Turbo Boost is a feature built into many Macs using Intel processors. You may not even know that it exists, but behind the scenes, macOS is enabling and disabling Turbo Boost. When you need more performance, macOS enables Turbo Boost. When the computer is idling or doing something similarly low-effort, macOS turns off Turbo Boost. This perfectly most of the time, but it doesn’t always. If your computer is getting older and you want to make your battery last longer, you can manually control Turbo Boost to use less energy.
Finding Out If Your Mac Has the Turbo Boost Feature
Before you move forward, you should verify that your Mac actually supports the Turbo Boost feature:
- Select the Apple logo in your Mac’s menu bar and click “About This Mac.”
- In the “Overview” tab, you’ll find the full model name of your Mac. Copy this information to your clipboard by selecting it and pressing Command + C.
- Open the search engine of your choice (Google or DuckDuckGo, for example) and paste this information into your search bar. Add the phrase “technical specs” to the end and hit Enter.
- In the search results, click the result that takes you to the support.apple.com website. This is almost always the top result.
- On the Apple Support website, check the “Processor” section. If your Mac supports Turbo Boost, it should be mentioned here.
If the technical specification doesn’t mention Turbo Boost, your Mac probably doesn’t support this feature. If you have a newer Mac with an M1-based chip, it doesn’t support Turbo Boost.
Enabling or Disabling Turbo Boost
You can manually enable and disable Turbo Boost using the Turbo Boost Switcher application. Turbo Switcher is available as a free or paid application, but this tutorial uses the free version.
Once you’ve installed Turbo Boost Switcher, launch the application. Click on the icon that Turbo Boost added to your Mac’s menu bar automatically.
If Turbo Boost is already enabled, you’ll see a “Disable Turbo Boost” message. By contrast, if Turbo Boost is disabled, you’ll see an “Enable Turbo Boost” message. You can use these settings to manually toggle Turbo Boost on and off.
The first time you try to manually toggle Turbo Boost, macOS will ask for your admin username and password.
macOS may also block Turbo Boost Switcher from running. If you encounter a “Security & Privacy” message, follow the on-screen instructions to allow Turbo Boost Switcher to run normally.
Alternatively, you can unblock Turbo Boost Switcher manually by navigating to “Apple -> System Preferences … -> Security & Privacy.” Here you should see a message prompting you to unblock Turbo Boost Switcher.
What Else Can I Do with Turbo Boost Switcher?
When manually manipulating Turbo Boost, you may want to monitor the impact these changes have on your Mac’s CPU temperature and battery.
You can view these metrics in the Turbo Boost Switcher drop-down and analyze how these values change over time by selecting “Charts … ”
These charts display how your Mac’s CPU temperature and fan speeds fluctuate, depending on whether Turbo Boost is enabled or disabled.
By reviewing these charts, you can identify the Turbo Boost behavior that delivers the best results for your specific model of Mac and how you use your laptop.
If you upgrade to the Pro version of Turbo Boost Switcher, you’ll get access to some additional features, like disabling Turbo Boost automatically depending on fan speed, remaining battery time, and whether your Mac is connected to a power source.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can I trust Turbo Boost Switcher?
People have been using this app for years without complaints. It is worth mentioning that the website doesn’t support HTTPS, which may cause some security concerns.
2. Will disabling Turbo Boost damage my computer?
No. By running at a lower speed, you may actually slightly prolong the life of your computer.
3. Will Turbo Boost Switcher affect my Mac’s performance?
If you’re turning off Turbo Boost when it would be automatically turned on otherwise, yes. While disabling Turbo Boost saves battery, you will notice reduced performance in some situations.
4. Does this work with Apple Silicon Macs?
No. Turbo Boost is a feature of Intel chips. Apple may use a similar process in its own chips, but you can’t control these with Turbo Boost Switcher.
Take Control of Turbo Boost
While you can now manually control Turbo Boost, remember that this isn’t something you need to do all the time. More often than not, this feature works well without any manual intervention.
If you’re mainly looking to disable Turbo Boost because your battery is draining too quickly, keep in mind that this isn’t the only culprit. For example, try force quitting apps you’re not using to see if this improves your battery life, then disable Turbo Boost if quitting the apps didn’t make a difference.
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