Get More Life Out Of Your MacBook Battery

11 years ago in Articles, How do I?, Useful Links by Brent | 38 Comments

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Apple says your MacBook battery, when new, is good for about 4 ½ hours. Of course, there’s some variability, depending on what you’re doing with the computer. Here are a few tricks to keep your battery from dying on a long flight or something:

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  1. Optimize your battery life settings.
    • Go to “Energy Saver Preference.” Choose “Battery” and set the optimization for “Better Battery Life.” This automatically puts the display to sleep when it is inactive for more than a minute and reduces your processor performance. Your MacBook won’t run quite as fast, but you’ll save more battery power.
  2. Power down your hard disks when you don’t need them.
    • Go to “Energy Saver Preferences” and enable “Put Hard Disks to Sleep When Able.”
  3. Decrease your screen brightness
    • Go to the “Displays Preferences” pane and adjust the screen brightness down a bit. Disable “Auto Adjust.”
  4. Turn off things you don’t need, like Airport or Bluetooth when you aren’t using them.
  5. Close the Dashboard so that there aren’t any widgets running.
  6. Minimize processor use while you’re on battery.
    • That means, don’t run applications that take a lot of processor power, don’t run too many applications or more than you need to.

All laptop batteries eventually wear out, and as they do, they operate for less and less time. You can prolong the life of your battery with regular monthly maintenance. Once a month, run your MacBook on battery until it puts itself to sleep, indicating the battery is empty. Then plug it in and fully recharge it.

You’ll have to decide when to replace your MacBook battery. You can get an add-in utility to track your battery capacity, and replace the battery if you notice the capacity is dropping. Or you can just monitor how long your MacBook will run before going to sleep (keep track during your monthly maintenance). When the battery life falls below whatever your acceptable level is, it’s time for a new one.

Links to battery capacity apps:

Helpful links for more info:

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