your computer will likely have either an OLED or an AMOLED display. If it does, using the Windows dark theme will reduce power consumption as the dark/black pixels are powered off automatically.

Note: If you have an LCD or an IPS display, then using the dark theme will not affect the power consumption, as all the pixels are illuminated on such displays.

We have discussed 2 ways to apply the dark theme in Windows in a separate post.

Lower Screen Brightness

The higher the screen brightness, the more power each pixel consumes to illuminate. If you want to extend your laptop’s battery duration, we suggest that you reduce its brightness.

Here are 5 ways to manage your screen’s brightness on a Windows PC.

Enable Hibernation

The hibernation mode in Windows allows the system to save its state and power off as many components as it can. This is for when you want to leave the PC idle and not use it. Although it is enabled by default, some users prefer to disable it to free disk space.

If you have, here are 2 ways to enable hibernation mode.

Turn Off Screen & Put Device to Sleep when Idle

Another way to conserve battery power when you are AFK (Away from keyboard) is to let your computer turn off the display screen. If you are away for more time, it can automatically go to sleep, conserving a significant amount of battery for when you return.

This can be done using the Settings application on a Windows 11/10 PC. Here is how:

  1. Navigate to the following:

    Settings app >> System >> Power & battery
  2. Here, click Screen and sleep to expand the options. Now choose a time for the following options from the respective drop-down menu:

    • Turn the screen off after ___ on battery power.
    • Turn the screen off after ___ when plugged in.
    • Put the device to sleep after ___ on battery power.
    • Put the device to sleep after ___ when plugged in.
    Manage sleep and screen off
    Manage sleep and screen off

Reduce Video Playback Quality on Battery

If you watch videos while your laptop is on battery, you can reduce the video playback resolution which will enhance its backup timing. Here is how:

  1. Navigate to the following:

    Settings app >> Apps >> Video playback
  2. Select Optimize for battery life from the drop-down menu in front of “Battery options.” Next, click on the arrow beside it to expand further options, then check the box next to ” Play video at a lower resolution when on battery.”

    Play video on low resolution
    Play video on low resolution

Disable Apps from Auto Startup

Some applications are programmed to run automatically as soon as you sign in to your account, consuming more power unnecessarily. However, some of them are not in use by the end-user. In that case, you can disable them from starting automatically using these steps:

  1. Navigate to the following:

    Settings app >> Apps >> Startup
  2. Here, toggle the slider into the Off position in front of the apps that you want to prevent from starting up.

    Toggle slider
    Toggle slider

The apps that are disabled will now no longer run automatically when you sign in. However, you can still run them manually when required.

Optimize Indexing for Power Efficiency

In Windows, indexing is the process of storing file data, such as its content, metadata, dates associated, etc., so that the operating system can perform a “lookup” when the user performs a search. However, this can consume a significant amount of system resources, which in turn consumes power.

You can configure indexing to respect the power settings of the computer, conserving energy. Here is how:

  1. Navigate to the following:

    Settings app >> Privacy & security >> Searching Windows
  2. Toggle the slider in front of “Respect power settings when indexing” into the On position.

    Have indexing respect power settings
    Have indexing respect power settings

Disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Adapters if not in Use

If the Bluetooth and the Wi-Fi adapters of your laptop are not being used but are active, they will continuously scan for devices to connect to in their vicinity. This results in unnecessary power consumption.

To avoid this, we suggest that you disable these adapters and only enable them when required.

The respective adapters can be disabled from the Settings app at the following paths:

  • Bluetooth adapter

    Settings appp >> Bluetooth & devices
    Disable Bluetooth adapter
    Disable Bluetooth adapter
  • Wi-Fi Adapter

    Settings app >> Network & internet
    Disable Wi Fi adapter
    Disable Wi-Fi adapter

Reduce Screen Refresh Rate

Refresh rate, measured in Hertz, is the ability of a device to load a new image within one second. The higher the refresh rate, the greater the number of images displayed in a second. However, greater refresh rates mean more power consumption.

If you are not a hardcore gamer, we suggest that you reduce your screen’s refresh rate when it is on battery.

  1. Navigate to the following:

    Settings app >> System >> Display >> Advanced display
  2. Here, expand the drop-down menu in front of “Choose a refresh rate” and select a lower refresh rate that you can work with.

    Reduce refresh rate
    Reduce refresh rate

Closing Words

Finding out what apps, programs, and processes are consuming the most of your battery backup is what matters. Once that is determined, you can continue to mitigate the issue using different techniques in the Windows operating system, such as the ones discussed in this post above.

That said, if you are noticing significant battery backup reduction after switching to Windows 11, you can apply any of these mitigation solutions to extend your battery life.

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