This Simple Terminal Command Could More Than Double Your Retina MacBook Pro’s Battery Life

This Simple Terminal Command Could More Than Double Your Retina MacBook Pro’s Battery Life

If your Retina MacBook Pro isn’t delivering the battery life you expected, try this simple fix.

Is your Retina MacBook Pro seeing less than half the seven hours of battery life that Apple promised you? Well, this may not be because you keep watching high-resolution videos over and over again on its Retina display (though that is certainly not helping). Instead, it could be thanks to a corrupt file created by Migration Assistant that needs removing with a simple terminal command.

Here’s how to do it and boost your Retina MacBook Pro’s battery life.

According to a user on Apple’s Support Communities forum, your MacBook Pro’s battery life could be dramatically reduced by a corrupt file created by Migration Assistant. The only way to improve it is to remove that file.

I FINALLY FIGURED OUT THE ISSUE! Its a simple terminal command.  There is a corrupt file that Migration Assistant created and this will fix the issue. I am now getting 8+ hours of battery on my MBP Retina.

So here’s how to do it:

  • Open up Terminal on your Mac and type ” cd ~/Library/Preferences/” (without the quote marks) and hit return.
  • Now enter “rm com.apple.desktop.plist” and hit enter again.
  • Finally, enter “killall Dock”

You desktop will now refresh — possibly changing your wallpaper Mac to Lion’s default backdrop — and the corrupt file will be removed. If this is indeed the cause of your battery woes, you should not find that your battery life now increases significantly.

I can’t verify this myself, unfortunately, because my Retina MacBook Pro is yet to leave the Foxconn factory. So if this fix works for you, be sure to let us know in the comments.

  • hanhothi

    Apple “just works”.

  • Travis Len Wallace

    my estimation went up a full 2 hours

  • bhenry7

    Will this work on 2011 MacBook pro?

  • stueee123

    I had pretty good battery life, but the estimation still went up like 40 minutes!

  • MacHelpDesk

    Why fool with Terminal? Go to the GO menu and select ‘Go to Folder’. Type in ~/Library/Preferences. Located ‘com.apple.desktop.plist’ and drag it to the Trash. Empty Trash.

  • MacHelpDesk

    Why fool with Terminal? Go to the GO menu and select ‘Go to Folder’. Type in ~/Library/Preferences. Located ‘com.apple.desktop.plist’ and drag it to the Trash. Empty Trash.

  • JamieBee01

    Added about an hour to my estimation :)

  • zanemikel

    THANK YOU SO MUCH. Battery life is soooo much longer.

  • cani89
  • cub

    Wow, this worked in a huge way. My predicted battery time is now well over the 7 hour mark and going up to 9 and 10 hours at times. It was from 3 to 5 hours before doing this and seemed to drain quickly. (2.6GHz model, web/email use, Wifi and Bluetooth on, screen brightness around half – give or take a few)

  • hctWien

    I’m wondering if only the estimated running time change, or is there a real increase in battery life?

  • mblaqnekochan

    It doesn’t really work. When I did this it seemed to only put the computer at basic defaults. Even then my battery life only increased to 5.5hrs, which is better than the 3-4hrs I was previously getting but I like the display at a brighter setting.

  • bondr006

    Will this work for the new non retina display MBP also?

  • janelle

    MacHelpDesk said

    Why fool with Terminal? Go to the GO menu and select ‘Go to Folder’. Type in ~/Library/Preferences. Located ‘com.apple.desktop.plist’ and drag it to the Trash. Empty Trash.

    Sheer genius! For those of you asking about Macs other than those with retina displays:
    I have a mid-2010 MacBook Pro and installed Mountain Lion (upgraded directly from Snow Leopard) over the weekend. The battery seemed to be draining awfully fast, but the system thinks the battery is in good condition. I did adjust the Energy Saver preferences, but that didn’t seem to help much. I found the plist file using the easy GO command suggested by MacHelpDesk. Low and behold! I’m now seeing battery performance better than I had while using Snow Leopard.

  • Jeremy Gross

    this didnt work!! fix it!

  • Jeremy Gross

    it made it worse

  • geohump

    Please don’t mix up “Terminal Commands” with the shell commands or the command line.
    This is a terminal: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Terminal-dec-vt100.jpg
    Specifically that is a DEC VT-100, possibly the most used type of terminal for UNIX back in the days UNIX was being developed. There were a large number of different kinds of terminals around until the mid-1980’s or so. All these pieces of hardware could do was display characters on the screen, move the cursor around the screen and some other minor functions like clear to end of line, or scroll the display up 1 line.
    While that device may look like an early PC to you, its not a PC. The only thing this device can do is display characters of text on its screen. and it makes no decisions itself about what characters go on the screen, or where they go on the screen. It has be commanded what to do by a computer, usually a multi-user, Timesharing computer.
    Despite these limitations, These Terminals are what the users used to do everything on UNIX, programming, running applications, playing games (yes, games), Email, IRC, Chat etc… But All the Terminal could do was display characters on its screen, so how could you run an editor in it?
    You couldn’t, and you didn’t. The editor ran inside a multi-user, timesharing computer, lets say a PDP-10, which might have had 30 or 40 Terminals connected to it. So there could be 30 or 40 users all sharing the same computer at the same time. They might even have all been editing at the same time. But How?
    Each user had their own processes. A User who was editing ran their editing session inside the PDP10, and the editor program inside the PDP10 would send “”Terminal Commands”** to the terminal to show things on the screen of the Terminal.
    Here are some actual Terminal Commands for a vt100:
    [ 1 m sending these three characters to a vt100 would put the terminal in BOLD mode. all text displayed after that would appear as bolded text, until another command is sent to the terminal to turn off bold mode.
    [ ; H Put the cursor at position X,Y on the screen.
    [ 0 K Clear line from current cursor position to end of line
    [ 1 K Clear line from beginning to current cursor position
    [ 2 K Clear whole line (cursor position unchanged)
    [ 3 0 m sending these three characters would cause the terminal to set the background color to black
    Eventually hardware terminals dwindled completely away. But we still needed a terminal in order to be the input and display device for those thousands and thousands of programs that run on UNIX (and now, Linux of course.) Thats where X-windows Terminal Emulators came into being. These are little graphical programs that emulate what would happen on a real hardware terminal when running a program. They open a window that looks and behaves just like a real terminal (or almost).
    The Terminal emulators include, X-term, Gnome Terminal, Konsole and others. Remember – None of these are terminals. They are Terminal emulators. If you send them Terminal Commands, like the ones shown above, you will be directly controlling what the Terminal emulation screen shows.
    Of course sending escape chars and control chars is a pain, so naturally the UNIX developers made some tools to make things easier. Terminfo, termio, curses, and tput are all special utilities used to make the sending of Terminal commands to your terminal emulators much easier. Most people find tput to be the most useful of these choices.
    So when you are on the Bash command line, typing in commands, cat, awk, grep etc…, please remember that you’re not running “Terminal commands”, you’re running shell commands, or command line commands. :)

  • Jess

    I just did this and I got an extra three to four hours battery life, so I had around seven hours and twelve minutes at the 53% mark. I’m a little skeptical though as this is my first ever Mac and I treat it like my baby. So I want to know, have I made a huge mistake by doing this, or is this a legitimate glitch that I just fixed?

About the author

Killian BellKillian Bell is a staff writer based in the U.K. He has an interest in all things tech and also covers Android over at CultofAndroid.com. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell.

(sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address)| Read more posts by .

Posted in News, Top stories | Tagged: , , , , , , , |