Frequently Asked Questions About MacBook Batteries

Many MacBook, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air owners want to know how to properly use and maintain their batteries. But there is a lot of bad information online. Learn what to expect from your MacBook's battery, what you should and shouldn't do to prolong battery life, how to tell if there is a problem, how to get a replacement and how much it may cost.

Comments: 22 Responses to “Frequently Asked Questions About MacBook Batteries”

    Laverne Lachapelle
    5 days ago

    Another very useful video, Gary. You might have mentioned that in may Apple laptops replacing the battery is an easy thing to do oneself and that iFixit.com has terrific instructions on how to do so. By the time the vast majority of batteries have failed, your laptop is well out of warranty so no worries about voiding one’s warranty

    Ed Cupman
    5 days ago

    Very interesting video. What about battery usage with iPads? I have an iPad pro that needs charging daily.

    Jo-Ann Fairbanks
    5 days ago

    Gary,
    GOOD stuff. Timely; I just ordered a replacement from OWC for my Early 2011 15” MacBook Pro based on “Service Battery.” (I find the Other World Computing (OWC) video easier (than -iFixit) to see, understand, and with additional important details, like the screws are different lengths…). I’ve received the battery and within the instructions, they include the reminder of doing battery recalibration after instal as well.
    THANKS,
    Fan Jo-Ann

    Volker
    5 days ago

    Does the advice for MacBook batteries also works for iPhone Batteries – does it make sense to plug in the iPhone when in the office and leave it plugged in all the time?

    Deborah Lynn
    5 days ago

    This was so timely for me as I just had to have my mid-2014 13″ MBP battery replaced when it expanded after the back cover was removed to replace the SSD. I was surprised because I only use my MBP at my desktop, and it’s always plugged in, so almost no cycling. The tech guy (not Apple) who replaced the SSD, then the battery, told me I needed to let the battery drain down to about 20% once a week to keep this from happening again. Good to know that’s not true. Thanks, Debbie

    5 days ago

    Deborah: I believe the swelling has more to do with age than with how much you use it. Though both probably contribute.

    5 days ago

    Volker: It is fine to keep iPhones plugged in. Most people do this all night to charge it up, although some believe a bad myth that you shouldn’t. It is rare for someone to keep an iPhone plugged in all day too, considering it is usually in their pocket and goes where they go. But if you can, then sure. You may want to think about a charging pad if your iPhone supports wireless charging to make it easier.

    5 days ago

    Jo-Ann: Sounds like you are lucky and have a MacBook model where it is easier to do it yourself. Some newer models are almost impossible (dissolving glue is involved).

    5 days ago

    Ed: Same basic rules for the iPad.

    5 days ago

    Laverne: They vary greatly in how difficult it is to replace the battery. Some models have you dissolving glue and re-applying adhesive. So I’d carefully check how-to instructions and think about your skills before buying.

    Val Lee
    5 days ago

    As always, fantastic info for us Mac owners. Thanks Gary! And I appreciate the fact you keep to the facts and do not waver or use foul language.

    Peg Vanourny
    5 days ago

    Thanks for this info! I did have the battery swell up on my Mac about a year ago. My Apple store warned me not to try to open it or anything, but to bring it to the store and they would fix or replace it. They did have to send it out and they replaced it. My guy at the Genius Bar told me that a swollen battery had a risk of exploding if I’d opened the case, and they didn’t even open it in the store, but they sent it out. The cost of a new battery is a whole lot less than the cost of a new Mac!

    karle
    5 days ago

    I was having issues with a 2015 MacBook .There was a flashing question mark, unexplained shutdowns, fans running at high RPMs, I came across a report that Apple has a battery replacement program for certain Macbooks. I shut my Macbook down and made an appointment at the Apple Store. They found the battery had swelled and was included in the program. They sent it to Texas. and ten days later, as promised, I have my MacBook Pro back. No charge f bor the new battery. Runs great.

    Anne Burke
    5 days ago

    My husband has enjoyed his iPad AIR for 4 years but in the last few months the battery has been discharging very quickly. From 100% falling to 3% in 20 minutes so now he has to keep it plugged in most of the time. Very frustrating. I believe it’s not possible to replace iPad batteries. I was wondering if the battery could be faulty. What are your thoughts?

    5 days ago

    Anne: You can definitely replace an iPad battery. People do it all the time. Make an appointment at the Genius Bar and they’ll take care of it.

    Maria Rosseeuw
    5 days ago

    Thank you for resolving the many myths re care of MacBook Batteries and for your generosity of sharing your unique knowledge. You make a difference to people’s lives. :)

    Bill
    4 days ago

    Thanks for the video and also timely for me. I went to use my 2010 MacBook Pro two weeks ago after it was sitting for several months (I also have an iMac) and I received the message that the battery needed service. I was able to charge it and it worked ok until I was able to order a new one from OWC. I found that it would work for an hour so and even when just in sleep mode it would drain rather quickly. I just put the new battery in this morning and I am going through the calibration process.

    Margaret Boyles
    4 days ago

    Hi Gary, Re leaving your MacBook plugged into power all the time and your comments “It’s perfectly okay to have your MacBook sitting on your desk charged up to 100%”
    I started doing this a very long time ago when I watched one of your earlier videos suggesting this.
    However when I went to an Apple Shop, the technician said this was not a good idea after looking at my battery cycle reading.
    Now I am confused about whether to leave it plugged in all the time or not.

    3 days ago

    Margaret: What was your battery cycle reading? It should have been lower when compared to doing the opposite, so I’m not sure what the tech could have been complaining about.

    Karl
    3 days ago

    Gary, are all MacBook batteries replaceable? Are there any models where you can do it yourself? Thanks

    3 days ago

    Karl: They can all be replaced by Apple or a tech shop. Very old models have removable ones, so obviously you can do those yourself (you can remove the battery without opening the case). The rest vary. Some can be done by someone with technical know-how. Others involve dissolving and re-applying glue and other issues. Basically, if you know how to do it, then you can do it. Otherwise, I would advise you to have Apple do it. It is one of the cheapest ways to keep an old MacBook going.

    Philip Hurst
    3 days ago

    A very helpful and on-point post. It is good to see some of the “myths” about battery life so expertly dispelled. Thank you.

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