No matter how much battery life you get from your MacBook, it never seems to be quite enough for the task at hand. This quick “how to” will share some handy tips and tricks for squeezing every possible minute of life from your laptop’s battery.
Dim the Screen!
Sure, this may seem like a “Improving MacBook Battery Life for Dummies” tip, but most users likely have their MacBook’s screen brightness set too high. Dimming your screen is probably one of the easiest things you can do to squeeze more power from your battery.
On a MacBook, the F1 and F2 keys will control the brightness of the laptop’s on-board display. F1 will dim the screen a notch with every tap. Tapping F2 makes it one notch brighter.
Alternatively, you can go into “System Preferences” -> “Display” and use the slider found there to adjust the brightness.
Experiment and see how dim you can make the screen and still easily view it without eye fatigue.
Turn off the Eye Candy (Transparency)
Eye Candy is pretty, that’s why we like it. But those transparency visual effects on the menus uses more system resources to render the effects, using more battery power. Anything that makes your MacBook work harder uses power!
Go to “System Preferences” -> “Accessibility.” Click the “Display” icon, and then click either the “Increase Contrast,” or “Reduce Transparency,” checkboxes.
Bonus: Some users may also find enabling these options make the display easier on their eyes.
Turn Off Automatic Updates
A MacBook that is automatically checking the Mac App Store for updates, and then downloading them and installing them while on the battery is a MacBookthat’s using more power than it should.
Go to “System Preferences,” -> “App Store.” Here, uncheck the “Automatically check for updates” checkbox. This will stop your MacBook from checking for or downloading any updates.
Turn Off Bluetooth
If you’re not using a Bluetooth keyboard, mouse, trackpad, or other Bluetooth accessory with your MacBook, go ahead and turn off the Bluetooth.
Go to “System Preferences” -> “Bluetooth.” On the left side of the screen, you’ll see a button marked, “Turn Bluetooth Off.” Click that button, and the Bluetooth radio in your MacBook will turn off, thus saving battery power. You can then follow the same steps when you need to turn Bluetooth back on.
Note: You can also turn off Bluetooth from the Menu Bar of your MacBook. Just click the Bluetooth icon in the menu bar, and then click on the “Turn Bluetooth Off” menu selection in the pull-down menu, quickly toggling the Bluetooth radio to off.
Other Ways to Save Battery Power
If you’re running on battery power, don’t use your MacBook’s iSight camera with FaceTime, Skype, or even to record videos.
Make sure to eject any DVD’s or CDs that might be in your MacBook’s Superdrive. Spinning the disc up and down sucks down the battery power.
Close any apps you’re not using. The more apps you have running, the more resources you’re using, and the more battery power you’re using.
When using your browser, close any unused windows or tabs. Each open window or tab uses up a little power, even if it’s not currently the one you’re viewing.