Generally, Windows 10 does a great job managing various applications and services to provide stable battery life. At times, though you may experience sudden battery drains, at which point a powercfg energy report is your best friend.
Powercfg energy report vs Powercfg battery report
Before we dive into the tutorial, it’s worth covering what the powercfg energy report provides and what not. The energy report is just one form of battery check in Windows 10, and is often confused with the battery report, for which we already have a guide.
Simply, the Windows 10 battery report is a battery health check. It looks at the battery’s charging capacity and how it has degraded over time. Meanwhile, a powercfg energy report is a way to test battery life factors that relate to your software or supporting hardware.
As a result, the energy report will return information such as errors with your drivers, processor, or system configuration that stop Windows 10 from doing its job. It might point out high CPU usage, your display time-out, and malfunctioning USB devices.
With that cleared up, let’s look at how to check your laptop battery life with a powercfg energy report.
How to Create a Powercfg energy report with Command Prompt (CMD)
The Windows 10 Command Prompt lets you easily test battery life and output the results to an HTML file. Examining this file will help you to get to the root of your issues. Make sure to close all other applications when you run your report for the best results.
- Open Command Prompt as an administrator
Press Start and type “Command Prompt”, then click “Run as administrator” on the right-hand side.
- Run a default 60-second energy report
If you want to stick with the default Windows 10 battery check settings, simply type the following and press enter
Command Prompt will give return the following if it discovers issues:
Enabling tracing for 60 seconds... Observing system behavior... Analyzing trace data... Analysis complete. Energy efficiency problems were found. 6 Errors 5 Warnings 100 Informational
If it doesn’t discover any issues, there’s a good chance the issue is the battery itself. However, you can also try running a longer check using the command below.
- Optional: Run an extended Windows 10 battery check
If the first check didn’t show any issues, you can try giving the energy report more data. To so, we can specify a longer time period for it to analyze your system. Simply paste the following into your Command Prompt and press Enter:
powercfg /energy /duration 120
Bear in mind that the value above is in seconds. You can set it as high as you like, but you may experience diminishing returns if you leave it running for too long.
How to Review an Energy Report on Windows 10
Now that we’ve created our energy report, it’s time to analyze what it can tell us. Some of its output will be a little difficult to understand, so feel free to post in the comments below if there’s something you’re stuck on.
- Open the energy report in your browser
You may have noticed in the previous steps that Command Prompt tells us the file location of the energy report after it’s complete. Simply paste that location into your browser to view your report. For us, and you, that will be:
At the top of the document, you’ll be presented with your computer name and the time of the scan, as well as your manufacturer, BIOS version, OS build, and other information. You can check your BIOS version against your manufacturer’s site to make sure it’s up to date.
- Review any errors
The first section of your analysis results will be the errors section. Things you should look out for include problems with device drivers, CPU utilization, and applications that are preventing the computer from sleeping.
- Check your warnings
The “Warnings” section points out components and features that aren’t using the settings Windows 10 recommends or are using a lot of power. If you closed all applications, yet an unknown application is using a lot of power, consider running a malware scan.
- Review the Information section
The final section is “Information” and gives you lots of useful data about your power policies, battery brand, model, and capacity.
- Check your Power Policy settings
The Power Policy section is particularly useful, listing your various settings when on battery power and plugged in. You can then adjust the settings that you feel could be helpful.
- Check your battery information
The battery information section crucially shows you the amount of capacity your battery is designed for, and the amount it managed to charge last time you plugged it in. If you have a discrepancy between these two numbers, it may be worth running a battery health report.
You’ll also see the supported sleep states of your device and whether it supports connected standby.
- Check your Platform Power Management Capabilities
With that, you should have a cursory understanding of how to create a powercfg energy report, the difference between it and a health report, and how to view its output. You can contact a support agent for the parts you don’t understand, ask a professional, or post on the Microsoft Answers forums.