As many probably know, Microsoft released a bigger update to Windows 11 with the March Patch-Tuesday release. This patch was more than just patches, this included also some new features like the Windows 365 app which reached GA earlier this year, video recording in the Snipping tool and some pretty cool AI features from Bing.
But one of the better new features is, according to me, the new energy recommendations to help you decrease your carbon footprint. This new feature is just a set of recommended settings to set for your computer to be more energy efficiant.
The end-user could implement these settings themselves, but let’s face it, no one outside the IT department would look for that in the settings.
Since Windows does not enforce the policies to be changed, someone needs to make an active decision here.
This is what my device looked like when just jumping into the settings. What options you see might vary depending on what device you are using, and you can even get recommendations on a Cloud PC. In this example, I’m using a desktop PC. As you can see I have two settings which are not in line with Microsoft recommendations, and one which is managed by Intune. If I had a laptop, there would have been more options for me such as screen brightness and battery optimization.
Here I can select if I want to apply all or just a subset of actions. If I click on apply all, all settings will be updated to the recommended value.
I can also now see, if I step back in the settings menu, that I have enabled all available settings.
Even if this is a small update, I think it’s a good and important one to adopt. You can of course look into having these defined within your environment, which will mean that users cannot change these settings themself if they would like for some reason.
This is a balance between enforcement and spreading awareness amongst users. There might be reasons for users needing increased brightness on their screen as an example. But looking at this from a sustainability perspective, this is a great place to start working with your computers around this even more.
If you want to know more about the settings which is a part of this, have a look at this Microsoft support page: Learn more about energy recommendations – Microsoft Support