Tips to improve Battery Life of MacBook Air And MacBook Pro

By Sidharth | Apple

When the new MacBook Air 2011 model was promised to have a 7 hour battery life, everyone rejoiced. Oh, seven hours — that’s great! For a MacBook Air that thin, the great battery life really pumped up the sales. This begs for the question of whether the MacBook Air really lasts for 7 hours?


One of my friend says he was cheated, because, you know, the MacBook Air failed to chug along for 2 hours. His activity usually involves browsing the web, Facebook, checking mails, etc.

Macbook Air Battery Life

After flipping through the Apple Discussion Forum for hours to find a solution, we discovered that even the MacBook Pro owners (both 15″ or 17″ display) were caught with the MacBook Air owners.

We were then pretty sure that the battery drains on both MacBook Air and MacBook Pro because of Mac OS X Lion. So, in an effort to find out whether the wacky battery problem was exclusive to Mac OS X Lion, the switch was made to Snow Leopard OS. And the result was a slight improvement in battery life. Not much. Just a token of improvement.

And then the realization sinks in that…

When it comes to improving the battery life, there’s no ultimate all-in-one solution. There are, however, several tweaks that could help your MacBook Air and MacBook Pro to last a little longer than before.

How to Improve Battery Life of MacBook Air and MacBook Pro:

  1. Go to System Preference and navigate to Energy Saver. Here you can put the hard disk to sleep, change the sleep time, etc. to improve the battery life.
  2. Reset SMC.
  3. Apple has repeatedly asked users to dim the screen’s brightness. When you lower the brightness, your MacBook Air and MacBook Pro will achieve maximum battery life.
  4. Turn off Bluetooth Wireless and AirPort Wireless, if you are not using it.
  5. Eject CDs and DVDs not in use. Also, make sure to charge and discharge the notebook battery fully at least once in a month.
  6. Quit heavy applications. If the app is ideally sitting in the background, quit it. For example, Skype app is a monster. It wouldn’t take more than 30min for Skype to drain the MacBook Air battery completely.
  7. This might be silly at first, but it’s always good to disable Flash content when the battery is low. This not only reduces the activity load off the MacBook but also brings down the heating issue, especially if you have multiple tabs opened in your browser.
  8. In case you didn’t know, Apple has a step-by-step guide to calibrate your MacBook’s battery for the best performance. The support document has useful tips for every MacBook user.
  9. Apple recently kicked in an EFI Firmware update for Mac users. There was no instant battery life improvement, but it’s always good to keep your MacBook updated with Apple’s latest updates.
  10. Lastly, switch to Snow Leopard. If you are experiencing a heavy battery usage on Lion, then, for the time being, switch from Lion to Snow Leopard.

I can’t recollect where this came from, but if I remember correctly, an update to fix the battery life in Lion is in the works. So, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro users, just hang in there, and let’s patiently welcome the update, which is due in a few weeks.

About the Author

Hi, I am Sidharth. Full-time blogger. Editor of Blogote. And a self-proclaimed geek!

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