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How to see the ‘time remaining’ battery estimate Apple just removed

MacBook Pro 2016 Battery Time Remaining

Apple’s idea of fixing the reported battery issues with the brand new MacBook Pro is to eliminate a macOS feature that many MacBook users have relied on for years: the “time remaining” estimate that tells you how much time you can use your laptop before your battery runs out of juice. Apple apparently identified some errors in the code that’s used to estimate battery consumption, so it nixed the reading altogether.

But removing the feature is not a good-enough “fix” for the battery problem. Also, it still doesn’t address that battery problem, if indeed there is one. So if you still want to see the estimate, even if the time remaining feature isn’t working properly, then there’s a nifty cheat to get it back.

Cheat isn’t even the right word, considering that Apple’s macOS still monitors energy consumption and gives out time remaining estimates inside a system monitoring app you may be already using with some regularity: Activity Monitor.

If you’re not familiar with Activity Monitor, just hit Command+Space on your MacBook, and type Activity Monitor in. It should lead you directly to the app. Open it and then head over to the Energy tab. Not only will this section tell you which apps are responsible for draining your battery, but it’ll also show you a time estimate.

If you can’t find it that way, then just open Finder, go to the Applications folder, then to Utilities.

It’s not as handy as just glancing over the estimate from the top menu, but it’s still a way to check out how much battery time you (might) have left without installing any third-party app.

Another thing you could do to prevent the Time remaining estimate from disappearing from the battery menu is to avoid updating to macOS 10.12.2 for the time being. We can only hope that Apple will bring back the estimate once it fixes whatever is causing inconsistent estimates on the MacBook Pro (late 2016) and some other models.

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.