Using Powercfg to List Your Existing Power Schemes

by Barry Dysert
(last updated September 19, 2016)

As you may know, your computer can run under a variety of different power schemes. A power scheme is a collection of hardware and system settings that manage how your computer uses power. They are typically used the most with laptops, where it's more crucial to trade off between performance and battery preservation. Even a desktop machine can use them, though. There are three schemes that come with Windows by default. They are Balanced, High Performance, and Power Saver, and you can create others if none of these suits you.

There is a command utility in Windows called Powercfg, which provides a great deal of control over your power schemes. (You can use the GUI for much of this functionality, too, but a lot of people prefer using the command line.) Powercfg takes numerous switches to tell it what you want to do regarding your power schemes. To see all of the switches available to Powercfg, invoke it with the "-HELP" (or "-?") switch.

For this tip we just want to list the power schemes that are in your current environment. The switch to do this is the "-LIST" (or just "-L") switch. Case is ignored, so even though I'll provide the examples in lowercase, you can use uppercase if you prefer. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. Powercfg -list.

This example shows that I have three power schemes (their names are on the right in parentheses). I have the default Balanced, High performance, and Power saver schemes. The asterisk at the end of the "Balanced" line denotes that this is the currently active scheme.

Note the GUIDs that are listed with each scheme. These are important to other Powercfg commands.

 This tip (13470) applies to Windows 7, 8, and 10.

Author Bio

Barry Dysert

Barry has been a computer professional for over 35 years, working in different positions such as technical team leader, project manager, and software developer. He is currently a software engineer with an emphasis on developing custom applications under Microsoft Windows. When not working with Windows or writing Tips, Barry is an amateur writer. His first non-fiction book is titled "A Chronological Commentary of Revelation." ...

MORE FROM BARRY

How to Find Apps Faster

This tip reveals a little-known trick that enables you to move around your Start menu a little faster. The result is ...

Discover More

Understanding and Changing AutoPlay Settings

You can configure Windows to perform some tasks automatically. This includes telling it what to do whenever Windows ...

Discover More

Performing Complex Calculations Using the Scientific Calculator

The next time you need to perform calculations at your computer, there's no need to fire up a big spreadsheet program or ...

Discover More
More WindowsTips

Changing the MAC Address for a Network Adapter

MAC addresses are used to uniquely identify devices on your network, such as a network adapter. Here's how you can modify ...

Discover More

Wiping a Drive

Want to easily improve the security of your old data? Here's an addition to the venerable format command that can help.

Discover More

Using Powercfg to Change the Name of a 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
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 4 - 3?

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.