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Battery life dropped considerably on Mountain Lion.

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jpengland96 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Jul 25, 2012 8:39 AM

I upgraded to mountail Lion and now my battery life is about half of what it was before upgrading. Shouldn't the update improve battery life? Also, what can I do about this?

MacBook Pro, OS X Mountain Lion
  • thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (27,050 points)

    I'm still in the process of downloading my copy, so I can't speak from experience with ML, but I would start with the assumption that something is wrong with your system somewhere.  Of course, there could be a problem with ML, it's too early to say one way or the other yet, but if it's a ML problem you can't do anything about it but wait, so start troubleshooting now.  Try resetting the SMC.  Also check all your third-party software to make sure it's compatible with ML.  If any is not, update it or uninstall it.

  • JoeyR Level 6 Level 6 (8,275 points)

    If you've just upgraded, there is a lot going on.  Give your system a little time to "settle down" first.  Battery performance under Mountain Lion should be similar to what you were getting with Lion. Also... some people use real-time virus scanners.  As an OS upgrade replaces a significant percentage of your files, a virus scan can also be quite intensive... especially when it happens along with indexing.

  • SPS206 Calculating status...

    I noticed the same issue.  Battery used to last all day easily on a 13" MBP with room to spare.  Its now 3:30, I have used it less than normal and I am at 5% left.  I hope this is not something that will be ongoing.  Perphaps the OS needs to read a full cycle of the battery in order to use it properly or something.  If not, this is a major dissapointment.

  • Courcoul Level 6 Level 6 (11,195 points)

    Being that the new Hillside Kitty is heavy on the iOS eyecandy and being a new install, lots of caches and indexes have to be built, which takes quite a toll on the battery. I suggest you use it normally for the next day or two and let things settle down, then take measure of how it behaves.


    Those of who had the opportunity to see it while it was in gestation have high hopes that it will behave better than it progenitor, the despised Fat Cat (aka Lion).

  • tarpus Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I've noticed my battery life decreased after the Mountain Lion upgrade, too.  Why is this? The CPU does not seem to be slammed.  But, I can visably see the battery draining.  In fact when I first started writing this post my battery was at 96% and now, three sentences later, without doing anything else, and without having any other applications running, my battery life is at 91%!

  • Courcoul Level 6 Level 6 (11,195 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 25, 2012 4:08 PM (in response to tarpus)

    The fact that you're not doing anything on the Mac doesn't necessarily mean it is lazying out just scratching its ballz . Open Activity Monitor (found in Utilities) and be amazed at all the automatic processes busily working to optimize the new install for your later pleasure and enjoyment.

  • tarpus Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jul 25, 2012 4:12 PM (in response to Courcoul)

    I checked activity monitor.  My system is averaging a 99% idle state.  I am now at 86% battery, since my last post.      

  • SPS206 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jul 25, 2012 4:15 PM (in response to tarpus)

    I guess we will have to see if Apple comes out with any kind of patch or it this becomes a much wider spread issue.  I think Caurcoul is probably right, at least somewhat.  Lets just give it a few days of normal usage and see what happens. I plugged mine if after it died and it is charging fast, for whatever that is worth.  25% charged in about 20 minutes.

  • JoeyR Level 6 Level 6 (8,275 points)
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    Jul 25, 2012 4:18 PM (in response to tarpus)

    You'll also want to check disk activity.  An upgrade is more disk intensive than CPU intensive.  Indexing is fairly mild on the processor, but requires nearly continuous disk activity until it is complete.  There really is no need for concern unless things don't improve with a little time.  That's not to say that you're not having an actual problem, it's just a bit early to make that determination.  While ML was just released today, it has been tested for quite a few months and battery charge hasn't been a problem.  When folks first upgraded from Snow Leopard to Lion, there were tons of posts then about charge times dropping drastically... which pretty much faded away shortly thereafter.  There are always going to be some people who do have actual problems, but when installing a new OS, you can't really judge proper battery performance for a little while.

  • tarpus Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jul 25, 2012 4:30 PM (in response to JoeyR)

    I just checked the disk activity and that seems fairly idle as well. I know that the upgrade requires reindexing the hard drive; Spotlight displayed a warning messages stating it needed to reindenx the drive. Is there anyway check the status of the index?  78% now.    

  • mevans336 Calculating status...

    I'm noticing the same behavior. I upgraded to ML around 11AM and left it turned on and plugged in since. I just unplugged it and in the past 30 minutes, my battery life has dropped to 77%. This is on a mid-2011 MBA with Spotlight disabled.


    While reading and replying to this thread, it's dropped 2% more, to 75%.




    Message was edited by: mevans336

  • mevans336 Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    And waddya know, Apple has released an SMC firmware update for the mid-2011 MBA. I just got the notification through the App Store. I bet this is going to solve my battery problems.


  • tarpus Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 25, 2012 10:48 PM (in response to mevans336)

    Another issue. Safari 6 consumes a lot of cpu.  Perhaps this is the culprit?    

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