Share your battery saving tips for mac

tldr; Using Quitter, Little Snitch and Auto Tab Discard improved by MBP (intel) by 20-30%

Hi MPUers,

I thought it would be good to share how all of us improve our mac’s battery life. Could be for Macbook Air or Pro. Here’s mine:

I have a Macbook Pro 2018 (i7, 32gb). I have been OK with my its battery life. It used to last 4-5 hours with my browsing (I use Firefox). Lately, I started using a few apps and the battery has improved by 20-30% without any change in my workflow. It has stayed at this efficiency more than a month now. I still do the exact same thing on my machine.

:drum: I did not use Safari :smile: . I know a few of you might have guessed it. Safari is too vanilla for me. Here what I used:

  • Quitter: The tiny app, which does one and only one thing, but does it with perfection. It quits app which after a certain timeout if they are not in use. Super easy to use.
  • Little Snitch: I bought it about a month ago and it is an excellent app. It can block all outgoing connections from your machine at a connection/domain/port level. It took a few days for all the necessary network calls to be allowed and block everything else. Trust me, there is so are unnecessary/shady network calls being made from our machine which are no necessary. Endel for instance, makes 12 calls to different domains, most of them unnecessary. I blocked 11 of them and the app still runs as.
  • This one is technically not an app, it Auto Tab Discard for Firefox. Chrome and other browsers also have similar addons.

I noticed gradual improvement in battery so all three contributed. Plus I feel a little more safe since I have little snitch :slight_smile:

Feel free to share your’s please!!

If you use an Intel-based MacBook, then Turbo Boost Switcher might be useful, particularly if your workflow is on the lighter side computationally.

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App Tamer will help you prevent “runaway” apps from sucking all of your CPU which should help.

I definitely 2nd the suggestion of Turbo Boost Switcher Pro for Mac for Intel-based Macs.

No quite the same issue, but having recently had my MBP’s swollen battery replaced, I’m trying to find of ways of avoiding that from happening again. It spends most of the time plugged in, which I hear is bad for batteries.

I hooked up the USB-C dock to a smart switch. At night I have an automation to check if the machine is idle, then eject the drives, turn off the dock and go to sleep. The dock is scheduled to turn back on in the morning. Unfortunately the drives aren’t always ejecting, so I see “Drive not ejected properly” warnings when I log back in.

Seems like maybe Katie Floyd’s old system would be a good one to try: she had an automation that would turn off a smart switch (that the MacBook was plugged into) and turn it back on ¿two? hours later.

That way it always got some battery “exercise”.

I believe she did this around 3am to 5am so it (presumably) would not interfere with her usage of the Mac.

As for the unmounting automation, that might be another good thread if you want to try to diagnose good ways of making sure that it really does unmount them.

As a bonus, it helps keep the fans a bit quieter!

Just be aware if you do this that you should make sure that it’s only the laptop that is powered off. You don’t want to disable power to or disconnect any hard drives from your Mac (e.g. if you power your Mac through a dock, which also connects the hard drive to your Mac, you should probably directly power your Mac and turn that power off, but the dock may still end up providing power).

Powering off a drive or disconnecting without ejecting from macOS is a fast way to harddrive corruption and data loss :frowning:

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I have never seen any reliable information that keeping a modern MB plugged in all the time, or most of the time, is bad for the battery. I disagree strongly with Ms. Floyd on that score.

Back in the before times I’d often go to conferences and have to type notes or write on my laptop, unplugged, for hours at a time. My main fix was to drastically reduce radiation output–light and radio waves are your big battery drainers. So: Turn off Wi-Fi and turn the screen brightness down as far as is bearable. I’d also shut down any apps I did not outright need, but the Wi-Fi and screen brightness were the most important things.

Katie has been gone from MPU (but not from our hearts) for a little over 3 years. I am not sure how far back she used her old system. Not sure if she was using a “modern MB” back then.

Yes, optimized battery charging came to macOS a year and a half after Katie left MPU.


About 3 months ago I went from a Mac mini to a 14’ MBP. About 95% of the time it’s plugged in and turned off for the night. I may not use it on battery power for a few weeks. So, I shouldn’t worry about battery life? Just use it, enjoy it, and don’t worry about it. I think that’s what I’m hearing from you and others.

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Oh yes, very good reminder. Don’t let your drives be powered off suddenly. That’s worse than crossing the streams.

Also, I’m not saying that this is necessary, only that is an option if someone wants to ‘exercise’ their laptop battery.

I’m mostly in the camp of “just use it” but I have had a battery warp before. Thing is, I don’t think it’s easy to know that anything the user could have done would have prevented that battery from going bad. Some percentage of them are going to fail weirdly.

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Screen brightness is the biggest battery drain after all. Then processor-intensive tasks (like video encoding).

Handy utilities I use are: AppTamer, AlDente en Endurance. Make sure to check them out. :wink:

I also had the same swollen battery problem with my 2018 MacBook Pro.

I asked 2 senior apple techs what will prolong the life of an M1 (max chip) MacBook Pro that mostly stays plugged in all the time.

One said to power cycle the MBP battery 1x per month and the other said every 2 weeks. Both admitted they were guessing…

I still would like to know the best real answer to this…

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That’s what I do. But I’m no expert.

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