With the use of hardware system settings, the Windows 10 operating system can create a power plan to manage how your computer uses its power.

These plans can be more geared toward offering your computer a longer battery life when not connected to a power source, or for better performance at the cost of that battery life.

When choosing a power plan for your computer, you should always start with thinking about whether your computer is going to be connected to a power cable or not. If you do keep your laptop connected to power for example, then you might prefer setting a power planned that offers better performance because it might be enough to add some efficiency to your working day. Conversely, if you’re taking a laptop away from home, you might want your power plan to reflect preserving the battery more, because each time you use the battery, it does take away from the laptops eventual shelf life, not to mention drain the battery quicker before your next charge as well.

Windows 10 offers you the chance to choose from premade power plans or to create a custom power plan yourself. The premade plans are as follows:

  • Balanced. The Balanced power plan offers what Windows considers to be the ideal blend of performance and power efficiency. It gives your extra computer power when you require it and turns it down when you don’t. This is the default setting and is suitable for most people.
  • Power Saver. The Power Saver power plan offers less performance but better battery efficiency. The most noticeable change is the screen display is set to be dimmer than the balanced option. If you’re using a laptop on battery power and want it to last longer than usual, this is the plan to choose.
  • High Performance. The High-Performance power plan increases the screen brightness and maximizes the hardware performance. You may wish to use this setting for various tasks, but it will drain your battery much quicker than the standard balanced setting.
  • Custom Power Plan. The Custom Power Plan allows you to create a unique power plan that results in being anywhere between the above options.
  • Ultimate Performance. Starting from Windows 10 build 17083, there is now a new power plan called “Ultimate Performance” which offers an ultimate performance experience for higher-end computers.

The following tutorial demonstrates how to manage the power plan options when you’re using a version of the Windows 10 operating system.

Method One: How to Change Screen and Sleep settings of Current Active Power Plan in Settings App

Here is how you can manage the power plan options from the Settings application in Windows 10:

1. Open the Settings app and click on the System category from the Windows Settings menu.

2. Click on Power & Sleep from the subcategories in the left side and then look to the right side for the Screen and Sleep headings. Underneath each is a drop-down box for what you’d like the computer to do when on battery power and when plugged in.

Note: You don’t get to choose what your computer does on battery power if you’re using a desktop. It’s only relevant to laptops that can be run on battery power.

You can close the Settings app and it will automatically remember your preferences.

Method Two: How to Change Advanced Power Settings of a Power Plan in Power Options

Here is how you can manage the power plan options from the Power Options dialog in Windows 10:

You can get to the advanced power settings any one of three ways. They are as follows:

1. Open the Settings app and click on the System category from the Windows Settings menu.

a. Select Power & Sleep from the subcategories down the left-hand side and then click on the Additional power settings from the right side. (click to enlarge screenshot below)

b. Press the Windows logo + X keys on the keyboard to bring up the Power User menu and then click on Power Options from the list.

c. Right-click on the battery icon in the notification area (system tray) and then click on Power Options from the menu.

Update: Newer versions of Windows 10 don’t always offer the Balanced, Power Saver, High performance, and Ultimate Performance power options anymore. Instead, you might just find the Balanced and a power plan for your manufacturer. (click to enlarge screenshots below)

2. You can still tweak the power plan settings the same way, though, by clicking on the Change plan settings links that are available next to the corresponding power plan of choice. (click to enlarge screenshot below)

3. Under where it says Change settings for the plan, use the drop-down menus to choose times for when on battery—if you have a laptop—or when your computer is plugged in. (click to enlarge screenshot below)

4. For more options, click on the Change advanced power settings. (click to enlarge screenshot below)

5. Here you can tweak the Power Options Advanced settings.

You can close all Windows, and the operating system will automatically remember your preferences.

That’s all.

This article was last updated on May 22, 2019.

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