Here’s a way to check for battery capacity on a Windows 10 laptop, and to view historical battery life reports. without installing any 3rd party apps. It’s built right into Windows 10 and it takes just a minute to get the battery information. If you’re thinking about buying a second-hand laptop, this is one of the commands you need to use before you buy!
The ‘powercfg’ command on Windows 10 is a powerful one as it exposes a lot of information.
- Battery capacity
- Measured Battery Life (and estimated battery life)
- Battery Drain
- Modern Standby capability
Go ahead and try it by opening a command line (simply press the ‘Windows’ key on your keyboard and type “cmd”. Press return and you should see a black windows pop up.) Type the following:
Now open a file explorer [Windows+e is the shortcut] and navigate to your home directory.
Double click on the battery report file which will open the report in your browser.
Here’s the top section of a report from an older Ultrabook. Click to enlarge.
Apart from useful system info you can see the connected standby capability. In this case Connected Standby (the previous name for Modern Standby) is not supported. There is nothing you can do to change this.
Here’s the top part of a report from an old Acer Iconia W5. You’ll see Connected Standby support and the capacities of the two batteries on the system.
The rest of the report is a little harder to read but includes reports on recent battery drain, when connected standby was used, charge levels and more but the most interesting part is right at the bottom where there’s a report on estimated full-charge battery life based on your usage.
The last 7 days are shown along with a complete set of weekly reports. Yes,I really do get this level of battery life and standby battery life. My average battery life is over 14 hours with standby times running into weeks. Remember, this is “ON” standby with the WiFi connected, not the old standby sleep state. Think of it like a smartphone standby time.
Next time you look for a second-hand Windows laptop or tablet, check to see if it supports Modern Standby, and check the current battery capacity.
What is Modern Standby?
It’s the hardware and software that turns a PC into a smart device. Always on, Always Connected You can find more information here and I encourage you to read it and to consider this ‘seal of efficiency’ for your next laptop or mobile PC.