Why Does My Laptop Runs Slow When Not Plugged In?

, March 21, 2022

laptop runs slow when not plugged in

Working or playing on your laptop, you might have noticed a difference in performance when on battery or plugged in. You may be wondering why your laptop runs slow when not plugged in.

This guide will help shed light on this confusion so continue reading below.

Laptop Power Use

Your laptop running slow when not plugged in is actually a feature.

Most computers, particularly laptops and netbooks, are configured to reduce performance when not plugged in by default. This is to help save on power consumption and increase battery time before you need to plug it in again for recharging.

In general, the two most common characteristics affected are:

  • Display Brightness

Depending on the type of display your laptop has, it may be one of the most power-hungry parts of the system. So, your laptop may dim the display to reduce power usage when on battery.

  • CPU Processing Speed

A faster CPU means higher power use. To conserve energy and battery life, most laptops are configured to low power by default which may cause lagging or slow performance. This is one of the reasons why your laptop runs slow when not plugged in.

Other performance aspects of your laptop system can also reduce power usage. For instance, the amount of time before your laptop automatically sleeps. This may also be different depending on whether your laptop is plugged in or using the battery.

Why Does My Laptop Runs Slow When Not Plugged In?

laptop runs slow when not plugged in

As you can see, a slow-performing laptop when not plugged in is usually not a serious problem. That said, if you want to get the best performance even if you’re using your laptop on battery, here are several options to try.

Adjust Windows Settings

Adjusting your laptop’s power use and performance is the first option you should try.

Go to Windows 10 “Settings”, then click on “System”. Choose the “Power & Battery” option. Scroll down and find “Additional power settings” to bring up the page for “Control Panel Power Options”.

Here, you will find one or more power plans listed.

A “Balanced” power plan is typical and attempts to balance your laptop’s performance with battery life.

“Best performance” is designed to maximize laptop power and performance while “Best power efficiency” is designed to maximize battery life.

Choose the former if you want to increase the speed and performance of your laptop even if not plugged in.

You can click on plan settings for the current plan. This will give show you settings on controlling how quickly the laptop should go into sleep or hibernate modes.

You can click on “Change advanced power settings” for a more exhaustive list of power options that can be controlled. The content may vary, depending on the specific laptop and installed options.

Make sure to explore various settings that affect your power usage, your laptop’s performance, and the amount of time it can run on battery.

Also, most laptops have a “Battery saver” feature that reduces power and performance and dims display, depending on the default setting.

BIOS/UEFI Settings

Some power-related settings can be found in your laptop’s UEFI or BIOS instead of being controlled directly by Windows. The steps will vary between laptop manufacturers and models.

In general, you can enter your laptop’s UEFI or BIOS settings by rebooting and holding down a key. Or you can instruct Windows to reboot into the settings.

From there, you can look specifically for settings related to “APC” (Advanced Power Management Control) or “Power management”.  These settings can help you further tune exactly how your laptop behaves when not plugged in.


How long does a laptop battery last?

The average laptop battery can last about 1,000 charge cycles or between 2 – 4 years of general use. This is when you should expect to replace your laptop battery.

Can I leave my laptop plugged in all the time?

Yes. There’s no danger of overcharging a laptop battery even if you leave it plugged in as you work. Modern battery stops charging as soon as it shows “100% Fully Charged”. It won’t start charging until the voltage drops below a certain level.


And there you have it!

As you can see, you can control your laptop’s power use which might be the reason why your laptop runs slow when not plugged in. Your preferred power use choice will affect the laptop’s performance and how quickly you will need to plug in again.

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