Q. Although it’s fairly new, the battery on my Windows 10 laptop seems to drain quickly. I suspect the “live tiles” in the Start menu have something to do with that. I like the weather and news updates, but is there a way to shut down the tiles I don’t care about to save some power?
A. Live tiles, those self-updating app squares that bring news and information to the Windows 10 Start menu (or Start Screen, for those going big in Tablet mode), do use up a bit of battery power as they pull down fresh information. If you want to turn off individual live tiles for apps not relevant to you, change the tiles to the smallest size.
To do that, right-click the tile (or press and hold it for a moment on a touch screen) until the small round menu button appears in the tile’s bottom-left corner. Choose the Resize option and then Small from the list. The tile should shrink down and stop pulling live updates from the internet.
Windows 10 includes other battery-boosting settings for when your laptop’s power runs low. For example, you can turn on the Battery Saver setting that shuts down the live tiles, as well as automatic activities like calendar and mail syncing. To turn on Battery Saver, go to the Start menu to Settings, then System and Battery, where you can set up your power-saving preferences.
The Battery settings have a “Battery usage by app” link that shows the programs that are the biggest energy hogs. You can click an app in the list and choose whether it can use power to run in the background. You can also control which apps can run continually in the background by going to the Start menu to Privacy. On the left side of the Privacy settings box, select Background Apps and turn off unneeded apps from the list on the right.