Windows 7 and Windows 8.1: Power Settings


Selecting a Power Plan

The power options may be accessed in Windows 7 and 8.1 in slightly different ways.

Windows 7

In Windows 7 press Start > Control Panel


Select Hardware and Sound and then power options.

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Windows 8.1

Right click the start button and select power options.


Select show additional plans


I recommend using the "power saver" especially for a laptop as it will increase the battery live, run at a lower temperature and lower the fan noise. In a laptop any benefit in selecting "high performance" is generally lost as the laptop begins to overheat and hence slow down. I recommend using this in most cases for a Desktop also. If you want to squeeze performance the "high performance" power option may be used for a desktop which has more ventilation but it may make the fan noisy.


Changing what the Power Buttons and Closing the Lid does

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Creating a power plan Laptop or Desktop (advanced)

Select create a power plan to the left hand side menu

p6You will be prompted for a power setting name and a scheme to base the plan on. For a laptop I recommend selecting power saver.


Change settings according to your preferences (Desktops won't have the battery options):

p8Select create.

For some reason you aren't presented with advanced options until you have create the plan. Select Change Plan Settings


You will then be presented with change advanced power settings


You will be presented a large list of options.

Most the settings are self-explanatory.

One thing I've noticed with Windows 8.1 is that often the settings are too aggressive. People have reported wireless cards not working after sleep, aswell as touchpads and USB ports. If you have these issues disable the power settings for these devices accordingly.


Windows Update – No Auto Restart

It can be extremely annoying when Windows Update restarts the computer automatically and you have it running something important overnight such as a scientific instrument, simulation or even a large download. This setting can be changed in the local security policy.

To launch the local security policy editor press [Windows] and [r] and type in gpedit.msc

windows update1Navigate to Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update

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Select No auto restart with logged on users for scheduled automatic updates
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Enable this setting

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Select Apply and exit the local policy editor.

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