Review of SetPower Free : Manage Multiple Power Portfolios in Windows

Though Windows has had power saving options since Windows XP, its efficiency increased only with Windows Vista. Its successor, Windows 7 and Windows 8 have many improvements and offer even better power saving options that let you fully customize how your computer utilizes power, and help you conserve power and extend battery life.

You may wonder about the need for using a third-party software, such as SetPower Free, for saving on power consumption when using Windows. The answer is quite simple – you get to save much more energy while also making it faster for the computer to toggle between sleep and wake up modes. This review of Set Power Free for efficient energy savings reflects my own experience with the software.

SetPower Free Download

Five out of five for it. If you are a home user, you can download the free edition of SetPower. If your computer is on a Windows domain, the free software will not work. In that case, you will have to go for its paid version. For most of us using personal computers at home, the free edition is more than enough.

Clicking on download installs an executable that later downloads data files. It hardly took one full minute for the download to compete on a 4Mbps connection.

Using Set Power Energy Software

It took a while to figure out how to open the Set Power energy-saving software. There was no desktop icon nor any entry in All Programs under Start menu. You do get to start the program as soon as you finish installing. But in case you close it and wish to set up power options at a later stage, you will have to open it from Control Panel.

Open Control Panel and look for Set Power Free. A window will open with two options: 1) Add and 2) Create a Typical Schedule for Me. The first option lets you create your own plan for energy conservation.

The second option is visible as a link (see image above) and when clicked, allows you to choose from two customized energy-saving plans for you. When you click this link, you get another dialog that gives you the following two options:

  1. On During The Day: This energy plan is optimized for people who use computers aggressively during the day. You get to select when to turn on the computer and when to put it to sleep.
  2. Out of house During The Day: You might want to consider this plan if you do not get to use your home computer during weekdays.

In either case, you can set up the time to wake up and put to sleep the computer. You also get to change the values by double clicking the entries shown in the main window. The screenshots below show the process of creating the second default energy-saving plan mentioned above and the main window as it appears after creating the second default plan.

Here is the main window as it appears after creating the second default plan.

It takes around two minutes of waiting before you can click on Finish to go back to main window after entering values for the energy-saving plan.

The waiting is probably for Set Power Free Energy Saving Software for Windows 7 to create database entries and edit Windows registry.

The concept is cool – you need not go to your computer and hit keys to wake up computer as SetPower Free will wake it up for you at a designated time every day.

I would suggest you set up the wake time to a few minutes before you actually reach the computer so that it is ready and you do not need to wait for the computer to come out of sleep. While the configuration window of Set Power Free (where you were creating the energy-saving plan) does not give you options to set time in minutes, you can do so in editing mode (see image below). To activate editing mode, double-click on the entry – that you wish to edit – in the main window of Set Power Free.

Review Of SetPower Free – Speed & Putting To Sleep

As said earlier, when you create a plan and click Next, you have to wait for few minutes before you can complete (click Finish) to return to the main window. The same is applicable to editing and removing each task.

I noticed delays only when using the link saying Create a Typical Schedule for Me. For the Add button, there was no delay in creating the plan. This could be due to the fact that Set Power creates multiple plans when you use the Create Typical Schedule option.

When you use the Add button to create a power plan, you do not get to specify the time for putting computer to sleep or hibernate. This could be possibly due to the already present options of putting the computer to sleep or hibernation upon certain period of inactivity. If you have specified the time to wait before putting the computer to sleep or hibernate, your computer will run for that period of time before putting the computer to sleep or sending it into hibernation mode.

In my opinion, this amounts to wastage of power. If you are done for the day, you should be able to tell SetPower Free to put the computer to sleep or to hibernate it immediately instead of keeping the computer running for a certain period of time. The image below shows you how to create a custom plan using the Add button.

However, to further save energy, you can set up Windows to sleep or hibernate simply by pressing the sleep/power button or by closing the lid of notebook. You can set up these using Power Options in Windows 7.

Review Of SetPower Energy Saving In Windows – Verdict

SetPower Free is cool if you keep the computer running throughout instead of shutting it down in the night. And since it automates wake up and sleep, you save time that would otherwise be wasted waiting for your computer to come out of sleep mode or from hibernation.

You can use the Add button to create energy-saving plans for different periods of different days of the week based on how you use your computer. For example, if you work from Monday to Thursday and take Friday to Sunday off, you can create different plans for working days and different ones for offs. Overall, a software worth trying.

You can go here to download the free edition of SetPower.

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Arun Kumar is a Microsoft MVP alumnus, obsessed with technology, especially the Internet. He deals with the multimedia content needs of training and corporate houses. Follow him on Twitter @PowercutIN