Why is My Laptop Battery Draining so Fast?

Your laptop battery might be draining quickly if your screen is too bright, you have too many peripherals, or you have lots of programs running. Your power settings could also be the problem, or your battery may simply be old or damaged.

I have been using and working on laptops exclusively for well over a decade, and have a ton of experience troubleshooting and dealing with laptop-related problems. One issue that I, and many other longtime laptop owners, have faced at times is a fast-draining battery.

This guide is going to take a closer look at some reasons why your new or old laptop battery may be draining quickly, and what you can do about it.

Note: The reasons and fixes explained in this article apply to Dell, HP, and Lenovo laptops running Windows 10 or Windows 11. If you’re using a laptop that runs macOS, ChromeOS, or other operating systems, the fixes may differ slightly.

Key Takeaways

  • If your brightness is too high, it will negatively impact battery life.
  • Having too many peripherals like speakers, keyboards, and mice attached to your laptop could be draining the battery.
  • Too many programs running actively or in the background will use up a lot of power.
  • Using improper power settings could cause the problem of your battery not holding a charge very long.
  • If your laptop battery is old or damaged, a drop off in battery life is normal.

1. Your Screen Brightness is Too High

One common culprit for a laptop battery that drains quickly is simply that your screen brightness is set too high. The display of your laptop is crucially important, but as such, it consumes a lot of power. 

The brighter your screen is, the more power it consumes. While a bright screen might look great, especially if you are gaming or watching a movie, it is a surefire way to get less out of your battery than you could otherwise.

Adjusting your brightness is generally as easy as moving the slider, or using the function keys to change how bright it is. Be sure to monitor the brightness during the day, and make adjustments as needed in order to preserve battery life.

In a similar vein, having your backlit keyboard on at all times can waste more power too. This feature is helpful during the night or if you are working somewhere dark, but isn’t always needed, and should be turned off when it makes sense.

2. You Have Too Many Peripherals Attached

The existence of too many peripherals attached to your device can be another reason why the battery is depleting rapidly. If you have a wireless mouse, a USB keyboard, Bluetooth speakers or any other device, don’t be shocked when your battery life isn’t very long.

Each of these devices will be running off of your laptop, and many may consume more than you think. One or two peripherals may not lead to a huge decrease in battery life, but as they begin to stack up, you will certainly notice a difference.

If you find that peripherals are draining your battery too much, simply remove a couple that you don’t really need at the time. For example, if you aren’t actively using your Bluetooth speakers, there is no reason to have them connected at all times.

3. You Have Too Many Programs or Applications Running

If your laptop’s battery is draining quicker than you’d like, another reason could be that you simply have too many programs or apps running. Many apps and programs wreak havoc on battery life, without you even knowing.

While some might need to be running, such as your browser, word processing software, and other tools that you’re using, plenty are doing nothing but hurting your battery. Keep tabs on everything that you have running at each time, and make sure to close apps you don’t need.

Also, even if you close an app or program, there is still a chance that it will be running in the background. Be sure to check out the Task Manager to see which applications are still running, and end the task to ensure it is truly closed and not operating anymore.

4. Your Power Settings Could be to Blame

There is a good chance that your laptop has several different power settings for the battery. These essentially dictate how well your computer performs vs. how much battery it uses. In general, you will have three different settings to choose from.

First of all, you have a high performance mode that allows your computer to work at its true potential and perform its best, at the expense of battery life. Then you will have some kind of a power-save mode that prioritizes battery life over the performance of your laptop.

Lastly, there will be a balanced option that is friendly for your battery, without hurting the performance of your device too much. If you are always running on high performance mode, it could be the main reason why your battery is struggling.

Your laptop might not have all of these modes initially, but you can easily create a power plan on your Windows 10 or 11 device. It’s as simple as going to your Settings> Power & Sleep>Additional power settings, and then choosing the “create a power plan” option.

5. Your Battery Could be Old and/or Damaged

If none of these other issues seem to be the reason why your battery is experiencing problems, it could simply be that your battery is old or damaged. All laptop batteries have a limited lifetime, and eventually, they simply won’t last as long as they once did.

For example, after a few years have passed, it is normal for your laptop to show a decline in battery life and for it not to hold a charge for as long anymore. This is unavoidable and is true not only for laptops, but also for other devices that are powered by rechargeable batteries.

If your laptop and battery are new but the issue still exists, your battery could be damaged. This could occur from a drop, or even simply be a manufacturing defect.

But just because your battery is on its last legs doesn’t mean that you need to replace the entire laptop. If you head online to Amazon or another resource, you should be able to find new replacement batteries for your specific laptop.

You need to be very precise here, as many similar laptops will not share the same battery. You need to find the exact model of laptop you have, and ensure that the battery you pick up is compatible.

Why is My Laptop Battery Draining so Fast Even When Turned Off?

If you find that your battery is still draining quickly when your computer is turned off, the first thing to do is make sure it is actually turned off. Many people will often put their laptop in Sleep mode or Hibernate mode by accident, instead of fully powering it down.

For example, if you shut down your computer, but close the lid before it fully powers down, the device may be forced into Sleep mode before it actually gets a chance to shut down.

But if your laptop is indeed fully powered off and still draining incredibly fast, it likely comes down to a battery health issue that will often need to be addressed by replacing the battery.

FAQs

Here are some other questions you might have about the laptop battery draining issue, we’ll answer them briefly.

Why is My New Laptop Battery Draining so Fast?

While battery age and damage is often the cause for a fast-draining battery, this won’t be the case with a new battery.  In many cases, having too many programs running, too many peripherals attached, or too bright a screen could be why your battery is draining fast.

Of course, there is always a chance that the battery is simply defective, so if you are still in the warranty period, be sure to get your laptop checked out to make sure it is not a manufacturing problem.

Why is My Laptop Battery Charging Fast and Draining Fast?

In many cases, the reason your laptop battery charges fast is that it drains fast. As batteries age and begin to lose their overall capacity. This not only means it will drain quicker but will take much less time and power to reach a full charge.

Why does Laptop Battery Drain in 5 Minutes?

If your battery is draining in five minutes, something is certainly wrong with the laptop or battery. Even with several peripherals attached, and your laptop being in high-performance mode, it should last more than five minutes.

This issue could be the age of your laptop or battery, but in many cases, a drain this quick could be because of a shorted cell somewhere in the battery.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are many different reasons why your laptop battery may be draining quickly, no matter if you are using a brand new laptop or a laptop that’s showing its age. We hope that this guide has helped you identify the issue, and learn how to fix it. 

Which reason or fix did you find helpful? Or do you feel there is something we missed or left out? Don’t hesitate to leave a comment below.

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