For too long we’ve accepted a mere two or three hours’ life out of a MacBook charging cycle and while there’s often a handy outlet to juice back up from, sometimes there isn’t. You might know you’re going to be far away from a charging port, or it may come as a surprise, but either way, if you’re prepared for it, you can keep working or playing for longer.
Here’s the seven best tips for getting more out of your MacBook battery:
Update your software when new versions become available
Apple is always working on tweaks and patches that mean better battery life, so why forego them? Even if an update nets you 20 minutes extra for each charging cycle, it’s something, isn’t it? It all helps to delay that MacBook repair Miami trip…
Turn down your screen brightness
Keeping all those pixels glowing is hard work and so maintaining a bright screen is a serious drain. Of course, there are times when you can’t do without it, but if you can work with a dimmer screen, then do so whenever possible.
Get rid of superfluous accessories
Don’t leave DVDs or CDs in the drives if you’re not using them, as they can still spin occasionally and use up valuable power. You should also remove SD cards, external drives and any modems when they’re not in use as they all represent a source of drainage.
Limit your use of games and graphics apps
If you’re sat next to a socket, then game away. However, if you know it’s four hours to the nearest outlet, then find another way to keep your fingers and mind busy. Graphics-heavy games, or design packages are serious hitters, even with the sound down and the screen dim, so read a book instead.
Review your apps on a regular basis
Mac OS X will tell you which of your apps are big sappers so then you can decide to disable them (temporarily or permanently), update them so they’re more efficient or swap to a less-hungry app altogether. Head to Utilities > Activity Monitor > Energy > Energy Impact to see what’s soaking up that battery life.
Look out for Runaway Processes
Sometimes, apps or inbuilt MacBook features just go a bit wrong and start to work when they shouldn’t or work harder than they should and this can really run down your battery. Head into Activity Monitor and look for any processes that are taking up 60-70% of the CPU’s activity for long periods of time. If it’s an app that you use a lot, like your email, Chrome or Safari, you can try quitting it and reinstalling. If it’s an app or feature that you don’t use anymore, or one that could be updated, well, you know what to do.
Try out your Energy Saver System Preferences
They won’t all be suitable for you, but some will be. You can opt to turn off the display after 30 seconds, or to dim the screen slightly even when in use, or to put the hard disks to sleep whenever possible. These are all ways to keep that battery going for longer.