Skip to main content

How to find out what apps are eating the battery life on your Mac running OS X Mavericks

If you've got a MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, or other kind of portable Mac that contains a battery, OS X Mavericks has made it easier than ever to figure out and keep track of exactly what's using your battery life. So if you find your battery draining quickly, one click can help you determine what the cause is. Here's how:

  1. In the upper system tray in your Mac, there is a battery icon that shows how much battery you have remaining. Click on it.

  1. There's a new section labeled Apps Using Significant Energy. If there are any apps listed here, these are the ones that could potentially be draining your battery faster.

  1. Close down any apps that are in this list in order to save battery life.

That's all there is to it. Amongst our staff, Google Chrome always seems to be in the list. If you're experiencing the same, let us know in the comments!

iMore senior editor from 2011 to 2015.

  • Chrome as been a battery suck since I updated to Mavericks, switched back to using Safari for my usual browsing now and the battery life is awesome. The new Safari power saving features actually work.
  • I'm guessing every browser does. I have Firefox showing up in mine every time I have it open for more than 5 minutes.
  • Safari always shows up in mine. But then, I have Facebook open, so that likely is the culprit. Would be really nice if it told you which Safari tab (now that each is a separate process) is the culprit!
  • If you have an UPS connected to your desktop Mac via USB cable, and you have the UPS status displayed in the upper system tray, click the UPS icon to reveal the “Apps Using Significant Energy” section in the status menu. (Safari and Flash Player are currently showing up on my Mac.)
  • Too bad they don't have this for iOS. :)
  • Firefox here as well and not a fan of Safari (or, at least, not until it has the equivalent of the Tab Mix Plus Add-on), but the bigger concern for me since upgrading to Mavericks (and the software that supports it) has not been battery drain but a _significant_ RAM drain/leak. With Lion on my mid-2011 Mac Air (128 GB / 4 GB), closing down all active apps in the Dock and then enabling the Memory Clean app, I would routinely return up to 1.24 GB of RAM. Opening Firefox might drop that to 1.6 with smaller, slower incremental losses as other apps open.
    With Mavericks, the best I've managed to do using the same technique has been 1.9 GB restored with it, then starting to drop off again even before opening anything - while it continues to plummet as I open apps and they are left open. Activity Monitor > Memory shows (not surprisingly) that kernel_task is the biggest offender there (430 MB), only slightly surpassed by Firefox if it is open. Where the leak is in Mavericks its hard to know, but it is there. And I don't appreciate the more often spinning beachball, either...
  • Thanks :)
  • I uninstalled chrome long ago. I prefer Firefox
  • I just stick with Safari, I'm sure it's not the best out there but I'm happy with it. I will say that Safari does make the list sometimes Sent from the iMore App
  • This may help, I use it and it can charge my laptop 3-4 times. Its completely worth with the price especially when you cant find a socket. Its like a portable phone charger for my mac :) Spread the word to your friends...