Tuesday, Jul 06, 2021, 23:13 Software

macOS Monterey's Low Power Mode Explained

A feature that's been present on iOS since version 9 is now making its way over to the MacBook. macOS 12's "Low Power Mode" will extend the amount of time that your MacBook is able to run without the need for a power supply. In comparison to the iPhone's Low Power Mode, the MacBook's version differs significantly – for starters, it changes several aspects of the system. The new energy-saving mode also isn't compatible with all MacBooks, with support for the feature restricted to newer models.

macOS' Low Power Mode Differs From iOS'
When Low Power Mode is activated on iOS, several limitations are placed on the operating system in favour of a longer running time. Certain animated effects or aspects of the device's interface are deactivated and Siri no longer responds to "Hey Siri". The device will also stop automatically checking for new emails. None of these features from iOS are a part of Low Power Mode for the Mac and at first glance, it doesn't appear as if that much has actually been changed. However, Low Power Mode for the Mac restricts the device's performance and lowers the screen's brightness and consistently so – the mode will even remain active when connected to a power source if desired.

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Low Power Mode Under Main Operation
Unlike on the iPhone, where when the device's charge drops below 20% the user receives a notification asking them if they would like to activate Low Power Mode – Mac users of the feature will have to manually activate it via the System Preferences. The corresponding option can be found under the "Battery" menu option. A menu will appear with a sidebar after clicking on "Battery" in System Preferences. Click on the "Battery" option on the sidebar under "Usage History". At the very bottom of the window that appears, there will be an unchecked box stating "Low Power Mode". Click on the box to add a check to it and to activate Low Power Mode.

Source: The 8-Bit


At the moment, there's no way to activate Low Power Mode more quickly or conveniently as on iOS. On the iPhone, when Low Power Mode has been activated, the battery indicator at the top of the screen turns yellow. There's currently no such change on the Mac, although Apple is likely to adopt the change to the battery indicator in the future on macOS Monterey.

Requirements For Low Power Mode
So, what Macs support the new feature? The question isn't as easily answered as one might expect. Currently, Apple has only vaguely stated that the MacBook Pro and Air (2016 or newer) support the feature. However, this statement doesn't apply to macOS Monterey's second beta, since the MacBook Air M1 is also compatible with the feature. Whether or not Cupertino also plans on adding the feature to the MacBook Pro M1 or whether or not the feature was accidentally enabled on the MacBook Air is currently unknown.

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