Switching between Windows’ built-in power schemes from the taskbar can be kind of a pain, so Lifehacker reader Keithb1 shows us a few different ways to change them with a keyboard shortcut.
Photo by ericnvntr.
I got rather sick of choosing plans from the system tray. It’s just a little clumsy and clunky trying to manage it with a trackpad all the time. Plus, I will jump at just about any chance or excuse to make something like that happen from the keyboard instead. After seeing this article on TechNet that described how to change it from the command prompt, I got a few ideas.
If you do this from the Command Prompt:
it will list all the plans that are available. Usually it will be three, unless you’ve made some of your own, which is what I did. You’ll get an output that looks like this:
Existing Power Schemes (* Active)
Power Scheme GUID: 381b4222-f694-41f0-9685-ff5bb260df2e (Balanced) *
Power Scheme GUID: 8c5e7fda-e8bf-4a96-9a85-a6e23a8c635c (High performance)
Power Scheme GUID: a1841308-3541-4fab-bc81-f71556f20b4a (Power saver)
What you’re after is the GUID part (the Globally Unique Identifier). If you want to change over to High Performance at the command line, from Run, from a batch file, from AutoHotkey, or from your favourite app launcher — like Executor, SlickRun, Launchy and others — then you’ll use a command like the following, the target for whatever shorthand you prefer to use.
powercfg -s 8c5e7fda-e8bf-4a96-9a85-a6e23a8c635c
There are a number of different ways to turn this into a shortcut. Here are my three favourites.
Turning it into a keyboard shortcut with AutoHotkey: The simplest method is to map this to a keyboard shortcut in AutoHotkey. To do this, take the command we found above and place it into your AutoHotkey script like so:
#Numpad6::Run, powercfg -s a1841308-3541-4fab-bc81-f71556f20b4a
This will set Windows to the Power Saver scheme when you hit Win+6 on the number pad.
Turning it into a keyboard shortcut with any app launcher: If you’d prefer to make it a shortcut in your app launcher, you use the same command. It should work in nearly any app launcher that supports running commands (the screenshot to the right shows it in Executor). In SlickRun, they’re called “Magic Words”, in Executor, they’re called “Keywords”, and so on.
The key is to put
powercfg in the “Command”, “Filename” or “Url” field, and
-s 8c5e7fda-e8bf-4a96-9a85-a6e23a8c635c in the “Parameters” field. Then, just give it a keyword, and if you like, a “hotkey”. Then, you can either invoke your app launcher and type in the keyword, or hit the hotkey to change power schemes without ever taking your fingers off the keyboard.
A Desktop or Taskbar Shortcut: Lastly, you can also pin shortcuts for all your power schemes to the Start menu, Taskbar or Desktop. I usually try to avoid that since it involves the mouse, which is what I was trying to get away from. However, if you want to do that, it’s pretty simple. Just right-click an empty spot on the Desktop and create a new shortcut with this as the target:
powercfg.exe -s 381b4222-f694-s41f0-9685-ff5bb260df2e
Do the others too, if you want. From the Desktop, you can change their icons and pin them to the Start Menu or the Taskbar, or you could move/copy them over to Quick Launch.
You have a few choices, so even if you’re not an AutoHotkey guru or a die-hard Executor user, you can always access those power schemes with just a few taps or clicks.