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Your Mac has pretty amazing battery life at first, but following a few simple tips will help you get the absolute best performance from your MacBook, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro.
The primary goal is to reduce the power consumption of your Mac laptop, and we’ll discuss a few different technologies to do this. For casual Mac users, lowering the screen brightness is typically more than enough to achieve battery life, so the tips below are for real road warriors who require the best possible battery life for their laptops.
1: Decrease the screen brightness
The simplest tip can save the most battery life. Reducing the screen brightness to 50% or less improves battery life. On most newer Mac keyboards, the F1 and F2 keys allow you to adjust the brightness. The goal is a minimum tolerable value to maximize battery life.
2: Disable Bluetooth
Both searching for available Bluetooth devices and sending a Bluetooth signal can drain the battery, disable Bluetooth if you do not use it. Open System Preferences and click “Bluetooth,” deselect “On.”
3: Turn off Wi-Fi if you are not using it
If you’re doing something that doesn’t require Internet access, turn off the wireless network and you can add nice power to your battery life. The easiest way to do this is to click on the Wi-Fi menu and select “Disable Wi-Fi”.
4: Disable or turn off the keyboard backlight
On Macs with a backlit keyboard, reducing or turning off the keyboard backlight completely can help extend battery life. Open System Preferences, click “Keyboard” and deselect “Illuminate the keyboard in low light”
5: Remove the discs from the DVD drive
For MacBook and MacBook Pro users with a SuperDrive, remove all discs to avoid unnecessary access and rotation of the drive.
6: Avoid the FaceTime / iSight camera
FaceTime, Skype, Google Hangouts, and Photo Booth are fun, but the forward-looking iSight / FaceTime camera is a significant battery pig. Avoid using anything that touches the front camera on a Mac, and avoid significant battery drain.
7: Quit unused applications
Leaving unused applications open in the background consumes both RAM and CPU cycles, both of which cause power consumption and directly affect battery life. Close all applications that are not actively running, and try to keep running applications as small as possible to prevent virtual memory usage.
8: Close unused browser windows and tabs
Even passive websites can use a lot of system resources by executing complex scripts, ads, videos, or other page elements. Be sure to close unused browser tabs and windows to avoid unnecessarily draining the battery.
9: Enable the Click to Plugin in web browsers
Flash and HTML5 movies can use a lot of CPU cycles, causing significant battery drain. These ClickToPlugin features allow you to selectively click plug-ins to download them, preventing unnecessary plug-ins and videos from charging
- Enable Click to Plugin in Chrome
- Click the Safari plug-in for Safari
- FlashBlock for Firefox
10: Use the Ad Block plugin
11: Use the Battery Indicator menu
Use the battery indicator menu to display the remaining battery life, which will help give you feedback on battery settings and usage habits. Also, you won’t be unclear if you’re suddenly at the back of a battery drain.
If you liked this, don’t miss the tips for getting the best battery life on your iPad, or some of the more common tricks for maximizing battery life on iOS devices, including the iPhone.
Do you have other battery saving tips for MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and MacBook? Tell us about your battery life tricks in the comments!
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