Did you wake up to a dead MacBook? Several MacBook owners with the new macOS 12.2 update, including yours truly, find that their laptop is burning through battery life while in sleep mode. The problem impacts both M1 Apple Silicon and Intel machines.
Update, 2/11/22: The macOS 12.2.1 update, now available to all users, resolves the MacBook battery drain problem. Perform this update now so your battery doesn’t drain overnight.
Laptops should never experience crazy battery drain while sleeping, and Apple takes a lot of pride in its machines’ power efficiency. There’s zero reason for MacBooks to blow through battery while closed—so, what’s going on here?
MacBooks have a neat feature called “DarkWake from Deep Idle,” which allows them to run select tasks in sleep mode without activating the display or running apps. Unfortunately, a Bluetooth bug seems to be triggering this feature and blowing through energy while MacBooks are asleep.
My new MacBook Pro has been draining energy when the lid is closed and it’s not connected to anything. Anyone else seeing this? pic.twitter.com/4JaHIxQC2n
— Jordi Bruin (@jordibruin) November 14, 2021
Of course, Apple hasn’t explained what’s going on, and the company is replying to customer emails with battery-saving tips instead of actual solutions. But affected users have confirmed that Bluetooth and DarkWake are responsible for this problem, as the macOS terminal logs when wireless devices trigger the feature.
I suggest disabling Bluetooth before you close your MacBook to prevent this battery drain problem. You can disable Bluetooth from the Control Center in your Menu Bar—you know, the two pill-looking things next to the clock in the upper right corner of your screen.
You could also shut down the laptop when you’re done using it, or just leave the bugger plugged into an outlet. That said, I strongly suggest that you avoid the latter option, as it will waste electricity and could reduce the lifespan of your laptop’s battery.
Every 7.5-8s, my new MacBook Pro is woken from deep sleep by a process called DarkWake, and stays awake for ~5s each time. The lid is shut so the screen stays off, but it still drains the battery quite rapidly. No idea what causes it, searching for answers is fruitless
— Rys Sommefeldt (@ryszu) January 5, 2022
If you’d like to roll back to the previous version of macOS, follow the guide at our sister site, How-To Geek. I’m not sure that this process is worth the effort, though, as you can avoid simply battery drain by disabling Bluetooth. Also, this bug won’t impact battery performance when your MacBook is awake.
Apple is almost certainly working on a patch to resolve this bug, though the company may never acknowledge that the problem ever existed. MacBook owners have reported similar problems with previous versions of macOS, and of course, these problems were fixed without much fanfare.
Personally, I’m just happy to hear this is a software problem. Turning off Bluetooth before closing a MacBook is easier than driving to an Apple Store to get its battery replaced.