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How to change power modes for performance or battery on Windows 11

Windows 11 change power modes
Windows 11 change power modes (Image credit: Windows Central)

On Windows 11, power modes ("power plans" or "power schemes") are collections of settings to manage the power usage of a device. The system, by default, uses the "balanced" mode that optimizes the power for performance and battery. However, you can always change the setting to "best power efficiency" to prolong the battery life as much as possible, or "best performance" to get the most performance out of the device but increasing the power usage.

In this Windows 11 guide, we will walk you through the steps to change the power mode to improve performance or battery life on your laptop or desktop computer.

How to adjust power modes on Windows 11

To change the default power more on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on System.
  3. Click the Power & battery page on the right side.Quick tip: If the device is not connected to a battery, the page will appear as "Power."

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Use the Power mode setting and select the option that best suits your situation:
    • Best power efficiency: Preserves the most energy lowering the system performance. This option will offer the most battery life if you use a laptop.
    • Balanced: Windows 11 automatically balances energy and performance for an optimal experience.
    • Best performance: Uses the most energy increasing the system performance.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Once you complete the steps, the new power scheme will apply to the computer.

On Windows 10, you had the option to cycle through the power modes from the Taskbar, but starting on Windows 11, you can only do this from the Power settings or using the legacy settings or Command Prompt.

How to adjust power modes through Control Panel

To change the power mode for battery life or high performance, use these steps:

  1. Open Control Panel.
  2. Click on Hardware and Sound.
  3. Click on Power Options.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Choose from one of the available power plans:
    • Balanced: The system automatically balances power and performance for an optimal experience.
    • Power Saver: Preserve the most power, lowering the system performance. This option will offer the most battery life if you use a laptop.
    • High performance: Uses the most energy, but it offers the most performance.
    Quick note: The available power plans may differ since manufacturers can sometimes create or remove custom modes.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

After you complete the steps, the Windows 11 device will start using the power mode you specified to improve battery or performance.

How to adjust power modes with Command Prompt

To choose between balanced, high performance, or power saver modes with Command Prompt, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search Command Prompt, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.
  3. Type the following command to identify all the power schemes and which one is active and press Enter:powercfg /list
  4. Confirm the available power scheme's unique identifier (GUID).Quick note: The one with the asterisk (*) is the active power mode.
  5. Type the following command to change the power mode and press Enter:powercfg /setactive GUIDIn the command, change GUID for the unique identifier that corresponds to the power mode you want to use. The number may be different on your computer.For example, this command makes the Power Saver the active power mode to save battery life:powercfg /setactive a1841308-3541-4fab-bc81-f71556f20b4a

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Once you complete the steps, the command will apply the new power mode on Windows 11.

While you can change the power modes in several different ways, when setting the "High performance" or "Power Saver" modes using Control Panel or Command Prompt, you won't be able to change the modes from the Settings app. If this is the case, you'll need to select the "Balanced" mode, and only then, will the option be available in the Power settings page.

More Windows resources

For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10 and Windows 11, visit the following resources:

Mauro Huculak is technical writer for WindowsCentral.com. His primary focus is to write comprehensive how-tos to help users get the most out of Windows 10 and its many related technologies. He has an IT background with professional certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA, and he's a recognized member of the Microsoft MVP community.

1 Comment
  • The only options I have are recommended, better performance, and best performance.