Microsoft is testing a Windows 11 energy saver mode for laptops and desktops


What just happened? Microsoft’s latest Windows 11 preview build for Insiders in the Canary Channel includes a slew of changes and improvements that are expected to be rolled out to general users in the near future. The update introduces an interesting new feature that aims to improve the power efficiency of not just laptops, but also desktop PCs.

According to Microsoft’s release notes, Windows 11 insider preview build 26002 includes an ‘energy saver’ mode that the company claims reduces power consumption and extends the battery life of Windows devices, albeit at the cost of system performance. Interestingly, the feature won’t be exclusive to battery-powered laptops, and would also be available on desktop PCs that typically draw power from wall sockets.

The feature can be toggled on and off via the Quick Settings panel in the system tray, but users can also configure it to run automatically whenever the device reaches a certain battery percentage. When enabled, the battery saver mode will switch off certain non-essential background processes to improve power efficiency. The feature will be available on all Windows 11 devices, irrespective of whether it’s a laptop, desktop, or tablet.

Apart from the enhanced battery saver mode, the latest build also includes a number of other changes, including a tweak that Microsoft says improves the overall performance and responsiveness of Quick Settings in the system tray. The new build also makes it easier to manage VPN in Quick Settings by adding a split toggle that allows users turn a VPN on or off with a single click.

Another small but thoughtful change is the addition of a new refresh button on the Wi-Fi Quick Settings flyout to help users refresh the list of available wireless networks. There’s also a new indicator for scan progress to help users find nearby networks if the first scan fails to reveal the desired Wi-Fi.

In addition to the aforementioned changes, the new build includes a couple of other minor tweaks, as well as a range of fixes that should improve the overall Windows 11 experience.


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