Why Sierra is so bad for MBA battery?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by StoneJack, Apr 13, 2017.

  1. StoneJack macrumors 6502a


    Dec 19, 2009
    My battery is 85% healthy, 2013 11 inch MBA, only 250 cycles. In El Capitan, used to have up to 8 hours of battery life, battery health was also 93% or so. After Sierra install, the battery health in a month worsened to 85%, battery work time fell to 4-5 hours. Tried a new fresh Sierra install, PRAM and SMC reset - nothing helps to recover the battery health.

    So I wonder why Sierra shortens the battery time and aggravates its health, and is there any remedy to it, except installing El Capitan?
  2. kohlson macrumors 65816

    Apr 23, 2010
    Check to see if there are any apps/processes that are using too much energy. Right-click on the battery icon - there's a line that will highlight any apps that are using excessive power; or, "No Apps..." if none. Also, in the Activity Monitor, see is any there are any processes using too much every in the Energy tab.
    FWIW my wife's 2012 13-in MBA needed a battery replacement (got a warning). She primarily runs it plugged in at work. Ut had 300-ish cycles. OTOH, our daughter's 2011 MBA ran for 1000+ cycles - she only plugged hers in when down to the last 10%.
  3. Biscotti macrumors regular

    Jun 25, 2008
    I also saw a huge drop in battery after Sierra. I had just replaced my battery too right before Sierra came out and was seeing 6+ hours easily, and ~2 to 2.5 after Sierra.

    I think Sierra may be 1) Be more processor intensive so our older processor stress more 2) Be more graphically intensive 3) iCloud Drive - uploads everything and changes are always uploading/downloading/pinging.

    I agree, my battery life sucks (-15% battery life in 20 mins typing this reply on and off).
  4. Stefan johansson macrumors 65816

    Stefan johansson

    Apr 13, 2017
    Another reason not to buy a MacBook Air... Fortunately,my MBP has ok battery capacity.
  5. StoneJack thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Dec 19, 2009

    I am downloading El Capitan again and will reinstall clean El Capitan. I don't know whats different but Sierra hasn't been good to my MBA. For my Macbook pro 2016, which still doesn't get much use, Sierra is probably a better choice. After installing EL Capitan, I will share the battery life changes.
  6. StoneJack thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Dec 19, 2009
    So I installed (downgraded) to El Capitan. Guess what? Battery life for first time in months showed 10 hours (under Sierra the max was 6 hours) and even battery health indicator improved a little bit (from 84 to 87%). Sierra is definitely something to avoid for MBA 2013 (not sure about other releases).

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