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Using Energy Saver

From: Mac OS X Mountain Lion Essential Training

Video: Using Energy Saver

Over the years, Apple has made efforts to produce devices that are more energy efficient, but the energy efficiency of your Mac is only as good as the energy settings you use. We look at configuring those settings now in the Energy Saver System Preference. So back up to System Preferences, and I select Energy Saver. What you see in the Energy Saver tab depends on the kind of Mac you're using. If you have a desktop Mac, you may see only one setting because it doesn't use battery power, instead it's always on the power adapter.

Using Energy Saver

Over the years, Apple has made efforts to produce devices that are more energy efficient, but the energy efficiency of your Mac is only as good as the energy settings you use. We look at configuring those settings now in the Energy Saver System Preference. So back up to System Preferences, and I select Energy Saver. What you see in the Energy Saver tab depends on the kind of Mac you're using. If you have a desktop Mac, you may see only one setting because it doesn't use battery power, instead it's always on the power adapter.

On laptops, however, you'll see settings for both battery and power adapter. You configure each separately because with a battery, you want to be more miserly with the power, and not so much when the Mac's plugged in. So let's take a look at the options. On my laptop, we're going to look at Battery. The first one on this particular MacBook Pro that we're using, it has two graphic subsystems. One uses a lot of power because it's using the big graphics chip. It can also use an integrated graphics chip, and that takes less power, so I can configure it to automatically switch depending on the power needs.

If I go to Power Adapter, I may choose to turn that off. In that case, it always uses the high performance graphics. And we'll flip that back on for now and go back to Battery. You see a couple of sliders here, one is Computer sleep and the other one is Display sleep. So, when your computer goes to sleep, it uses less power. So again, when you're on battery, you want that to happen more quickly than you would with a power adapter. So, in this case, I've got it set to about 10 minutes.

I can change that if I want. I can make it go to sleep right away but it does make your computer hard to use, and it can go on up to never or three hours. Now note, this will only kick in if you're not doing something with your computer. So as long as I'm typing and doing things with my computer, it won't go to sleep, but if I take a break and do nothing with it, then it will. As you can see, your Mac tries to take care of you in terms of energy savings, so if you set a setting that's pretty high and leave it there, you'll see a little warning saying, by the way, if you choose this, this is going to use more energy and you may run out of your battery power sooner.

In this case, i'll say, Yep, that's fine, go ahead. It's possible you'll be involved in some kind of routine where you need your computer running but you don't need the display to be asleep. For example, you're downloading a huge file that you know is going to take about an hour and a half. Well you want to keep your computer awake, in this case, I'd want to go up to, say, an hour and 56 minutes, but I don't need my display to be on at the same time, so I can set that very low. It can be down to a minute, six minutes, whatever. At that point, the display goes to sleep, but the computer continues to operate and it finishes that job.

You can also choose to put your hard drive to sleep when possible. If your hard drive is awake, it's using more power. Also, when you're on battery power, you can slightly dim the display. At the bottom, when you choose battery, you see a battery read out. It tells us that the battery is charged. If you want to go back to the recommended settings, just click on Restore Defaults. If you'd like to see how much power you have left on your battery, enable Show Battery Status in menu bar, and here it is. This icon indicates that it's plugged in.

Let me unplug it and I'll show you what that looks like. I've just unplugged the power, and you see that it still got a fair amount of power, indicated by the black. If you click and hold on that, it will do some calculations and it will make its best guess of how much power remains. You can also choose to show percentage, so right now, I have 100%, over time that will decrease. And we can turn off that display. Then there's Power Adapter, let's restore the defaults.

You notice that with power adapter, you have more time, so the computer will stay awake longer and the display will stay awake longer, as well, same idea here, hard drives. Wake for network access is different. The difference here is that if you have your Mac plugged in, it's gone to sleep on its own or you've put it to sleep, and it receives some kind of network access call. For example, you have another Mac on your network and it wants to access some files that are on your hard drive, it will wake up to do that so that you can get that stuff and then copy it over, at which point, it will follow these settings again and then go back to sleep.

One other thing you can do here is you can schedule this, so that you can ask your Mac to wake up or start up at a particular time, either every day, a particular day, weekends, or week days. You can also choose what time that's going to happen. So, let's say I want my Mac to start up at six, will download my email, it will update my calendar events, and so when I sit down at the computer at seven, it's ready to go. And you can also schedule sleeping, or you can have it restart or shut down at particular times of the day. Very convenient, but I will say, OK and not have it scheduled for now.

Then there's one little hidden treat and it requires that we turn on Show Battery Status in menu bar one more time. Hold on the Option key and click on that battery icon, and it will tell you the condition of your battery. So, if you've had your laptop for a while and it seems to lose power pretty quickly when on battery power, there maybe something wrong with the battery. If it says Normal, you're in good shape. However, if it says, Check battery, there's a good chance that that battery is on its way out, at which point, you may wish to take it in to Apple.

