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Switch Power Plans on Your Laptop with a Single Click

If you've got a laptop with a fading battery, the last thing you want to do is futz around with Windows, searching for the right power plan to get a few more minutes of runtime. Wouldn't it be great if you could just click a desktop shortcut to switch to the Power Saver mode? The How-To Geek has a tutorial on how to create such a power plan shortcut, and I've distilled it down to its essence here for you.

To begin with, you need to find the GUID for you power schemes. Open a command prompt (in Vista, just type cmd in the Start menu's search box) and type this:

powercfg list
Now copy the GUID you want. To do that, right click in the window and choose Mark, then select the alphanumeric series and press Ctrl+C.

Next, make a shortcut. Right click on the desktop and choose New, Shortcut. Type this:

Powercfg -setactive GUID
...where GUID is the value you copied out of the command window.

And you're done. If you want to make the shortcut prettier, you can customize the icon. Check out the How-To Geek tutorial for more details on how to do that. And don't forget that one way to dramatically extend the runtime of a Vista laptop is to disable the Aero effects with Aerofoil. I use it daily and it is nothing short of miraculous.