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How to See Battery Time Remaining on Mac: 3 Easy Ways

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Last updated: October 21, 2023

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TL;DR

To see battery time remaining on Mac, you can use built-in utilities like the Activity Monitor, use Terminal commands, or opt for third-party apps. Regularly monitoring the time remaining can provide insights into your MacBook’s battery health.

Key Points

  • Apple removed the direct battery time remaining feature in macOS Sierra 10.12.2 due to concerns about the battery performance of certain MacBook Pro models.
  • Activity Monitor provides insights into energy usage. By navigating to the Energy tab, you can view the battery time remaining estimate at the bottom of the window.
  • You can use the pmset -g batt command in Terminal to fetch the battery time remaining. The displayed time is an estimate and can vary based on your activities and background apps.
  • Several apps offer detailed insights into your Mac’s battery life and health. They can provide real-time updates and integrate seamlessly into the Mac menu bar.

Ever been deep into a task on your MacBook, only to be betrayed by a dying battery? Older macOS versions conveniently displayed battery time in the menu bar. But with newer Mac updates, it’s not that clear anymore.

However, all is still not lost. There are some methods you can use to see battery time remaining on Mac. I’ve got some savvy tricks to help you gauge your Mac’s battery life more accurately. So, even if you’re far from a power outlet, you’ll be in the know. Let’s dive in!

Before We Begin

MacBook battery draining fast? Consider removing unused apps, plugins, and browser extensions. They can slow down your Mac and drain its battery. With MacKeeper’s Smart Uninstaller, you can swiftly get rid of these items and their leftover files.

Why Can’t You See Battery Time Remaining on Mac?

You can’t see battery time remaining on Mac because Apple removed the “battery time remaining” indicator from Mac laptops in macOS Sierra 10.12.2.

This decision was seemingly a reaction to feedback from users who expressed concerns about the battery performance of the 2016 MacBook Pro models, especially those with the Touch Bar feature.

The battery life estimate had been a Mac OS X interface staple for over 15 years. However, with the introduction of macOS 10.12.2, Mac users no longer have access to this automatic system software feature that provides an estimate of remaining battery life.

But there are some not-so-direct ways to see battery time remaining on Mac that I have discussed in the sections below.

How to See Battery Time Remaining on Mac

While the battery time remaining on your Mac might not always be clear at first glance, there are ways to find out. Below, I’ll share some simple methods to help you see the battery time remaining on Mac.

1. Via Activity Monitor

The Activity Monitor, Mac Task Manager equivalent, isn’t just for monitoring your Mac CPU, GPU, and RAM usage. It also provides insights into Energy usage, which can be a handy tool for gauging battery life.

Here’s how to use Activity Monitor to see battery time remaining on Mac:

  1. Launch Finder and click Applications in the left sidebar.
click applications in the left sidebar
  1. In the Applications folder, go to Utilities and launch Activity Monitor.
open activity monitor in utilities
  1. Click the Energy tab at the top of the Activity Monitor window.
energy tab in activity monitor
  1. Here, you’ll see an overview of the energy usage of your apps. Look for the Energy Impact column to see which apps consume the most power.​
energy impact column in activity monitor
  1. At the bottom of the window, there’s an Energy Impact score that gives an average of the last 12 hours. Next to it, you’ll find the Battery Time Remaining estimate.
energy usage bar at the bottom

By regularly checking the Activity Monitor, you can get a better understanding of how your usage patterns and running applications affect your Mac’s battery life. If you notice apps with a high energy impact that you’re not actively using, consider closing them to conserve battery.

2. Through Terminal

For those comfortable with a more technical approach, the Terminal provides a direct way to fetch the battery time remaining on your Mac. Here’s a step-by-step guide to using Terminal to see battery time remaining on Mac:

  1. Launch Finder and click Applications in the left sidebar.
click applications in the left sidebar
  1. In the Applications folder, navigate to Utilities and launch Terminal.
choose utilities from the menu bar and then click on terminal
  1. Once the Terminal window is open, type in the following command and press Enter:
pmset -g batt
type pmset g batt in terminal
  1. Terminal will display battery information, including the percentage of battery charge remaining and an estimate of the time left before the battery is depleted.
  2. The time remaining will be displayed in a format like 5:16 remaining, indicating 5 hours and 16 minutes left on the battery.
battery time remaining in terminal

Using the Terminal can give you a quick and straightforward insight into your Mac’s battery status. However, remember the time displayed is an estimate and can vary based on your current activities and the apps running in the background.

3. Using Third-Party Apps

If you’re looking for a more user-friendly and visually appealing way to monitor your Mac’s battery life, several third-party apps can do the job effectively.

Third-party apps can show more detailed information about your battery’s health and performance over time. Plus, many of these apps integrate seamlessly into the Mac menu bar, providing real-time updates at a glance.

Here are some third-party apps that can help you see the battery time remaining on your Mac:

  1. Battery Health: This app provides detailed information about your MacBook’s battery, such as the current charge level, battery capacity, and more.
  2. Battery Monitor: Offered by Rocky Sand Studio, this app places an icon in the menu bar that shows the battery percentage and provides an estimate of the time remaining when clicked.
  3. FruitJuice: This app not only shows your Mac’s current charge status and estimated time remaining but also keeps a detailed log of your battery usage.
  4. Apple Juice: An advanced battery gauge for macOS, Apple Juice can display the estimated battery time remaining and offer notifications based on certain battery charge thresholds.
  5. CoconutBattery: CoconutBattery is another popular app that provides insights into your Mac’s battery health and offers an option to display the charge status in the menu bar.