If your Mac spends all its time plugged in, energy saving settings are important only for your power bill, but if you depend on an unplugged laptop, these are settings that you want to spend a long time configuring.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Mac OS X Mountain Lion Essential Training
Mac OS X Mountain Lion Essential Training

76 video lessons · 20958 viewers

Christopher Breen
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 4s
    1. Welcome
      1m 4s
  2. 6m 56s
    1. Installing Mountain Lion
      6m 56s
  3. 47m 16s
    1. Personalizing the interface
      4m 11s
    2. Touring the Finder
      3m 29s
    3. Staying current with Software Update
      2m 52s
    4. Configuring Gatekeeper settings
      3m 17s
    5. Getting on the Internet
      5m 36s
    6. Setting up iCloud
      4m 55s
    7. Understanding AutoSave and documents in the cloud
      4m 42s
    8. Configuring Mail, Contacts, and Calendar
      4m 33s
    9. Configuring your printer
      3m 39s
    10. Protecting your data with Time Machine
      4m 28s
    11. Learn your way around the Mac App Store
      5m 34s
  4. 11m 17s
    1. Finding files with Spotlight
      6m 6s
    2. Digging deeper with Finder searches
      5m 11s
  5. 23m 35s
    1. Configuring basic personal preferences
      11m 15s
    2. Adjusting Input Device preferences
      9m 38s
    3. Examining the basic system preferences
      2m 42s
  6. 1h 13m
    1. Organizing workspaces with Mission Control
      5m 49s
    2. Modifying Language & Text settings
      4m 5s
    3. Optimizing Security & Privacy settings
      6m 18s
    4. Getting notifications
      4m 38s
    5. Configuring displays and AirPlay
      2m 20s
    6. Using Energy Saver
      6m 1s
    7. Setting up Bluetooth wireless devices
      3m 39s
    8. Sharing files on a network
      6m 1s
    9. Configuring sharing
      6m 28s
    10. Editing your users and groups
      6m 48s
    11. Setting rules with Parental Controls
      7m 4s
    12. Taking notes with Dictation & Speech
      6m 0s
    13. Exploring the Accessibility settings
      5m 54s
    14. Listening with Sound
      2m 53s
  7. 36m 2s
    1. Organizing your business with Mail
      12m 42s
    2. Scheduling time with Calendar
      8m 32s
    3. Keeping tabs with Contacts
      5m 30s
    4. Tracking your tasks with Reminders
      3m 39s
    5. Staying in touch using Messages
      5m 39s
  8. 37m 18s
    1. Tracking your documents in TextEdit
      7m 3s
    2. Looking up words in Dictionary
      1m 56s
    3. Keeping notes with Notes
      3m 48s
    4. Working with images in Preview
      6m 14s
    5. Working with PDFs in Preview
      4m 27s
    6. Installing fonts with Font Book
      4m 42s
    7. Posting a note in Stickies
      1m 55s
    8. Adding things up with Calculator
      4m 46s
    9. Organizing apps with Launchpad
      2m 27s
  9. 34m 5s
    1. Navigating the web
      3m 38s
    2. Working with bookmarks
      4m 49s
    3. Using Reading List
      2m 4s
    4. Saving web pages and creating web clips
      1m 44s
    5. Viewing and saving PDFs
      3m 24s
    6. Using Safari to search the web
      2m 20s
    7. Opening local files in Safari
      1m 59s
    8. Working with preferences in Safari
      11m 1s
    9. Managing your Internet footprint
      3m 6s
  10. 8m 48s
    1. Playing media in QuickTime
      4m 15s
    2. Recording videos with QuickTime
      4m 33s
  11. 10m 13s
    1. Video conferencing with FaceTime
      3m 38s
    2. Taking pictures in Photo Booth
      3m 47s
    3. The great utility of Image Capture
      2m 48s
  12. 12m 40s
    1. Writing a simple Automator workflow
      4m 15s
    2. Creating an Automator application
      2m 20s
    3. Setting up an Automator calendar workflow
      2m 31s
    4. Creating an Automator service
      3m 34s
  13. 22m 1s
    1. Managing processes in Activity Monitor
      5m 13s
    2. Formatting, partitioning, and repairing storage devices
      8m 58s
    3. Taking care of your passwords
      4m 1s
    4. Setting up a Windows install with Boot Camp
      3m 49s
  14. 14m 57s
    1. Creating a boot drive
      3m 19s
    2. Understanding and configuring permissions
      4m 5s
    3. Exploring troubleshooting techniques
      7m 33s
  15. 19m 35s
    1. Getting your game on
      4m 1s
    2. Integrating with Facebook and Twitter
      2m 38s
    3. Advanced tips and tricks
      9m 35s
    4. Sharing files with AirDrop
      3m 21s
  16. 30s
    1. Goodbye
      30s

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