Here’s how to keep your MacBook battery healthy and extend its lifespan

The latest Apple Silicon MacBooks achieve unbelievable battery life for the whole day under optimal conditions of use. However, the condition of the battery inevitably deteriorates with age. How can you maintain this performance over the long term? Here are a few things you can do.

table of contents

Leave optimized charging switched on
Don’t leave your MacBook plugged in all the time
Avoid exposing your MacBook to extreme temperatures
Consider AlDente Pro to manage charging
Check the health of your MacBook battery
Replace your MacBook battery
Also save battery life

Leave optimized charging switched on

iPhones , iPads and MacBooks can use a function called Optimized Charging, which monitors your usage behavior and adapts the charging behavior accordingly.

The sweet spot for a lithium battery in terms of long-term health is between 80 percent and 40 percent. Charging to 100 percent or a battery percentage that is too low is considered bad for the cell. Full batteries store a higher voltage, which puts more stress on the cell.

Battery University recommends that “a device should have a ‘Long Life’ mode that keeps the battery at 4.05 V / cell and a [state of charge] of about 80 percent ”to extend the life of the battery. Many companies have adopted such charging modes, including Apple.

You can find this setting under System Settings> Battery> Battery. Once your Mac learns your daily habits, it waits before fully charging your device so the cell spends less time at 100 percent. The mode was first introduced in macOS Catalina. So, if you are trying to update and your Mac is not compatible with this version of the operating system, you are out of luck.

So if you charge your laptop overnight and go to work at 8 a.m. every morning, your MacBook is waiting to charge the last 20 percent or so. If for some reason you leave an hour early, your battery may not be fully charged. This works the same on the iPhone and iPad.

Don’t leave your MacBook plugged in all the time

It is not possible to “overcharge” your MacBook battery by leaving it plugged in. Leaving it plugged in all the time will not overheat the battery or damage other components. The only exception is if you notice the battery bulging, which is a serious problem that can lead to damage (notify Apple immediately if you notice).

The streamlined charging feature mentioned above makes it easier for you to keep your laptop plugged in, but it’s not infallible. If your laptop never leaves your desk, or if you have a particularly irregular schedule, macOS may not be able to schedule when to delay battery charging.

MagSafe 3 MacBook Pro charger plugged into the charging port

For this reason, it is a good idea not to leave your device on the charger all the time. Ideally, you should shut the cell down to 40 percent before recharging it back to about 80 percent for best results. This guarantees that the battery will not be put under too much stress by the high voltage required to reach 90 or 100 percent.

Carefully managing your battery is a job, and most MacBook owners don’t need to dig into depth. Just take your laptop off the charger for a few hours a day when you are desk tied and you’ll avoid some of the premature aging caused by high voltage.

Should I leave my laptop plugged in all the time?

Avoid exposing your MacBook to extreme temperatures

Extreme temperatures are generally bad for your MacBook. Everyone knows that extreme heat is bad for technology, but research by the US Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in 2021 shows how bad extreme cold can be.

Researcher noticed, that Extreme cold can crack the metals used in lithium battery cells and separate the cathode from other parts of the battery. Storing cathodes at sub-zero temperatures “resulted in batteries losing up to 5% more of their capacity after 100 charges than batteries stored at warmer temperatures.”

The solution is to make sure your laptop is not exposed to extreme temperatures. Don’t leave it in the car overnight during the winter, and if you find yourself in a situation where your MacBook can get particularly cold, get hold of an insulating sleeve. MacBooks are not rugged laptops and are not designed for extreme weather conditions.

Consider AlDente Pro to manage charging

If you want to save your MacBook battery as long as possible, the free app is AlDente (and the paid version AlDente Pro ) could be interesting. The app allows you to set a charge limit so that a percentage of your choice will not allow your MacBook to reach its maximum capacity. By default, this is 80 percent.

The free version only has a charge limiter and a discharge mode, with which the MacBook can also be operated with a battery when connected. This allows you to discharge your battery to a “healthier” percentage without having to remove it the power connection .

Adjusting the charging limit in AlDente Pro for macOS

AlDente only works with macOS Big Sur or later, and works best on most MacBooks made in 2016 or later. Earlier laptops lose support for certain functions, but most models after 2013 support the most important functions of the charge limiter.

If you go this route, your battery will stay healthier longer, but you are sacrificing some of its potential capacity. You can always turn off AlDente (or tell it to charge your battery up to 100 percent) whenever you know you need the extra juice. You will also need to disable Apple’s Optimized Charging feature for AlDente to work properly.

Note: The authors of AlDente recommend Perform at least one full charge cycle from 0 percent to 100 percent every two weeks to ensure that your battery stays properly calibrated. The authors note that when things get out of hand, “performing 4+ full cycles will recalibrate your battery and increase capacity again”.

Here’s how to force your MacBook to fully charge

Check the health of your MacBook battery

If you’re wondering what condition your battery is in, you can go to System Preferences> Battery> Battery and click on “Battery Health …” for an easy overview.

macOS battery health check

For a more detailed view, including the number of charge cycles, click the Apple logo in the upper left corner of your screen, followed by “About This Mac”, then click “System Report” on the Summary tab. Scroll down to “Power” and under “Health Information” you should be able to see the number of cycles on your battery.

Find the cycle number in the macOS system report

Modern MacBook batteries are designed for around 1000 cycles, which corresponds to an average use of around three years. Older models may only be designed for 300 cycles. Your Mac’s battery health report will let you know when it’s time to consider replacing.

How to check the battery health of your MacBook

Replace your MacBook battery

There’s a good chance your MacBook will outlast its battery. If you’re not thirsting for more processing power, RAM, or GPU grunts, you might be able to use your laptop for a few more years just by replacing the battery.

if you Buy AppleCare + , Your MacBook is covered for three years, including the battery. You can take your Mac to an Apple Store or authorized service provider to test the battery (and other hardware) and then have it replaced for free. Well worth doing if your AppleCare + is about to expire as you have little to lose.

If your Mac is out of warranty, you can pay for it Apple’s battery service . This costs $ 199 for a MacBook Pro and 12-inch MacBook, or $ 129 for a MacBook Air. If your device is particularly old, you may find that battery service is not available.

You can always buy a replacement battery and replace it yourself. i attach it sells batteries for a variety of MacBook models and provides detailed tutorials on how to open your laptop and replace the battery with a new one.

Can you replace the battery in your MacBook?

Also save battery life

The less power your Mac uses, the fewer cycles you will put on your battery. If you find that your MacBook has stopped performing all day, check out some tips on how to save power and live more life.

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