These apps offer a combination of features, from basic battery time remaining estimates to comprehensive battery health analytics. Depending on your needs, you can choose the one that suits you best. Always ensure you download apps from trusted sources to maintain your Mac’s security.

While the steps vary for each app, here’s a general guide for using third-party apps to see battery time on Mac:

  1. Choose a reputable third-party app.
  2. Download and install your chosen app from its official website or the Mac App Store.
  3. Once installed, launch the app.
  4. Most battery monitoring apps will have a dedicated section or tab that displays the estimated time remaining on your battery.
  5. Some apps also offer additional features, such as notifications when your battery reaches a certain percentage or detailed insights into battery health and cycle counts.

How to Show Battery Percentage in Mac Menu Bar

If you’re using a macOS version newer than Sierra 10.12.2, you can’t see battery time remaining on the Mac menu bar unless you use a third-party app. However, you can see your Mac’s battery percentage in the menu bar.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you display the battery percentage on your Mac:

  1. Click the Apple logo and select System Settings.
click the apple icon and select system settings
  1. Click Control Center in the left sidebar.
click control center in the left sidebar
  1. Scroll down to the Battery section and toggle on the option that says Show Percentage.
toggle on show percentage in control centre
  1. Once you’ve toggled on the option, the battery percentage should be visible in the menu bar.
battery icon in the menu bar

With these simple steps, you’ll always have a clear view of your battery’s percentage, allowing you to monitor your Mac’s energy usage more effectively.

Benefits of Seeing Time Remaining on a Mac Battery

Being able to see the time remaining on a Mac battery offers several benefits. Some of these benefits are as follows:

  1. 🤔 Informed Decision Making: Knowing the exact time left lets you prioritize tasks, decide whether to continue working on battery power or seek a charging source, and manage work accordingly.
  2. 💼 Enhanced Productivity: With a clear idea of how much battery life remains, you can allocate time effectively, ensuring critical tasks are completed before the battery runs out.
  3. ⚡ Prevents Unexpected Shutdowns: A sudden loss of power can result in unsaved work being lost. You can save your work and shut down your Mac by being aware of the time remaining.
  4. 🔋 Battery Health Awareness: Regularly monitoring the time remaining can give you insights and let you keep your MacBook’s battery healthy. If the battery drains faster than usual, it might indicate that it needs servicing or replacement.
  5. 🛠️ Optimized Power Management: You can adjust your usage patterns, like dimming the screen or closing power-intensive apps, to extend the battery life based on the time remaining.
  6. 🍿 Planning for Entertainment: For those watching movies or playing games, knowing the battery time left can help decide whether to start another episode or level.
  7. 😌 Peace of Mind: Simply knowing how much time is left can reduce anxiety, especially when traveling or when charging might not be immediately available.
  8. ☕ Efficient Break Planning: If you work in intervals, you can align your breaks with charging times, ensuring you return to a fully charged device.

In essence, having a clear indication of the battery time remaining on a Mac provides you with better control over your device’s usage and ensures you can make the most of your battery life.

Prevent Unused Apps From Draining Your Mac’s Battery With MacKeeper

Sometimes, apps you’re not using can run in the background and use up battery. Wouldn’t it be great to have a helper to watch out for these apps? That’s where MacKeeper comes in. It’s like a friend for your Mac that makes sure no battery is wasted on apps you’re not using.

Follow these steps to uninstall unused apps on Mac using MacKeeper’s Smart Uninstaller:

  1. Download and install MacKeeper on your Mac.
  2. After installation, launch MacKeeper and click the Smart Uninstaller in the left-hand menu.
click smart uninstaller in the left sidebar
  1. Click Start Scan.
click start scan in smart uninstaller
  1. Select the applications you want to delete from the list and click Remove Selected.
select the applications you want to remove and click remove selected
  1. Tap the Remove button on the pop-up to confirm the deletion.
click remove on the pop up window in smart uninstaller
  1. MacKeeper will uninstall the apps and remove associated files and folders. You will get a Removal Completed notification. If you want to scan your Mac again, click Rescan.
click rescan in smart uninstaller

What Else Can MacKeeper Do?

Besides uninstalling apps on your Mac, MacKeeper can help delete cache files on your Mac, manage login items, remove duplicate files, and more. Check out my MacKeeper review to learn more about its amazing features.

Keep Track of Your Mac’s Remaining Battery Time

By using built-in utilities like Activity Monitor or exploring third-party applications, you can regain insights into your Mac’s battery life. Remember, it’s not just about knowing how much time you have left—it’s about maximizing that time for productivity and enjoyment.

Here are some more tips to stay informed and make the most of your Mac experience:

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is battery percentage and battery time remaining on Mac the same thing?

    No, battery percentage and battery time remaining on Mac are not the same thing. Battery percentage indicates how much charge is left, shown as a percentage of the total capacity. Battery time remaining estimates how long the Mac will last on its current charge, based on current usage. The percentage shows capacity, while the time remaining predicts usage duration.

  2. How long is my Mac battery supposed to last?

    The typical Mac battery is designed to last about 10 hours on a full charge, depending on usage and model. However, over time and with regular use, battery lifespan can decrease. It’s advisable to check Apple’s official specifications for your specific Mac model for precise battery life expectations.

  3. How can I bring back ‘Battery Time Remaining’ in macOS Sierra?

    Technically, you cannot bring back ‘Battery Time Remaining’ in macOS Sierra because Apple removed the feature. However, you can use the Activity Monitor to see the battery time remaining on macOS Sierra and later. Open Activity Monitor, click the Energy tab, and you’ll find the battery time estimate at the bottom. Alternatively, consider third-party apps for more detailed battery insights.

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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