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Mobile devices are becoming the norm when it comes to personal technology these days, which means that most of the technology you use every day contains some sort of battery. That means you need to charge it up when the juice runs out, but do you really know the right way to do it? 

Many people seem to be in doubt when it comes to battery charging. There are plenty of myths and downright poor practices floating around, so we’ve decided to throw together a definitive guide to battery charging, so you can spend less time worrying about your batteries and more time enjoying your gadgets.

Table of Contents

Battery Charging Chemistry

One of the most important things you need to know about batteries is that there are drastically different ways of making one. All batteries use chemicals to store electrical energy, but the specific chemistry at work determines what that battery’s characteristics are. 

For example, nickel-cadmium batteries can be charged relatively quickly, but suffer from the so-called “memory effect” where capacity seems to diminish if the battery isn’t completely discharged before recharging. Nickel metal hydride batteries have a higher capacity than nickel cadmium, but are sensitive to overcharging and can’t stand up to as many charge cycles.

For most modern electronics, the battery chemistry of choice is lithium ion. Specifically lithium polymer batteries. These batteries have the highest power to weight ratio, which makes them perfect for mobile phones, laptops and drones. This article is primarily about lithium ion batteries, because they are so common now. 

Battery Lifespan

Lithium polymer batteries have almost none of the drawbacks previous popular battery types have. There’s no memory effect, they charge pretty quickly these days and are very affordable. However, they do wear out every time you complete a full charge-discharge cycle. Each battery is rated for a certain number of these cycles, after which its maximum capacity starts to decline. Eventually the battery won’t hold a useful amount of charge and will have to be replaced.

These days, devices like phones, tablets and even some laptops don’t have batteries that can be removed. So replacing them usually requires an expensive visit to an authorized dealer.

The good news is that you can extend the useful life of a battery in a variety of ways. Check out our detailed guide on how to preserve your battery and keep it from needing replaced sooner than necessary.

A lot of this has to do with charging habits, such as allowing lithium batteries to discharge to 50% once or twice a month or taking certain devices off AC power once full. It’s a little more nuanced than that however, so be sure to give the aforementioned article a look if battery longevity is an issue that concerns you.

Using The Right Charger

Lithium batteries are actually pretty volatile, which is why regulations require that they have sophisticated protections to prevent flame outs, explosions and other dangerous events happening.

You may recall that imported electric scooters were responsible for burning down several people’s homes a few years ago. That’s because these devices lacked the safety features mandated by European and US authorities. So the lithium batteries inside received improper charging, causing a runaway reaction.

This is why it’s very important to only use battery charging equipment that conforms to the safety standards of the EU, the USA or the territory in which you live. Do not buy or use chargers or batteries that are not certified in this way. While devices such as smartphones themselves have safety features to prevent these types of catastrophic failures, they rely at least partly on the attached charger 

While safety is an important reason to use the correct charger, the other reason to match the right charger to your device is charging speed. Different devices may have different fast-charging standards. So if you use a charger and phone with mismatched fast charging standards, they’ll fall back to the standard lowest common denominator.

USB has a safe, but very slow basic charging speed. Qualcomm has “Quick Charge”, Samsung has “Adaptive Fast Charging” and USB 3.1 over USB-C has “Power Delivery”.

Most modern chargers support multiple fast charging modes, so it’s likely at least one of them will work with your device. However in almost all cases you’ll get the best results with a charger from the same manufacturer as the device.

Some power banks, such as this Romoss 30+ model support just about every connection type and both Quick Charge and USB-C Power Delivery. It can also fast charge itself, which makes a huge difference with a bank that large. 

Incidentally, if you want to know more about power banks, check out our detailed article on these handy portable power bricks.

Software Battery Charge Controls

Modern devices that contain lithium batteries such as smartphones or laptops usually have sophisticated battery charging software that helps manage the health of those batteries. They monitor the temperature and voltages, keeps detailed records of the battery history, and controls the charge level based on what the device is being used for.

For example, even if your phone shows that it’s at 100% charge, the truth is probably somewhere slightly lower than this. Because lithium batteries degrade more quickly if they are constantly kept at 100% capacity, the phone will discharge a little if left plugged in overnight, to prevent stress to the battery. 

The latest macOS devices also have this feature. If you mainly use your MacBook plugged in, the battery will discharge to 90% and stay there, drastically increasing the lifespan of the battery.

Long-term Battery Storage

This brings up another issue with battery charging: device storage. Lithium batteries will discharge at a slow rate all by themselves sitting on a shelf. If you leave them to drain completely, the battery may become permanently unusable. However, charging them to 100% and then storing them isn’t a great idea either, for the same reasons we just discussed above.

We can take a lesson from “intelligent” batteries such as those found in DJI’s drones. These batteries time how long it’s been since they’ve been used. Leave them on the shelf for too long and they’ll self discharge to about 60% capacity and then try to maintain that.

If you’re going to put a phone or other lithium device away over the long term, charge it up to around 60% before putting it away. Then check once a month to ensure the battery hasn’t gone below 30%. If it gets close to that figure charge it back up to 60%. This way the battery should still be fine when you need to use it again.

Lithium Battery Revival

Lithium batteries have a protection circuit in them that will put the battery to sleep if it gets discharged too much. In some cases it’s possible to bring these batteries back to life by using special chargers that have a “boost” mode.

