How to Fix Your Mac Drain­ing Bat­tery Fast After Clos­ing Apps

Danny Maiorca

When your Mac battery drains quickly, you tend to close any unwanted apps and web browser tabs. That might fix the problem for some, but not for everyone. At times, closing unwanted apps running in the background doesn't help much. And before you know, your Mac is out of charge.

Mac on desk with wallpaper showing

If your Mac's battery continues to decline steeply, you might want to troubleshoot and investigate it. To start that, follow the fixes mentioned in this post before you take it to an authorized service center.

Check for Malware

Although uncommon, your Mac isn’t 100% immune from getting malware. If you suspect that something has infected your device, you can download Malwarebytes to scan and identify the problem. To do this:

Step 1: Get the the Malwarebytes app on your Mac and install it.

Step 2: On the main menu, click on Scan. If the software finds malware, it’ll remove it from your device.

Mac scanning malwarebytes

You can also remove malware without third-party software, but doing so will take a little longer.

Step 1: In the search bar at the top right of your toolbar, type “activity monitor” and open the namesake app.

Search bar activity monitor

Step 2: Look for malware in the Energy tab; common ones include MacDefender and MacProtector.

Step 3: Find the file in your Applications folder before moving it to and emptying your Trash.

Limit Location Setting Permissions

Switching on your location settings is useful in some instances. However, it can also drain your battery quicker than you’d like.

To preserve your battery for longer, you can turn off your location settings – except for with native and system apps. To do this:

Step 1: Press Command+Space keys to launch the Spotlight Search, type System and Preferences, and hit Enter.

Step 2: Select Security & Privacy.

Security and privacy system preferences

Step 3: Click on the Location Services tab. Then, tap the unlock button in the bottom left and enter your password to make changes.

Location services settings and privacy

Step 4: Scroll through the list of apps and untick each one that doesn’t fall into the categories mentioned above.

Mac enable location services

Reducing Screen Brightness

When you use your Mac, you probably have the screen turned up to its highest possible brightness. However, you often don’t need it this high – and having at this will drain your battery faster than necessary.

Lowering your screen brightness is straightforward. All you need to do is follow the steps below.

Step 1: In System Preferences, go to Display.

Mac display system preferences

Step 2: Scroll the Brightness tab to the left to dim your screen.

Macos built in display

You can also tick the box next to “Automatically adjust brightness” underneath if you want your Mac to manage your screen brightness levels on its own.

Mac automatically adjust brightness

Disabling the “Enable Power Nap” Option

When you shut your Mac down at night, it can’t perform tasks like checking your emails or calendar. One solution to this is turning on the Power Nap feature in your Battery Preferences.

While useful, Power Nap can also put a strain on your battery. If this is the case for you, switching it off is easy.

Step 1: Go back into your Battery Preferences.

Step 2: Untick the box next to “Enable Power Nap while on battery power.”

Mac enable power nap

Turning On “Put Hard Disks to Sleep When Possible”

One perhaps unexpected battery drainer is your device’s hard disks. And believe it or not, you don’t need to have them switched on all the time.

Some Macs allow you to turn off your hard disks when you aren’t using them. Follow these steps to enable this feature.

Step 1: Go to Battery Preferences.

Step 2: Tick the box next to “Put hard disks to sleep when possible.”

Mac put hard disks to sleep

Resetting SMC

If everything on this list so far has failed, you can try resetting your device’s system management controller (SMC). In short, your SMC manages your battery and several other settings.

Resetting your SMC depends on whether your device has a T2 Security Chip, which you can check here. If it does, follow these steps.

Step 1: Shut down your Mac before holding shift, ctrl, and alt/option buttons.

Mac keyboard reset smc

Step 2: After holding these for seven seconds, hit the power button and hold all of these keys for an extra seven seconds.

Mac reset smc power button

Step 3: Turn on your Mac with the power button.

On Macs without the T2 Security Chip, you’ll need to follow these tips instead.

Step 1: Hold alt/option, shift, and control simultaneously – before doing likewise with the power button while continuing to hold onto them.

Mac reset smc power button

Step 2: Complete the above process for 10 seconds before letting go.

Step 3: Switch on your Mac like usual.

For desktop Mac devices with or without the T2 Security Chip, resetting the SMC is identical.

Step 1: Turn your Mac off and unplug your charger before waiting 15 seconds and plugging it in again.

Step 2: After five seconds, turn your Mac in the same way you usually would.

Save Your Mac’s Battery

Besides closing web browsers and apps, you can also lengthen your Mac’s battery life by using several features on your device. This article has given you several solutions, and you shouldn’t have issues after carrying them out.

If you’re still running into battery issues, consider taking your Mac to an Apple Store or seller to get a diagnosis.


The above article may contain affiliate links which help support Guiding Tech. However, it does not affect our editorial integrity. The content remains unbiased and authentic.

Read Next

Join the newsletter

Danny specializes in writing about iOS and macOS for Guiding Tech. He is a freelance writer with an extensive portfolio in the technology sector, which spans across some of the industry's biggest publications. Danny lives Copenhagen, Denmark, having been born in the UK.