How to Avoid the MacBook Battery-Drain Bug in macOS 12.2
Did you wake up with a dead MacBook? Several MacBook owners with the new macOS 12.2 update, including yourself, think their laptop is burn through battery life while in sleep mode. The problem affects both M1 Apple Silicon and Intel machines.
Laptops should never experience crazy battery drain while sleeping, and Apple takes great pride in the energy efficiency of its machines. There’s no reason for MacBooks to blow through the battery while closed, so what’s going on here?
MacBooks have a useful feature called “DarkWake by Deep Idle”, which allows them to perform certain tasks in sleep mode without waking the screen or running apps. Unfortunately, a Bluetooth bug seems to activate this feature and blast through energy while MacBooks sleep.
My new MacBook Pro uses energy when the lid is closed and not connected to anything. Anyone else seeing this? pic.twitter.com/4JaHIxQC2n
— Jordi Brown (@jordibrown) Nov 14, 2021
Of course, Apple hasn’t explained what’s going on, and the company is responding to customer emails with battery-saving tips rather than real solutions. But affected users have confirmed that Bluetooth and DarkWake are responsible for this problem, as the macOS terminal logs when wireless devices activate the feature.
I recommend turning off Bluetooth before closing your MacBook to avoid this battery drain issue. You can turn off Bluetooth from the Control Center in your menu bar — you know, the two pill-like things next to the clock in the top-right corner of your screen.
you could too shut down the laptop when you are done using it, or just leave the bugger plugged in. That said, I highly recommend avoiding the latter option as it wastes electricity and can shorten your laptop’s battery life.
Every 7.5-8 seconds my new MacBook Pro is woken from deep sleep by a process called DarkWake, staying awake for about 5 seconds each time. The lid is closed so the screen stays off, but the battery still drains pretty quickly. No idea what caused it, looking for answers is pointless
— Rys Sommefeldt (@ryszu) January 5, 2022
If you want to go back to the previous version of macOS, follow the guide on our sister site, How-To Geek. I’m not sure if this process is worth it though, as you can avoid draining the battery by turning off Bluetooth. This bug also does not affect battery performance when your MacBook is awake.
Apple is almost certainly working on a patch to fix this bug, though the company may never acknowledge that the problem once existed. MacBook owners have reported similar issues with previous versions of macOS, and these issues were resolved without much fanfare, of course.
Personally, I’m happy to hear that this is a software issue. Turning off Bluetooth before closing a MacBook is easier than driving to an Apple Store to get the battery replaced.