June 2012 – Tip of the Month

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Tip of the Month

The life of your battery depends on your computer configuration and on how you use your computer. Remember that the more intensive the usage of a computer, the faster the battery will drain.

Some steps and settings are listed below for you to follow if you wish to get the most out of you MacBook, MacBook Pro, or MacBook Air battery.

The battery status menu allows you to see how much charge your battery has, and whether it is charging or not. This menu is located in the top right hand corner of the grey menu bar at the top of the screen.


The status menu updates regularly and will change accordingly depending on your screen brightness and system work load.

For example, watching a DVD with the brightness turned all the way up will decrease more battery life than editing a text document would. However, should you choose to close the DVD and resume with editing a text document, the battery status menu will adjust accordingly as you have change to a less draining activity.

Optimising your battery life is as simple as this:


Set the screen brightness to the lowest comfortable level

Your screen brightness can have the greatest impact on your battery life. In order to change the settings for the brightness of the screen, press the F1 key to dim the screen to whatever you deem acceptable and comfortable. To brighten, press the F2 key.

By dimming the screen on your computer, your battery life could increase up to three hours!



Optimise battery settings in Energy Saver Preferences

From your ‘System Preferences’ menu, you can navigate to the ‘Energy Saver’ menu. Options in the preference pane will vary depending on your computer and the operating system version. Examples of what you can include:

– Putting the hard disk to sleep when possible

– Slightly dim the display

– Automatically reduce brightness before display goes to sleep

– Setting sliders to induce sleep of the display or computer more quickly

– Choosing the Better Battery Life option if available to you.


Some settings will put the hard disk to sleep whenever possible and reduce the microprocessor or graphics performance in order to maximise battery life. If using processor-intensive applications or graphic-intensive applications, you may wish to change these settings so that performance is maximised. This will however be at the expense of battery life.


Turn off unused features and technologies

Just like turning light switches on and off in the house, turning off unnecessary features and technologies can increase the life of your battery. Here are a few suggestions:

– Eject CDs and DVDs that are no longer being used. The optical drive will spin every once in a while to engage the disk. This will consume a small amount of power.

– Shut down any applications that aren’t being used, but are still running

– Turn off the Bluetooth if not required. This can be done via the ‘System Preferences’ menu or the drop-down menu that will appear after clicking the bluetooth icon. ()


Ongoing Standard Maintenance,

It should be mentioned that batteries require some activity to keep them healthy and it’s generally not recommended to keep the machine plugged in to power all the time.  The ideal user would be the commuting user who uses their machine in transit then would top it up when back in the office or at home.

It’s important to keep the batteries juices flowing by using it off the charger, even it is just using the first 20% This will help towards a longer life for your battery.

If, however, you have a Macbook Air/Pro that’s not in regular use ie only in use during travel, Apple recommends discharging and charging it’s battery at once per month.


If you find your machine is delivering poor battery life or if your battery status menu is suggesting to replace your battery then by all means contact us here at Mac Aid


For more info have a look at the following link





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