Although Google Chromebooks have incredible battery life, the Chrome OS lacks built-in mechanisms (e.g. battery saver, power saving mode, and so on) that help extend battery life. However, there are ways to tweak Chromebook features and settings to minimize battery usage.
In this article we will cover 7 ways to save battery on your Chromebook. You’ll also learn how to check your Chromebook’s battery status and other helpful battery care tips.
1. Reduce the display brightness and keypad backlight
Excessive screen brightness is a major cause of battery drain and overheating in gadgets and other battery-powered devices. To extend the battery life of your Chromebook, keep the display brightness at the lowest level where the screen content remains visible.
Press the Dim key to dim the Chromebook display. Alternatively, click the notification area and move the brightness slider to the left.
Disabling the keyboard backlight, especially outdoors or in bright environments, will also minimize battery consumption. Press the Alt key + Brightness down to decrease the brightness of the keyboard backlight.
2. Close unused browser tabs
The websites you visit on Chrome and other browsers use up your Chromebook’s CPU resources, memory footprint, and battery life, even when the tabs aren’t open. Start your browser and close any web pages or tabs you no longer need. If you don’t want to lose the tab, you can just bookmark the webpage.
To add a Web page to your bookmarks on Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, press Ctrl + D or select the ‘ icon in the form of star in the address bar and select Done.
3. Close unnecessary apps
Having too many apps open at the same time will drain your Chromebook’s battery faster than usual. Close apps you no longer use or no longer need; doing so will significantly reduce battery consumption. Touch and hold (or right-click) an app on the Chromebook shelf and select Close in the context menu.
Alternatively, press the Show windows key and swipe up on the app or click the x icon. You can also force quit the app from the Android Preferences menu. Open the Settings app and go to Apps > Google Play Store and click Manage Android Preferences.
Chrome OS will launch a new Settings app interface; select Apps and notifications, select See all apps and choose the app you want to force close.
Select the Force Stop button and select OK at the confirmation prompt to close the app.
4. Turn off Bluetooth
When you leave Bluetooth always on, the Chromebook will actively search for nearby Bluetooth devices. This will take a (negative) toll on the device’s battery life, although its effect is quite minimal. So, try to keep Bluetooth off all the time unless you need it.
Tap the ‘ icon of the battery in the lower left of the screen and touch the’ Bluetooth icon to turn it off. Alternatively, go to Settings > Bluetooth and turn off Bluetooth.
5. Turn off Wi-Fi when not in use
When you’re not connected to a wireless network, if you leave Wi-Fi enabled, your Chromebook will roam constantly for available networks. This endless activity also drains your device’s battery.
To save your Chromebook’s battery, make a habit of turning off Wi-Fi when you’re not connected to a wireless network.
Open the Settings app, select Network and turn off Wi-Fi. Better yet, tap the notification area and tap the Wi-Fi icon.
6. Disconnect the USB accessories
Some external devices (e.g. smartphone, keyboard, mouse, etc.) draw power from the Chromebook’s USB ports. To save battery, unplug any USB-powered accessories or devices you’re not using.
7. Check the lid management settings
Go to your Chrome OS settings and make sure your Chromebook is set up to sleep when you close the lid. Otherwise, the screen will stay on and drain the Chromebook’s battery in the background.
Go to the Chromebook’s power management menu ( Settings > Device > Power ) and enable the “Sleep when lid is closed” option. Also, make sure the inactivity options for “While Charging” and “While on Battery” are set to Sleep or Disable Display.
While both options help minimize battery usage, setting the Chromebook to sleep when inactive saves more battery life than just turning off the display.
How strong is your Chromebook’s battery?
If your Chromebook’s battery continues to exhibit unusual activity after performing the battery saving tips mentioned above, it could be a sign of bad (or degraded) battery.
Follow the steps below to use Crosh, the Chrome OS Command Shell environment, to check your Chromebook’s battery status, discharge rate, and other battery-related metrics.
- Press Control + Alt + T from the Chromebook desktop or within any app to launch Crosh. This will open a new Chrome tab where you can access the Chrome OS shell.
- Type or paste battery_test into the terminal and press Enter.
- Take note of the “Battery Status” figure.
Typically, a rating of 80% (or higher) indicates a healthy battery. If the battery status is below 80%, the Chromebook’s battery may need to be replaced. Contact the Chromebook manufacturer to have the device’s battery examined.
Another way to check if your Chromebook’s battery is in good condition is to check its number of cycles, which is the number of times the Chromebook’s battery is drained before fully recharging. Type or paste the battery firmware information into the Chrome OS shell and press Enter.
Take note of the figure in the “Cycle count” line.
Typical lithium-based batteries will take approximately 300-500 charge cycles before reaching their life, which is before their capacity begins to decrease.
Chromebook Battery Care Tips
A healthy battery is a healthy Chromebook. In addition to the recommendations mentioned above, the following practices will help you get the best out of your Chromebook’s battery.
1. Use authentic charging accessories
Charging your Chromebook with non-branded or counterfeit accessories will drain the battery faster. Even worse, fake charging accessories could damage your Chromebook’s battery and other hardware in the long run.
Make sure you are using only the charging accessories (adapter, cable, etc.) that came with your Chromebook. If you lose your charger, purchase a compatible replacement from authorized retail outlets.
Likewise, make sure you don’t plug your Chromebook into a faulty power outlet. This could damage the charging accessories and the battery; use a surge protector if you have one.
2. Keep your Chromebook in cool environments
Research shows that overheated devices use up battery power more quickly than devices stored in cool weather conditions.
Avoid keeping your Chromebook in a hot environment, such as direct sunlight, hot cars, or near air vents, for extended periods. This way, the battery drains faster even when you’re not using your Chromebook.
Save your Chromebook battery
In general, battery saving on Chromebooks is all about getting rid of the things (apps, external accessories, keyboard backlight, browser tabs, etc.) that you can do without. If you continue to experience battery drain issues, restart your Chromebook or update it to the latest Chrome OS (go to Settings > About Chrome OS > Check for Updates ).
Plus, locking your Chromebook when it’s not in use is a great way to save battery. Close the lid or press and hold the power button and select Lock. Better yet, turn it off if you won’t be using it for a very long time.
If all troubleshooting techniques fail and the battery drain problem persists, your Chromebook could fix the problem with factory reset. Before doing so, however, contact the Chromebook manufacturer or visit a nearby service center.