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How To Save Battery Life On Your MacBook Pro.

Before we start improving your battery performance, it would help if you could see your battery charge level to get a better idea of your Mac battery performance.

Having the percentage visible on your menu bar will also make it easier to diagnose when your battery starts behaving badly.

  • To turn on battery percentage:

  • Go to Apple menu > System Preferences.

  • Click Dock & Menu Bar.

  • Select Battery from the sidebar.

  • Here, check the box next to Show Percentage.

1) Turn off keyboard backlight.

If you aren't working in a dark environment and keen to save battery life, turn off the backlit keyboard feature.

You can do this by pressing the dedicated keyboard backlit button found on the F5 key or within the Touch Bar settings.

2) Tweak your Energy Saver settings.

You can make your MacBook and MacBook Pro act differently when using a power adapter compared to when running on battery.

To access the settings, click on the battery icon in the upper right-hand corner of the menu bar on the desktop and adjust accordingly.

Although it will reduce the capabilities of your laptop, a good way to save power is to turn off Power Nap. This feature checks for new emails, calendar, and other iCloud updates while your laptop is sleeping.

3) Play your movies full screen.

If you're using your Mac to watch movies, make sure you play them full screen. It's only a small saving, but if the top menu isn't displayed, the operating system doesn't have to account for it and therefore doesn't have to update it.

The same trick works if you are working in a full screen app.

4) Turn off Bluetooth & Wifi if you're not using it.

There is a good chance you won't be carrying around a Bluetooth mouse or speaker when you leave your desk. With nothing to connect to, there is no point in having Bluetooth enabled.

I recommend disabling the radio to conserve battery. Just click the Control Center icon in the menu bar, then click Bluetooth and click the switch to slide it to the Off position.

The only potential downside with disabling Bluetooth is that Apple's Continuity feature, which allows you to quickly and easily share information between your iPhone or iPad and Mac, won't work.

5) Consider switching from Chrome.

If Chrome your main web browser, you might consider making the switch to Apple's Safari browser. Chrome is a known resource hog, taking up precious memory, and by extension eating into a laptop's battery life.

Apple's battery life estimates for its MacBooks are calculated with Safari as the default web browser.

If you've never used Safari as means to get around the web, you'll be surprised at how capable it is. I personally use it as my main browser and rarely run into any issues, which wasn't the case just a few short years ago.

6) Clean Your Mac.

Using an unoptimized Mac is like driving a car that's way past its service date. While macOS is generally pretty good at managing its own resources, junk can still develop.

The severity of the problem depends on what you do on your Mac. If you're a programmer and you install a lot of packages on your Mac, only to forget about them down the line, you might have a problem.

In any case, when your Mac starts misbehaving and draining a lot of battery, it's a good opportunity to take stock and clean up your Mac. You can do this using a couple of different tools.

7) Keep current with software updates.

Staying current with MacOS updates will help you get the best possible battery life. To check to see if an update is available for your MacBook, go to System Preferences > Software Update.

While you're there, check the box to Automatically keep my Mac up to date, and clicking the Advanced button will let you check for updates automatically, download them automatically or install them automatically.

If you're watching full HD movies with the brightness turned all the way up, or you're performing intensive tasks like transcoding videos, your MacBook is still going to die on you in three or four hours. But in general use, the above tips should help you get more juice out of your current machine.

8) Check Your Battery Condition.

You can also try calibrating your MacBook's battery. It's like resetting your battery's default behavior. Fully charge up your MacBook, then drain it down entirely, and then charge it up all the way again.

This is slightly different in older versions of macOS where you need to click the battery icon in the menu bar while holding the Option key.

If it says Condition: Normal, everything is A-OK. But if there's something wrong, it will say Service Recommended. That's your cue to get the Mac to the service station, as the battery is less able to hold charge than it was when it was new.

Different Mac batteries have different maximum cycle counts (essentially your Mac’s battery life), from 1000 for a Macbook Pro Retina to 300 for the first Macbook Air. Apple has a full list of Mac models with their corresponding battery cycle counts on their website if you’re interested.

Once the cycle count is reached, your Mac battery should be replaced as it will start to show problems like these:

  • Your battery isn’t charging

  • The battery won’t charge to 100%

  • Mac battery runtime is low.

While this scenario makes it easy to recognize that you need a Mac replacement battery, a dying battery may not always be that obvious about it.

Here are three ways to check battery health on your Mac in order to determine whether you need a Mac battery replacement:

The Painful Way--

Your Mac won’t turn on. When you press the power button there are no signs of life at all. Not even a flutter from the fans. However, when you plug in the main power cord your Mac suddenly works perfectly.

This means your Mac battery is dead. The diagnosis is simple: you need a replacement battery for your Mac.

The Fun Way--

If your Mac battery is behaving strangely you can check on its condition from within macOS. Follow these steps:

Navigate to Apple menu > About This Mac > System Report.

Click on the Power section from the list to view cycle count and condition rating.

The four battery conditions are - “Normal,” “Replace Soon,” “Replace Now,” and “Service Battery”.

This final tip is something that everyone needs to know. If you want to store your Mac long term, don’t fully charge or discharge its battery — charge it to around 50%. If you store your Mac for an extended period of time when the battery is fully charged, it may lose some capacity, leading to a shorter battery life. Conversely, when the battery is fully discharged, it could fall into the deep discharge state. Remember this if you want to increase MacBook battery life.

--How to tell you need a Mac replacement battery.

Getting on the bus and sitting down to watch a movie on your recently charged Mac is the perfect way to pass the time on a long journey.

So when your Mac reaches a critical battery level and then dies after 15 minutes we wouldn’t judge you if you wanted to shed a tear or two. If a fellow traveler sees your tears just show them your dead Mac and they’ll understand.

9) Disconnect accessories after you're done with them.

As with Bluetooth, if you aren't actively using a USB-connected device (such as a flash drive), you should unplug it to prevent battery drain. If the power cord isn't connected, charging your smartphone or tablet via the MacBook's USB port will also drain your battery.


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