Set Your Computer for Energy Savings

Cristian Baitg/Getty Images
Cristian Baitg/Getty Images
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There is a wide range of power-saving software that helps reduce the amount of energy your PC consumes. And yet, your computer is already equipped with power saving settings you can utilize. Try out these tips to set your computer for maximum energy savings.

For PCs

First, right click on the desktop and select Properties. Then turn off your screen saver. Sounds strange, to be sure. But the screen saver actually doesn't save energy—it keeps your computer running at full power, rather than slipping to sleep. Next, go to your control panel in the start menu and select power options. Set your computer to go to standby after 15 minutes, your monitor and hard disks to shut off after 5 minutes.

For Macs

Click on the Apple icon and go to System Preferences. Under Hardware, select Energy Saver. Here you can adjust power supply settings for Better Energy Savings. You can adjust the timing for sleep mode for the computer and monitor similar to the steps for a PC.

For Notebooks

It is also important to use a power save scheme on laptops, which allows you to adjust the screen brightness, display options, and sleep mode timing for further energy savings when you're unplugged from your charger. These settings are also available in the power options area.

Helpful Websites

Yale.edu has a helpful section that walks you through screenshots of adjusting the settings on your computer to maximize power.

Energy Star also has a range or resources for saving energy on your computer.

Extra Steps

- Turn your computer off at night.

-Plug components into a power strip so you can cut off all power when not in use.

-For laptops, unplug the charger when the laptop is turned off to prevent vampire power.

-Avoid turning your printer on when you don't need it.

If you'd like to do more with your computer energy savings, check out downloadable power saving software, some of which also track your carbon savings. Find out more information about making your computer efficient.