1. Switch off the wireless card if you do not plan to access your network or Internet connection. For Mac laptops, there is a button for powering on and off your wireless device is found on the toolbar at top.
2. Turn the volume level down, or mute it, if you do not plan to use it.
3. Reduce the LCD's brightness level. If you use your laptop in a well lit area or outdoors on a sunny day, try setting it at two or three bars.
4. Disable Bluetooth. If you don't use this device, you can safely disable it to avoid draining your laptop's battery.
5. Learn to single-task. PC memory that is in-use takes more power to hold data. Also, using more memory might mean using more swap or virtual memory space on your laptop's hard drive. All of this puts an additional drain on your laptop's battery. Instead of leaving multiple applications and windows open, use only what you need at any given time. If your laptop has plenty of memory, then keep multiple applications open to avoid loading repeatedly from the hard drive. Close all the applications that run in the background on your computer like your PDA syncing software or USB hard drive backup software.
6. Run simple applications that don't use much RAM, disk drive or processing power. Need to write a letter? Use a basic text editor rather than the processor and RAM heavy Microsoft Word. Graphics heavy applications like games or movie watching are especially hard on the battery.
7. Avoid extreme temperatures. Batteries rely on basic chemistry and will die faster at extreme temperatures. Try to charge and use the battery at room temperatures.
8. Use the power management settings on your computer that come built in. On Windows XP, click "Power Options" in your control panel. On a Mac, look for "Energy Saver" in System Preferences.
9. Unplug external devices such as a USB mouse or an external drive.
10. Shut down or hibernate the laptop rather than using standby, if you plan on not using it for a while. Standby continues to drain energy to keep your laptop ready to go when you open the cover.
11. Clean your battery contacts. Clean the battery's metal contacts with rubbing alcohol on a damp cloth. Clean contacts increase the energy efficiency.
12. Keep the battery fresh. Batteries leak power if they aren't used fairly soon after charging. If you use your "full" battery 2 weeks after you last charged it, you may discover it is empty.
13. Defrag your hard drive. The more fragmented your hard drive is the more your hard disk needs to work
14. Avoid using a CD or DVD. If you store a copy of data you need on an optical disc, copy it to your laptop's hard drive or a thumb drive before traveling. Optical drives consume large amounts of power to spin up CDs and DVDs. Try to avoid applications that keep your hard drive or optical drive spinning. Need to play music? Try to use your handheld MP3 player, rather than playing songs on your computer. Playing songs on your computer will keep the hard drive working which uses energy. Turn off the auto save feature on MS Word or Excel. Constant saving will keep your hard drive turning and using energy.
15. Turn off ports. Disabling unused ports and components, such as VGA, Ethernet, PCMCIA, USB, and yes, your wireless, too. You can do this through the Device Manager or by configuring a separate hardware profile (see next step).
16. Create Power-Saving Hardware Profiles. Configure your laptop for the various scenarios in which you use it (on a plane, at the coffee shop, at the office, and so on). You can do this through the Hardware Profiles menu by right-clicking on My Computer and selecting Preferences or by using a freeware utility such as SparkleXP.
17. Use a cooling pad when using a notebook computer on your lap.
18. Avoid propping your laptop on a pillow, blanket, or other soft surface that can heat up.