How to Turn On Low Power Mode on a Mac

Make your laptop battery last longer

What to Know

  • Go to Apple menu > System Preferences > Battery > Battery > check the box next to Low power mode.
  • Currently, low power mode is only available on: MacBook (Early 2016 and later) and MacBook Pro (Early 2016 and later).
  • Low power mode requires macOS Monterey (12.0) and higher.

This article explains how to turn on low power mode on a compatible Mac.

Looking to get extra performance out of your MacBook, battery life be damned? Check out Mac High Power Mode.

How Do You Turn on Power Saving Mode on a Mac?

If you're facing the situation of a very low battery without the ability to charge, you need to try low power mode. This feature is built into macOS and optimizes system settings to deliver more battery life until you can get a charge.

To extend the battery life of your MacBook until you can next recharge it, enable the power saving mode with these steps:

  1. Click the Apple menu.

    System Preferences menu item on macOS.
  2. Click System Preferences.

  3. Click Battery.

    The Battery preference icon in System Preferences in macOS.
  4. Click Battery in the left-hand sidebar.

    Low power mode setting in the Battery preference pane in macOS.
  5. Check the box next to Low power mode to enable the power-saving mode. You can confirm the mode is enabled by clicking the battery icon in the top right corner of the screen.

    You can even turn on low power mode when the MacBook is connected to a power adapter for smoother, more efficient operation. To do that, click Power Adapter instead of Battery in step 4.

What Is Low Power Mode?

Low power mode is a more efficient way for a MacBook to operate. It saves battery life but, because of the trade-offs involved, it's probably not something you'll want to use all the time. Sure, Mac low power mode extends battery life between charges, but it does so by turning off or otherwise reducing all sorts of features you probably find useful.

Low power mode originally started as a feature on the iPhone (and it has since been added to the iPad, too). On the iPhone, Apple claims low power mode can deliver up to three additional hours of battery life, depending on usage. The company hasn't made similar claims about how the mode impacts MacBook battery life. Since MacBooks require more power to run than iPhones, assume you'll get less extra use when you enable low power mode.

Some of the iPhone and iPad features that low power mode temporarily disables or changes include:

  • Reduces processor speed
  • Turns off background app refresh
  • Turns off email fetch
  • Disables automatic downloads

While Apple hasn't provided a lot of specifics about what low power mode changes on the Mac, it's safe to assume the feature has a similar impact as on the iPhone and iPad, as well as some Mac-specific changes.

  • How do I turn off low power mode on a Mac?

    To deactivate low power mode, return to the Battery screen in System Preferences and uncheck the box. You should also check here if your Mac isn't behaving like it should (for example, if you aren't seeing app notifications).

  • How do I turn off low power mode on Apple Watch?

    The Apple Watch's version of low power mode is called "power reserve." Once it's on, you can deactivate it by pressing and holding the side button.

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