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This applet manages the ability of your computer to save or consume electricity. You can select a pre-defined power plan to increase the performance or power efficiency of the system. You can specify how much time a system should remain idle before going to sleep. You can select what physical actions like pressing physical button or closing the lid should do.

How to Launch It

  • Open the traditional Control Panel through the Start Screen or using the Run Windows command “control”.
  • Select “Category” view for Control Panel.
  • Select “System and Security” category. This opens a new page containing the subcategories.
  • Select “Power Options”. This will launch the applet on the same control panel page.

Windows provides following 3 pre-configured power plans.

  • High Performance – This plan will not at all take energy consumption into consideration. The system will concentrate only on performance and speed. This may be an ideal plan for a gaming PC.
  • Balanced – The system keeps a balance between performance and energy consumption. It uses performance wherever required, like gaming, and will try to save energy in low-intensity applications.
  • Power saver – The system will do as much as it can to lower energy consumption, without giving much thought to the performance. This is an ideal plan for a battery-powered laptop.

You can select any of these plans if you don’t want to customize in detail.

Power Plan Settings

You can customize the settings of a power plan.


The customization is divided based on what power source your system is running on – AC power or battery. The settings provide four customizations for both the power sources.

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  • Time duration after which the display should be dimmed.
  • Time duration after which the display should be turned off.
  • Time duration after which the computer should be put to sleep.
  • Adjust the screen brightness

For example, the display should be turned off after the system remains idle for 5 minutes, when running on battery, and 10 minutes, when running on AC power.

Based on such customizations, you can also create your own power plan.

System Power Settings

These settings deal with any physical interactions like pushing a physical power button, or closing the lid, etc. They apply to the system, regardless of a power plan.

Again, an action is carried out depending on the power source of the machine – battery or AC. The following 3 customizations are available.

  • Pressing the physical power button
  • Pressing the physical sleep button
  • Closing the lid

The following four actions are available to respond to any of the above 3 situations.

  • Put the computer to sleep
  • Hibernate the system
  • Shut down the system
  • Do nothing

For example, when lid is closed, then system should be put to sleep when running on battery, and nothing should be done when running on AC power.

Besides that, you can specify whether the Power Menu of the Settings Charm should show the options of “Sleep” and “Hibernate”. Similarly, you can also specify whether the account menu on the Start Screen should show “Lock Screen” as an option.

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About the Author

Onuora Amobi is the Founder and VP of Digital Marketing at Learn About The Web Inc. Onuora has more than a decade of information security, project management and management consulting experience. He has specialized in the management and deployment of large scale ERP client/server systems.

In addition to being a former Microsoft MVP and the founder and editor of EyeOnWindows.com, he is the CEO of a Pasadena based online marketing education startup - Learn About The Web Inc. (www.learnabouttheweb.com) and The Redmond Cloud (https://www.theredmondcloud.com).

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