Take the 2-minute tour ×
Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. It's 100% free, no registration required.

In previous versions of OS X the battery indicator in the menubar included options to show the remaining battery life as percentage or time (or nothing).

In Mountain Lion, there's only an option to show the percentage?!?!

How can I get the missing option back?

enter image description here

share|improve this question
1  
The plist still shows the option set to NO... but setting it to YES does not re-enable the time measurement :( –  jtbandes Jul 27 '12 at 6:45
9  
apple.com/feedback/macosx.html, please. We can get it back! –  Arjan Jul 29 '12 at 11:00
3  
I left feedback! That's ridiculous that it was removed. –  da4 Jul 30 '12 at 22:24
1  
I wonder if someone can comment on why it was removed? Perhaps they found the time estimates to be unreliable? –  asmeurer Jul 31 '12 at 18:54
2  
feedback left - I really hope this actually does something... This 'sucks' and is steps backward in terms of usability. –  AndrewPK Aug 1 '12 at 3:55

7 Answers 7

up vote 9 down vote accepted

You just can't show the remaining battery time in the menubar since Mountain Lion.

The following free app uses almost the same icon design and adds a bit more features which makes it a valid replacement:

Battery Time Remaining

by Han Lin Yap

enter image description here enter image description here

You can read my blog post for some more detail on what I did, it also won't hurt to report a bug to Apple. So this issue will get to their attention.

share|improve this answer
    
Yay! This is the best solution so far. It's even more functional than the original battery menu indicator. However, I'd really wish that it were possible to move this icon further to the right in the menubar (between the other OSX menu items). But for now this is my solution. Thanks! :) –  gentmatt Sep 20 '12 at 13:34
    
This is the right answer. Far higher quality software than the others listed here. –  Christopher James Calo Nov 5 '12 at 23:38
1  
@gentmatt, check out my fork of Battery Time Remaining. It is implemented as a menu extra, so you can move it around however you want. github.com/AriX/Battery-Time-Remaining –  AriX Nov 17 '12 at 20:40

According to the following blog entry Apple removed the option deliberately and it won't come back:

http://www.macpoint.be/mountain-lion-is-coming/

I also missed the option, so I wrote an App. It's in beta now:

http://batterytimeapp.com/

share|improve this answer
2  
Welcome to AskDifferent and thank you for you answer! It's great to hear that you develop an app to give us choice back. How does your app determine the time? Do you use your own algorithm? –  gentmatt Jul 26 '12 at 10:12
2  
I use information from the system configuration framework, which provides an estimation, so no own algorithm. The same time is shown when you click on the battery indicator on Mountain Lion. Besides using an API, you can access the data using the command line utility scutil. –  meeee Jul 26 '12 at 10:23
3  
The current and maximum capacity are also shown by ioreg -l | grep -i Capacity. –  Lri Jul 29 '12 at 13:48

SlimBatteryMonitor

Not only does it save much more space in your menu bar, it lets you choose what information to show in specific states.

I have mine set to show the time when running on battery, the percentage when charging, and just the icon when fully charged.

enter image description here

enter image description here

share|improve this answer
    
This works in Mountain Lion! Awesome. –  gentmatt Jul 27 '12 at 6:26
    
This is exactly what I was going to recommend. You can even make the icon "disappear" when the battery is fully charged (it doesn't really disappear, but there's just a very tiny sliver of it left and it's the same color as the menu bar so it isn't distracting. –  TJ Luoma Jul 31 '12 at 18:32

A cheaper and simpler option than the still-awesome iStat Menus is Watts for USD $6.95. Very configurable and lets you schedule reminders including re-calibration.

Watts 1.3.3 menubar options

I've been using it on 10.6.8 on my last three portables and am very happy with it.

share|improve this answer
    
Just saw that the freeware SlimBatteryMonitor is described as working without problem on Mountain Lion. –  da4 Aug 13 '12 at 14:49

I made a very simple app to specifically show time remaining: Battery Time Remaining

enter image description here

share|improve this answer

iStat Menus can also solve the problem (as well as show tonnes of other useful information) http://bjango.com/mac/istatmenus/

share|improve this answer
    
There is a free iStats widget that shows the time remaining, but you would need to swipe to get to the widget. Probably quicker to click on the battery icon. –  user25908 Jul 26 '12 at 23:53

I thought this was already present in Lion. In Lion you could change it with

# Menu bar: show remaining battery time; hide percentage
defaults write com.apple.menuextra.battery ShowPercent -string "NO"
defaults write com.apple.menuextra.battery ShowTime -string "YES"

found on

https://github.com/mathiasbynens/dotfiles/blob/master/.osx

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks for the link. Unfortunately only the first defaults write command takes affect in Mountain Lion. –  gentmatt Jul 25 '12 at 21:12
1  
I tried setting these and killing SystemUIServer. The UI flashed, but no time displayed. :-( –  chrish Jul 25 '12 at 22:35
2  
After upgrading defaults read com.apple.menuextra.battery already gives me { ShowPercent = NO; ShowTime = YES; } without running the above commands, maybe a leftover from Lion. I am not seeing the time though. Do you actualy see the time, @gentmatt? –  Arjan Jul 26 '12 at 10:19
1  
@Arjan No, I said that only the defaults write command for the percentage works. Sorry for the misunderstanding. –  gentmatt Jul 26 '12 at 10:20
1  
I’m the author of ~/.osx which is mentioned in this post. These commands were based on OS X Lion and earlier versions. The ShowTime option is now a dummy setting — you can feed it any value you want, but OS X 10.8 will ignore it. Sadly. As mentioned, the command to show the percentage should still work. –  Mathias Bynens Jul 27 '12 at 7:49

protected by Community Sep 20 '12 at 13:55

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality answers, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site.

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

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