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?


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 '12 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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