One of the great things about Windows is that it allows you to customize almost everything you want about it. This includes modifying the default power plans found in Windows, so that they better suit your needs. Here's how to customize all the basic settings of any Windows power plan and how to revert to its default settings when you are not satisfied with the end result:
NOTE: This guide works for Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.
How To Open The Power Options Window
If you want to edit a power plan, first open the Power Options window. If you don't know how to do that, please read this article: What Power Plans Are & How To Switch Between Them In Windows.
How To Customize The Basic Settings Of A Power Plan
In the Power Options window, click or tap on the "Change plan settings" link, next to the plan you want to customize.
The "Edit Plan Settings" window opens. Here you can modify sleep and display related options, which have different values when running on battery or plugged in.
The first setting is the time after which the display is dimmed. Click or tap the two drop-down boxes to select new values for the time after which the display is dimmed. Remember that these time values apply for minutes of inactivity on your device. While you're using the device, the display will not dim.
The next value to set is the period of inactivity after which the display is turned off. Use the corresponding drop-down box to change the values for On battery and Plugged in.
Then, decide after which period of inactivity, you would like the computer to be put to sleep.
You can also adjust the brightness of your display from the darkest (left) to the brightest (right), by using the corresponding slider. From all the settings, this can save you the most battery live on a mobile device or laptop. All the other settings apply after a defined period of inactivity. The brightness is applied while working on your device. Lower values will save you the most battery time but they will make the screen less comfortable to use.
When you are done changing all the settings, press the Save changes button to apply them.
Why Does The "Edit Plan Settings" Window Look Different In Your Version Of Windows?
The settings shown above are all available on mobile devices and laptops using Windows 7 and Windows 8. If your device is running Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 then the Dim the display option is not available, because your display will dim 15 seconds before the screen turns off. This is what the "Edit Plan Settings" window looks like in Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.
On a desktop computer you will have only two settings available for configuration: "Put the computer to sleep" and "Turn off the display". Also, there won't be any column named On battery. See the screenshot below for a sample of what the basic configuration settings look like.
How To Revert To The Default Settings Of A Power Plan
If you are not satisfied with the configuration you made for a specific plan, you can revert back to the default values. First open the Power Options window and click or tap the "Change plan settings" link for the plan you want changed back to its defaults.
In the Edit Plan Settings window, click or tap the "Restore default settings for this plan" link at the bottom of the window.
A confirmation dialog pops up, asking if you are sure that you want to restore the plan's default settings. Here, press Yes.
Now the plan is set back to its default settings and you can change them again, if you want to.
As you can see from this tutorial, changing the basic settings for a power plan is an easy task. Stay tuned for more articles on working with power plans so you can get the best balance between your computer's performance and its battery life, by configuring more advanced settings. For more articles on power plans, check out some of our related guides and if you have any suggestions, questions or problems, do not hesitate to use the comments form below.