Tips and Tools

 

Make Your Battery Last Longer

Everybody loves the portability of a laptop - but how portable is it if you're constantly looking for an outlet to plug in?  Here's some tips on how to preserve your laptop battery life.

1. Turn your screen brightness down.  One of the easiest ways to save battery power is to turn the screen brightness down.  Tap your F1 key to turn your screen brightness down, or open System Preferences, click Displays, and then adjust the screen brightness slider to where you're comfortable.  If you want to turn the brightness back up once you're plugged in, just tap the F2 key.  Bonus: a less bright screen can also be easier on your eyes.

macbook pro battery by ramjet

2. Turn off energy sucking apps running in the background.  Sometimes even when you aren't using an app, it's still running, hidden in the background, eating up your battery life.  Use your Spotlight search bar to open up Activity Monitor.  Select CPU and then click "All Processes" in the dropdown menu.  You'll see a list of all currently running programs and a list of how much %CPU programs are using.  If you see anything you're not using that is running at a high percentage, you can select it in the list and click Quit Process to close it down and save some extra battery life.

3. Turn off Wi-Fi & Bluetooth.  Unless you're using your laptop to access the internet, you can turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to spare your battery.  In the upper right-hand corner of your screen, you will see icons for both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.  You can click to turn these icons on and off as needed right from your top menu bar.

4. Turn off the illuminated keyboard.  This is a cool feature, especially if you're using the laptop in a low-light situation, but it definitely eats up precious battery life.  Go to System Preferences and select Keyboard, then uncheck "Illuminate keyboard in low light conditions."

5. Turn on Private Browsing in Safari.  This one might surprise you, but by enabling Private Browsing, your laptop will stop using the hard drive to cache webpages, images, and other information while you browse.  By accessing the hard drive less, you'll save battery life.  Unfortunately, this also means Safari will stop saving autofill information for forms and won't remember your browsing history, so you'll probably want to disable this once you're plugged back in.