Use the Windows Task Manager to find power leeching processes quickly


Sometimes, when you are using a mobile Windows device, e.g. a laptop or notebook running Windows 10, you may notice that the device’s battery power is consumed rather quickly. Sometimes, this can be linked to the use of a particular service or application, such as streaming video, a computer game, or other activity that is very taxing. At other times, power may go down quickly without you really knowing why.

While you can create power efficiency reports on Windows to diagnose power consumption, it is sometimes easier to use the Windows Task Manger for a quick diagnosis. Most experienced users may know about this, but some users may not.

task manager power usage

All you need to do is the following:

  1. Use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl-Shift-Esc to open the Task Manager.
  2. If you have not already, click on “more details” to display the full task manager window.
  3. Under Processes, check the Power Usage and Power Usage Trend columns. A click on one of the headers sorts the column to display the lowest or highest power using processes.

Many Windows users may not see these columns right away. They are displayed by default but not visible if the task manager window is not wide enough. Either increase the width of the window or reduce the column width of the visible columns to display it. You may also right-click and uncheck some columns that you are not interested in.  If the two power columns are not displayed, use the right-click menu and select them to display them.

The difference between Power Usage and Power Usage Trend is that the former provides a view of the current power consumption while trend a view over time.

Anything that is listed as high or very high is consuming a lot of power. Just check the process names to find out which application or service is using the power. It is easy if the process points to a single-purpose application, e.g. a computer game, but not so easy if you get a web browser instead. If the latter is the case, you may need to check the activity in the web browser to determine which site or service is causing the power usage.

Closing Words

A quick look using the task manager may sometimes be enough to identify a power hungry program or service. While that is often clear, e.g. when running a computer game, it may sometimes not be clear right away, or you may spot a program that you did not have on your list at all.

Now You: do you check the power consumption of programs on your devices?

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