Dec 20 2015

What To Do When Google Chrome Helper Eats Your Mac’s Battery Life

A few days ago, I noticed that my MacBook Air fully charged battery life had suddenly gone from around seven hours to under two hours and the fan was going full speed.

This has happened in the past and I couldn’t remember what I did to fix it. I blew it off for a few days until I got tired of having to plug my computer in every few hours. A quick look at Mac Activity Monitor showed me that Google Chrome Helper was eating up all my CPU (often at 100%) and subsequently crushing the battery life.

A search on Google didn’t turn up anything terribly satisfying. I found lots of complaints, a few suggestions to turn of automatic plug-in loading, and lots of “hey Google, fix this” dating back to 2011. Buried somewhere in one of the threads was a note to try clearing my browser cache.

Clear Google Browser Cache

Of course, there is no “clear browser cache” option any more, but there is now a “hamburger menu: More Tools: Clear Browsing Data” option.

That solved it. I saw over seven hours of battery life today. No fan. Simple, but buried.

Some day all this shit will just work. Well – maybe not.