How to Enable Efficiency Mode for Apps in Windows 11

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Windows 11 22H2 updates and improves Efficiency Mode for applications. Applying this feature strategically could reduce energy 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 enhanced the capabilities of Task Manager. One of these improved features is called Efficiency Mode, and it’s part of Microsoft’s Sustainable Software initiative. Efficiency Mode in Task Manager reduces stress on the CPU, lowers fan noise, improves thermal performance, and offers better battery life on systems running Windows 11.

The listed benefits of Efficiency Mode may seem familiar to you because 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 restricts background applications and tasks to prevent them from interfering with foreground processes. It accomplishes this by first lowering the process priority of background tasks and then by deploying a Quality of Service package that reduces the clock speed for efficient tasks. By reducing the use of resources for certain applications, you may be able to increase the overall battery performance of each charge of your device.

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To enable Efficiency Mode for a particular application, you must first run Task Manager. There are several common methods to start Task Manager: Right-click the Start Menu icon and select Task Manager from the context menu, press Windows + X and do the same, or press the Ctrl+Alt+Del keyboard combination and choose Task Manager from the results. Any of those methods should bring to a screen similar to Figure A.

Figure 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 upper right corner of the Task Manager menu. Click the Turn On Efficiency Mode button to enable the feature. In our example, shown in Figure B, we are putting Microsoft OneNote into Efficiency Mode.

Figure B

Windows Task Manager with the Efficiency mode and Turn on Efficiency mode button circled.
Image: Mark Kaelin/TechRepublic

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

You may also notice that Microsoft Edge is already in Efficiency Mode by default — note the leaf icon. It is also important to note that some of your running applications may be considered core to the Windows 11 operating system and Efficiency Mode will be unavailable for them.

If you typically have several applications open and running at the same time on your Windows 11 device, it may be worthwhile to consider placing some of them in Efficiency Mode to save on energy consumption. For some applications, you may not even notice any significant change in their performance, and you will have to decide what works best for you. The reduction in processes and resource use could extend the charge on our device battery for hours, depending on how you deploy it.

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