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7 best tips to maximize battery life with OS X El Capitan

Maximizing macbook battery life with El Capitan

Let's get real.

All those articles you have read about reducing screen brightness and closing background programs have taught you almost nothing new about MacBook battery life.

As it turns out, there are more effective and less obvious ways that you can substantially increase MacBook Air battery life and MacBook Pro battery life.

If you're a power user and need a lot of extra battery on-the-go, we'd recommend checking out BatteryBox, a small portable battery that powers MacBooks and USB devices.

While there's nothing in El Capitan designed specifically to increase battery life, there are a few tried-and-tested tips that help reduce battery consumption.

1 Turn Off Spotlight Indexing
Spotlight in preferences

If you don’t need Spotlight Indexing just do your battery a favour and shut if off. It’s pretty easy.

  1. Press the icon in top left of screen
  2. Go to System Preferences
  3. Hit Spotlight
  4. Click the Privacy tab. Next,
  5. Click the + button on the bottom left
  6. Now, select the hard drive icon (or your most used folders) to prevent it from searching these locations and choose OK when prompted. To turn indexing back on, just click the - button


2 Watch out for the Flash beast

Similar to the above tip, turning off flash can make a big difference. Flash is slowly being discontinued by websites on the web, an most have switched over to HTML5. Rather than completely uninstalling it, a good soltion can be downloading an app like FlashFrozen (free) or FlashBlock ($0.99) which lets you turn off flash whenever you don’t need it, and save that precious battery life.

3 Become friends with the Activity Monitor
Activity monitor, catch energy hogs

Close the programs that use the most battery according to the Activity Monitor.

You don’t always have to close every program you aren’t using. Some programs use an extremely insignificant amount of battery whereas others like Chrome strain the battery more.

However, be careful that you don’t terminate something important – it’s good to exercise caution and check Google to see what each process does before you close them.

4 Switch your browser
Chrome vs Safari vs Firefox

Chrome and Firefox are known to significantly reduce battery life, compared to Safari. In fact, we recently did a study that has shown that just by switching over to Safari, you could improve battery life by 1hr on average - and much more in some cases. In our study we tested the worlds most popular websites and their power consumption on different browsers.

If you spend a lot of time in the browser going over to Safari could make a huge difference.

5 Update your apps
Latest app updates

If you haven't visited the Mac App store for a while, then it's worthwhile to update your apps. Applications updated to work with El Capitan are fully optimized to work on the new OS X, and could make a positive impact on your battery life. While you're at it, make sure that El Capitan is up to date as well, of course.

6 Adjust the energy saver settings
Energy saver in preferences

Simple but effective, changing the settings in your Energy Saver could improve battery performance. To get to this screen go to:

  1. Press the icon in top left of screen
  2. Click System Preferences
  3. Select Energy Saver button in the screen
Tick all the available checkboxes and set the screen to dim in the shortest time possible to get the most efficient battery settings, and an improvement on your MacBook battery life.


7 Squeeze every little bit of battery life

Use these tricks if you are still desperate for more battery life:

Use Invert Colours.
Change your desktop to a solid white by going to Preferences, then Desktop & ScreenSaver, followed by Desktop, Solid Colours, then choose white. After, click Accessibility and Invert Colors.

This runs your Mac in black and white mode if you're into that!

Turn off Notifications.
Hit your good old System Preference, then Notifications, and limit the apps that can check for notifications.

Turn off Mail’s auto check mode.
Open your mail, hit Preferences and change the Check for New Messages tab to Manually.