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Check Your Laptop Battery Life

One of the worst things that can happen while working on a laptop is to have your laptop battery die mid-project. To avoid this, it's good to know how much life your battery has left in it. Most laptop computers offer a couple of ways to do this, and there are several free downloads that will put a large battery-life monitor on your screen, meaning you'll never be caught with a dead battery unexpectedly again.

  • 1.Look in your computer's system tray, which is in the far bottom right-hand corner of your screen, where the clock is. You should see a battery icon. If it doesn't show up automatically, click the arrows on the left-hand side of the system tray, which will expand the tray and show all icons.
  • 2.A battery with 8 percent of its life remaining--low enough that there's a red "X" through the icon Place your mouse over the battery icon, but don't click. The icon itself will show roughly how much life is in the battery (half full, three-quarters full), but hovering your mouse over it will pop up a label showing exactly how much life remains in your battery.
  • 3.The Power Meter tab in Power Options Go to the Control Panel if there is no icon in the system tray, or you want more detailed information on the battery. Click "Power Options" and then the "Power Meter" tab.
  • 4.Click the battery icon for detailed information on the battery. The "Power Meter" tab will show the same information as the system tray icon; the detailed information tells you what kind of battery it is, as well as whether it is currently charging (plugged in) or discharging.
  • 5.Plug in your AC adapter if the battery needs to be charged. The status in either the control panel or system tray will show that the computer is now running on AC power, and the battery is charging.
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