Mac Tech News

Apple Fixes the MacBook Pro Battery Life Bug

Dave Parrack 11-01-2017

One of the biggest complaints about the new MacBook Pro has been the inconsistent battery life. Apple claims to have fixed one of the bugs affecting battery life on the MacBook Pro. But it’s clearly “a” bug, and not “the” bug. Unfortunately.


At the end of 2016, Consumer Reports caused controversy and consternation amongst the Apple faithful by deciding not to recommend the new MacBook Pro. Consumer Reports loved several aspects of the new MacBook Pro Apple Unveils New Touchy-Feely MacBook Pro Apple has taken the wraps off of its brand new MacBook Pro. It's a beautifully designed piece of hardware, with several innovative touches and some annoying caveats potential buyers will have to beware. Read More , but couldn’t abide the inconsistent battery life.

During testing of the new MacBook Pro, Consumer Reports found that the battery life varied massively. The 13-inch model with Touch Bar lasted between 3.75 hours and 16 hours. While the 13-inch model without Touch Bar lasted between 4.5 hours and 19.5 hours.

Apple Slams Consumer Reports Testing

At the time, Apple didn’t really address this issue, merely suggesting that, “Any customer who has a question about their Mac or its operation should contact AppleCare”. However, Apple did investigate the issue, and has now reported its findings back to Consumer Reports.

In a new statement, Apple claims:

“We learned that when testing battery life on Mac notebooks, Consumer Reports uses a hidden Safari setting for developing websites which turns off the browser cache. This is not a setting used by customers and does not reflect real-world usage. Their use of this developer setting also triggered an obscure and intermittent bug reloading icons which created inconsistent results in their lab.”

Apple has asked Consumer Reports to retest the new MacBook Pro “using normal user settings”. The company also claims to have fixed the bug it blames for the inconsistencies. The fix will be rolled out to all MacBook Pro owners within the next few weeks.


MacBook Pro Battery Life Still Sucks

While Apple should be applauded for identifying and then fixing this particular issue, it clearly doesn’t mean the battery life of the new MacBook Pro is now perfect. Consumer Reports is currently retesting the MacBook Pro (with and without the Touch Bar How to Get the New Touch Bar on an Old MacBook for Free Want to try out the pricey new MacBook's Touch Bar for free? There's an app (or two) for that. Read More ), and the results will be interesting.

However, they won’t tell the full story, as Consumer Reports was far from alone in making these complaints. Other reviewers, plus numerous users on Apple’s own message boards, experienced similar issues. And we very much doubt this software bug in Safari’s developer mode is responsible for all of these problems.

Do you own a new MacBook Pro? Have you found the battery life to be consistent? Or have you experienced similar swings between stellar and shocking? What do you think is ultimately to blame for the variable battery life? Please let us know in the comments below!

Related topics: Apple, Battery Life, MacBook.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

Whatsapp Pinterest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. prateado
    January 26, 2017 at 4:05 am

    I have tried both the 13 inch (no touchbar) and 15 inch touchbar and had to return them both because battery life is atrocious. On the 15 inch, less than 2 hours -- no joke. On the 13 inch, no touchbar, 4 hours max. This is standard use; web, Word, etc. I can't see how they can remain competitive, and surely this signals an end of an era. Serious computer users, the Pros in Macbook Pro, will continue their lives elsewhere. While shedding the mac ball and chain is difficult, I'm attempting to make the move to linux, where at least my data remains my data.

  2. Smtk
    January 12, 2017 at 7:15 am

    I don't know how much safari runs in the background but I only used it ones on my new mbpro - for downloading chrome, and then shut it down. However the battery life, with just web browsing was 4,5 hours on average. So after a week of testing I sent it back. Really hoping for an updated version this fall. Otherwise: maybe a good opportunity for Google to repeat their iPhone 7 vs Pixel stunt? Could be interesting.

  3. Phillip
    January 11, 2017 at 5:16 pm

    I bought a new 13 inch MBP with TB and struggled with the battery for days. It just went down at a rate that was unacceptable for such an expensive laptop promising 10 hours of "normal" use. I don't use any of the Elements, or video editing software. I browse, check emails, watch the occasional video, etc. Very normal stuff... and was getting 4 or 5 hours of life, which just isn't right. Then I went online and found that it wasn't just me, but lots of people. I buy these laptops as an investment (at £2.4K, they need to be!) with a vision of having them for a fair few years. If the battery is bad now, it's only going to get worse. Needless to say I returned it and will simply wait until they build a better laptop (they know fine well they released an inferior product so as to not miss the holiday shopping period). Either that or I'll move on to another system. P.

  4. Josh
    January 11, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    I love how it is never Apple's fault. It's always the user.

    • Juan
      January 12, 2017 at 4:19 pm

      You have said a true spot...