Back in April, I sent out the "Power Saving Part 1" email newsletter. I discussed the options you can use to save power without shutting down your computer. This time I will address how to automate the power savings on your desktop or laptop to take full advantage of these options.
While the basic options are fairly straight-forward, the advanced options can be daunting. So I recommend sticking with the simplest options that will fit your needs. The way that these options are managed depends on which Operating System you are using, so I’ll go through each one separately.
The Power Options can be found in the Control Panel, which should be a button in your Start menu. If your Control Panel is in Category view, the Power Options are under “System and Security”.
From this screen, you can choose the overall power saving mode for your computer. These are fairly self-explanatory, but where it gets interesting is if you choose the “Change plan settings” option for your desired power mode.
Plan settings: From here, you can select from the drop-down menus the time intervals for the given power option. The computer will automatically enable that power-saving option when it is not in use for that amount of time. If these options aren’t enough for you, or you are feeling adventurous, check out the “Change advanced power settings” menu. If you choose not to go into the advanced settings, and changed something here, make sure that you click “Save changes” before leaving this window.
Advanced power settings: This menu gives you precise control over your power settings. You can customize the time intervals rather than having to select from a drop-down menu. There are all kinds of settings here that aren’t found anywhere else, but the ones I previously discussed can be found under the “Sleep” category. Some of these options are simple enough to understand, however I would not recommend messing with any settings here if you are unsure of what they mean or what they might do. Finally, make sure you click “OK” to save the settings you have changed, or “Cancel” if you did not want to change any of these settings.
The Energy Saver options for Mac can be found in the “System Preferences” panel on the Apple menu. This will give you two dials which can be adjusted however you like. “Computer sleep” is when your computer will enter into sleep mode. “Display sleep” is when your monitor will automatically turn off. “Put hard disks to sleep when possible” means that your computer will preserve even more power when not in use -- this might mean it takes a little bit more time to wake up, but should still be relatively quick.
On a laptop, you may notice that at the top are two different tabs -- one for “Battery” (i.e. when your computer is running on battery power), and one for “Power Adapter” (i.e. when you are plugged into a power source. The settings for each of these modes are completely separate and not affected by each other.