These 10 power saving tips will maximise Mac battery life
In this post we run through the tips to get maximise Mac battery life on a single charge. This way you won’t have to worry about your battery running out when you need it most. Whether you’ve forgotten your power cable or can’t get to a power outlet these power saving tips will come in handy.
1. Check your battery health
The first thing you should do before trying to maximise Mac battery life is check its health. To do this hover your mouse over the battery icon in the top right of your screen and hold down the option key. You should see “Condition: Normal.” If however you see “Replace Soon” you may need to get your Mac serviced and battery replaced.
2. Determine your battery’s cycle count
After a period of time all batteries run at less than their original capacity. To do a further check on the health of your Mac’s battery:
- Click on the Apple icon in the top left hand corner of the screen
- Select “About this Mac”
- Select overview and the system report button
- Select power from the left hand side bar
There is a section that displays “Cycle Count.” Depending on the model and age of your Mac, you can expect to get about 500-1000 cycles from your batter before it reach 80% of its original capacity.
3. Switch off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi
To maximise mac battery life only use Bluetooth and Wi-Fi when you need it. They both act like a wireless radio that uses battery power. Most people don’t even realise that Bluetooth is turned on. To switch either or both of these off, click on their respective icons in the top right hand corner of your Mac screen.
4. Turn down Screen Brightness
The brighter the screen, the more battery you use. To turn down your screen brightness hold down the F1 key (to increase it press F2). Adjust the brightness to a level where you can still comfortably read the screen.
5. Turn off backlit keyboard.
If your working in daylight there is no real reason for the backlit keyboard. Maximise Mac battery life by switching this feature off. Hold down the F5 key until the light is completely off (hold F6 to switch back on).
6. Turn on energy saver preferences.
Energy saver preferences are what come into effect during periods of inactivity.
To access energy saver preferences:
- Open system preferences
- Click the energy save icon
- Select the battery tab
- Adjust downwards the “Computer Sleep” and “Display Sleep” bar to a level that is comfortable
To save more battery juice select the checkboxes that “put hard disks to sleep when possible” and “slightly dim the display when using this power source.”
7. Close unused applications.
One well known tip to maximise Mac battery life is to close apps that your not using. What is often hidden from view is that some apps will still use system resources – and therefore battery life – even when they’re not running.
To check up on this:
- Open the Activity Monitor
- Click on the CPU tab
- Select “All Processes” from the drop-down menu
- Sort the apps by CPU%
- Close any apps consuming a large percentage (more than 70%)
8. Turn off Time Machine.
Time Machine is a great way to backup your Mac. However copying data across to another drive uses battery power. Consider switching it off when running on battery power. To do this:
- Open System Preferences
- Select Time Machine and then Options
- Un-tick the box that says “Back up while on battery power.”
9. Enable private browsing.
Private browsing allows your to maximise Mac battery life because the browser no longer has to access the hard drive to cache pages and images.
10. Eject disks and disconnect unused peripherals.
Any external devices connect to your Mac, such as a mouse, draw power and reduce battery life. Even when not in use the Mac can spin the disk drive and drain the battery.
While some of these tips save more battery life than others, when used together they can maximise Mac battery life and add valuable minutes until you can next recharge.