How to Make the Battery Last Longer On Your MacBook

updated Jul 7, 2022
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Laptops have become an indispensable part of life. With busy schedules and long commutes (and especially now that many things in life are virtual!) your laptop is likely your most crucial accessory. The MacBook has quickly risen to the top of the pack when it comes to laptops, but over time, the battery on your MacBook can suffer a shorter life than when you first purchased it. 

In this article, we’ll give you some tips and tricks for how to make the battery last longer on a MacBook. Practicing these techniques can help ensure your laptop battery lasts as long as possible so you don’t have to replace your expensive device early. 

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Although Apple does make some recommendations for how to make a battery last longer, they aren’t very clear. So we’ve reached out to an expert who has some great tips for how to make the battery last longer on a MacBook.  

Note: The advice in this article pertains to any of the more recent MacBooks that have been produced since 2008 with the non-removable battery.

1. Calibrate your battery.

One of the best ways to make your battery last longer right from the start is to calibrate your battery, says Victoria Mendoza, CEO of MediaPeanut. Doing this at least once each month is a great method if you’re wondering how to make a battery last longer. Here are the steps involved: 

  1. Charge your laptop completely.
  2. Leave it plugged in for two hours. 
  3. Use your MacBook until the battery completely drains. 
  4. Once the dialog prompts you to charge your laptop, do nothing and save all of your applications. 

2. Try a different browser. 

On the Mac, the Safari browser uses substantially less energy (and resources) than Google Chrome, says Mendoza. “Apple programs are made to function with your Mac in the most effective way possible.”

3. Turn off bluetooth. 

If your battery is draining fast while you sleep, the most common cause is that a bluetooth connection is waking your Macbook at night or when it sleeps, says Mendoza. “Your MacBook may be turning on randomly at night. This is because bluetooth is connected to the keyboard, mouse, headset, and other things as well. One way is to disable bluetooth altogether. Another is to disable the ‘allow bluetooth to wake this computer’ setting. 

4. Turn off Power Nap setting. 

Is your battery dying quickly, despite your computer being closed or sleeping? The culprit could be the Power Nap feature, which updates apps such as mail, calendar, iCloud updates, and more while sleeping and could turn your Mac on and waste battery throughout the night. Disable this unnecessary option by hovering over your battery icon on your screen and selecting ‘Open energy saver preferences’, then simply unchecking the box.

5. Get rid of apps that run in the background. 

One of the best methods for how to make your battery last longer is to force quit the apps you aren’t using. Often, these apps will still run in the background, which can drain your battery life. In addition, it’s important you ensure your laptop isn’t launching unnecessary programs when it starts up, since these can run in the background. A good example of this is Adobe Creative Cloud, a VPN app or a torrent downloader.

6. Reset PRAM and NVRAM.

If your battery is still draining overnight, then you could try resetting your MacBook’s NVRAM and PRAM. Mendoza says, “NVRAM is essentially memory that your laptop uses to store and retrieve specific settings when needed for quick access, which includes settings for sound, display resolution, time zone and more. PRAM is very similar.”  To reset PRAM/NVRAM, you can hold the following commands for 20 seconds when your Mac starts up: option, command, P and R.

7. Use the latest operating system. 

If you’re someone who doesn’t upgrade your laptop much, you could be lagging behind by several updates. These may seem unimportant, but in reality, operating system upgrades can reduce vulnerabilities in your laptop, and help it perform at its best. And that includes the laptop battery life.