Forum Question: How to decrease Battery Cycle Count in a Macbook Pro

I am using a Macbook Pro 13″ (Early 2011) model, and am new to Mac. I’m wondering what’s the best way to use my Macbook, as i use it as a desktop computer at home, and also use it for school.
I’ve had it for around 2weeks and it’s on 14 cycles. This seems abit too high…
What can i do to decrease this? Leave the AC adapter in?
If so, do i just leave it in even if i’m going to sleep? Wouldn’t that harm my battery?
Here’s my details on the battery:
Charge Information:
Charge Remaining (mAh): 4494
Fully Charged: No
Charging: Yes
Full Charge Capacity (mAh): 5496
Health Information:
Cycle Count: 14
Condition: Normal
Battery Installed: Yes
Amperage (mA): 1231
Voltage (mV): 12308
Thankyou for your help :D

Comments: 33 Responses to “How to decrease Battery Cycle Count in a Macbook Pro”

    4/20/11 @ 6:41 am

    Leaving it plugged in all the time will, of course, mean you will use less battery cycles. But 14 in 14 days is perfectly normal. That just means you’ve used it on battery 14 times and charged it after each time.
    Don’t be so concerned about these numbers. Use your MacBook as you need it and let the hardware and software manage the battery.
    Certainly leave it plugged in when it not being used and near a power outlet. But don’t be afraid to use it away from a power outlet because you would be using the battery.

      Randy Dillon
      5/29/11 @ 9:02 pm

      Actually, a cycle is a full discharge of the battery (not a single use of the Mac on battery). You might use 50% battery one day, then recharge, then use 50% battery the next day. That would be one cycle. – Source

      Given that, 14 cycles in 14 days sounds pretty high if you are leaving it plugged in. A plugged in Macbook Pro should rarely if ever hit the battery unless you are using very CPU hungry or graphics hungry apps (usually accompanied by increased fan noise and heat).

      Apple recommends discharging the battery at least once a month if you usually leave it plugged in (which is not recommended), and cites a daily commuter that uses the Mac on battery daily as an ideal situation. – Source, “standard maintenance”

        Randy Dillon
        5/29/11 @ 9:13 pm

        Gac, thought you were already leaving it plugged in. Sorry. 14 cycles in 14 days is totally normal if you are running the battery down every day. I leave mine plugged in a lot, but use it on battery occasionally just to “keep the juices flowing” as Apple says. Using it plugged in will certainly reduce your cycles and leaving it plugged in when you sleep is fine, but as Gary says don’t be afraid to use the battery.

          10/31/11 @ 10:07 pm

          Hi guys,

          I keep mine plugged in all the time.(mbp13 early 2011)
          Rarely run on batteries and if I do only for a few minutes.
          Still I´m already on 22 cycles… I´ve run the battery down three times to try recalibrate… any ideas? My battery cycle counts doesnt follow what apple states on their support pages..

            10/31/11 @ 10:09 pm

            I think if you let it use the battery for a bit and then charge it up, it counts as a cycle. So if you let it go from 100% to 97%, and then charge it, it counts as 1.
            But don’t worry about it too much. If you aren’t having any problems, then don’t read too much into these numbers.

    Robert Shkarovsky
    12/22/11 @ 12:16 am

    I am 14 years old an not very bright in the battery aspect. I know I use my Macbook Pro a lot and i am aware. But I bought my Macbook Pro on November 26th of 2010. I am currently on my 302nd cycle. Can anyone tell me why this number is so high.

      12/22/11 @ 12:26 am

      Assuming approximately 1 cycle per day, that’s not high at all.

    Amit Goyal
    3/6/12 @ 7:10 am

    Macbook 13inch Intel white bought in 2006 is now at 1190 cycles. I abuse it big time and often watch movies on the train just on batteries till it goes dead. It lasts about 70mins (playing an avi) with no wifi and headphones. Genius bar said they were amazed it still worked with this cycle count but obviously recommended I buy a new one from them today. £101??? so I told em to jog on.

    3/20/12 @ 8:34 am

    I bought a macbook in november and started using in december and my battery cycles are 64 is it normal? and Ive heard that excessive charging would damage the battery so as soon my charge level reaches up to 100% i immediately disconnect the external source and run it on battery power, I’m very sensitive about that.
    What if I keep my macbook plugged in charge 24/7 would that be ok or will it effect my battery life let me know please im very much new to mac!

    3/28/12 @ 9:53 am

    worry about mine,use my MBP since 8 months ago and batt lifecycle tells 136 :( do i have to worry about the battery? pls help

      3/28/12 @ 10:10 am

      8 months = 240 days. So why are you worried about 136 cycles in 240 days? What is your concern?

    3/30/12 @ 1:20 am

    I did always use my battery power even when i’m near to power adapter :D

    and since now,will it be better for my battery life cycle if I use the power adapter more while it’s near to or do i have to keep on using battery when its fully charged?

      3/30/12 @ 7:43 am

      Why would you use your battery if you can plug it in? Plug it in when you can (easy and convenient), use your battery when you can’t.

    3/31/12 @ 8:40 am

    Oooww ok,i thought that it would be much better when it turns to battery usage. because i saw some articles said that we have to put out the battery when you use the plug.

