Windows 10, much like its older brother Windows 8, is an operating system designed to run on a wide range of devices. A great many of those devices are portable such as tablets and laptops. As a result, battery life on Windows 10 was a major focus for Microsoft, and Windows 10 featured a range of new battery saving features.
However, a big part of the philosophy of Windows 10 was the introduction of mandatory updates. Those Windows 10 updates can be fairly substantial in size, and downloading them can have a significant impact on battery life.
Gizmodo Australia conducted a series of tests attempting to determine whether Microsoft had succeeded in improving the battery life on Windows 10 when compared to 8.1. They concluded that Microsoft had indeed successfully improved the typical battery life on Windows 10, but that the “Battery Saver” button was fairly ineffectual, and if updates happened to run during the tests, as much as an hour of life could be lost.
While Microsoft won’t want to leave millions of Windows 10 PCs at risk of going unpatched — leaving a security nightmare, as happened with XP — there are steps Windows 10 users can take to reduce the likelihood of updates draining the battery when they are out and about.
The most effective, as we covered recently, is to set the internet connection you’re using as a “metered connection.” Guiding Tech reports that Windows 10 will respect the limits of a metered connection and hold off on downloading updates while it’s turned on. You can enable the feature in Windows 10 by searching for “Wi-Fi settings” and then setting “metered connection” to “enabled” in the “Advanced Options”.
Further tests by Beta News confirm Gizmodo’s findings that Windows 10 generally outperforms 8.1 in battery life, so most users should expect to have a better experience through upgrading.
They also note that Windows 10 has clear performance advantages, outperforming it’s “big brother” in boot time, Word and Excel performance, and battery life tests.
For users looking to take their battery life to the absolute limit, Windows 10 allows for a series of advanced customizations. Windows Central reports that individual apps can be blocked from background activity when on battery power. Webmail users, for example, may wish to turn off calendar and mail syncing of their Microsoft account if they aren’t using those desktop apps.
Overall tests are showing that Windows 10 comes out of the box with improved performance and battery life, and users are able to further optimize that and avoid issues with battery life during updates. Without making any tweaks, however, you might find that Windows 10 battery life can be unpredictable at times.
[Image Source: Microsoft Press Center]