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MacBook Battery Draining Fast? Try These 16 Best Fixes

Solve quick MacBook battery drain with these effective tips.

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Last updated: December 25, 2023

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TL;DR

To fix a MacBook battery draining fast, try one of the following methods:

    1. Monitor your MacBook’s battery health under System Settings > Battery​.
    2. Lower display and keyboard brightness, adjust idle power usage, and turn off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi​.
    3. Enable Low Power Mode to conserve battery.
    4. Close heavy apps via Activity Monitor​​, uninstall unused apps, and update macOS.
    5. Disable startup apps to reduce system strain​​.
    6. Calibrate the battery by draining and fully recharging the battery​​.
    7. Reset the SMC if experiencing abnormal battery drain​​.

    MacBook battery draining fast can be super inconvenient, especially when you don’t have access to a power source. I’ve been there, looking for a plug when I had to complete my project on my MacBook Air M1 (2020). That’s why I did some digging to find out why this happens and how to fix it. In this guide, I’ll share simple tips that fixed my quick-draining Mac battery.

    Before We Begin

    Apps that use a lot of resources often drain your MacBook’s battery quickly. To fix this, download MacKeeper. Its Memory Cleaner feature can help clear your Mac’s RAM, giving your battery a boost.

    How to Fix MacBook Battery Draining Fast

    Why You Can Trust MacBook Journal verify badge We always conduct first-hand research and verify every method or solution we present, ensuring you receive reliable and effective advice. Learn more about our process.

    If your MacBook battery drains fast, it can really slow you down. To avoid this and improve battery life, try the following tips. One of these tips should fix the issue, but if none of these work, it is time to replace your Mac’s battery.

    1. Change Battery Settings

    Changing the battery settings on a Mac can help optimize its performance and extend its battery life. Here’s how to adjust these settings:

    1. Click the battery icon in the menu bar.
    2. A dropdown will appear, showing which applications are consuming the most power.
    apps using significant energy on mac
    1. In the dropdown menu, select Battery Settings.
    click the battery icon and select battery settings
    1. In the Battery Settings window, click the drop-down next to Low Power Mode and select Only on Battery to reduce energy usage.
    click the drop down next to low power mode and select only on battery 1
    1. Scroll down and click the Options button.
    go to battery and click the options button at the bottom
    1. Click the drop-down menu next to Wake for network access and select Only on Power Adapter.
    2. Toggle on Optimize video streaming while on battery to save battery while streaming videos.
    adjust wake for network access and optimise video streaming settings

    2. Check Your MacBook’s Battery Health

    Your Mac’s battery gets weaker over time. So, you must check your Mac’s battery condition regularly and replace it when necessary to keep it working well. Here’s how to check your MacBook’s battery condition:

    1. Click the Apple logo and select System Settings.
    click the apple icon and select system settings
    1. Click the Battery tab.
    click battery in system settings
    1. On the right side, you should see the Battery Health status.
    normal battery health

    It will show one of these four statuses:

    1. Normal: Your battery is functioning properly. Since my MacBook Air is pretty new, my battery health is Normal.
    2. Replace Soon: Your battery is still functioning but holds less charge than it did when it was new. You may want to consider replacing it soon.
    3. Replace Now: Your battery is functioning but holds significantly less charge than it did when it was new. You should replace the battery as soon as possible.
    4. Service Battery: Your battery is not functioning properly and needs to be serviced.

      You should also check your Mac’s battery cycle count. The number of battery cycles refers to the total count of full charge and discharge processes a MacBook battery can undergo during its lifespan. Typically, a MacBook battery is designed to go through 1000 complete charge cycles.

      The cycle count provides a more detailed insight into the battery’s health than the simple charge level indicator. To check this, follow these steps:

      1. Navigate to the Apple menu and select About This Mac.
      click apple icon and select about this mac
      1. Click More Info.
      click more info
      1. Click the System Report button in the new window.
      click the system report button
      1. Select Power in the left sidebar and see detailed battery information.
      2. Look for the battery Cycle Count in the Battery Information section.
      mac battery cycle count

      3. Adjust Display Brightness

      Your MacBook’s display is one of the most power-hungry components. Turning down your MacBook’s screen brightness saves a lot of battery. A dimmer screen uses less power, making your battery last longer.

      To change the display brightness on your Mac, follow these steps:

      1. Click the Apple icon and select System Settings from the drop-down menu.
      click the apple icon and select system settings
      1. Click Displays in the left pane. Drag the Brightness slider to the left to decrease the brightness or right to increase the brightness.
      drag the brightness slider in displays
      1. Close the Displays window once you have adjusted the brightness to your desired level.

