Just a quickie to let you know — if you didn’t already — how brilliant I am.
I made an appointment at the genius bar to bring my new Macbook Air in to have the battery looked at, since I couldn’t seem to squeeze more than a couple hours out of it.
I’d googled “Macbook Air battery drain” and every other imaginable iteration of that type of string that I could think of. All I could find were these solutions:
- dim the screen
- keep open Safari windows to a minimum
- install ClickToFlash (highly recommended, btw)
None of it made any difference. In all cases, the next step was “bring to the Genuis bar.”
But while I was couchbound, babysitting Mom and Dad’s dog, Pippi who is recuperating from spine surgery (more on that later), I had a sudden brainstorm: ACTIVITY MONITOR!
Activity Monitor is the coolest little utility that comes installed on all Macs. It is helpful for seeing what applications are chewing up memory. But it also shows you what is dragging on your CPU, which equals battery use. You can find it in: Applications/Utilities/Activity Monitor.
Since I had copied everything over from my Macbook Pro using Migration Assistant, I knew there were things that I didn’t need. I wasn’t initially too worried about much extra crud being brought over from the Pro because it is only a year old. Plus, I’ve not had any weird problems with the Pro that I was concerned about. It is worth noting that I don’t usually use Migration Assistant when I get a new computer since I always feel that fresh installs are better. But I was under the gun to get the Macbook Air up and running quickly for my trip. I couldn’t take any chances that, “dang it! i forgot to install XYZ plug in.” In fact, come to think of it, this was my first-ever time using Migration Assistant. I have to say, it worked great and is quite easy.
But I was wrong when I thought there wasn’t a lot of junk.
I found several things I haven’t ever used on my one year old Macbook Pro, like EyeTV helper. How did that get on there?? There were, in fact, lots of “helpers.” All of these load at start up and cause some level of battery drain.
Printopia was something I installed and uninstalled at one point when I was trying to get something to print from my iphone. And yet, there it still was in the Activity Monitor on the Macbook Air?!
Anyway, here are some folders to check if you suspect similar issues:
I found and deleted:
- Printopia helper
- FlipShare helper
- EyeConnect (inc. EyeTV helper)
- ProTech6 ( installed with Nik Software and unnecessary)
- Wacom tablet driver (won’t be using with this computer
- some old Adobe CS4 version cue plist files
About 6 files deleted, and I watched in utter amazement as my battery time went from a fully charged TWO-hour status to SEVEN hours! Is that amazing or what?!
It does fluctuate, depending on the number of windows and programs I have open. But I’ve been working on the computer now for over an hour, watched a lengthy flash Bravo TV video and still have 5 hours and 30 minutes displayed.
Ahhhhh. I love solving a mystery. I also love being brilliant.
(Sorry for all you non-techy people. I just had to share this in case there are other poor souls googling futility like I was. I want to be their new hero… I’ll be back more soon with Morgan’s The Kid’s Cook Bang Bang Shrimp recipe!)