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How to Fix Bad macOS Monterey Battery Life

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If you notice abnormal battery drain after moving your Mac to macOS Monterey, there are some steps you should take before getting in contact with customer service.

As we push away from the macOS Monterey release, Mac users are reporting problems with the new operating system. Unsurprisingly, bad battery life is on the current list of issues.

While some battery issues might be hardware-related, some issues may be related to the new operating system. In many cases it could be an app causing the problems.

If you start seeing terrible battery drain after installing macOS Monterey on your Mac, your first thought might be to downgrade back to older macOS software.

Downgrading your Mac’s software is certainly an option, but before you drop down you’ll want to try and fix the problem. Fixing macOS battery life problems can be tricky, but we’ve got some solutions that have worked for us, and other Mac users, in the past.

This guide will take you through fixes for bad macOS Monterey battery life and there’s a chance they’ll help you get your issues resolved in a matter of minutes.

Reboot Your Mac

If your Mac’s battery starts draining rapidly for no apparent reason, the first thing you’ll want to do is reboot it. Rebooting can end rogue processes and it can help you get better battery life and/or overall performance.

Try rebooting your Mac before doing anything else. If you still notice abnormal battery drain, move onto the following solutions.

Update Your Mac

Apple will periodically release new macOS Monterey software. Point updates (x.x.x) are typically focused on fixing bugs while milestone upgrades (x.x) usually deliver a mix of features and fixes.

The company might not call out battery life fixes in a macOS update’s change log, but new software always has the potential to help. If you’re running older software, think about updating to the latest.

Update Your Apps

Developers are pushing support updates for macOS Monterey and a new version of an app could help alleviate the battery life issues you’re seeing.

Check for updates in the Mac App Store. If you’re feeling leery, you’ll want to dig into reviews from Mac users currently running macOS Monterey.

You’ll also want to click on the battery icon in the upper right corner of your Mac. If you see an app “Using Significant Energy” you’ll want to check in with the developer to see if there’s update, an update planned, or if there’s a known issue with macOS Monterey.

Check Your Battery Usage History

In your Mac’s System Preferences you’ll notice a “Battery” section. In here you’ll notice a Usage History feature. Usage History gives you details about your Mac’s battery life over the last 24 hours or the last 10 days.

It’s broken into Battery Level and Screen On Usage so you’re able to see how your Mac’s battery is performing. If the readouts are way off, you might need to get into contact with Apple customer service.

You’ll also notice Battery and Power Adapter sections. Here you can select when to turn your Mac’s display off, turn power nap on or off, and more.

Reset PRAM and NVRAM

This next step is a little more involved, but it has the potential to fix battery drain issues.

If your battery drain issues are bad, try resetting the PRAM and NVRAM on your MacBook. This resets some settings, but does not delete your Mac’s data.

You will need to set up speaker, screen resolution and some other settings after you do this, but there’s a chance it alleviates your issues. Here’s how to do this:

  • Shut down your Mac.
  • Turn on your MacBook.
  • Press and hold the Command, Option, P, R keys at the same time right after the startup sound.
  • 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.

Note that the steps might be different on Apple’s newer MacBooks.

Reset SMC

You can also try resetting the SMC on your Mac. It only takes a minute and it could help you avoid a trip to the Apple Store.

The process varies across Apple’s MacBook models, but for most you can use these directions:

  1. Choose Apple menu and then 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’re using a 2018 model or a newer MacBook Pro, you should follow the directions on this page, which will help you complete these tasks.

Downgrade

If you can’t find a fix for your problem and/or don’t want to wait for Apple’s next macOS Monterey update, you can try downgrading back to an older version of macOS Monterey or an older version of macOS like Big Sur. Unlike iOS, your downgrade options won’t change over time.

For more on the macOS downgrade, take a look at our walkthrough.

4 Reasons Not to Install macOS Monterey & 11 Reasons You Should

Install macOS Monterey for Better Security

Install macOS Monterey for Better Security

If security is important to you, think about installing the macOS Monterey update right away.

macOS Big Sur brings 30+ new security patches to your Mac. If you're interested in the exact nature of these improvements, you can read about them over on Apple's website.

In addition to those patches, the macOS Monterey update comes with additional security and privacy upgrades.

If you're an Apple Card user, you'll now get a security code that changes regularly to use when you make online transactions. 

Apple's also included a built-in authenticator that's similar to Google Authenticator. This will let you generate verification codes for enhanced sign-in security under your Passwords.

New Mail Privacy Protection helps prevent senders from tracking your Mail activity and there's a new recording indicator in Control Center for apps that are accessing your mic.

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