Desktop and laptop operating systems include power settings to help users avoid unnecessary energy consumption. Users can alter the settings to improve efficiency and reduce energy use. It is generally possible to:
- power down the monitor after a set period of inactivity
- power down the desktop or laptop after a set period of inactivity
- control settings for individual components:
- turn hard drive off after period of inactivity (will come on again at a keypress)
- set minimum and maximum processor state settings (higher settings use more energy, lower settings mean processor can handle less work)
- alter wireless adapter power settings
It is also possible to run third party software that will allow users to see their power efficiency status. This can be useful if a user wants to have an idea of where they could alter settings to save energy.