Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am using my laptop with very limited battery availability. I need to save as much battery as possible.

  • I would like to disable Spotlight indexing, how do I do that?
  • What else should I disable, even temporarily, to truly maximise savings? Services? Unix daemons? Is there a list?


PS I have already:

  • dimmed keyboard backlight (on a MacBook Pro)
  • switched off WiFi (apart from this post)
  • dimmed screen backlight
  • disabled discrete graphics
  • closed non-vital apps
share|improve this question
If you want both questions answered, you should split them up in different posts. – Gerry Jul 5 '12 at 11:42
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Well, the immediate way is:

sudo mdutil -i off /

from the command line (you will have to enter your admin password) to stop indexing immediately.

You might also want to add the following step:

sudo vim /etc/hostconfig

(you might want to use a different editor than vim, YMMV)

Then, navigate to the entry


and change it to


SAVE the changes the exit the file. BTW, have a look at iFixit on how to change the battery, it seems you could have much better use of the laptop that way.

share|improve this answer

I don't know if it'll really save anything battery-wise, but you might try defaults write QuitMenuItem -bool YES and then using cmd-K to quit the Finder.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.