How to enable Google Chrome’s new MacBook battery-saving feature

Google Chrome logo (medium)

There’s no denying Google Chrome is brutal on notebook battery life. Don’t get me wrong, Chrome is a great browser and used to be my daily driver.

That was before OS X Yosemite came along with Safari Power Saver, a tremendously useful feature that stops power-hungry plug-ins like Adobe Flash from rendering animations and interactive elements on webpages. In case you didn’t know, Chrome has a built-in Flash Player which takes a toll on battery life and sends your notebooks’s fan into overdrive.

But worry not, Google has enabled a power-saver feature of its own in a recent Chrome update. In this post, I’m going to explain how you can enable it in order to instantly improve your MacBook’s battery performance.

The new feature detects Flash content on webpages you visit and intelligently pauses Flash animations and other content “not central” to the webpage, as Google puts it. At the same time, it keeps central content, like a Flash video, playing without interruption.

“If we accidentally pause something you were interested in, you can just click it to resume playback,” notes the search firm adding that the new feature “significantly reduces power consumption” on notebooks.

How to enable smarter plug-ins in Chrome for Mac

Step 1: Fire up Chrome on your Mac.

Step 2: Head to the browser’s content settings (Chrome > Preferences > Settings > Show Advanced Settings > Content Settings under the Privacy section).

Tip: You can also reach the plugins page by clicking Manage individual plugins in the Plugins section of the Content settings dialog.

Step 3: Now select “Detect and run important plugin content.”

Google Chorme beta power saveer

From now on, Chrome will only run the main plugin content on websites. Other options include “Run all plugin content,” which tells Chrome to run all plugins, and “Let me choose when to run plugin content,” which prompts Chrome to stop any plugins from running automatically.

Tip: The Manage Exceptions button lets you manually exclude certain websites and domains.

Tip in a tip: To run specific plugins, right-click on them on a webpage and choose “Run this plugin.”

If you cannot access the new feature available, your copy of Chrome is likely out of date. Just choose About Google Chrome in the Chrome menu to manually check for updates.

Do you like this tip for a better battery life for your MacBook?