Do you want to see exactly how much battery life you have left on your new MacBook Air M2? Displaying the battery percentage in the menu bar makes it easy to monitor your remaining power before needing to charge. In this article, I’ll explain the quick steps on how to show battery percentage on MacBook Air M2 running macOS Ventura, Monterey, or older versions.
1: Check Your macOS Version
The first thing you’ll want to do is check which version of macOS your MacBook Air is running. This determines the exact steps you’ll need to take to activate the battery percentage.
To check your macOS version:
- Click the Apple menu in the top left corner of your screen.
- Select “About This Mac.”
- Look for the number beside “Version.” Take note of whether you’re running macOS Ventura, Monterey, Big Sur or an older version.
The process varies slightly depending on your macOS version. I’ve included separate instructions below for Ventura, Monterey/Big Sur, and older versions like Catalina.
2: Show Battery Percentage in macOS Ventura
- Click the Apple menu and select “System Settings.”
- Click “Control Center” in the sidebar.
- Scroll down and select “Battery.”
- Tick the box next to “Show Percentage.”
That’s it! You’ll now see a percentage indicator beside the battery icon in your menu bar.
3: Show Battery Percentage in macOS Monterey or Big Sur
For MacBook Airs running macOS Monterey or Big Sur, here are the steps:
- Open System Preferences (Apple menu > System Preferences).
- Select “Dock & Menu Bar.”
- Click on “Battery” in the left sidebar.
- Tick the “Show Percentage” checkbox.
The battery percentage will now display in your menu bar.
4: Show Battery Percentage in Older macOS Versions
On older versions of macOS like Catalina, Mojave or High Sierra, showing battery percentage is even easier:
- Click the battery icon in the menu bar.
- Tick “Show Percentage.”
That’s all there is to it! The battery percentage will immediately appear.
5: Customize Your Battery Options
In addition to turning on the percentage display, you can also customize other battery and power settings on your MacBook Air M2.
For example, you can:
- Show the battery status icon in the menu bar (if it’s not already visible)
- Have your Mac enter sleep mode after a period of inactivity to conserve power
- Slightly dim the screen when using battery power
- Prevent your MacBook from sleeping when plugged in
- Set a schedule for when your MacBook turns on and off automatically
To modify these settings:
- Go to System Preferences > Energy Saver.
- Click the “Battery” tab to see battery-related options.
- Click the “Power Adapter” tab to see plugged in settings.
- Adjust any preferences as desired.
- Click “Schedule” to automate power on/off times.
Customizing these settings can help optimize your battery usage so you get the most work time unplugged.
6: Check Your MacBook Air’s Overall Battery Health
In addition to monitoring the current charge level, you can also check the general health status of your MacBook Air M2’s battery. This allows you to see metrics like:
- Total battery capacity
- Number of charge cycles
- Battery condition
Checking battery health can alert you if the battery needs to be replaced. Here’s how to view battery health information:
Using System Information
- Go to Apple Menu > About This Mac > System Report.
- Select “Power” in the sidebar.
- View battery details like cycle count and condition.
Using Third-Party Apps
Apps like CoconutBattery provide more detailed battery stats like current capacity vs design capacity and iOS support for monitoring connected devices.
While showing battery percentage is useful for day-to-day power monitoring, routinely checking overall battery health ensures your MacBook Air battery lasts as long as possible before needing replacement.
7: Optimize Your Battery Life
A few simple habits can help optimize your MacBook Air M2’s battery lifespan:
- Don’t keep your battery at 100% charge at all times. Charge to ~80% for daily use.
- Avoid exposing your MacBook to excessive heat.
- Use apps like AlDente to limit maximum charging percentage.
- Dim your screen brightness when unplugged.
- Quit resource-intensive apps when on battery power.
- Turn off Location Services and Bluetooth when not needed.
- Eject any connected external hard drives when not in use.
- Close lid and put MacBook to sleep when away for extended periods.
Following battery best practices allows you to get the most usage time from each charge. Your battery will degrade slower over time.