There are several factors that contribute to an Apple MacBook Pro battery life and lifespan. These primarily revolve around the way you have it configured and your habits when using it. Following these steps should help you get the most from your laptop’s battery and optimize its performance.

1. Adjust Screen Brightness

Perhaps the easiest way to extend your battery life is to set the brightness of your screen to the dimmest setting that’s still comfortable. According to Apple, “compared to any other setting on your computer, your screen brightness can have the greatest impact on battery life.” To adjust the brightness, simply tap F1 to make it dimmer and F2 to make it brighter until you find a setting that works for you. Remember that the dimmer it is, the longer your battery will last.

2. Utilize Energy Saver

Energy Saver is a feature that allows you to control the length of time your MacBook Pro sits idle before it sleeps and whether or not your display is dimmed when battery power is on. Making a few tweaks to this can help your laptop minimize the amount of power it draws off the battery and extend its life. To access this feature, click on the apple menu and “System Preferences.” Then click on “Energy Saver” and “Battery.” Start by making sure that the “Automatic graphics switching” box is checked.

3. Adjust Sleep Settings

From there, adjust the “Computer sleep” and “Display sleep” settings to a time that works for you. The less amount of time that passes until your computer and display sleeps will maximize the life of your battery and vice versa. So choose a short period of idle time before sleeping and you should be able to get the most from your MacBook battery.

4. Allow Hard Disks to Sleep

Underneath the “Computer sleep” and “Display sleep” settings, you will see three more features:

  • Put hard disks to sleep when possible
  • Slightly dim the display while on battery power
  • Enable Power Nap while on battery power

Ideally you will check the first box so that your hard disks sleep whenever possible.

5. Dim the Display

You will also want check the second box so that your display is slightly dimmed while on battery power. Using these two features will help your battery go further and won’t waste its power.

6. Disable Power Nap Updatesr

At the same time, it’s best to disable the “Enable Power Nap while on battery power feature.” That’s because when it’s enabled, it will perform functions like checking email and making updates that can reduce your battery life. Disabling it will help preserve your MacBook battery life.

7. Keep Your Laptop in the Comfort Zoner

Besides the settings on your laptop, your usage habits can affect the battery considerably. For starters, you will want to keep your MacBook in the “comfort zone,” which is between 50 to 95 degrees. Otherwise, extreme temperatures can have an adverse affect on battery life, battery lifespan and performance.

8. Store Under Right Conditions

If you store your laptop long-term, you want to do so under the right conditions. When it comes to percentage of battery charge for storing, it’s recommended that you leave it around 50 percent. According to Apple, “if you store a device when its battery is fully discharged, the battery could fall into a deep discharge state, which renders it incapable of holding a charge. Conversely, if you store it fully charged for an extended period of time, the battery may lose some capacity, leading to shorter battery life.” You should also leave it in a moisture-free location that’s no more than 90 degrees during storage.

9. Turn off Wi-Fi When Not in Use

For your Wi-Fi settings, it’s recommended that you turn it off if you’re not connecting to a network. That’s because leaving it on will consume power. To turn it off, click on the Wi-Fi icon on the top menu bar and click on “Turn Wi-Fi Off.”

10. Disconnect Peripheral Devices While on Battery Power

You should disconnect peripherals when you’re away from a power source. Because USB and Thunderbolt carry power, they will draw it from your battery and drain its energy.

11. Close Processor Intensive Apps

Certain apps force your processor to work hard, which can quickly eat up battery life. If you’re running your laptop solely on battery power, then you want to make sure that you’re not using processor intensive apps. Less apps equals less power being consumed and a longer battery life.

12. Close Background Apps

Finally, you should make it a point to close any background apps like Dropbox if you’re not using them and your laptop isn’t plugged in. These too can make your MacBook Pro battery life short.

Choosing the right settings and being smart with how you use your laptop should help you get the most from your MacBook Pro battery. That way your laptop can run on battery power for longer and you can prolong its lifespan.