      You can also adjust the display brightness using Mac keyboard shortcuts. Most Mac keyboards have keys for increasing and lowering the brightness. Look for the Sun icon on the function keys. On my MacBook, the brightness keys are F1 (to reduce) and F2 (to increase). Press the corresponding function key to adjust the brightness.

      macbook pro brightness keys

      4. Change Your Mac’s Energy Settings

      Some settings can drain your MacBook’s battery fast, even if it seems okay in the System Report. Lowering screen brightness, reducing push notifications, and turning off location services, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi use can help save battery power.

      Here’s how to optimize your Mac’s settings to reduce the load on your battery life:

      a. Adjust Idle Power Usage

      1. Navigate to Apple menu > System Settings.
      click the apple icon and select system settings
      1. Click Lock Screen.
      click lock screen in system settings
      1. Modify the Turn display off on battery when inactive setting to 1 or 2 minutes.
      set turn display off on battery when inactive to 2 minutes

      b. Modify Keyboard Brightness

      1. Navigate to Apple menu > System Settings.
      2. Click Keyboard and drag the Keyboard brightness slider to adjust the brightness level.
      click keyboard and adjust keyboard brightness slider

      c. Turn Off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi

      1. Access the Control Center in your menu bar.
      2. Turn off Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and AirPlay when not in use to conserve battery power
      turn off wifi and bluetooth from control center

      5. Uninstall Unnecessary Apps

      Apps you don’t use can still run in the background and drain your MacBook’s battery. So, it’s best to uninstall them to save power. MacKeeper can help remove unnecessary apps and their related files and preferences.

      Here’s how to uninstall any app on Mac using MacKeeper:

      1. Download and install MacKeeper.
      2. Launch MacKeeper and navigate to the Smart Uninstaller under Cleaning.
      click smart uninstaller in the left sidebar
      1. Click Start Scan.
      click start scan in smart uninstaller
      1. Wait for the scan to complete and click Applications in the left panel.
      1. Select the apps you want to delete from the list and click the Remove Selected button.
      select the applications you want to remove and click remove selected
      1. Confirm the deletion by clicking Remove on the pop-up.
      click remove on the pop up window in smart uninstaller
      1. This will remove the selected apps from your Mac, and you’ll get a Removal Completed message. Click Rescan if you want to scan your Mac again.
      click rescan in smart uninstaller

      Now, delete the app leftovers using the Smart Uninstaller:

      1. Launch the Smart Uninstaller and click Start Scan.
      click start scan in smart uninstaller
      1. When the scan completes, click Leftovers in the left sidebar.
      click leftovers in the left sidebar
      1. Select the leftover files you want to delete in the right pane and click Remove Selected.
      select the leftover files you want to delete and click remove selected
      1. Tap the Remove button to confirm the removal.
      click remove on the pop up
      1. This will remove your selected app leftovers, and you’ll get a Removal Completed notification. Click Continue to finish the process.
      click continue after removal completed

      Alternatively, you can use Finder to uninstall apps on your Mac:

      1. Click the Finder icon in the Dock.
      click finder in your dock
      1. Open the Applications folder from the left sidebar.
      click applications in the left sidebar of finder
      1. Find the app you want to uninstall.
      2. Click the app icon and drag it to the Bin icon in the Dock. Alternatively, right-click the app icon and select Move to Bin.
      right click an application and select move to bin
      1. After dragging the app to the Bin, right-click the Bin icon in the Dock and select Empty Bin.
      right click the bin and select empty bin

      6. Remove Login Items

      Stopping startup programs helps your MacBook’s battery last longer by reducing the strain on your system. With fewer apps running in the background, your Mac runs better and uses less battery.

      Removing essential apps from startup may affect your system’s functionality, so only remove apps you’re sure you don’t need at startup.

      You can use MacKeeper to remove login items from your Mac. Here’s how:

      1. Download MacKeeper and install it on your Mac.
      2. Click Login Items under Performance in MacKeeper.
      tap login items under performance
      1. Click Start Scan.
      tap start scan
      1. Select unnecessary items from the list and click Remove Selected Items.
      select the login items you want to delete and tap remove selected items
      1. Tap the Remove button on the pop-up.
      tap remove on the pop up
      1. It will remove your selected items from the system startup list. You can click Rescan to repeat the process.
      tap rescan

      What Else Can MacKeeper Do?

      Besides uninstalling apps and removing login items, MacKeeper can check your Mac for malware, delete duplicate files, and free up your Mac RAM. To learn more about its features, check out my MacKeeper review.

