I purchased a new Macbook Pro and have since downloaded a ton of applications and add ins. I think some of these apps are responsible for draining my battery too quickly.

  • How do I identify what applications are responsible for this, or otherwise experience what a "clean machine" feels like?

Back in the day I used Extensions Manager on OS 7.x to turn off add ins that would slow my machine down. What is the equivalent in OSX?

3 Answers 3


The Activity Monitor template in Instruments shows average CPU use over time:

You can also use top -o time or Activity Monitor to sort processes by CPU time.

CPU time doesn't always correlate with CPU use though. It's reset when a process exits, so the list won't include old mdworker processes or applications that have been quit manually.

  • I wonder how difficult it would be to use this information more rigorously, i.e. to capture processes that start and stop, and compute a ranking since last boot.
    – duozmo
    Oct 23, 2012 at 18:50

Unfortunately there's no real quick and easy answer for this questions, but her are a few tips.

  1. You can hold down SHIFT at startup to disable non-essential kernel extensions and startup items. However you will lose some functionality (such as graphics acceleration.) See http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1564
  2. If you are using a 15 or 17-inch MacBook Pro, then you can use System Profiler/System Information to see if your programs are turning on the Discrete graphics card (which uses more power than Integrated graphics.) See http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4152
  3. Use Activity Monitor, located in Applications -> Utilities, and check for unusual CPU or Disk Activity. Make sure to click "My Processes" and change to "All Processes." You can click on a column header such as CPU% or Real Mem to sort processes/Applications. Perhaps purchasing a program like iStatMenus (which provides real-time monitoring in the Mac menubar) will be helpful. See http://bjango.com/mac/istatmenus/



I would monitor the activity such as CPU. Spinning hard drives that are constantly being accessed cause major battery drain and I would recommend a SSD if you don't already have one.

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