This is not always successful and if the battery has been over-discharged for too long it can be dangerous to attempt this. If you have a battery that can’t simply be replaced, we recommend taking it to a specialist for an attempted revival.

Battery Charging Safety

As we noted earlier, Lithium batteries are pretty volatile. While modern lithium batteries have many safety features built in, they do still fail. One of the most sensitive times is during charging, so you need to be extra vigilant when juicing up your lithium-powered device.

Never charge a device with a puffy, swollen battery. While a bit of heat is normal when charging a lithium battery, a very hot device could be a sign of imminent failure.

Think carefully about where you charge your devices. Are they close to other objects that could burn up easily? It’s better to charge lithium devices in a designated area where battery failure can be contained. If you’re really concerned, consider getting a Lipo Guard. You can place charging devices or batteries inside it and, should they fail, the explosion and flame is contained within the special materials the bag is made of.

Replacement Batteries

No matter how well you treat your batteries, they will eventually need a replacement. Whether you do this yourself or have a professional handle the installation, be very careful of the batteries you choose. There are many counterfeit batteries or poor quality unauthorized replacement batteries on the market. 

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Stable Diffusion Prompt: A Definitive Guide

Developing a process to build good prompts is the first step every Stable Diffusion user tackles. This article summarizes the process and techniques developed through experimentations and other users’ inputs. The goal is to write down all I know about prompts, so you can know them all in one place.

Anatomy of a good prompt

A good prompt needs to be detailed and specific. A good process is to look through a list of keyword categories and decide whether you want to use any of them.

The keyword categories are

Subject

Medium

Style

Artist

Website

Resolution

Additional details

Color

Lighting

An extensive list of keywords from each category is available in the prompt generator. You can also find a short list here.

You don’t have to include keywords from all categories. Treat them as a checklist to remind you what could be used.

Let’s review each category and generate some images by adding keywords from each. I will use the v1.5 base model. To see the effect of the prompt alone, I won’t be using negative prompts for now. Don’t worry, we will study negative prompts in the later part of this article. All images are generated with 30 steps of DPM++ 2M Karas sampler and an image size 512×704.

Subject

The subject is what you want to see in the image. A common mistake is not writing enough about the subjects.

Let’s say we want to generate a sorceress casting magic. A newbie may just write

A sorceress

That leaves too much room for imagination. How do you want the sorceress to look? Any words describing her that would narrow down her image? What does she wear? What kind of magic is she casting? Is she standing, running, or floating in the air? What’s the background scene?

Stable Diffusion cannot read our minds. We have to say exactly what we want.

A common trick for human subjects is to use celebrity names. They have a strong effect and are an excellent way to control the subject’s appearance. However, be aware that these names may change not only the face but also the pose and something else. I will defer this topic to a later part of this article.

As a demo, let’s cast the sorceress to look like Emma Watson, the most used keyword in Stable Diffusion. Let’s say she is powerful and mysterious and uses lightning magic. We want her outfit to be very detailed so she would look interesting.

Emma Watson as a powerful mysterious sorceress, casting lightning magic, detailed clothing

We get Emma Watson 11 out of 10 times. Her name is such a strong effect on the model. I think she’s popular among Stable Diffusion users because she looks decent, young, and consistent across a wide range of scenes. Trust me, we cannot say the same for all actresses, especially the ones who have been active in the 90s or earlier…

Medium

Medium is the material used to make artwork. Some examples are illustration, oil painting, 3D rendering, and photography. Medium has a strong effect because one keyword alone can dramatically change the style.

Let’s add the keyword digital painting.

Emma Watson as a powerful mysterious sorceress, casting lightning magic, detailed clothing, digital painting

We see what we expected! The images changed from photographs to digital paintings. So far so good. I think we can stop here. Just kidding.

Style

The style refers to the artistic style of the image. Examples include impressionist, surrealist, pop art, etc.

Let’s add hyperrealistic, fantasy, surrealist, full body to the prompt.

Emma Watson as a powerful mysterious sorceress, casting lightning magic, detailed clothing, digital painting, hyperrealistic, fantasy, Surrealist, full body

Mmm… not sure if they have added much. Perhaps these keywords were already implied by the previous ones. But I guess it doesn’t hurt to keep it.

Artist

Artist names are strong modifiers. They allow you to dial in the exact style using a particular artist as a reference. It is also common to use multiple artist names to blend their styles. Now let’s add Stanley Artgerm Lau, a superhero comic artist, and Alphonse Mucha, a portrait painter in the 19th century.

Emma Watson as a powerful mysterious sorceress, casting lightning magic, detailed clothing, digital painting, hyperrealistic, fantasy, Surrealist, full body, by Stanley Artgerm Lau and Alphonse Mucha

We can see the styles of both artists blending in and taking effect nicely.

Website

Niche graphic websites such as Artstation and Deviant Art aggregate many images of distinct genres. Using them in a prompt is a sure way to steer the image toward these styles.

Let’s add artstation to the prompt.

Emma Watson as a powerful mysterious sorceress, casting lightning magic, detailed clothing, digital painting, hyperrealistic, fantasy, Surrealist, full body, by Stanley Artgerm Lau and Alphonse Mucha, artstation

It’s not a huge change but the images do look like what you would find on Artstation.

