Switch Between Multiple Power Plans with Shortcut or Schedule

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Windows Power PlanWindows comes with a solid power management tool that allows users to manage energy consumption in great detail. One complaint that most users have while using this feature is the limited number of plans displayed in the tray icon. No matter how many custom plans you have set up, only the recently used two schemes are shown there. If you wanted to switch to any other scheme, you will have to go to Power Options in Control Panel.

If you need to frequently change power plans, I have two great solutions for you:

  • Create shortcut to change or switch power plans
  • OR

  • Create a Power Management schedule to automatically switch plans

The first solution needs a bit of work to setup, the second is comparatively quite simple and is done using a small freeware application.

Create Shortcut to Switch Power Plans

This method will show you how to create shortcuts that will allow you to instantly switch to desired power plan without having to go through Power Options in the Control Panel.

Create New Power Plan
We will start off by creating a new power plan, or if you already have one, you can skip this step.

To create a customized power plan that suits your needs, follow these steps:

  1. Open Power Options: Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Power Options
  2. In the left pane, click Create a power plan, choose a plan similar to what you want from the list, enter a name, and then click Next.
  3. On the next page, adjust display brightness and sleep settings for when computer is running on battery and when it’s plugged in.
  4. Click Create

With that done, let’s create some shortcuts.

Create Power Plan Shortcut
To create shortcut to a power plan we need its GUID. To see the list of power plans and its GUID, open Command Prompt, and type in following command:

powercfg –list

This will give you something like this:
powercfg

GUIDs of default power schemes on all Windows PCs are:

  • Power Saver: a1841308-3541-4fab-bc81-f71556f20b4a
  • Balanced Power: 381b4222-f694-41f0-9685-ff5bb260df2e
  • High Performance: 8c5e7fda-e8bf-4a96-9a85-a6e23a8c635c

Your custom plan will have another GUID.

Now right click on your desktop and start Create Short wizard.

In location of the item field enter following path, replacing the GUID with your own:

powercfg -setactive

Complete the wizard with your own customizations.

Repeat the same steps to create shortcut for other profiles.

That’s it. You can pin the shortcut to your Start Menu, Taskbar, or even assign hotkey for quick switching.

Create Power Plans and Change According to Schedule

For this method we will use freeware tool called SetPower. It’s a simple application that allows users to create multiple power plans and then switch between them throughout the day according to set schedule.

You can create plans depending on your performance requirements. For instance, you can create a plan for high performance usage during the day, and save energy during those times when you don’t need extra performance, like during the night.

When you install and run the program, you will see an interface like this:

SetPower

To start off, you can choose to either create a detailed power plan by clicking on Add button, or a typical plan by clicking on “Create a typical schedule for me”. As you might have already guessed, choosing the former option gives you more settings to play with, while the later gets the work done quickly. You can apply a scheme to any day of the week, starting at whatever time you want.

SetPower is unobtrusive to your regular computer usage. The program doesn’t install any drivers, nor does it run in the background. It functions using the existing power management capabilities of Windows.

SetPower works on Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7.