      Alternatively, you can follow these steps to change startup programs on your MacBook:

      1. Click the Apple logo in the top-left corner of the screen and select System Settings.
      click the apple icon and select system settings
      1. Click General and select the Login Items tab.
      click general and select the login items tab
      1. You’ll see a list of apps that start automatically when you log in. To remove an app from this list, click to highlight it, and tap the button below the list.
      select an item and click the minus icon to delete it

      7. Quit Unnecessary Background Apps

      Apps running in the background use a lot of your MacBook’s battery. Quitting these apps when you’re not using them can save energy and make your battery last longer. Follow these steps to kill background processes on your Mac:

      1. Open the Spotlight search from the menu bar, type Activity Monitor, and press Enter to launch the application.
      type activity monitor in spotlight search
      1. In the Activity Monitor window, click the Energy tab.
      energy tab in activity monitor
      1. Sort the list of apps by Energy Impact to identify the most power-consuming applications.
      energy impact column in activity monitor
      1. Select the app(s) you want to quit, and click the x button in the top bar.
      select an app and click the small x to close it
      1. Confirm your action by clicking Quit in the pop-up dialogue.
      click quit on the activity monitor pop up
      1. Repeat this process for all unnecessary background apps.

      8. Use Low Power Mode

      Newer MacBooks with macOS Monterey or later have a Low Power Mode. It saves battery by adjusting things like screen brightness and app activity. Use it when you can’t charge and need your MacBook to last longer.

      Here’s how to use Low Power Mode on Mac:

      1. Click the Apple logo in the top-left corner of the screen and select System Settings.
      click the apple icon and select system settings
      1. Click Battery in System Settings.
      click battery in system settings
      1. In the Battery tab, click the drop-down menu button next to Low Power Mode. Select Only on Battery from the option.
      click only on battery

        9. Use Safari As Your Default Browser

        Web browsers use a lot of battery, especially when running things like videos and many tabs. Safari, Apple’s own browser, is made to use less battery on MacBooks. Switching to Safari can help your MacBook’s battery last longer.

        Here’s how to set Safari as your default browser:

        1. Click the Apple menu and select System Settings from the drop-down menu.
        click the apple icon and select system settings
        1. Click Desktop & Dock in the left sidebar.
        2. Look for the Default web browser option on the right side of the window. It should be in the Windows & Apps section.
        click desktop dock and find the default web browser option
        1. Click the pop-up menu button next to the Default web browser option and select Safari from the list.
        select safari from the default web browser list

        10. Update macOS

        Apple updates macOS often, making your MacBook use its battery better. Updating to the latest macOS can stop your battery from draining too fast. These updates can also fix other battery problems, like the MacBook battery indicator permanently at 1%.

        Here’s how to update macOS on your Mac:

        1. Click the Apple logo and select System Settings.
        click the apple icon and select system settings
        1. Click General and select Software Update.
        click general and select software update
        1. If an update is available, click Update Now and follow the on-screen instructions.
        click the update now button

        11. Reset the SMC

        The System Management Controller (SMC) handles power functions like charging and sleep mode. Sometimes it can have issues, making your battery drain quickly. Resetting the SMC can fix these problems and improve your battery life.

        Here’s how to reset the SMC on your Mac:

        1. Shut down your MacBook completely.
        2. For MacBooks with a non-removable battery, hold down Shift + Control ^ + Option ⌥ + Power buttons simultaneously for 10 seconds, then release.
        macbook air power shift control option keys
        1. For MacBooks with a removable battery, disconnect the battery and hold down the Power button for 5 seconds, then reconnect the battery.
        macbook air touch id
        1. Turn on your MacBook by pressing the Power button.

        12. Disconnect Unused Accessories

        By disconnecting idle accessories from your MacBook, you can reduce the load on your battery and extend its overall life. This simple habit can help you get the most out of your MacBook’s battery and prevent unnecessary energy consumption.

        Check all ports on your MacBook and identify connected accessories. Disconnect any idle or unnecessary accessories, like USB drives, external hard drives, or peripherals.

        13. Restart Your MacBook

        If your MacBook slows down or the battery runs out fast, it might be because of excessive temporary files. Restarting it can clear these out and help your battery last longer. Here’s how to restart your Mac:

        1. Click the Apple logo in the top-left corner of the screen.
        2. Select Restart from the drop-down menu.
        click the apple icon and select restart
        1. Wait for your MacBook to restart completely before resuming work.