Resolution

Resolution represents how sharp and detailed the image is. Let’s add keywords highly detailed and sharp focus.

Emma Watson as a powerful mysterious sorceress, casting lightning magic, detailed clothing, digital painting, hyperrealistic, fantasy, Surrealist, full body, by Stanley Artgerm Lau and Alphonse Mucha, artstation, highly detailed, sharp focus

Well, not a huge effect perhaps because the previous images are already pretty sharp and detailed. But it doesn’t hurt to add.

Additional details

Additional details are sweeteners added to modify an image. We will add sci-fi, stunningly beautiful and dystopian to add some vibe to the image.

Emma Watson as a powerful mysterious sorceress, casting lightning magic, detailed clothing, digital painting, hyperrealistic, fantasy, Surrealist, full body, by Stanley Artgerm Lau and Alphonse Mucha, artstation, highly detailed, sharp focus, sci-fi, stunningly beautiful, dystopian

Color

You can control the overall color of the image by adding color keywords. The colors you specified may appear as a tone or in objects.

Let’s add some golden color to the image with the keyword iridescent gold.

Emma Watson as a powerful mysterious sorceress, casting lightning magic, detailed clothing, digital painting, hyperrealistic, fantasy, Surrealist, full body, by Stanley Artgerm Lau and Alphonse Mucha, artstation, highly detailed, sharp focus, sci-fi, stunningly beautiful, dystopian, iridescent gold

The gold comes out great!

Lighting

Any photographer would tell you lighting is a key factor in creating successful images. Lighting keywords can have a huge effect on how the image looks. Let’s add cinematic lighting and dark to the prompt.

Emma Watson as a powerful mysterious sorceress, casting lightning magic, detailed clothing, digital painting, hyperrealistic, fantasy, Surrealist, full body, by Stanley Artgerm Lau and Alphonse Mucha, artstation, highly detailed, sharp focus, sci-fi, stunningly beautiful, dystopian, iridescent gold, cinematic lighting, dark

This complete our example prompt.

Remarks

As you may have notice, the images are already pretty good with a few keywords added to the subject. When it comes to building a prompt for Stable Diffusion, often you don’t need to have many keywords to get good images.

Negative prompt

Using negative prompts is another great way to steer the image, but instead of putting in what you want, you put in what you don’t want. They don’t need to be objects. They can also be styles and unwanted attributes. (e.g. ugly, deformed)

Using negative prompts is a must for v2 models. Without it, the images would look far inferior to v1’s. They are optional for v1 models, but I routinely use them because they either help or don’t hurt.

I will use a universal negative prompt. You can read more about it if you want to understand how it works.

ugly, tiling, poorly drawn hands, poorly drawn feet, poorly drawn face, out of frame, extra limbs, disfigured, deformed, body out of frame, bad anatomy, watermark, signature, cut off, low contrast, underexposed, overexposed, bad art, beginner, amateur, distorted face, blurry, draft, grainy

With universal negative prompt.

The negative prompt helped the images to pop out more, making them less flat.

Process of building a good prompt

Iterative prompt building

You should approach prompt building as an iterative process. As you see from the previous section, the images could be pretty good with just a few keywords added to the subject.

I always start with a simple prompt with subject, medium, and style only. Generate at least 4 images at a time to see what you get. Most prompts do not work 100% of the time. You want to get some idea of what they can do statistically.

Add at most two keywords at a time. Likewise, generate at least 4 images to assess its effect.

Using negative prompt

You can use an universal negative prompt if you are starting out.

Adding keywords to the negative prompt can be part of the iterative process. The keywords can be objects or body parts you want to avoid (Since v1 models are not very good at rendering hands, it’s not a bad idea to use “hand” in the negative prompt to hide them.)

Prompting techniques

You can modify a keyword’s importance by switching to a different one at a certain sampling step.

Keyword weight

(This syntax applies to AUTOMATIC1111 GUI.)

You can adjust the weight of a keyword by the syntax (keyword: factor). factor is a value such that less than 1 means less important and larger than 1 means more important.

For example, we can adjust the weight of the keyword dog in the following prompt

dog, autumn in paris, ornate, beautiful, atmosphere, vibe, mist, smoke, fire, chimney, rain, wet, pristine, puddles, melting, dripping, snow, creek, lush, ice, bridge, forest, roses, flowers, by stanley artgerm lau, greg rutkowski, thomas kindkade, alphonse mucha, loish, norman rockwell.

(dog: 0.5)

dog

(dog: 1.5)

Increasing the weight of dog tends to generate more dogs. Decreasing it tends to generate fewer. It is not always true for every single image. But it is true in a statistical sense.

This technique can be applied to subject keywords and all categories, such as style and lighting.

() and [] syntax

(This syntax applies to AUTOMATIC1111 GUI.)

An equivalent way to adjust keyword strength is to use () and []. (keyword) increases the strength of the keyword by a factor of 1.1 and is the same as (keyword:1.1). [keyword] decrease the strength by a factor of 0.9 and is the same as (keyword:0.9).

You can use multiple of them, just like in Algebra… The effect is multiplicative.

Similarly, the effects of using multiple [] are

Keyword blending

(This syntax applies to AUTOMATIC1111 GUI.)

You can mix two keywords. The proper term is prompt scheduling. The syntax is

[keyword1 : keyword2: factor]

factor controls at which step keyword1 is switched to keyword2. It is a number between 0 and 1.

