The Power Options utility in Windows allows you to reduce the power consumption of certain devices or of the entire system, as shown in the figure. Use Power Options to maximize performance or conserve energy by configuring a system’s power plan. Power plans are a collection of hardware and system settings that manage the power usage of the computer. In Windows XP, power plans are called power schemes.

Windows 7 and Windows Vista have preset power plans, while Windows XP has preset power schemes. These are the default settings and were created when the OS was installed. You can use the default settings or the customized plans that are based on specific work requirements.

NOTE: Power Options automatically detects some devices that are connected to the computer. Therefore, the Power Options windows will vary based on the hardware that is detected.

To access the Power Options utility, use the following path:

Start > Control Panel > Power Options

You can choose from the following options:

Selecting Choose what the power buttons do or Choose what closing the lid does configures how a computer acts when power or sleep buttons are pressed or the lid is closed. If users do not want to completely shut down a computer, the following options are available: