How to Fix Fast Battery Draining Problem on macOS Mojave


How to Fix Fast Battery Draining Problem on macOS Mojave

Overview: Many MacBook users have reported a fast battery drain issue after installing macOS Mojave. Today in this post we will troubleshoot to improve the MacBook battery life. The troubleshooting applies to all macOS.

Let’s Start with Few Practical Scenarios

Scenario 1: macOS Mojave Battery Life

I have been using this OS since a couple months ago not since the released of it. I thought the dark mode feature will help my battery life but I guess I’m wrong. I realized that my MacBook Pro Mid 2012 don’t have the needed screen to help the dark mode turn off my pixels completely but I’m still wondering why do dark pixels doesn’t help my battery life? The thing is I really hate my battery life with this OS, I usually use Safari and Xcode at the same time for 4 hours and I still have 30% battery remaining while now I do the same thing and my battery ran out after 3 hours of usage. I just want advice that may help my battery life considering this is an old MacBook Pro too, I also tried downgrading (which isn’t recommended) but I refused to do it after knowing that it will erase my whole data (Not risking doing it even with my backed up data). Hopefully, I can get some advice regarding my battery life, thanks.

Source: Apple Forum

Scenario 2: macOS Mojave Battery Drain

Just updated my OS to Mojave this morning and brought my laptop to work. It was in a full charge when I left home. 2hrs after using it, the battery percentage was down to 40% which never happened before during any of my regular use. Also, the texts on the screen are blurry.

Source: Apple Forum

Like the above two users, there are many Mac users who are facing fast battery draining issue. Let’s troubleshoot to fix it.

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Run Apple Diagnostics

It’s good to know if there is any battery failure on your Mac. Run built-in Apple Diagnostics on your Mac.

To run a hardware test, do the following:

  • Plug out all the external devices except mouse, keyboard, Ethernet cable, and AC power connection.
  • Shut down your Mac.
  • Start your Mac and immediately press and hold the letter D key on the keyboard. Keep holding the D key until you see choose your language screen. It will automatically start the test, it may take a few minutes to complete the test, once the test completes it will provide you reference codes and let you know if there is any hardware failure.

Apple built in diagnostic

  • You can click Restart or press R to restart your Mac.

Use Energy Saver in System Preferences

  • Go to the Apple menu, select System Preferences and then select Energy Saver
  • Select the Battery tab
  • Set the Turn display off after to very short time to save battery
  • Also, Uncheck Enable Power Nap while on battery power option

Set sleep in mac and turn off power nap

Manage Keyboard and Display Brightness

Settings in Mac notebook’s built-in keyboard can help you to save battery.

  • Go to the Apple menu, select System Preferences and choose Keyboard. Enable Adjust keyboard brightness in low light to automatically dim or brighten the keyboard backlight.
  • Go to the Apple menu, select System Preferences and choose Keyboard, allow your keyboard’s backlight to turn off when the system is not active.
  • Another way is to use F5 and F6 keys to manually manage the keyboard backlight, keep the backlight low to save battery power.

Adjust Display Brightness

LCD brightness plays an important role in battery life, setting the display to automatically adjust can undoubtedly save battery power. Go to the Apple menu, select System Preferences and then select Displays. Enable Automatically adjust brightness to automatically dim or brighten the display as per the requirement.

Battery status menu can be used to reduce the display’s brightness to 75%. Select Display Brightness in the Using Significant Energy section using the battery status menu.

Use F1 and F2 keys to manually manage the display’s brightness as per your requirement.

Turn off Dynamic Background

The Dynamic desktop feature allows you to change the desktop background wallpaper all the time. Switch it off to save battery power.

  • Go to Apple menu and select System Preferences
  • Select Desktop & Screen Saver
  • Below Dynamic you will find two more option Light and Dark. Select any one of them to turn off the dynamic

Turn off dynamic background

Adjust Graphics Performance

MacBook Pro 15-inch and 17-inch notebooks usually come with two graphics GPUs. The discrete GPU provides optimum performance using high power. The integrated GPU provides a balanced battery life but does not provides high graphics performance. To save battery power, use of integrated GPU is recommended.

