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How to enable efficiency mode for apps in Windows 11

Windows 11 22H2 updates and improves Efficiency Mode for applications. Strategically applying this feature can reduce power consumption and improve battery performance.

The Windows 11 logo with the words Enable Efficiency Mode for applications.
Image: Mark Kaelin/TechRepublic.

With the release of Windows 11 22H2, Microsoft has redesigned and improved Task Manager’s capabilities. One of these enhanced features is called Efficiency Mode and is part of Microsoft’s Sustainable Software initiative. Efficiency mode in Task Manager reduces CPU load, lowers fan noise, improves thermal performance, and provides longer battery life on Windows 11 systems.

The mentioned benefits of Efficiency Mode may sound familiar to you, as in Windows 10, similar features were known as Eco Mode. For this new 22H2 version of Windows 11, Microsoft has changed the way the feature is enabled and made several additional improvements.

How to enable efficiency mode for apps in Windows 11

Efficiency mode limits background applications and tasks to prevent them from interfering with foreground processes. This is accomplished by first lowering the process priority of background tasks and then deploying a Quality of Service package that lowers the clock speed for efficient tasks. By reducing resource usage for certain applications, you may be able to improve the overall battery performance of each charge of your device.

SEE: Google Workspace vs. Microsoft 365: a side-by-side analysis with checklist (TechRepublic Premium)

To enable efficiency mode for a particular application, you must first run the Task Manager. There are several common methods to start the Task Manager: Right click on the Start Menu icon and select Task Manager from the context menu, press Windows + X and do the same, or press the keyboard combination Ctrl+Alt+Del and choose Task Manager from the Results. Any of these methods should lead to a screen similar to: Image A.

Image A

Windows Task Manager with the efficiency symbol circled.
Image: Mark Kaelin/TechRepublic

Select an application from the list and then click the Efficiency Mode button in the top right corner of the Task Manager menu. Click the Enable Efficiency Mode button to enable the feature. In our example, shown in Figure Bwe put Microsoft OneNote in efficiency mode.

Figure B

Windows Task Manager with Efficiency Mode button and Enable Efficiency Mode circled.
Image: Mark Kaelin/TechRepublic

To disable Efficiency Mode, select the application in Task Manager and press the Efficiency Mode button again to disable the feature.

You may also notice that Microsoft Edge is already in efficiency mode by default – notice the leaf icon. It is also important to note that some of your running applications may be considered core of the Windows 11 operating system and Efficiency Mode will not be available to them.

If you typically have multiple applications open and running at the same time on your Windows 11 device, it may be worth putting some of them in Efficiency Mode to save on power consumption. For some applications, you may not even notice a significant change in their performance, and you will have to decide what works best for you. The reduction in processes and resource usage can extend our device’s battery for hours, depending on how you deploy it.

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