For example, if I use the prompt

Oil painting portrait of [Joe Biden: Donald Trump: 0.5]

for 30 sampling steps.

That means the prompt in steps 1 to 15 is

Oil painting portrait of Joe Biden

And the prompt in steps 16 to 30 becomes

Oil painting portrait of Donald Trump

The factor determines when the keyword is changed. it is after 30 steps x 0.5 = 15 steps.

The effect of changing the factor is blending the two presidents to different degrees.

You may have noticed Trump is in a white suit which is more of a Joe outfit. This is a perfect example of a very important rule for keyword blending: The first keyword dictates the global composition. The early diffusion steps set the overall composition. The later steps refine details.

Quiz: What would you get if you swapped Donald Trump and Joe Biden?

Blending faces

A common use case is to create a new face with a particular look, borrowing from actors and actresses. For example, [Emma Watson: Amber heard: 0.85], 40 steps is a look between the two:

When carefully choosing the two names and adjusting the factor, we can get the look we want precisely.

Poor man’s prompt-to-prompt

Using keyword blending, you can achieve effects similar to prompt-to-prompt, generating pairs of highly similar images with edits. The following two images are generated with the same prompt except for a prompt schedule to substitute apple with fire. The seed and number of steps were kept the same.

holding an [apple: fire: 0.9]

holding an [apple: fire: 0.2]

The factor needs to be carefully adjusted. How does it work? The theory behind this is the overall composition of the image was set by the early diffusion process. Once the diffusion is trapped in a small space, swapping any keywords won’t have a large effect on the overall image. It would only change a small part.

How long can a prompt be?

Depending on what Stable Diffusion service you are using, there could be a maximum number of keywords you can use in the prompt. In the basic Stable Diffusion v1 model, that limit is 75 tokens.

Note that tokens are not the same as words. The CLIP model Stable Diffusion uses automatically converts the prompt into tokens, a numerical representation of words it knows. If you put in a word it has not seen before, it will be broken up into 2 or more sub-words until it knows what it is. The words it knows are called tokens, which are represented as numbers. For example, dream is one token, beach is one token. But dreambeach are two tokens because the model doesn’t know this word, and so the model breaks the word up to dream and beach which it knows.

Prompt limit in AUTOMATIC1111

AUTOMATIC1111 has no token limits. If a prompt contains more than 75 tokens, the limit of the CLIP tokenizer, it will start a new chunk of another 75 tokens, so the new “limit” becomes 150. The process can continue forever or until your computer runs out of memory…

Each chunk of 75 tokens is processed independently, and the resulting representations are concatenated before feeding into Stable Diffusion’s U-Net.

In AUTOMATIC1111, You can check the number of tokens by looking at the small box at the top right corner of the prompt input box.

Token counter in AUTOMATIC1111

Checking keywords

The fact that you see people using a keyword doesn’t mean that it is effective. Like homework, we all copy each other’s prompts, sometimes without much thought.

You can check the effectiveness of a keyword by just using it as a prompt. For example, does the v1.5 model know the American painter Henry Asencio? Let’s check with the prompt

henry asencio

Positive!

How about the Artstation sensation wlop?

wlop

Well, doesn’t look like it. That’s why you shouldn’t use “by wlop”. That’s just adding noise.

Josephine Wall is a resounding yes:

You can use this technique to examine the effect of mixing two or more artists.

Henry asencio, Josephine Wall

Limiting the variation

To be good at building prompts, you need to think like Stable Diffusion. At its core, it is an image sampler, generating pixel values that we humans likely say it’s legit and good. You can even use it without prompts, and it would generate many unrelated images. In technical terms, this is called unconditioned or unguided diffusion.

The prompt is a way to guide the diffusion process to the sampling space where it matches. I said earlier that a prompt needs to be detailed and specific. It’s because a detailed prompt narrows down the sampling space. Let’s look at an example.

castle

castle, blue sky background

wide angle view of castle, blue sky background

By adding more describing keywords in the prompt, we narrow down the sampling of castles. In We asked for any image of a castle in the first example. Then we asked to get only those with a blue sky background. Finally, we demanded it is taken as a wide-angle photo.

The more you specify in the prompt, the less variation in the images.

Association effect

Attribute association

Some attributes are strongly correlated. When you specify one, you will get the other. Stable Diffusion generates the most likely images that could have an unintended association effect.

Let’s say we want to generate photos of women with blue eyes.

a young female with blue eyes, highlights in hair, sitting outside restaurant, wearing a white outfit, side light

Blue eyes

What if we change to brown eyes?

a young female with brown eyes, highlights in hair, sitting outside restaurant, wearing a white outfit, side light

Brown eyes

Nowhere in the prompts, I specified ethnicity. But because people with blue eyes are predominantly Europeans, Caucasians were generated. Brown eyes are more common across different ethnicities, so you will see a more diverse sample of races.

Stereotyping and bias is a big topic in AI models. I will confine to the technical aspect in this article.

Association of celebrity names

Every keyword has some unintended associations. That’s especially true for celebrity names. Some actors and actresses like to be in certain poses or wear certain outfits when taking pictures, and hence in the training data. If you think about it, model training is nothing but learning by association. If Taylor Swift (in the training data) always crosses her legs, the model would think leg crossing is Taylor Swift too.

Prompt: full body taylor swift in future high tech dystopian city, digital painting

When you use Taylor Swift in the prompt, you may mean to use her face. But there’s an effect of the subject’s pose and outfit too. The effect can be studied by using her name alone as the prompt.

Poses and outfits are global compositions. If you want her face but not her poses, you can use keyword blending to swap her in at a later sampling step.

Association of artist names

Perhaps the most prominent example of association is seen when using artist names.

The 19th-century Czech painter Alphonse Mucha is a popular occurrence in portrait prompts because the name helps generate interesting embellishments, and his style blends very well with digital illustrations. But it also often leaves a signature circular or dome-shaped pattern in the background. They could look unnatural in outdoor settings.

Prompt: digital painting of [Emma Watson:Taylor Swift: 0.6] by Alphonse Mucha. (30 steps)

Embeddings are keywords

Embeddings, the result of textual inversion, are nothing but combinations of keywords. You can expect them to do a bit more than what they claim.

Let’s see the following base images of Ironman making a meal without using embeddings.

Prompt: iron man cooking in kitchen.

Style-Empire is an embedding I like to use because it adds a dark tone to portrait images and creates an interesting lighting effect. Since it was trained on an image with a street scene at night, you can expect it adds some blacks AND perhaps buildings and streets. See the images below with the embedding added.

Prompt: iron man cooking in kitchen Style-Empire.

Note some interesting effects

The background of the first image changed to city buildings at night.

Iron man tends to show his face. Perhaps the training image is a portrait?

So even if an embedding is intended to modify the style, it is just a bunch of keywords and can have unintended effects.

Effect of custom models

Using a custom model is the easiest way to achieve a style, guaranteed. This is also a unique charm of Stable Diffusion. Because of the large open-source community, hundreds of custom models are freely available.

When using a model, we need to be aware that the meaning of a keyword can change. This is especially true for styles.

Let’s use Henry Asencio again as an example. In v1.5, his name alone generates:

Using DreamShaper, a model fine-tuned for portrait illustrations, with the same prompt gives

It is a very decent but distinctly different style. The model has a strong basis for generating clear and pretty faces, which has been revealed here.

So make sure to check when you use a style in custom models. van Gogh may not be van Gogh anymore!

Region-specific prompts

Do you know you can specify different prompts for different regions of the image?

For example, you can put the moon at the top left:

Or at the top right:

You can do that by using the Regional Prompter extension. It’s a great way to control image composition!

3 Best Laptop Battery Management Software To Limit Charging

3 Best Laptop Battery Management Software to Limit Charging To ensure that your battery last longer, use a top management software

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It’s generally a good idea to monitor your laptop’s battery health and determine when anything goes wrong.

Some batteries drain even after the PC shutdown, but there are ways in which you can fix this.

In the list below, you will find the perfect software to stop battery charging and extend battery life for laptops.

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INSTALL BY CLICKING THE DOWNLOAD FILE

To fix Windows PC system issues, you will need a dedicated tool

Fortect is a tool that does not simply cleans up your PC, but has a repository with several millions of Windows System files stored in their initial version. When your PC encounters a problem, Fortect will fix it for you, by replacing bad files with fresh versions. To fix your current PC issue, here are the steps you need to take:

Download Fortect and install it on your PC.

Start the tool’s scanning process to look for corrupt files that are the source of your problem

Fortect has been downloaded by

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readers this month.

The laptop batteries and other components have evolved to make the laptops and ultrabooks razor-thin without compromising power and performance.

The laptop batteries that used to last not more than 2-3 hours can now last up to 15 hours, depending on the usage. While the size of the laptops has become smaller to fit in more in less space, the companies have found new ways to extract maximum juice from the small-sized laptop batteries.

Laptop manufacturers like Lenovo and Asus encourage users to limit the battery charge threshold in case they keep the laptop connected to the power outlet all the time. This can help you in increasing the battery life cycle to an extent.

While some manufacturer includes built-in laptop battery management software in their laptop, other manufacturers may prefer not to bloat the device with unnecessary software.

If your laptop does not have built-in battery charge limiting software, you can find a third-party software that stops battery charging irrespective of your laptop maker.

In this article, we look at the best software that stops battery charging and alerts the users when the battery is charged to a fixed threshold.

Battery Optimizer will scan your laptop and determine ways to extend the life of your laptop battery. It will then offer steps to take, anticipated time savings, and other battery management features.

This fantastic software can help you extend the life of your battery by performing extensive diagnostics and providing simple recommendations and adjustments. For example, you may configure it to monitor your battery usage over time and notify you when it exceeds a specified threshold.

With intelligent profiles for quick settings adjustments, optimizing your battery life is short and straightforward.

This battery optimizer uses few resources and does not affect the performance of your computer. This tool tells you how much extra battery life you may save by turning down key hardware and services on your laptop.

In addition, you can use features like battery usage alerts when you overuse the battery capacity. So you can set up a battery optimizer to see usage over time.

Battery Optimizer

With today’s focus on mobility, no battery sign on your laptop is not an option. Instead, use Battery Optimizer to extend battery life now.

Free Download

Battery Limiter is a freeware Windows application that allows you to set the charging limit on your laptop. Unlike the built-in application with Lenovo and Asus laptops, Battery Limiter sets off an alarm to inform the user when the battery charges or discharges to a certain limit.

