Changing Power Options in Windows Vista

Posted by: Minal Agarwal , on 5/24/2008, in Category Windows Vista
Views: 62737
Abstract: Saving power consumption is extremely important especially when you are running Windows Vista on your laptop and running on battery power. In this article we would be exploring different Power options provided by Windows Vista and how to adjust them to suit your power requirements.
Saving power consumption is extremely important especially when you are running Windows Vista on your laptop and running on battery power.
Windows Vista has three default power plans that help you to balance your system power and performance. You can also customize these plans as per your need to enhance your system performance and save your battery consumption. These power plans also specify when Windows must turn off the display, or put your computer to sleep after certain time, so that the period when your computer is inactive do not result into consumption of your battery and saves your energy and battery life. You can change these power plans to suit your requirements as well as specify what your system would do when you perform a certain action such as what your laptop should do when you close its lid.
How to change Power Plans in Windows Vista
Click the Start button and then choose Control Panel. Then click the ‘System and Maintenance’ and then choose the ‘Power Options’ link.
Power Options Window
The Power options window has three power plans to choose from. The default plan is 'Balanced' which balances the battery life with system performance. The 'Power Saver' plan maximizes the battery life but the performance of your system will be poor. Whereas the ‘High Performance’ plan will boost your system performance, but eat up your battery life very fast.
You can also create a new plan from the existing one if you wish. You can do that by clicking on the link 'Change plan settings' given under each plan. (See in the image given above) By clicking this link you will be taken to 'Edit Plan Settings' window. This window lets you customize your settings for 'turning off the display' and 'put the computer to sleep 'when system is plugged in and running on then battery.
To create a new power plan, click on the 'Create a power plan' link in the left pane of the window.
Create new Power Plan
This link takes you to the Create a Power Plan wizard. This wizard begins by letting you choose either of the three default power plans which is the nearest to your new settings and then enter a plan name in the 'Plan Name' textbox. Then click on Next and proceed with customizing your settings.
To avoid any other user from using your system when it wakes up, click on the 'Require a password on wakeup' link in the left pane of the window. This would take you to the 'System Settings' window.
System Settings window
This window lets you set two sets of power settings. First set allows you to set Power, Sleep button and Lid settings. Choose the actions for your system when you press the power button, sleep button and close the lid, while running on batter and plugged in.
Password protection on wakeup section by default requires entering your user account password when the system wakes up. You can also choose not to enter a password, but this is not recommended.
‘Choose what the power buttons do' and 'Choose what closing the lid does' links let you choose the options what your power buttons or closing your laptop lid would do. Both these links take you to the System Settings window we discussed above. In addition to these settings the left pane has an option ‘Adjust the display brightness’ that takes you to ‘Edit Plan Settings’    window and enables you to change the settings for your selected plan.
Edit Plan Settings window
In this article we have learnt the different power plans you can choose according to your requirements to save power and battery consumption.

This article has been editorially reviewed by Suprotim Agarwal.

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Minal Agarwal, Expression Web MVP, MCDST, works as a freelance web designer (SaffronStroke) working on Expression Web, Photoshop and other Graphical tools. As a hobby, she also runs a famous Food site called Follow her on twitter @ saffronstroke

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