How to Improve Your MacBook’s Battery Life in macOS High Sierra

Apple Seeds 3rd Public Betas of macOS High Sierra, tvOS 11

One of the issues that some Mac users have been facing after updating to macOS High Sierra is that the battery drains very quickly. While this is alarming, it is not necessarily due to bugs or any other software issue. There are many other reasons for this, such as a CPU hogging app or a feature with a high battery consumption. To help you solve this problem, we have outlined a couple of tips and fixes that could improve your MacBook’s battery life on macOS High Sierra.

Identify the Apps with High Battery Consumption

  1. The first thing you have to do is to determine the apps that have high battery consumption. You can find this information easily by using Activity Monitor.

    Press Cmd+Spacebar to open Spotlight Search.

  2. Search for Activity Monitor and open it.

  3. Click on the Energy tab.

  4. Here you can view the power consumption of each app. Take a look at the Energy Impact and Avg Energy Impact columns of each app to determine the ones that are consuming the most battery.

  5. If there’s an app with a high-energy consumption, you should either uninstall it if you don’t need it or force quit (Cmd+Q) when not in use.

    Note: Do not close processes that you’re not familiar with, such as system processes. If a process belongs to a third-party app, then its name will make it obvious.

Kill CPU Hogging Processes

  1. One of the main reasons that batteries drain quickly is because of processes that have a high CPU usage. A process could either be an app or an instance of a system program. A process with a high CPU usage has a great impact on your battery.

    You can identify CPU hogging processes from Activity Monitor, just like how we determined battery hogging apps in the previous section.

    Press Cmd+Spacebar to open Spotlight Search.

  2. Search for Activity Monitor and open it.

  3. Click on the CPU tab.

  4. Here you can view a list of all the processes that are active. Click on the % CPU tab to sort processes by CPU usage.

  5. Check for the processes that with a high CPU usage and kill them. For instance, if there is a process for Google Chrome that is running at more than 50% CPU usage, which happens very often, then you should kill that process and relaunch Google Chrome. To close a process, double click on it, then choose Quit.

Turn off Automatic Updates

  1. There’s a feature in macOS that automatically checks for new app updates in the background and downloads them if available. This is very useful to keep all your apps up-to-date, but it also consumes battery because it has to regularly check for new updates and download them.

    If you’re concerned about your MacBook’s battery life, then you’re better off turning off automatic updates.

    Open the Apple menu and click on System Preferences.

  2. Click on App Store.

  3. Click on the lock icon in the bottom left corner to enable making changes, then enter your Mac’s username and password.

  4. Uncheck the boxes next to Automatically check for updates and Automatically download apps purchased on other Macs.

Use Safari Instead of Other Browsers

  1. It’s a difficult move to switch to a different browser, especially when you’ve been using a particular browser for a long time. If you want to improve your MacBook’s battery life, then I recommend that you start using Safari.

    Safari is a very secure and efficient web browser that doesn’t consume as much battery as third-party web browsers, such as Google Chrome and Firefox. In the past, I used to browse with Google Chrome and it always had a high CPU usage, especially when there were a lot of tabs open. But ever since I’ve switched to Safari, I’ve noticed considerable improvements in battery life.

  2. Alternatively, if you don’t want to switch to Safari, then try to keep as few tabs open as possible. The fewer tabs you open, the lower the battery consumption.

Disable Location Services

  1. Location Services is a feature that has a high power consumption, especially when it is being constantly used in the background to track your location. You should either enable it for specific apps or turn it off completely to save battery.

    From the Apple menu, open System Preferences.

  2. Click on Security & Privacy.

  3. Click on the lock icon in the bottom left corner to enable making changes.

  4. Enter your Mac’s username and password.

  5. Switch to the Privacy tab.

  6. Click on Location Services.

  7. Untick the box next to Enable Location Services.

  8. Click Turn Off to confirm.

  9. Again click on the lock icon in the bottom left corner to prevent any further changes.

    Note: Keep in mind that turning off Location Services will prevent you from locating your Mac using Find My Mac.

Use Energy Saver

  1. The Energy Saver preference pane provides a set of settings to improve your MacBook’s battery life. Here’s how to use it:

    Open the Apple menu and choose System Preferences.

  2. Click on Energy Saver.

  3. Switch to the Battery tab.

  4. You’ll find a couple of settings here that allow you to improve your Mac’s battery performance. For instance, you can save battery by reducing the amount of time it takes for your display to turn off automatically.

Lower the Screen Brightness

  1. If you’re keeping your screen’s brightness higher than normal, then you’re just wasting battery. The higher the screen brightness, the higher the power consumption.

    Try to set your screen brightness at the sufficient level. For instance, during the evening when the surrounding is dim, you should lower your screen brightness to save battery.

Disable Transparency & Motion Effects

  1. The transparency effects that you see in some UI elements across macOS and animations are pretty cool, but they also have an impact on your battery because of rendering. Disabling these features will help improve battery performance as well as system performance.

    From the Apple menu, open System Preferences.

  2. Click on Accessibility, then choose Display.

  3. Tick the boxes next to Reduce Transparency and Reduce Motion.

These are some of the different methods to improve your Mac’s battery life in macOS High Sierra. Hopefully, after following the above tips, you should notice an improvement in battery performance.

If you’re still facing battery issues, then I would recommend that you downgrade from macOS High Sierra to macOS Sierra. macOS High Sierra is currently in beta and the battery issues could be due to bugs and software issues, which would likely get fixed before the public release.

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