7 tips to extend your tablet’s battery life

Whether you’ve got a Tesco Hudl or a Nexus 7, a few simple tweaks can help you eke more life out of your Android tablet’s battery.

Step 1: Check what’s sapping your tablet’s power

Android provides a quick and easy way to see what’s draining most of your tablet’s power. Go to Settings > Battery. This will show you a bar graph of the different hardware, apps and processes that are putting the most drain on your battery.

The greatest drain is almost always the screen, as powering the backlight for your tablet’s large display uses a lot of energy.

Step 2: Turn the screen brightness level down

Adjusting the brightness level of your tablet’s screen can save a lot of battery power. To do this, open Settings > Display > Brightness. A pop-up window will display a slider which you can use to change the brightness level. If the slider isn’t visible untick the box marked Automatic Brightness. Reduce the brightness to a level that’s less intense but still comfortable for you to read text on your screen without straining your eyes.

Step 3: Reduce the screen time out

Reducing the amount of time your screen stays lit after you’ve stopped interacting with your tablet is another good way of slowing battery drain. Return to the Settings > Display menu and select Sleep. Reducing this setting tells your tablet to turn off the screen after a set period of inactivity. The shorter the time you select, the less power your display will use. Try changing it to a setting of two minutes.

Step 4: Turn off unwanted connections

Wireless network technologies such as wi-fi and Bluetooth also consume quite a bit of power, so if you’re not using them it’s best to turn them off. This is especially true of Bluetooth, which many people never use on their tablet yet still leave turned on.

Go to Settings and select Bluetooth under the Wireless & Networks heading. Flick the switch to Off to disable Bluetooth.

If you’re using your tablet on a long bus or train journey – or anywhere there’s no wi-fi reception, you should also turn off wi-fi to save power. Open Settings and switch the wi-fi toggle switch to Off.

Step 5: Avoid using live wallpapers and widgets

Android’s Live Wallpapers and Widgets require processing and graphics power to run so put extra drain on your battery. It’s a relatively minor amount, but if you do want to absolutely maximise your tablet’s battery life you may want to get rid of them.

Delete widgets from your homescreen by tapping and holding on them before swiping them up to the Remove icon. To change your wallpaper, tap and hold on an empty part of your homescreen and choose Wallpaper from the pop-up menu.

Step 6: Fully discharge the battery

The lithium ion batteries used in almost all Android tablets don’t suffer the over-charging problems of older Ni-Cad batteries, so they don’t always need to be run down completely to stay at their best. However, to keep the battery’s power meter correctly calibrated it’s still a good idea to let your tablet run out of battery power after every 30 or so charges.

Step 7: Turn off Auto-sync

There are various apps and services on your tablet that automatically sync data with online servers, for storing contact information, providing Facebook alerts and sending email to your tablet. These syncing processes can drain power, especially if they’re pulling in a lot of information.

You can see which accounts are set up to auto-sync by opening Settings and choosing Accounts and Sync. If there are any you don’t want or need to sync in the background just tap on their name and untick the Sync option.

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