I recently purchased one of the new core i7 Macbook Airs and in most respects its amazing. The one problem is that the battery life is far less than the "up to 7 hours" Apple claims. In moderate usage, no flash or video, it lasts about 2.5 hours, maybe. I use the istat menu monitoring tool and don't see much CPU usage, the fan isn't running constantly, and poking around with the Activity Monitor doesn't show anything unusual, so I'm pretty sure I don't have any rogue processes running. I have flash disabled in Safari, so I don't think that's the culprit either.

My questions are...

What battery life do other Macbook Air owners see? I'm guessing a trip to the genius bar is in my future, has anyone seen similar problems? If you have, do the support guys give you a new laptop, replace the battery, or tell you there's nothing they can do?

  • Are you evaluating it by the built in time indicator, or actual use? Commented Sep 16, 2011 at 21:09
  • Keep in mind that these hourly ratings posted by Apple are specifically titled "wireless web": "The wireless web test measures battery life by wirelessly browsing 25 popular websites with display brightness set to 50%."
    – MetaGuru
    Commented Jun 18, 2012 at 20:40

5 Answers 5


I have the same Air as you and I am getting 5-6 hours. So not to much off of what the advertised amount is. Your battery sounds faulty to me.

The last computer I had had a faulty battery. It was replaced for free and within a couple of days. Back then they simply replaced the battery on the MB because it was removable. Chances are now they will give you a new laptop because the battery on the Air is harder to remove. You might be without a computer for a few days though. I don't know what they do in other countries, but in Spain they just took it and mailed it to Holland to get fixed and then mailed it back.

  • I agree with the "get it checked out" aspect, but swapping batteries on an air is a 10 minute procedure for trained technicians at most. Doing the paperwork and diagnostic testing take longer each than the actual exchange.
    – bmike
    Commented Dec 12, 2011 at 6:51

Sounds like a faulty battery, as Apple's advertised battery life has been pretty accurate lately. Considering that you're well within your warranty, a trip to the Genius Bar sounds like a great idea, and they should be able to give you a hand.


Do you have any sort of online backup system like Crashplan installed ? If so that will quickly drain your battery.

I have Crashplan and I always completely turn it off when going to battery power.


Check your battery condition by Option-clicking the battery menulet. enter image description here


Turn off the backlight of the keyboard and that should add a significant amount of time per charge.

  • 1
    Is this just an assumption or can you provide any references/measurements/etc.? It's kind of hard to believe that some low-power lights have a significant impact on battery life compared to WiFi, Display and pure CPU power needs.
    – nohillside
    Commented Dec 12, 2011 at 17:57
  • This should be a comment, since it does not answer any of the OP's questions.
    – guwac
    Commented Nov 4, 2012 at 16:38

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