Generating a Power Efficiency Diagnostics Report

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 3, 2020)

Windows, for several versions now, has tried to work closely with whatever hardware it is installed upon to manage power use. (In fact, there are several different WindowsTips that explain how to change power settings.) When you are working on a laptop, power use becomes much more important than it may be on a desktop computer. If you want to know how to best configure Windows and your laptop to co-exist peacefully and make the best use of the computer's battery life, you might be interested in generating a power efficiency report.

Normally this report is "hidden," meaning that the tool that creates the report is not available from any of the controls in the Windows environment. Instead, you need to run it from the command prompt, as an administrator. To get to the proper command prompt in Windows 7, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Start button to display the Start menu.
  2. Type cmd, but don't press Enter. You should see a single command shown on the screen, for cmd.exe.
  3. Right-click on cmd.exe and choose Run as Administrator from the resulting Context menu. This opens up a command line prompt window.

If you are using Windows 8, move the mouse pointer all the way to the bottom-left corner of the screen and then right-click. In the resulting Context menu, choose the Command Prompt (Admin) option. If you are using Windows 10, right-click on the Windows button. In the resulting Context menu, choose the Windows PowerShell (Admin) option.

In the command prompt window, enter the following:

powercfg –energy –output c:report.html

Depending on your version of Windows, you may need to insert either a back slash (\) or a forward slash (/) between "c:" and "report" in the above command prompt entry.

The powercfg program starts and informs you that it is doing some diagnostics for 60 seconds. The program actually takes a bit longer than a minute to run, as it needs to do some analysis on the results of the diagnostics. In the command line you can change the report name and location; the example shown places the report (report.html) in the root directory of the C: drive, but you could specify a different location, if desired.

When completed, you can close the command prompt window and navigate to wherever the report is located. Double-click on it, and it will open in your browser. It contains quite a bit of information about your system and its power usage. You can use the information in guiding you on how to configure Windows to give the best power performance on your system.

 This tip (7097) applies to Windows 7, 8, and 10.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Deleting Datasheet Rows or Columns

How to remove information from your datasheet.

Discover More

Printing a Bookmark List

Need to know what bookmarks are defined in a document? Here's a macro that creates a list of all your bookmarks so that ...

Discover More

Understanding the VLOOKUP Function

Functions are at the heart of Excel's power in working with data. One of the most misunderstood functions provided by ...

Discover More
More WindowsTips

Adjusting the Mouse for Left-Handed Users

Since Windows is so customizable, it should come as no surprise that Microsoft has made accommodations for left-handed ...

Discover More

Using Powercfg to Duplicate an Existing Power Scheme

The Powercfg utility allows you to control how power is used on your system. This tip shows you how to use the ...

Discover More

Determining If a Drive Should be Defragmented

Disk fragmentation is one of those things which, if severe, can adversely affect your system's performance. This tip ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 7 + 9?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.