You may then manually unplug or plug the power cord into the laptop. While this may not be ideal, it can still help you limit your laptop’s charging threshold.

Expert tip:

Battery Limiter allows you to set the charge limit from 30% to 96%. When the charge threshold crosses the set mark, it will inform you by setting off an alarm.

In addition, the users can view the current battery status and estimated battery life.

It’s worth mentioning that Battery Limiter has a user-friendly interface and is exceptionally lightweight and easy to install. Since it’s free, it doesn’t come with additional charges and can run smoothly on any Windows 10 PC.

Thus it’s one of the best battery life-saving tools and comes with basic system requirements like Windows running PC and a charger.

⇒ Get Battery Limiter

Asus Battery Health Charging is another exclusive feature limited to Asus users. The company has included a battery manager application that offers three profiles to maximize the battery performance on your Asus laptop: Full Capacity, Balanced Mode, and Maximum Lifespan Mode.

In the Full Capacity Mode, the battery charges 100%. In the Balanced Mode, the battery stops charging when the power is above 80%—Finally, in the Maximum Lifespan Mode, charging stops at 60% and charges again when the power is below 58%.

Do the following to access the Asus Battery Health Charging option.

Therefore with its three modes of battery saving, you can protect your Asus laptop battery with no exceptions. You only have to choose how you want to conserve your battery, and it’s done.

Another option, however, is using a Chargie device. They can expand the battery life span of your device, even though they are physical devices, as opposed to the software options discussed in this guide.

The life cycle of a battery depends on usage and heat management. Unlike your smartphone, laptop batteries run out of juice much faster and require replacement after a year or two.

This is primarily the case with low-cost laptops or high-performance-oriented devices like gaming laptops.

However, with the help of battery limiting software, you can help the battery last longer than your average laptop batteries that charge up to their full capacity all the time.

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Laptop Battery “Plugged In, Not Charging” In Windows 10/11

If you plug your laptop’s power adapter into a power socket when the battery is present, the battery icon on the Windows 10 or Windows 11 taskbar should show that it is charging. However, if you see an error message that says “0% available (Plugged in, not charging)” when you mouse over the battery icon, it signifies an issue with either the battery driver, physical battery, power adapter, or power cord.

Depending on how serious the issue is, Windows may even show “0% available,” which may indicate that your battery has no power at all. This message implies that the battery wasn’t charging at all, even when you are sure that your battery is plugged in correctly or that you have a non-removable battery. This problem is common with Dell, HP, and Lenovo laptops, and it can also happen in Asus, Acer, MSI notebooks, and even in Surface or Surface Pro laptops if you have used the battery for an extensive period of time.

Windows 11/10 shows 0% available (Plugged in, not charging)

It’s important to note that sometimes the “plugged in, not charging” error message can be a false alarm. In some cases, the battery is actually charging, but the Windows battery icon just doesn’t show it. You can verify if your battery is charging by checking the battery percentage after a few minutes. If it increases, then your battery is charging, and there’s no need to worry. However, if the percentage remains the same or decreases, then you should follow the troubleshooting steps outlined below to fix the issue.

Before we start troubleshooting the hardware, we first have to make sure that the problem isn’t caused by a corrupted or missing battery driver in Windows 10 or Windows 11 for your laptop. In fact, the battery driver is the most common reason users get the “plugged in, not charging” error on their laptops.

To make sure it’s not the battery driver that is corrupted and causing the issue, we have to uninstall the battery driver in Windows 10 or Windows 11. After uninstalling the driver, Windows will then be able to install the correct driver automatically. To do this, follow the steps below:

In your laptop’s Windows 10 or Windows 11, go to the start menu.

Search for Device Manager and open it.

Select and expand Batteries.

Select Uninstall.

After the uninstall is completed, restart your computer. The next time your laptop boots into Windows, Windows will automatically search for and install the latest battery driver for your laptop. After the reboot, plug in the power cord again and it should show that it is charging now.

If the driver isn’t installed even after several restarts, which is very rare and shouldn’t happen, run Windows Update, and Windows should detect the missing battery driver and install it. On the next reboot, verify if the “plugged in, not charging” message will still show up in Windows 10 or Windows 11.

A bad laptop battery, faulty power adapter, or power socket can cause the “plugged in, not charging” error in Windows 10 or Windows 11. Most of the time, it’s the battery that is causing the issue, especially if the battery has already been used extensively for a very long time.

To identify the faulty hardware, troubleshoot your laptop battery using the methods below:

The very first thing to try is to plug your power cord into a different power socket to make sure it’s not the power socket that is causing the problem. A faulty power socket or a socket with incorrect voltage output may cause your adapter to fail to charge your battery.

If all different power sockets result in the same error, the next thing to try is to remove the battery from your laptop. (Skip this step if you have a non-removable battery Dell, HP, Lenovo, Asus, Acer, or MSI laptop.) This is to verify if your power adapter is working correctly. If your laptop starts up just fine without the battery inserted, it means that your power adapter is working as it should.

When the power socket is giving the correct power output and your power adapter is working fine, the only thing left is your battery. Unless you have the same battery model to test with, there is a big chance that the battery is failing. All batteries have a lifespan, and none will work forever. They will eventually fail after a certain amount of repetitive charging. You may want to have it replaced.

