How to Get Better Battery Life on a MacBook Pro

We all know that lowering the brightness of your display increases your battery life dramatically. Here’s a truly awesome little free app that has actually doubled the battery life of my MacBook Pro. Yes, doubled.

Its called gfxCardStatus

“Graphics Card Status” does one thing and does it very, very well. The 2008-2011 MacBook Pros have two graphics cards. One takes up a lot of juice but makes your graphics pop. The other is much more efficient. How much more efficient?

Well, I had never gotten 5 hours out of my MacBook Pro, and at the time of this photo, I’ve been on battery life for a good half hour. Here is the beauty of this app:

  • When your MacBook Pro is plugged in, use Dynamic or Discrete graphics.
  • When your MacBook Pro is unplugged, use Integrated.
  • Oh, and change them automatically when I unplug.

This works so well. Now, if you’re doing something like Photoshop or video processing, you’re likely to see a difference. But if you are a sysadmin doing video processing then just plug in your power cord – this is the least of your worries. Here’s the menubar:

You’ll want to go into Preferences and make sure that you have it set to automatically switch when you unplug:

Download gfxCardStatus at


Let me know if you try it...

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