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Squeeze More Life Out of Your 'Book Battery

TMO Quick Tip - Squeeze More Life Out of Your 'Book Battery

by , 7:30 AM EDT, July 17th, 2006

I just love that I can take my PowerBook anywhere and work. I just hate that the battery doesn't last forever. There are ways to extend the limited battery life all laptops exhibit, which is really great - especially since I'm sitting on a bench in Estes Park, Colorado writing today's Quick Tip. Here's some things you can do to increase your 'Book's battery life when electrical outlets aren't an option:

Turn off AirPort If you don't have a Wi-Fi network in range, save some juice by shutting off your AirPort card. Click the AirPort icon in your menu bar, and then choose Turn AirPort Off.

Turn off Bluetooth Just like AirPort, Bluetooth can cut into your battery run time. To shut off Bluetooth, click the Bluetooth icon in your menu bar, and then select Turn Bluetooth Off.

Change your display to grayscale The more colors you display, the more processing power it takes to render the windows, icons and animations you see on your screen. Changing from color to gray scale can help squeeze a little more juice out of your battery.

  • Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, and then click Universal Access.
  • Click the Seeing tab.
  • Check Use grayscale.


Universal Access lets you change your display from color to grayscale.

Turn down your display's brightness Turning down the brightness on your display certainly will help with battery life, but if you are working outside, it will probably be too difficult to see your screen.

Quit Applications that you aren't using An application can use your processor, even if you aren't using the application. That means more electricity wasted. Quit programs you don't need to use.

Another great way to extend the battery life in your PowerBook, iBook, MacBook, or MacBook Pro is to leave the lid closed. Even though I'm sitting in the mountains writing, rest assured I'll be taking my own advice and packing my laptop away as soon as I finish today's tip.


if you have ideas for Mac related tips that you think other TMO readers might find helpful.

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