How to Fix: Battery Drain on macOS Big Sur

macos big sur battery drain

The new macOS, Big Sur, comes packed with some awesome new features and functions that are said to be one of the most significant upgrades that Apple has put out in years. And even though many of these new features are very desirable, some issues are being reported upon installing this OS.

One of these issues is a noticeable battery drain on the computer that occurs after Big Sur has been installed. If this happens to you, keep reading as we will take a look at a few simple fixes you can use to improve battery drain issues.

Why Does My Mac Experience Battery Drain After the Big Sur Update?

Battery drain issues are a fairly common occurrence when updating to a new macOS. Sometimes this issue can be caused by hardware issues, such as if you are running an older Mac computer that already has a well-used battery. Other times, it can be related to a specific app that is causing the battery to drain too quickly because it isn’t fully compatible with the new update.

Fix #1: Downgrade to an Earlier macOS Version

I’ll start with the fix that nobody wants to hear – that you might have to downgrade to an earlier macOS version to stop the battery drain issues you are experiencing. Some users are reporting that Big Sur is making their battery drain completely in about an hour. That is very annoying and is an issue that needs to be dealt with straight away in order to use your computer in a functional manner.

If you are experiencing a severe battery drain, you can downgrade to an earlier macOS version to help fix the problem. Check the app store for the previous update you are looking for and then download and install it.

With a new macOS release, there are often problems that exist within the first few versions of the update that are ironed out by developers as time goes on. This is just an unfortunate reality of the releases. It means you might have to wait for a little while to install Big Sur, but it also means you can use an earlier version of macOS in the interim and still get the battery life you are used to.

Fix #2: Restart Your Mac

Another quick thing you can do to help with battery drain issues after installing macOS Big Sur is simply restarting your computer. A reset can help end random processes and other functions that can be the cause of excess battery drain. This doesn’t always work, but it is very easy to do and can sometimes fix the issue in a matter of minutes.

Fix #3: Use Activity Monitor to See App Usage and Update Apps

Any apps running on your system can be another cause of rapid battery drain after installing the new macOS. You can check how much energy impact any apps you have open are using by going to the Activity Monitor on your computer.

To open Activity Monitor and check for app energy usage, follow these steps:

  • Open the Applications folder on your Mac.
  • Select Utilities
  • Select Activity Monitor
  • You will see a list of any apps that are currently running in the window.

You can then select an app and see how much energy it is using. If it seems to be using a very significant amount of energy and you are not using the app, you can close it and see if that helps with the battery drain issues.

Some apps also might need to be updated to work best with the new update. Typically app developers will have an update available near the time of a big macOS release. You should go through your system and make sure that all of your apps are updated to the latest version, as this can help fix battery drain issues as well.

Not all developers will have an update immediately, and if you see an app that is pulling a lot of energy through Activity Monitor, you may want to delete it until an update becomes available.

Fix #4: Perform a PRAM and NVRAM Reset

Performing a PRAM and NVRAM reset can also help resolve some battery drain issues after installing Big Sur. This process resets some settings that can restore regular battery life.

To reset PRAM and NVRAM on your Mac, follow these steps:

  1. Shut down your computer and wait until it is entirely powered down.
  2. Press the power button to turn your computer back one and after you hear a startup sound, immediately hold down these 4 keys at the same time: Command, Option, P, R
  3. Hold these keys down for about 20 seconds or until you hear a second startup sound.
  4. If you have a new model Mac, hold down these keys until the Apple icon disappears and reappears two times.

Fix #5: Use a MacBook Battery Extender

You can also use a battery extender app to help improve battery life on a MacBook. These apps can help limit app usage and perform other tasks that will limit battery drain and improve the overall health of your computer’s battery in the long run. They work by doing things such as slowing down your processor, dimming your screen automatically, and keeping an eye on apps that use a lot of energy and battery.

Some recommended battery extender apps include Endurance and Battery Health 2.

Final Thoughts

Heavy battery drain on your computer can be really annoying. And this is a very possible issue after you install macOS Big Sur onto your computer. If it does happen to you, make sure to try all of the steps here to see if battery life can improve. You can also always try to contact Apple Support or look through other potential fixes in the Apple community or other Mac-based forums.

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