Disable Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and External Devices When Not in Use

Mac notebooks come with inbuilt technologies which impact battery power.

  • Disable AirPort/Bluetooth from the menu bar icons or from System Preferences when you don’t use Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to save battery power.

Turn off WIFI on mac

  • Disconnect external USB flash drive, Thunderbolt, FireWire, SD card etc. for better battery performance.
  • In case you have CDs or DVDs in the SuperDrive then eject it to prevent the drive to spin repeatedly.

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Update Your Software

Most applications like browsers, photo or video editing software, games etc. needs more power depending upon the usage. Update your software regularly to use the latest version.

Check Activity Monitor

Check Activity Monitor regularly for any faulty software processes.

  • Launch Activity Monitor, then select View > All Processes.
  • Click the top of the % CPU column to see the percentage of CPU utilized by each process.

CPU usage on mac

Applications usually use the maximum CPU while performing tasks that need thorough calculations like encoding video. The CPU usage should go down when the task is done and it should drop completely when the application is closed. Any task except kernel_task which is constantly utilizing more than 70 percent of the CPU is putting a substantial load on the CPU and could be faulty.

Now quit the malfunctioning processes. First, try a normal way to quit any process. Example: quit Safari by selecting Safari > Quit Safari.

In case you cannot end a process in a normal way then use Activity Monitor to force it to quit. First, save any documents related to the process, choose the process in Activity Monitor and select View > Quit Process.

Always install the latest updates for better performance of the applications.

Start Mac in Safe Mode

  • Shut down your Mac.
  • Now start your Mac and immediately Press and hold the Shift key as soon as the start-up sound is heard.
  • Release the Shift key when you see the Apple logo. Safe Boot appears on the macOS Mojave start-up screen.

Safe Mode restricts the use of many applications on the system and allows examination in a more restricted environment. In case the battery performs better in Safe Mode then you have to isolate the software which is consuming more battery power.

Disable Automatic Updates.

Turning off Automatic Updates may not update your Mac but this is to let you know that Automatic Updates drains the battery fast. In order to turn off the Automatic Updates follow the steps mentioned below:

  • Go to the System Preferences
  • Select Software Update
  • Uncheck the box for Automatically keep my Mac up to date. Enter the password if prompted and Turn Off Automatic Updates.

Reset SMC

  • Go to the Apple menu and shut down your Mac.
  • Once Mac shuts down, press and hold the Shift-Control-Option on the left side of the built-in keyboard, then press the power button at the same time. Hold these keys and the power button for 10-15 seconds.
  • Now Release all keys.
  • Press the power button again to turn on your Mac.

For Mac desktop computers

  • Go to the Apple menu and shut down your Mac.
  • Unplug the power cable.
  • Wait 15-20 seconds.
  • Plug in the power cable back.
  • Wait for 10 seconds and start your Mac.

Reset PRAM and NVRAM

  • Shut down Mac
  • After few seconds start the Mac and press and hold Option, Command, P and R keys on the keyboard together.
  • Hold the keys down till the Mac reboots and you hear a beeping sound.

Keep the Battery Half-Charged When You Plan to Keep Your Device Unused for Long Term.

In case you want to keep your device unused for a long term, do the following:

  • Do not charge full or discharge your system’s battery completely, charge it to somewhere between 50-60%. When you keep a device when it’s fully discharged, the battery may go into a deep discharge state, which put it in a state where its incapable of holding a charge. Similarly, when you keep it fully charged for a long period of time, the battery may lose some proportions resulting in short battery life.
  • Shut down the system to prevent further battery use.
  • Keep your system in a cool, humid free surrounding which is less than 90° F.
  • In case you plan to keep your device unused for more than six months than charge it to 50% every six months.
  • When you plan to use the device after a long time then charge the battery for at least 20 minutes before you use the device.

Change the Battery

Maybe its time to change the battery, maybe you do not remember the battery is very old. Get a new battery if it needs replacement.

Wrap Things Up

I hope this article helped you to fix fast battery draining issue on macOS Mojave.

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