Safari and Battery Impacts

I’ve noticed that my M1 Max Macbook Pro battery has been getting hammered lately, and I wasn’t entirely sure why. Activity Monitor was confirming some of my greatest fears: Safari was actually using significant energy. I didn’t know why. The lesson? Beware of new features.

Safari introduced “tab groups” in the latest version. These tab groups sync with your iCloud account and provide some pretty massive convenience. I set up a multitude of tab groups. However, I found myself struggling to find a reason to use them, as I just often reopened tabs with the same window I was using. I had to force myself to remember that tab groups existed.

I had set up one tab group called “webmail” and buried about 8-10 tabs of various Gmail and webmail accounts there. I opened it a few times, but not that often.

Safari was hammering my battery though… even if I wasn’t using those sites.

I opened Activity Monitor and noticed that Safari’s keeping those pages open from the webmail tab group, even if I’m not actively looking at them. The biggest violator of that was Gmail. It seems that Gmail was constantly refreshing in the background even if it’s not open.

I removed the tab group and Safari killed the connectivity. My battery went back to a much calmer state.

If you’re having battery troubles and your Mac is constantly complaining that Safari is using significant energy, check out your Activity Monitor and see if any tabs are eating it up. I bet Gmail is one of the biggest violators.