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My Macbook Pro running Mountain Lion slows down dramatically when the battery is below 4-5%. All the applications running are very slow to respond, and several have the "Application not responding" message when I right-click on them in the dock. Now everything works fine when the battery is above 5%, so I'm wondering what goes on when the battery is low that causes the performance drag. Basically, I have two questions:

  1. What is causing this lag (for the sake of curiosity)?
  2. How can I fix it (for the sake of practicality)?

System Info:

  • Device: Macbook Pro (Spring 2012) 13-Inch running Mountain Lion (10.8)
  • Memory: 8GB
  • Processor: 2.8 GHz Intel Core i7
  • Storage: 500GB SSD Drive with more than half free
5
  • 2
    It sounds like CPU speed stepping to me.
    – ephsmith
    Aug 19, 2012 at 23:16
  • 1
    has the provided answer solved your problem? Because I don't see any of the described settings in 10.8
    – barbaz
    May 1, 2013 at 8:56
  • 1
    @barbaz - It didn't really solve the problem, but it seems like there is no solution so I accepted it.
    – pasawaya
    May 1, 2013 at 12:06
  • Same problem with MacBook Air 2013.
    – KPM
    Nov 20, 2014 at 12:47
  • 1
    I'd really like to find a solution to this, it's annoying for me as I can't do any work with the last 10% of battery life, so it's effectively dead anyway.
    – Tom
    Jul 29, 2015 at 8:22

2 Answers 2

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See if this link provides you with some useful knowledge. http://smallbusiness.chron.com/change-processor-speed-macbook-pro-43635.html

It's likely that the MBP is automatically scaling the processing power back to conserve battery power, but that isn't necessarily the only cause.

1

This is normal, the same thing happens on my MacBook Air (11 inch, 2014) when the battery gets around 5%, performance drops significantly, it does this because your battery level is so low, just plug it in a charger and it will start working normally again. If this doesn't solve it, try resetting the SMC.

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  • 3
    Soooo is there a command I can run or a kernel change I can make to prevent this??
    – s g
    Jul 9, 2016 at 0:44

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