Battery drain in 2018 15 inch MacBook Pro

Hi folks,
I’m having significant battery drain issues in the 2018 15 inch MacBook Pro my employers recently supplied (yes, I’m lucky!). Like, 70% to 50% in just over 30 minutes, running only a few basic programs. I’ve tried resetting the SMC, and will try that again tonight when I’m not using it for work (I’m in NZ, it’s 2pm here…).

Does anyone else have experience with this problem? My IT support person (who is great but not a Mac person) thinks it is a Mojave problem, and she may well be right. I’m hopeful a system update might fix it - but in the meantime any other suggestions are very welcome. I’m getting 3 hours battery life out of this brand new machine, on 16 battery cycles!

Apart from that I love the new machine to bits, especially the Touch Bar and fingerprint unlocking.


I’ve been suspicious for about a week that my 2016 model has recently started performing similarly. I’m not certain as I switch to high-energy too frequently, but Mojave seems a possibility.

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Activity (found in Applications/Utilites) has a lot of good tools to monitor this sort of thing. You can sort all running apps and services by CPU or by power consumption.

You could also run the most recent Mojave combo update, which may address system issues.


I also love that the battery icon top right tells you which apps are using significant amounts of energy; this serves as a great quick check.

It’s usually display brightness and Chrome for my normal use. I don’t think any of those should be as bad as they are, but oh well. I’ve also used Sketchup a lot recently.

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There is nothing wrong with it, you just have to identify the culprit and avoid using it while on battery.

Modern battery life times are valid only for certain scenarios, where CPU is idling most of the time. The “productive” scenarios they test them with include stuff like browsing, text writing, watching movies etc. Work like compiling, programming, decoding and similar is not included in such scenarios for reasons you are currently experiencing :slight_smile: Also notice, that with every iteration, as CPUs and chipsets are getting better energy-saving modes, Apple is pushing the battery capacity down to save space. Which means that you may actually get even less time on CPU-intensive tasks.

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Thanks for your suggestions everyone.

I use Activity Monitor a lot to keep an eye on processes, and I’ve been putting the battery drain down to use of power hungry applications, but in fact this drain continues even when Activity Monitor is telling me that nothing is using a significant amount of energy. It seems to be OK while it is asleep, but any activity just sucks the battery dry at a rate of about 30% per hour. This is only with Safari, Word and a few other basic applications running.

I use scientific programs that certainly do put a heavy demand on the system - but I always have it plugged in for that work, you can’t expect a battery to cope with really work :slight_smile:

I did wonder whether I have a hardware problem, and this might still be the case. But Fiona (IT) tells me there is a thread about this on the apple support pages with a large number of people with similar problems.

I’m already running 10.14.2 - so I’ll just have to hang out for 10.14.3 and hope for the best. Meantime I only have one USB-C charger, so I will carry it about with me!

Good point about the energy saving modes improving, ptarh, and the push to lighter and smaller casings certainly puts pressure on battery capacity.

Cheers everyone

Update - this machine eventually started shutting down and attempting restarts (sometimes successfully, sometimes not). IT sent it to an Apple repairer who (we think) installed a new logic board. It certainly has a new Mac address.

Have had it back for a week ro so now and it is behaving perfectly. I must say I missed the capacity to log in and open 1Password by fingerprint while it was away.

Just thought this might be useful information for anyone else who has odd problems with their 2018n MacBook Pro.


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