Pin Me

How to Get the Most Out of Your Mac Battery: 5 Tips +1

written by: 1rick•edited by: J. F. Amprimoz•updated: 1/29/2009

There is nothing worse than being out somewhere with your MacBook, and not having enough battery power to get your work done. If you find yourself plagued by poor Macbook battery life, you'll most certainly be "empowered" by these 5 tips on how to get the most out of your Mac battery.

  • slide 1 of 7

    How to Get the Most Out of Your Mac Battery

    A few of these tips may seem obvious to some, but the fact remains that I know very few people who actually use them. My Macbook is a year old right now, and I have about 6 hours and 49 minutes of battery life showing in my battery meter. Of course, that’s just a guesstimate by OS X – and if I were to play some Neil Diamond right now at full volume, then that calculation would be adjusted pretty quick.

    But for the time being, 6:49 is a good approximation of how long I can run my Macbook at this current rate. Right now, I am employing all of the 5 tips below. You don’t need to use all of them, but if you get in the habit of doing a few, you’ll certainly go a long way towards improving your Macbook battery life.

  • slide 2 of 7

    Tip #5: In Energy Saving Preferences, under Battery Settings select "Better Battery Life"

    This one is kind of obvious. This is the first place most people will look when trying to save power. And it is a good idea for sure. Do yourself a favor and adjust the settings for your power adaptor as well. We are in the middle of an economic crisis after all.

    Impact on Battery Power:

    Optimization Better Battery Life: 6 hours and 49 minutes

    Optimization Normal: 5 hours and 46 minutes

  • slide 3 of 7

    Tip #4: Disconnect Unnecessary Peripherals

    Of course, your computer is going to eat up more juice when you have your iPod connected and charging. If you have any kind of keyboard-humping dogs or USB gun turrets, you might want to consider disconnecting.

    Impact on Battery Power:

    Depends on your peripherals. But go easy on the gun turrets...

  • slide 4 of 7

    Tip #3: Close any Non-essential Programs

    If your computer has a lot of programs open, of course it's going to require more processing power, and thus more battery life. If you're only doing one task, you may as well close down Photoshop, iTunes, Word, and Mail, and whatever else you might have open.

    Impact on Battery Life:

    It depends on the Programs, of course. But from my experiments, I have found that Neil Diamond in iTunes at full volume will reduce my battery power by at least 3 hours.

  • slide 5 of 7

    Tip #2: Turn down the your Screen Brightness

    This one is key. Now, of course you don't want to turn the screen down too much if you're sitting in a bright sunlit room. Obviously if your screen brightness is set on low, you'll see it better as the room you are in gets darker. So why not take this opportunity to cut down on your overall energy consumption as well, and dim the lights in your house as well.

    You might even fool your wife into thinking that you're being romantic, when in actual fact you're just trying to extend your MacBook's battery life! Score...

    Impact on Battery Power:

    Screen Brightness on low: 6 hours 49 minutes

    Screen Brightness on high: 4 hours and 33 minutes

  • slide 6 of 7

    Tip #1: Turn off Airport if you aren't using the internet

    This was one that I initially overlooked, until one day when I was sitting at a cafe that did not have wifi (I must have made a wrong turn somewhere I figure). Airport, when turned on, will search for available networks and in doing so will suck the life right out of your battery. If you aren't using the internet, do your battery a favor and turn off your Airport. If makes a world of difference.

    Impact on Battery Power:

    Airport off: 6 hours 49 minutes

    Airport on: 5 hours 56 minutes

  • slide 7 of 7

    Bonus Tip: Mute the Volume

    I did not include this point in my list, because to mute one’s MacBook is to mute one’s Neil Diamond as well.

    And we don’t want to do that, now do we?