I read that Google just added adaptive charging in ChromeOS which is great; I use this feature on my Android phone to try and maximize the life of my battery. No reason not to use it on my Chromebook too. How do I enable it?
Lithium Ion batteries have been the go-to tech for devices for quite a few years now, often referenced by its shortened name LiON. It’s a great chemistry for rechargeable batteries that only loses a small amount of charge capacity over hundreds of full recharges and years of use. Your two year old phone might not be able to hold a charge like it did when it was brand new, but it still lasts a surprisingly long time. One trick that device companies have learned to maximize LiON battery life is to slow down the last bit of charge.
In fact, your batteries all charge at a different speed depending on the current charge level: It’ll go from zero to 25% much faster than 50% to 75%, and then getting up to the top 100% mark can take weirdly long. But if you make a habit of stopping the charge at 80% or so, it turns out you can add some significant life to your batteries. In the last few years the big manufacturers have switched from secretly tweaking it (Apple got into a lot of trouble for that with the iPhone “Batterygate” lawsuit back in 2020) to having it as a user setting.
Both Android and iPhones now have “smart charging” settings that automatically slow down the charge when you hit 80% and, interesting, so do most electric vehicles too. It’s pervasive! Finally, with ChromeOS 117 (early Dec, 2023 release) Adaptive Charging is also a feature for Chromebooks.
Let’s check it out and see if your system supports this new feature or not. Here’s what Google says about it:
The takeaway from this What’s New in ChromeOS blurb is “To see if your Chromebook has this new feature…”. Yes, for reasons I cannot explain, some Chromebooks apparently cannot run the battery charge monitoring software required for this feature. Why that’s the case is hard to puzzle out, but hopefully your Chromebook will be one of the few, the proud.
FIND ADAPTIVE CHARGING IN CHROMEOS
The easiest way to check if you have this feature is to simply search for it with the Shelf search button. Click on the circle, then type “adaptive charging”:
Well, it knows “Charging sounds”, which suggests that perhaps the search database doesn’t know the new features in Settings? Okay, maybe not a good strategy on a Chromebook (tho search works great for specific settings and preferences on both Mac and Windows computers).
Open up Settings instead. Easiest way to do that is to click on the time display, then the gear icon on the lower right of the resultant notifications and shortcuts window:
See the gear icon adjacent to “36% – 1:10 left”? That’s the shortcut to get to Settings. Click on it, then search Settings for “adaptive charging”…
Still no joy, but at least “Power” shows up and that’s close enough. Click on Power to proceed.
ENABLING ADAPTIVE CHARGING IN CHROMEOS
The power options in ChromeOS are pretty minimal, but still important to set as per your usage preferences:
What’s not shown here is the ability to enable Adaptive Charging. This means, sad to report, that this particular ASUS Chromebook doesn’t support the feature. No warning, no workaround, it’s just a feature that’s missing in action. If you have the ability to enable Adaptive Charging, do so! If you don’t, well, you’re not alone. Perhaps a future release of ChromeOS will add this feature for even more computers. We can hope.
Pro Tip: I’ve been writing about ChromeOS since it was introduced and have accumulated a LOT of helpful tutorials. Please check out my ChromeOS Help Area while you’re visiting. Thanks!