If the issue comes right back after a restart, a few days or a few weeks later, it may indicate that something is interfering with the battery driver issue, such as a malware or virus infection.

In any case, at any point in time, you should always have at least one antivirus software active on your PC to protect you from all possible threats. Run a full system scan to check for malware or viruses on your PC. Remove the threats and verify if the problem can be fixed.

If you don’t want to install any antivirus program, at the very least, you should allow Windows Defender to protect your PC. In most laptops such as Dell, HP, Lenovo, Asus, Acer, or MSI, you should have an antivirus software installed. These pre-installed antivirus software usually come as an offer that gives you 30 days free trial.

After this period of time, the antivirus will no longer be active unless you pay for it. If that’s the case, we recommend uninstalling the antivirus software immediately. This is to allow Windows Defender to activate itself when it detects no other antivirus software exists on your computer.

How To Use The Pixel’s Adaptive Charging Feature

Google’s Pixel phones are well-known for providing a unique software experience with timely updates. Speaking of which, Google has recently extended the availability of some features that were introduced with the Pixel 5 to some of its older devices. One of the most useful in the bunch is Adaptive Charging. This article looks at how you can set up and use Adaptive Charging on your Pixel phone.

What Is Adaptive Charging?

Google’s Adaptive Charging is a feature intended to preserve battery health by controlling the speed at which your device charges. This is supposed to keep your battery health optimal and thus extend its overall life cycle.

Apple offers a similar option on iOS. It’s called “Optimized Battery Charging” and aims to reduce chemical aging by reducing the amount of time an iPhone’s battery spends fully charged. Google’s Adaptive Charging alternative works following a similar principle.

The idea is to let the phone steadily charge over a period of several hours, instead of topping it off as quickly as possible. The reason behind this is that the practice tends to degrade the battery more quickly. Basically, Adaptive Charging works to minimize the amount of time the battery spends in the 80 to 100 percent range to prevent premature aging.

Pixels with Adaptive Charging working properly will slow down the charging process overnight and quickly finish charging before the user wakes up.

How to Take Advantage of Adaptive Charging on Your Pixel

While the feature is already turned on by default on your Pixel, it won’t function as as it should unless you set an alarm. We’ll explain more in a second, but here’s how to find the feature on your phone and check that it’s indeed enabled:

1. Open Settings on your Pixel device.

2. Go to Battery.

3. Tap on Adaptive Battery.

4. Here you should see two options: Adaptive Battery and Adaptive Charging. Check to see whether they are enabled. If they are not, toggle them on.

Adaptive Battery is another tool that helps extend your battery’s life by making predictions about which apps you are most likely to use in the next few hours. It then works to reduce power to the ones you don’t use that much.

Going back to Adaptive Charging, it’s not enough to have the feature enabled on your phone. You’ll need to do one more thing: set an alarm.

Here’s the gist. The feature only becomes operational if you set an alarm to go off anytime “between 5 and 10AM.” Also, you’ll need to plug the phone in for the night anytime after 9PM. Once this is done, Adaptive Charging will use your alarm’s settings for guidance to complete the charging process just before you wake up.

Unfortunately, if your schedule does not align to these parameters, your phone will charge at normal speed, no extra tweaks involved. In contrast, Apple’s alternative learns from users’ charging habits, so it can adapt to a person’s unique schedule. Hopefully, Google is open to improving Adaptive Charging in the future so that it can offer a more comprehensive approach.

What Other Adaptive Features Can You Use on Your Pixel? 

On the Pixel 4a 5G+ and Pixel 5, Adaptive Connectivity will automatically switch between 5G andr 4G, depending on the app in use. For texting on WhatsApp, it will give you 4G, but for downloading a song, it will make the switch to 5G.

Moreover, Google recently pushed Adaptive Sound on the Pixel 4a 5G (also available on the Pixel 5). This feature uses the phone’s microphone to assess the sounds near you and then adjusts the equalizer. This results in optimization of volume based on the noise level in the environment you currently find yourself in.

There are a couple other Adaptive options on your Pixel including Adaptive Brightness and Adaptive Notifications. But both are baked into Android, so they should be accessible from most newer smartphones.

If you’re still concerned with improving your device’s battery life, you may be interested in browsing through or list of top tips to save battery life on your iPhone, or our guide on how to save battery life in your PS4 controller.

Image Credit: Google

Alexandra Arici

Alexandra is passionate about mobile tech and can be often found fiddling with a smartphone from some obscure company. She kick-started her career in tech journalism in 2013, after working a few years as a middle-school teacher. Constantly driven by curiosity, Alexandra likes to know how things work and to share that knowledge with everyone.

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How To Check Your Ipad’s Battery Usage And Tips To Improve Battery Health

Like every other iPad user, we are sure you utilize it for a wide variety of purposes. You might be a gamer playing some iPad games. Or perhaps you’re a working professional leveraging the iPad’s multitasking features and widgets. No matter which type of user you are, we all bank on the iPad’s massive battery capacity and its long health to get us through the days. However, if you’ve been using your iPad for some time now, its battery might not be in the best of shape out there. So if you’ve looking to keep a close eye on your iPad’s battery usage for any reason, keep reading the guide we have compiled below.

Check Your iPad’s Battery Usage

The method given below will ensure you learn more about your iPad’s battery usage habits in no time. Moreover, we have also compiled a list of the best tips and tricks you can undertake to ensure the iPad’s health is even better in the future. To jump to those tips, use the table below.

Reasons to Check Your iPad’s Battery Usage

If your iPad is brand new and you’ve just started using it then there is no reason to check its battery usage. However, users who have had it for some time or the ones who are suspicious of any battery-draining activity should definitely check out their iPad’s battery. In addition to that, here are some of the benefits that come out of it:

1. Helps You Keep Track of Your iPad’s Health

Your iPad’s overall battery usage habit is pertinent to ensuring it lasts you a long time. By checking it regularly, you’re ensuring it keeps running at its optimal state continuously.

2. Helps Keep Your iPad Usage in Check 3. Keeps a Handle on Power-Hungry Apps

The primary purpose of checking your iPad’s battery is focused on identifying and getting rid of apps that are consuming too much power. Your iPad might have a ton of apps that are hogging your battery. Checking your iPad’s battery usage will help in identifying them.

4. It Might Inform of You of Any Fishy Activity

There may be times when you’re not using your iPad but its battery is still going down to %0. While iPadOS’s ecosystem ensures that your iPad remains worry-free, recent reports of malware like the Pegasus Spyware have shown that it can be infiltrated. While an iPad’s battery usage report won’t tell you a lot, it might be able to give an indication of something that is hidden inside your system.

How to Check the iPad’s Battery Usage

1. Open the Settings app on your iPad.

You will be met by your iPad’s battery usage report that will detail your iPad’s usage. The iPad allows users to either check their last 24 hours or 10 days to get accurate statistics. As you can see, the battery info on the iPad details the amount of battery usage every app has taken up along with concise weekly graphs for the measure.

You can use this data to quickly identify battery-hogging apps and learn which ones you need to remove. You can even tap the blue Show Activity option to show you the exact usage of the apps on and off-screen. In our example, the HP Smart app is taking up an unnecessary amount of the iPad’s battery and must be removed. You can use the iPad’s battery usage report to quickly glance at the daily apps from time to time and even identity any unusual activity.

Tips to Prolong Your iPad’s Battery Life

Now that you know how to check on your iPad’s battery usage, make sure to monitor it periodically and keep an eye out for power-hungry apps. However, apart from the apps themselves, your own usage habits might be putting your iPad’s battery at risk. To ensure you get the most out of your iPad’s battery, here are some practical tips you can use for your iPad.

1. Offload or Remove Apps Highlighted in Your Battery Usage Screen

Drawing from our Battery Report from the iPad, whatever battery-hungry apps you have identified should be removed. However, in case they are apps you cannot remove, then we suggest lowering their usage to be merciful on your iPad.

2. Make Sure Your Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Aren’t Always On

One of the biggest power drainers of any device is the wireless connectivity services like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Where there is no harm in actively using them, leaving them ON all the time spells trouble for your iPad’s battery. Make sure to turn off your Bluetooth and Wi-Fi when they are not in use to save precious battery life.

3. Turn off Airdrop and Handoff

Airdrop and Handoff are Apple’s patented services that are present in iOS and iPadOS. While Airdrop helps users transfer files across wirelessly, Handoff lets you start your work on one device then lets you pick it up from another. Brillant as they both are, they cost your iPad its battery. If you’re not an ardent user of Airdrop and Handoff then having them enabled in the background is a waste. Here’s how to turn them both off:

Turn off Airdrop

1. Open the Settings app on your iPad.

2. Find and tap General from the sidebar. Tap Airdrop and it will lead you to another menu. 

Turn off Handoff

1. Open the Settings app on your iPad.

2. Find and tap General from the sidebar.

3. Tap AirPlay and Handoff and it will lead you to another menu.

4. Simply Toggle it off to disable it.

4. Reduce your Email Sync Frequency

Here you can turn off Push to stop server data push and lessen Fetch frequency to get emails on your iPad less often.

5. Limit Background App Refresh

Background App Refresh gives apps inside the iPad ability to refresh their content when you aren’t using them. This way when you come back to these apps you are greeted with fresh content. However, like Email sync, these apps consume the iPad’s battery and deteriorate its health.

6. Turn off Location Services

Much like your phone, apps that use GPS services are constantly pinging your network and using the battery to get your location. If you’re a regular maps user then it is fine. However, many apps that don’t need your GPS still use location services to get your approximate location.

7. Turn on Airplane Mode Before Bed

This little trick is for the users who want to turn off the above services but feel too lazy to go step by step. Turning on Airplane mode on your device automatically cuts off all connectivity services including Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS, and even Cellular.

You can turn off the Airplane mode on the regular by going to Settings and simply toggling it on. Do this regularly before bedtime to improve your iPad’s battery usage routine.

8. Reduce Screen Brightness

9. Don’t Charge Too Often

10. Don’t Let It Overheat What Is Low Power Mode and How to Use It?

1. Open the Settings app on your iPad.

2. Using the sidebar, find and tap Battery.

3. Here on top of the iPad’s battery usage report, you will see a toggle for Low Power Mode. Simply turn it on and you’re golden. You will know it has been enabled when the battery icon on the top right turns yellow.

Bonus: Should I Use Battery Management Apps for My iPad?

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