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How to Fix Bad macOS Catalina Battery Life

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Is your MacBook Air or MacBook Pro suffering from bad macOS Catalina battery life after upgrading to the latest release of macOS? If so, you aren’t alone, and there are some easy ways to fix bad macOS Catalina battery life on your Mac.

Some of the issues we are seeing range from bad MacBook Pro battery life on Catalina, and battery draining fast on the Mac to a MacBook Pro no longer charging while on Catalina. On the flip side, there are a few reports of better battery life on Catalina, so there is some good news.

Here’s how you can fix bad macOS Catalina battery life on the MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro without going to Apple or waiting for a bug fix update to arrive. Here’s more on how to fix macOS Catalina problems.

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How to Fix macOS Catalina Battery Drain

Spotlight is behind macOS Catalina battery draining.

Spotlight is behind macOS Catalina battery draining.

It is normal to see macOS Catalina battery draining during the first few days on Catalina while the background processes complete. You may have seen a warning about this when you installed the update. You can check to see if this is what is using up battery life on your MacBook by clicking on the battery in the upper right.

If you see Spotlight listed, then your computer is still processing items in the background. This uses more power and it is a root cause of bad battery life on Catalina. This will fix itself after a few hours or a few days.

You may try leaving your computer plugged in overnight and not letting it sleep. I use an app called Amphetamine to keep my Mac awake when I need something like this to process.

After a day or two, restart your Mac and see if Spotlight is still showing. If battery life is bad without Spotlight listed, you have another problem to deal with.

How to Fix Bad macOS Catalina Battery Life

For users who are still seeing bad macOS Catalina battery life, there are some steps that you can take to fix this problem on your own. Keep in mind, Apple may need to issue macOS 10.15.0.1, or macOS 10.15.1 with battery life fixes, but you can try this out now.

Reboot Your Mac

The first thing to try is rebooting your Mac. This can end rogue processes and it can help you get better battery life. Some users find that they need to reboot the Mac more often on Catalina, so give this a shot and see if battery life improves.

Update Your Apps

Many apps are getting updates for Catalina, and a new version could make the difference in fixing battery life issues. Check for updates in the Mac App Store and if you see an app listed when you click on the battery icon as one “Using Significant Energy” check with that developer to see if there is an update, an update planned or a known issue with Catalina.

Reset PRAM and NVRAM

Fix macOS Catalina battery drain with this simple trick.

Fix macOS Catalina battery drain with this simple trick.

The next step is a little more involved, but it can fix annoying battery life issues. You need to reset the PRAM and NVRAM on your MacBook. This resets some settings, but does not delete data. You will need to set up speaker, screen resolution and some other settings after you do this, but it can fix your battery life.

  1. Shut down your Mac.
  2. Turn on your MacBook.
  3. Press and hold the Command, Option, P, R keys at the same time right after the startup sound.
  4. Hold until the computer reboots and you hear the startup sound again.

If you have the 2016 MacBook Pro or newer you need to hold these keys as soon as you turn your MacBook Pro on and hold them for 20 seconds.

Reset SMC

Another option is to reset the SMC on your notebook. This can help, but it isn’t always going to work. It only takes a minute to do, and you may be able to avoid a trip to the Apple Store. This varies across the MacBook models, but for most of these models you can use these directions;

  1. Choose Apple menu > Shut Down.
  2. After your Mac shuts down, press Shift-Control-Option on the left side of the built-in keyboard, then press the power button at the same time.
  3. Hold these keys and the power button for 10 seconds. If you have a MacBook Pro with Touch ID, the Touch ID button is also the power button.
  4. Release all keys.
  5. Press the power button again to turn on your Mac.

If you are using the 2018 or newer MacBook Pro, you need to follow the directions on this page, which can help complete these tasks.

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