How to turn off Low Power Mode on your Mac

Battery life on all Apple devices has improved hugely in recent years. And MacBook Air and MacBook Pro have benefitted hugely, with both able to run all day on a single charge unless you are doing particularly energy-intensive work like editing 4K videos or building 3D models. However, as MacBooks get older and the number of charging cycles increases, battery health deteriorates, and a single charge no longer lasts as long as it did. That’s where Low Power Mode comes in. It makes adjustments to your Mac so that it uses less power and the battery lasts longer. But those adjustments can sometimes get in the way, and so you may want to turn off Low Power Mode on your Mac. We’ll show you how to do that.

What is Low Power Mode?

Low Power Mode is designed to make your MacBook battery last longer between charges and can be useful if you’re working outside or away from your home or office and don’t have a power adapter with you. It reduces the screen brightness slightly and lowers the clock speed of the CPU to save energy. Most of the time, you won’t even notice it’s on, but if you are running CPU-intensive tasks, you may notice that they slow down.

How to tell if your Mac is in Low Power Mode

The quickest way to tell if your Mac is in Low Power Mode is to click the battery menu in the menu bar. You will see information there about the battery. If Low Power Mode is on, you will see ‘Low Power Mode: On’. If it’s not, you won’t see any reference to Low Power Mode.

Tip: How to optimize your Mac

Turning off Low Power Mode should speed your Mac up a little bit. But if you want to make a real difference to your Mac’s performance, you’ll have to do more than just turn off Low Power Mode. There are a number of things that can cause it to run slowly, such as applications that have hung or are using up lots of system resources like memory or CPU cycles, launch agents or extensions that run in the background consuming resources, and login items that slow down your Mac when it’s starting up. Dealing with all those things individually is time-consuming and not easy. However, there is a way to manage them all quickly and easily. CleanMyMac X’s Optimization module shows you all the login items, launch agents, heavy consumers, and hung applications on your Mac and allows you to deal with them with just a couple of clicks. You can download CleanMyMac X for free here and try it for yourself.

Why turn off Low Power Mode?

Low Power Mode should turn off automatically when you plug in a charger if it’s set to ‘Battery only’. But if it’s set to ‘Always’, it will remain on, and that may mean your screen is dimmer than you want it to be or your Mac is running as fast as you need it to. And if it’s plugged in and charged, there’s really no reason to keep it on.

How to turn off Low Power Mode

Low Power Mode is managed in the battery section of System Settings.

  1. Click the Apple menu and choose System Settings.
  2. Select Battery in the sidebar.
  3. At the top of the window, you will see a Lower Power Mode setting.
  4. To switch it off permanently so that it never comes on, select Never.
System Preferences - Battery

There are a number of other options you can use to manage Low Power Mode instead of turning it off completely.

  • Only on Battery means that Low Power Mode will kick in only when your Mac is being powered by its battery.
  • Only on Power Adapter is the opposite — it only comes on when your MacBook is connected to mains power.
  • Always means that it’s permanently on.

You can also choose to slightly dim the brightness of your MacBook’s screen whenever it is running on battery power without affecting the clock speed of the CPU. And you can choose to stream high dynamic range videos in standard dynamic range to save power. To access those options, go to System Settings > Battery and click Options. Then, use the toggle switches to set the options you want.

System Preferences - Battery Options

If you’re working away from your home or office and don’t have your MacBook charger with you, Low Power Mode can help eke out precious extra time before the battery runs out. However, it may also slow it down. Follow the steps above to turn off Low Power Mode on your Mac.

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