    Thank you so much for the solution,since now,I plug whenever near to the power adapter :D

      3/31/12 @ 12:06 pm

      You saw articles that suggested pulling out the battery when a MacBook is plugged in? Those were either very bad articles, or very very old ones. You can’t even remove the battery on modern MacBooks. Even on old ones, removing the battery like that is a bad idea.

    3/31/12 @ 9:02 am

    Is it ok if my current battery capacity tells 94% (5453 mAh) only while its designed to be 100% (on 5770 mAh) ?

      3/31/12 @ 12:05 pm

      Depends on the age of the battery and how much you have used it.

    3/31/12 @ 8:51 pm

    ow ok,hope it means fine :D I’ve used my MBP much of my times in 8 months usage,and mostly I use battery than power adapter. Seems like the old way was wrong,and from now on,I will plug it whenever its near to the power adapter,like now when I’m writing this comment,and hope it will keep my battery capacity stay in a good conditon at least near to 100% :D thank you so much,Gary :)

    4/3/12 @ 10:44 pm

    I usually drag my MacBook around by the screen, throw it in my backpack then cycle home, take it to the beach or poolside and it might get some water specks on it, I use it in the park on the grass and dirt, I throw it across the sofa to friends, I eat crumbly food over it and then lick it off or clean it later with windex or a vacuum. She was even covered in sticker for one summer but I removed them with some adhesive remover chemical.

    She is three years old and on her 801st cycle.

    I play with her for hours a day often forgetting I have half of the applications running, she’ll remind me by burning my thighs when she over heats in retaliation to being forced to work too hard. I will be reminded at least once a day to plug her into the charger with 9minutes left and forget about it then have to sprint at 1minute. Sometimes I forget where the charger is and she dies. So I just plug her in and press on again and watch the rainbow wheel of death until she reboots.

    She is incredible. Thank you Apple.

    4/29/12 @ 10:00 pm

    i have a macbook pro from 2009 and i have 878 cycle counts, is that bad and when do i have to change the battery?

      4/30/12 @ 6:40 am

      That’s fine. About 1 per day is fine. You only need to change the battery if performance is getting in your way. Is it?

    5/17/12 @ 6:18 pm

    My Macbook is about 4 years old and on 1673 cycle count… and it says “Replace Soon” for my battery… I’ve notice my mac doing some weird things like the clicking things are not working that good and when i type the curser goes back, highlight things when I don’t want it to… things like that.. is that because of the batter? Do i NEED to get a battery asap? will my mac completely die? please help

      5/17/12 @ 6:50 pm

      None of that would be caused by the battery. The only thing an old battery will do is to give you less battery life — and eventually no battery life at all.

      10/18/12 @ 7:30 pm

      With the clicking problems and cursor moving randomly it’s the battery. It has nothing to do with charging or battery life at all. The battery you have is spent and bulging. And since the battery is located directly under the trackpad it does affect the clicking and random cursor movements. So in short yes change the battery. When replacing you will see that the battery is deformed from over use and heat.

    5/29/12 @ 10:07 am

    For your info : MacBook 5.1, 43 months, 1190 cycles, 91% current capacity. Everything runs smoothly. It’s all day on, randomly batteries and power. Not a concern. Cheers!

    6/29/12 @ 12:26 pm

    I have one doubt. When I charge my iPhone on the usb of my MBP plugged on the power outlet, is energy comes from the power outlet or pass throw the battery? I mean, I’ll discharge a little of my MBP battery and immediately recharge. After a lot of this small recharges I’ll increase the number of cycles. Is this right?

    10/11/12 @ 12:09 pm

    Note that I had trouble with the trackpad & button becoming erratic- cursor started jumping about and symptoms like Kelly-
    Watch it- battery had swollen and the top panel of the battery box has blown off, the panel was pressing up tight under the pad!
    Now everyone including me with an early intel has had a swollen battery issue. It still held a good charge to the end. Buggers suggested the battery was designed to delaminate and burst out of it case- Thought Apple had sorted this out with Sony?

    11/28/12 @ 4:33 am

    i have my mac for a year and the cycle count is 695! is this really bad? i don’t understand what i did wrong :s

      11/28/12 @ 7:47 am

      You didn’t do anything “wrong” — you used your Mac. It is a tool, you are supposed to use it. You could put it in a drawer and never use it and then the battery will definitely last longer. But I have a feeling you didn’t buy your Mac to stick it in a drawer.
      If you have a cycle count that is roughly 2x the number of days you have owned it, then you probably charge it overnight, then use it, then charge it during the day, then use it again. Right? That makes sense. If you used it half as much then it would only be half the cycles — but you would only get half the use out of it. For a “heavy” user like yourself you may need to get a battery replacement after 2 years. But that depends on your needs and budget. Some people like yourself get a new laptop before then. Others try to use the same laptop for 5+ years.

    2/1/13 @ 9:15 am

    Charge Information:
    Charge Remaining (mAh):2832
    Fully Charged:No
    Full Charge Capacity (mAh):5078

    Health Information:
    Cycle Count:214

    hi guys i have had my laptop since october 2011 i was wondering if the info above is ok with the cycles and the charge capacity as im not sure. Thanks.

      2/1/13 @ 9:42 am

      Do the math. You’ve had it for about 480 days. You’ve cycled it 214 times. That’s very low as it is less than once every 2 days.

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