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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?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 5 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.

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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

I would recommend Power Plan Assistant application. I'm can't imagine my mobile Windows 7 experience without this tool. It's capable of much much more than automatic reswitching of power plans. I highly recommended this tool. Although I'm not sure does it work in Vista, I assume it's for Windows 7 only.

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As of today all download locations that I could find contain OpenCandy malware. –  usr Oct 23 at 9:46

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

pause
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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.

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