If your battery is draining badly after moving your Mac to the latest macOS Big Sur, there are some steps you should take before contacting Apple customer service.
Mac users are reporting some macOS Big Sur related issues. The list includes some of the usual suspects, including an abnormal battery drain.
While some battery issues may be hardware related, others are related to Apple’s macOS Big Sur software. In many cases, an app is causing the problems.
If you start seeing terrible battery drain after installing the latest macOS Big Sur software, your first thought may be to downgrade back to older macOS software or upgrade to newer macOS software.
Downgrading your Mac’s software is an option, but before you do that, try to fix your issues. Troubleshooting battery life issues can be tricky, but we have a few solutions that have worked for us and other Mac users in the past.
This guide will walk you through solutions for poor macOS Big Sur battery life and there’s a chance they’ll help you fix your issues in minutes.
Restart your Mac
If your Mac’s battery starts to drain quickly for no apparent reason, the first thing you want to do is restart your computer. Restarting can put an end to rogue processes and help you improve battery life and/or overall performance.
Update your Mac
Apple will periodically release new macOS software. Point updates (xxx) usually focus on fixing bugs, while milestone upgrades (xx) usually offer a mix of features and fixes.
The company may not list battery life fixes in the change log of a macOS Big Sur update, but new software can always help. To learn more about the latest version of macOS Big Sur, check out our guide.
You may also want to consider upgrading to macOS Monterey, Apple’s latest operating system. It brings new features and it can have a positive impact on your Mac’s battery life. To learn more about macOS Monterey, check out our walkthrough.
Update your apps
A new version of an app can help reduce battery life issues.
Check for updates in the Mac App Store. If you’re feeling suspicious, you’ll want to study the reviews of Mac users currently using macOS Big Sur.
You also want to click the battery icon in the top right corner of your Mac. If you see an app that is “using significant energy,” you should contact that developer to see if there’s an update, an update planned, or a known issue with macOS Big Sur.
Using battery usage history
The macOS Big Sur update removes the “Power Saver” section of your computer’s System Preferences. Instead, there’s a new “Battery” section with better reporting capabilities.
Here’s a new usage history feature. Usage History gives you details about your Mac’s battery life over the past 24 hours or the past 10 days.
It is divided into Battery Level and Display on Use so that you can see how your battery is performing. If the readings are far away, you may need to contact Apple customer service.
You will also notice new Battery and Power Adapter sections. Here you can select when to turn off your Mac’s display, turn powernap on or off, and more.
You will also see a battery icon in the menu. Clicking on it will give you an estimate of your Mac’s remaining battery life.
Reset PRAM and NVRAM
This next step is a little more complicated, but it can solve annoying battery life issues.
Try resetting the PRAM and NVRAM on your MacBook. This will reset some settings, but will not delete your Mac’s data. After doing this you will need to set the speaker, screen resolution and some other settings but there is a chance this will fix the battery life issues.
Here’s how to do it:
- Shut down your Mac.
- Turn on your MacBook.
- Press and hold the Command, Option, P, and R keys simultaneously right after the startup sound.
- Press and hold until the computer restarts and you hear the startup sound again.
If you have the MacBook Pro 2016 or later, you will need to press and hold these keys as soon as you turn on your MacBook Pro and hold them down for 20 seconds.
Please note that the steps may be different on Apple’s new 2020 MacBooks.
You can also try resetting the SMC on your Mac. It only takes a minute and you may be able to avoid a visit to the Apple Store.
The process varies between Apple’s MacBook models, but for most you can use these directions:
- Choose Apple menu > Exit.
- After your Mac shuts down, press Shift-Control-Option on the left side of the built-in keyboard and press the Power button at the same time.
- Press and hold these keys and the power button for 10 seconds. If you have a MacBook Pro with Touch ID, the Touch ID button is also the power button.
- Release all keys.
- Press the power button again to turn on your Mac.
If you’re using a 2018 model or newer MacBook Pro, you’ll need to: follow the directions on this pagethat can help complete these tasks.
4 reasons not to install macOS Monterey 12.3.1 and 11 reasons why you should
Install macOS Monterey 12.3.1 for better security
If security is important to you, consider installing the macOS Monterey 12.3.1 update right away.
macOS Monterey 12.3.1 brings two security patches for Mac users. You can read more about it at Apple’s website† These help protect you and your device from damage.
As for older macOS updates, Apple’s macOS Monterey 12.3 update had more than 40 security patches on board. To learn more about these upgrades, check out the details at Apple’s security site†
The macOS Monterey 12.2.1 update brought an important patch for Mac users. You can learn more about the patch on Apple’s security site†
Apple’s macOS Monterey 12.2 update had 13 security patches on board. If you are interested in the details, go to Apple’s website learn more.
macOS Monterey 12.1 included 40+ new security patches for Macs. You can read all about it on the company security site†
Microsoft says it discovered a new ‘Powerdir’ vulnerability lurking in macOS. Powerdir allows an attacker to bypass the operating system’s Transparency, Consent and Control (TCC) technology and gain unauthorized access to a user’s protected data. Fortunately, Apple has fixed the problem in macOS Monterey 12.1.
macOS Monterey 12.1 also included some significant privacy upgrades. The supplied software Apple’s communications security features for children. You’ll find these features in the Messages app, Siri, Spotlight, and Search.
If you’re moving from macOS Big Sur, you’ll also get the 30+ security patches of macOS Monterey 12.0.1 in your update. If you are interested in the exact nature of these improvements, you can: Read more about it on Apple’s website†
In addition to these patches, the macOS Monterey update comes with additional security and privacy upgrades.
If you are an Apple Card user, you now get a security code that changes regularly to use when making online transactions.
Apple has also added a built-in authenticator similar to Google Authenticator. Allows you to generate verification codes for enhanced login security under your passwords.
New email privacy protection helps prevent senders from tracking your email activity, and there’s a new recording indicator in the Control Center for apps that access your microphone.