Tips & Tricks to Improve Macbook Battery Life: Work Longer Without External Power
You are enjoying the latest season of Game of Thrones.
Just when your favorite character is about to die (or stab someone else – we aren’t judging), your Macbook battery becomes critically low. Of course you are feeling too lazy to go plug in the machine to an external power source. Or worse, you are traveling and are stuck without an electric outlet.
So how can you get around the problem? What can you do to improve Macbook battery life or make your Macbook last longer when a convenient charging port isn’t around?
The Truth about Your Macbook Battery
Your Macbook battery isn’t invulnerable or immortal. Like any other computer component, there is a right way to use the juice and a wrong (rather detrimental) way to exploit battery power.
If you have a habit of letting your Macbook die every day, then slowly but surely your battery’s performance will begin to suffer. Extremely heavy use also erodes longevity.
So the path to better battery life is paved with small but positive changes that accumulate over time to give you more battery output.
Configure Your Macbook for Battery Life Management
Before we start elaborating the tips and tricks to improve Macbook battery life, you must first set up your system for proper battery management.
Step 1: Turn on the Percentage Option. Click the battery icon on the menu and choose “Show Percentage”. What this does is it displays the percentage of power left in the battery which dictates how long you can get by without charging your Macbook.
Step 2: Develop a Good Idea of Your Battery’s Life. Visit the Apple Specs page, look for your model and read up on how long you can expect the battery to survive under moderate use. Anything drastically sub-par is a good indication that you need to change your habits.
Step 3: Do You Need to Replace Your Macbook Battery. Hold the Option key on the keyboard and click the battery icon in the menu again. This time around you should either see “Normal” or the “Replace Soon” warning. If it’s the latter, there is not much you can do to coax a better performance from this dying component. It’s best to contact Apple and replace it.
5 Top Tips to Extend Macbook Battery Life Considerably:
Caveat: If you are a gamer or work with graphic intensive material, these tips will only be half as effective. But if you are an average Apple user then you should see significant improvement.
1. Display & Backlight: The very first thing you should do is visit System Preferences on the dock, choose Energy Saver, click on Battery and adjust the slider next to “Turn Display Off After” thereby setting the duration of time after which your display should turn dark conserving battery life.
Next, activate “Slightly dim the display when on battery power” to further support your cause.
Finally, disable the keyboard backlight. It might be a boon for those who have to type in the dark but is a nuisance when it comes to draining battery life. Simply press and hold the F5 key (or the F5 and FN in conjunction) to achieve the desired result.
2. Bluetooth & Wi-Fi: Turning off Wi-Fi may seem rather extreme. But Bluetooth and Wi-Fi together play a number on your battery life. Extension calls for shut-down. Visit System Preferences, tap Bluetooth and click the “Off” button. You can follow the same process through the option “Network” to put the gag on your Wi-Fi connectivity. Constant searches for devices to pair with or networks to latch on to do impact battery longevity. These are behind the scenes functions that should be triggered only when needed.
3. Accessories: Eject any USB or external devices that are connected to your Macbook but are not in use. In case you own an older model with a CD drive, keep it empty at all times. CDs tend to spin and consume power. Do not attempt to charge your mobile phone from your Macbook using USB connectivity when the machine is operating without external power. This is a sure fire way to drain your battery juice.
4. Upgrades: Outdated operating system (OS) or applications make the system slower and more prone to errors. As a result, the Macbook tends to consume higher volumes of power to get work done. This is the reason why timely upgrades ultimately contribute positively to battery longevity. Just click on the Apple icon on the menu and check for updates – either to the OS itself or your native apps. For the applications downloaded from the Apple marketplace, you can check the Store updates page.
5. Synchronization: Auto sync with Dropbox and email may seem like a convenient way to operate, but these perks come with the flipside of reduced battery life. Disable all extraneous notifications and the constant syncing of your Mailbox. Click the relevant icons on the menu and choose “Quit” from the drop-down. You will find your battery lasting longer.
It goes without saying that you might not be willing to make all the sacrifices listed in the article just to enjoy better battery life. But implementing even a few of the suggestions will go a long way in ensuring that you are not stuck without power and the use of your Macbook when external charging is not an option.