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How to make your MacBook battery last all day

Two things can bring my productivity to a crashing halt: no coffee and no charge in my MacBook's battery. So here's how I make sure it's not my MacBook that lets me down.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor
Reviewed by Alyson Windsor
Apple MacBook Pro 13.3-inch M1 on a table
Jason Cipriani/ZDNET

I thought that switching over to my M1 Pro Apple Silicon MacBook Pro would put an end to all of my battery life woes.

Well, while there's no doubt that this is the laptop with the best battery life I've ever used, I've found that the more battery life I have, the more I use it. So, I still need to set up my laptop so that I get the very best possible battery life from the system.

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Here's what I do to my MacBook running macOS Ventura to get the best possible battery life.

1. Check Low Power Mode settings

Click on the Settings app and then head over to Battery. Look for Low Power Mode.

There you'll find a few options.

For the longest battery life possible, I have this set to Only on Battery. This does have a small impact on performance, so if I need max power, I either connect the laptop to the power adapter, or change this setting to Never.

In real terms, though, unless I'm doing something demanding like heavy Photoshop work or some video editing, I don't notice a difference.

Low Power Mode settings in macOS

Low Power Mode settings in macOS

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

2. Tweak these other battery settings

While you're on that Battery screen in Settings, scroll down to the bottom and click on the Options… button. Here, make sure that Wake for network access is set to Only on Power Adapter or Never, and that Optimize video streaming while on battery is enabled.

More battery saving tweaks hidden away

More battery saving tweaks hidden away 

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

3. Use Apple apps where possible

I know, like me, you're probably a big fan of the Google Chrome browser. But if you want the best possible battery life from your MacBook, I suggest getting used to the Safari browser.

Even with the latest version of Google Chrome -- the one that has the new energy-saving features -- I'm still finding that I get at least an extra hour of runtime when I switch to Safari.

Also: If you use Google Chrome, you need to install this now

And it's not just Safari. Apple apps offer far better energy efficiency -- and, as a result, longer battery life -- than third-party apps.

Google Chrome is still a massive battery hog

Google Chrome is still a massive battery hog

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

4. Get a power bank that can recharge your MacBook

For those times when you can't connect to the power adapter, you can always turn to a powerful power bank.

My favorite is the Anker 737

With a whopping 140W output, this 24,000mAh, three-port power bank can charge up everything in my life, from my AirPods Pro to my MacBook Pro. And this excellent power bank is currently available from Amazon for a low price of $119.

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