How to See Battery Time Remaining on MacOS Mojave, High Sierra, & Sierra
If you want to know the battery time remaining on a MacBook, MacBook Pro, or MacBook Air running a modern version of Mac OS system software, including 10.14.x Mojave, 10.13.x high Sierra, and 10.12.x Sierra, then you will have to learn a few new tricks to do so. This is because Apple has removed the battery time indicator from MacOS Sierra 10.12.2 onward, meaning if you install the update on a MacBook Pro, MacBook, or MacBook Air, you will no longer get a battery life remaining estimate from the battery menu. Given that Mac laptops are inherently mobile and battery dependent, many users like to have a general idea of how much battery time is remaining, even if it’s not 100% accurate, and thus are understandably not too enthusiastic about removing such a feature.
We’ll show you a few ways to check how much battery life may be remaining on any Mac laptop running the latest MacOS system software releases, including a more advanced way to restore the old battery menu again.
Use CoconutBattery to See Battery Time Remaining as a Menubar Item
CoconutBattery is an excellent if not ancient tool (seriously, we first covered it a decade ago!) that allows you to track the health and performance of your Mac laptop battery. The more modern versions of CoconutBattery also offer an optional battery menu which you can use to see the battery time remaining on any MacBook, MacBook Pro, or MacBook Air.
Installing and using CoconutBattery for checking battery life remaining is probably the easiest and least hassle method of seeing a battery life estimate on a Mac laptop that has had the feature removed with 10.12.2 update and remains removed in latter updates.
- Get Coconut Battery here (free, third party utility)
Once you launch CoconutBattery, go to the apps preferences to enable it to load on login and to enable the menu bar item, where you will be able to see battery time remaining.
Aside from the battery remaining estimator, CoconutBattery also lets you track battery cycle count and other battery health statistics, it’s a genuinely useful Mac utility for laptop users.
Use Activity Monitor to See Battery Time Remaining
Activity Monitor Energy section lets you see what apps are using a lot of battery on a Mac, and it also provides an estimate for how much battery life is remaining.
- Open Activity Monitor from /Applications/Utilities/
- Go to the “Energy” tab and wait a few moments, the bottom section will update and offer a “Time Remaining” number
Note this feature may be removed in a future software update since Apple removed the battery life estimator from the menu bar, so enjoy it while it lasts if that is the case.
Restore Battery.menu from a Prior MacOS Release
This one is a bit more advanced and involves mucking around in the system folder. It’s also trickier because you must have the Battery.menu file from MacOS 10.12.1 or earlier after you have updated to 10.12.2, 10.12.3, 10.12.4, 10.13.x, 10.14.x, etc. If you plan ahead of time, you can simply copy the file yourself from the following location:
Locate the “Battery.menu” file from 10.12.1 or earlier and make a copy of it to your desktop or elsewhere easy to find.
After updating to MacOS 10.12.2 or later, you will then restore your just backed up version of “Battery.menu” back into the /Menu Extras/ directory.
You might need to disable SIP to accomplish this process successfully (be sure you enable it again afterwards), or boot into Recovery mode and move/copy the earlier version of Battery.menu after updating. I went with the latter approach, and it works fine.
This tip idea was left in our comments and I can confirm it does work, assuming you have access to the pre-10.12.2 Battery.menu package anyway.
There are other ways to check battery life remaining on a Mac as well, feel free to leave your own ideas and utilities in the comments. As usual, how accurate the battery life estimates are depends on many factors. Perhaps Apple will recalculate power use to more accurately reflect battery estimates for MacBook Pro and MacBook users, but until then, use one of the methods detailed here if you’re curious. Or just follow the battery percent indicator gauge and watch the clock, that would work too.
Do you know of another method to track battery time remaining for Mac laptops in new MacOS versions? Share with us in the comments below!