Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I like having my laptop run as long as humanly possible when running off battery, even if it means huge a compromise in performance.

Currently, whenever I'm on battery I have to manually switch my power plan to "Power Saver", and then switch back to "High Performance" when I'm plugged in.

Is there any way I could have my computer do this automatically?

share|improve this question
up vote 6 down vote accepted

There's nothing built into Windows that will allow you to do this, but I've seen a couple good 3rd party applications.

Aerofoil is my preferred of the two. It's very simple; all it does is switch your power plan to "power saver" and disables the Aero glassy desktop manager when you switch to battery, and does the inverse when you plug back in. It works great in Vista and 7.

Vista Battery Saver has a lot more features and can give you a bit more fine grained control. However, I've found it to be a bit less reliable -- doesn't seem to work 100% of the time for me. Also it doesn't work in Windows 7 at all -- it gets stuck halfway through installing.

share|improve this answer
I think Dell Control Point does add these features, but off course that's not really usefull for other laptops – Ivo Flipse Jul 27 '09 at 8:10
Weird. Up until yesterday (when I messed around with the overall design), this seemed to work automatically for me. – Franz Feb 9 '11 at 8:38

You can create a single power scheme that includes settings for both A/C and battery mode. You don’t even need to create it manually in the Power Settings applet; just copy the following commands to a text-editor (eg Notepad) and save it as Create_Hybrid_Power_Scheme.bat—make sure to save as type All Files (*.*), not Text Documents (*.txt)—and then double-click it (you can adjust timings as desired).

powercfg /c moderate
powercfg /s moderate

:: A/C Settings:
powercfg /CHANGE moderate /monitor-timeout-ac     15
powercfg /CHANGE moderate /disk-timeout-ac        25
powercfg /CHANGE moderate /processor-throttle-ac  NONE
powercfg /CHANGE moderate /standby-timeout-ac     45
powercfg /CHANGE moderate /hibernate-timeout-ac   120

:: Battery Settings:
powercfg /CHANGE moderate /monitor-timeout-dc     10
powercfg /CHANGE moderate /disk-timeout-dc        20
powercfg /CHANGE moderate /processor-throttle-dc  adaptive
powercfg /CHANGE moderate /standby-timeout-dc     30
powercfg /CHANGE moderate /hibernate-timeout-dc   60

share|improve this answer

Doesn't each power plan in Vista/7 allow you to configure settings for both AC and DC power? A/C = plugged in, D/C = battery. Just adjust as you see fit, and you won't even need to switch power plans.

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .