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Target Specific Battery Hogging Apps & Processes on Mac OS

Check tutorial of How to Target Specific Battery Hogging Apps & Processes in Mac OS X

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OS X offers a great way to quickly find which app is using battery power from a drop-down menu on portable Macs, but you usually only have one option to deal with the battery hog, and that’s to quit the app. But it’s not always necessary to leave the entire app in question, and sometimes a more advanced option to focus on a specific process can be helpful.

For example, web browsers are often found in the drop-down list ‘Apps Using Significant Power’, but usually not the entire browser consumes energy and battery power. Instead, it is often a single browser tab or an open window that is causing the problem, perhaps because Javascript or Flash is running. That’s what we’re going to focus on here, finding and targeting those power-hungry browser tabs and processes directly, with the intent of reducing battery behavior, but without having to leave the entire app itself.

Note: Energy Monitor is a relatively new sub feature from Activity Monitor, and users must have OS X 10.9 or higher installed to access it feature.

How to Stop battery and power consuming apps and processes in OS X

By using energy activity as a way to locate the battery draining processes, it will effectively forcibly stop (kill) that app, process, or underlying process that consumes the most energy. Overall, this is best used to target errant child processes from apps such as web browsers where one of the ten tabs can direct CPU usage to the stratosphere.

Remember that closing / killing apps and processes can have unintended side effects and you can lose data or work stored in that process, so you don’t want to kill apps or processes without saving that app data or without knowing why you are doing it.

  1. From anywhere in OS X, open the battery menu bar item and look under the ‘Apps Using Significant Power’ section to find the app (s) using the battery
  2. Select the specific app from the menu list to open the Energy Monitor and take further action *
  3. See how the app drains battery on Mac

  4. From the Activity Monitor go to the “Energy” section
  5. Sort by “Energy impact” so that the most energy hungry processes are listed from top to bottom at the top
  6. Activity Monitor energy consumption indicator

  7. Click the triangle next to the top app name to display all child processes under the parent application (for web browsers, hitting the triangle means displaying a process ID for each individual tab and window open in the browser )
  8. Searching for specific processes and child processes with energy and battery

  9. Find the child processes with the highest “Energy Impact” number, select it in Activity Monitor and click on it button in Activity Monitor to stop that process
  10. Confirm “Force Quit” when prompted – again, only do this if you know you don’t need data stored in that underlying process
  11. Force the app or the battery wasting process to stop

* If the menu says “Collect energy usage information” instead, give it some time to determine what is consuming energy. Instead, it should quickly adjust to the energy indicator.

In a few moments (you can adjust the reporting speed), the “Energy impact” indicator will drop dramatically. You can repeat this if necessary if there are multiple processes that consume a lot of energy (this usually means that they are using a lot of processor, memory / swap or disk usage).

Continuing with web browsers as an example, you probably just ‘killed’ a tab or window that contained something like flash, video, java, or a variety of other plugins. Things like this can run in the background and go unnoticed, especially for those who regularly use tabs and multiple windows when browsing the web. This is well demonstrated in the screenshot below, where several of the active browser windows / tabs consume a lot of power (all on YouTube in this case), as opposed to the tabs / windows below which are just normal web pages and use very little power as a result:

Tabs that use energy versus tabs that do not use energy

The app nap feature in OS X aims to soften those wild background processes, but in practice it doesn’t always work that well, especially for browser tabs and windows, so sometimes you want to intervene manually as described above. It’s worth mentioning that the Chrome browser itself has a task manager built in, but sometimes erroneous tabs / processes cause the whole browser app to misbehave and make access to it impossible feature, while Activity Monitor is almost always working.

The app nap feature and the power consumption indicators are two of the better reasons for portable Mac users to upgrade to Mac X’s Mavericks, as it can improve battery life quite a bit. Plus, the OS X Mavericks has been pretty refined from 10.9.2 onward, so there’s little reason to stay on the sidelines due to the postponement of the upgrade.

And yes, the energy feature works on desktop Macs too, but since they don’t have battery life to worry about, it’s usually about performance and not battery life.

Do you want to get even more out of your MacBook Pro or MacBook Air? Check out some more specific battery saver tips for Mac laptops.

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The time to complete the How to Target Specific Battery Hogging Apps & Processes in Mac OS X tutorial is 10+ minutes.

What are the supported Device?

Apple

What are the supported Operating system?

mac OS


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