        14. Avoid Extreme Temperatures

        Hot or cold temperatures can make your MacBook’s battery drain faster. To ensure the longevity and optimal performance of your MacBook, avoid exposing it to extreme temperatures. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

        1. 🌞 Avoid Direct Sunlight: Never leave your MacBook in direct sunlight for extended periods to prevent overheating.
        2. ❄️ Be Mindful of Cold Temperatures: Avoid exposing your MacBook to very cold temperatures for long periods.
        3. 🌡️ Ideal Operating Temperatures: Use your MacBook within the recommended temperature range of 50° to 95° F (10° to 35° C).
        4. 📦 Storage Temperatures: Store your MacBook in temperatures between -13° to 113° F (-25° to 45° C).
        5. 💨 Use in Ventilated Areas: Ensure proper ventilation during use to stop your Mac from overheating.
        6. 🛡️ Physical Protection: Use protective cases to insulate your MacBook from temperature extremes.

        15. Calibrate the Battery

        Calibrating the battery on a laptop involves draining the battery completely and then recharging it to 100%. This helps the battery gauge accurately display the battery’s remaining charge.

        This process can extend the battery’s lifespan and improve its overall performance. As a result, your MacBook battery draining fast issue can be fixed.

        In my opinion, you should calibrate your laptop’s battery every few months. Especially if you’ve noticed the battery gauge isn’t displaying accurate information about the remaining charge.

        16. Replace the Battery

        As batteries age, their capacity to hold a charge decreases, resulting in shorter battery life. If your MacBook’s battery is nearing the end of its lifespan, replacing it with a new one can significantly improve battery performance.

        Here’s how to go about it:

        1. Check your MacBook’s battery health by going to System Settings > Battery > Battery Health.
        normal battery health
        1. If the battery condition is Replace Soon or Replace Now, consider getting a new battery.
        2. Contact Apple Support or an authorized service provider to schedule a battery replacement.

        Why Is Your MacBook Battery Draining Fast?

        If your MacBook’s battery is draining faster than usual, there could be several reasons behind it. Here are some common factors to consider:

          1. 🚀 Heavy Applications: Running resource-intensive applications like video editing software, games, or multiple applications simultaneously can drain the battery quickly.
          2. 🔙 Background Apps: Apps running in the background, especially those using significant system resources or network activity, can drain the battery.
          3. 💡 Screen Brightness: Higher screen brightness requires more power, leading to faster battery drainage.
          4. 🔋 Battery Age and Health: Over time, the MacBook’s battery will degrade naturally. An older battery doesn’t hold a charge as well as a new one.
          5. 🦠 Malware or Software Issues: Malware or software bugs can sometimes cause excessive battery drain.
          6. 💻 Outdated Software: Running an outdated version of macOS can sometimes lead to inefficient battery usage.
          7. 🌡️ Poor Ventilation and Overheating: If your MacBook overheats, it may work harder to cool down, using more battery power in the process.
          8. 📶 Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Usage: Continuously using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth can consume more battery, especially if the signal is weak or the MacBook is constantly searching for connections.

          Optimize Your MacBook’s Battery Life

          Now that you know the reasons behind your Mac battery draining fast and how to stop it, let’s explore some tips to maximize its battery life:

          Frequently Asked Questions

          1. How can I check my MacBook battery health?

            You can check your MacBook battery health by clicking the Apple icon and selecting About this Mac. Then, click System Report and select Power. You’ll see a section labeled Battery Information that displays the current condition of your MacBook’s Battery.

          2. Does using the MacBook while charging affect battery life?

            No, using the MacBook while charging doesn’t affect its battery life. The MacBook’s charging system is designed to stop charging when the battery is full.

          3. Why is my Mac battery draining so fast?

            Your MacBook’s battery may be draining faster than usual due to running too many applications simultaneously, having too many browser tabs open, using power-hungry applications such as video editing software, or having outdated software or hardware.

          4. How can I replace my MacBook’s battery? 

            You can replace your MacBook’s battery by taking it to an Apple store or an authorized service provider to have it replaced. Alternatively, you can purchase a replacement battery online and replace it yourself if you have the necessary skills and tools.

          Hashir Ibrahim

          Author

          I'm Hashir, a tech journalist with a decade of experience. My work has been featured in some of the top tech publications like MakeUseOf and MakeTechEasier. I have a bachelor's degree in IT, a master's in cybersecurity, and extensive knowledge of Apple hardware, specifically MacBooks. As the senior writer at MacBook Journal, I write in depth guides that help you solve any issues you have with your mac and unbiased reviews that help you make the right buying decisions.

          Ojash

          Reviewer

          Hi there! I'm Ojash, a tech journalist with over a decade of experience in the industry. I've had the privilege of contributing to some of the world's largest tech publications, making my mark as a respected Mac expert. My passion lies in exploring, using, and writing about MacBooks, and I enjoy sharing my expertise to help others make informed decisions and get the most out of their MacBook experience. Join me as we delve into the fascinating world of MacBooks together!

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