Understanding Power Options in Windows Vista and Windows 7

The power options in Windows is a feature that helps you manage your computer’s power consumption. It helps you save energy, maximize system performance, or achieve a balance between the two.

There are three plans available in the power options and by default your computer is set to any one of those plans (usually, balanced). Balanced, power saver, and high performance are the 3 power plans. You could always customize them or create your own power plan.

Here are some of the things you could do with this feature.

Click on the battery icon on your taskbar. Select and change any one of three power plans given. Click on the “More power options” link to go to power option settings.


There is a link below power plans to “change plan settings”. You can change power settings according to your need.


There are various options available on the left pane. You can make changes to them and all the changes you make will automatically get applied to all the power plans.

Decide how the system should react when you press power or sleep button, or close the lid of your laptop. In my computer when I press power button, it goes into the sleep mode. I can also make it shut down or hibernate using these settings.

On the left pane click on “Change when the computer sleeps”. to make a change in sleep options.


Now you can set the inactive time period after which monitor display will turn off or go to sleep mode.


Similarly, select option “Choose what the power buttons do” on the left. Here you can select the role of the power button. Let’s say you often get annoyed with the your power button because if you press it accidently, it shuts your computer down. Simply choose “Do nothing” or sleep to change it. You can also select “Require a password” option for prohibiting any other user to access your computer when it wakes up from sleep.


If you are not happy with any of the given power plans then you could create a custom power plan where you can decide all the roles and settings. Click on “Create a power plan” given on left in the power options.


Choose a power plan that has settings nearest to what you are willing to create. Type the name of new power plan in the box given and click on Next.


Decide sleep , brightness and turn off display settings and click on Create button.


Check the preferred plans list. Your newly created plan will be under that list and selected. You can anytime switch to a different plan. You can also delete your custom plan whenever you want.


Advanced Power Options

Click on “Change plan settings”. Now click on “Change advanced power settings”. Here you can play with many advance settings.

Note: Do not customize the settings if you don’t know what you are doing. It might cause unnecessary issues with the PC.


Remember: Power option settings depends upon hardware configuration. It varies from computer to computer. A good thing about Windows is that it automatically detects the configuration and sets the power plans accordingly.

If you find that you are not able to customize some of the power plans, or some of the options are disabled, then get in touch with your computer manufacturer. It could be an issue with the BIOS or video card.

Last updated on 05 February, 2022

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