How to check on your device’s battery health, maintain its life, and learn about its life cycles.
Out of all the components and parts that make up a MacBook, the lithium-ion, rechargeable battery is arguably the most important. Similar to a car without an engine, a MacBook without a battery is not going to be working at all. Sure, you could keep the power adapter plugged in to keep it running, but that is not efficient or ideal.
Like any vital component, the MacBook battery needs proper care. While nearly all MacBook users know not to drop the device on the ground and break the battery on purpose, an on-the-go employee may be inconsistently charging the device. This situation creates issues with the battery itself, even if it is unintentional.
Using a MacBook every day for remote learning, online shopping, or even creative projects will start to affect its battery. Shutting off certain apps and services will be the key to prolonging a charge cycle. For example, say someone accidentally leaves their Bluetooth signal on after detaching their AirPods. The computer will be continuously looking for another Bluetooth device to connect to and, thus, drain the battery. The same goes for leaving open Safari or Apple Music.
With situations like that (and many more), it is no wonder why some of these parts wear down and no longer hold a charge that they once did. What happens when someone’s battery no longer works? Options are limited: either bite the bullet and purchase a new one (which are not cheap) or replace it yourself.
However, there are ways to monitor how your battery is doing without taking it to a manufacturer or expert.
Apple’s battery health management feature
A MacBook with macOS Catalina installed has a battery health management feature. The main characteristic of it is the ability to help the device make small but noticeable changes to reduce the battery’s power. Ultimately, it will significantly decrease the chemical aging of a battery and extend its overall life. All in all, these myriad traits allow owners to learn how to keep their battery’s health up to date.
While it is designed to prolong the battery’s life, it can be beneficial to shut off the battery health management feature, especially for daily use. After all, it is one less service that the computer is using.
- To turn off this feature, click on the Apple menu and find the System Preferences option. Click on that.
- From this menu, click on Energy Saver.
- Click on Battery Health, which will bring up another window showing ‘Battery health management.’
- Uncheck the box next to ‘Battery health management’ and then click ‘Turn off’ on the following window prompt.
Regardless if a user wants to use the health management feature or not, a user can inspect a battery’s status.
How to check battery health on MacBook
On the top menu, there is a small icon that looks like a battery. By holding down the Option key and clicking on the battery icon, there will be a menu displaying how much power is in it before the next charge. It will also say one of the following statuses:
- Normal indicates that currently, there is nothing wrong with the battery.
- Replace Soon shows that while the battery is still holding a charge, it is no longer acting brand new.
- The Replace Now status means it now contains less charge than usual and may start to act up.
- Service Battery means it is in the red; this signifies that the battery needs to be looked at by either Apple or a computer-knowledgeable friend.
However, if a more detailed report is what the user seeks, here’s how to find that:
- Click on the Apple menu.
- Here, click on the System Information option, which brings up a window featuring a drop-down menu underneath the name Hardware.
- Click on this and then select Power, which displays all the information regarding the MacBook’s battery. Locate the Status and Cycle Count underneath the Health Information header.
What are Cycle Counts?
Cycle Counts might be one of the more crucial stats to keep track of, especially if someone is looking to create longevity out of their battery. Nearly all rechargeable batteries have a specific amount of cycles, meaning it can only be charged so many times before it starts to no longer hold one. This is the same for the one inside a 2019 MacBook Pro or a 2013 MacBook Air. However, specific device models, such as MacBooks manufactured in 2008, can only hold a few hundred cycles. Whereas a MacBook Air manufactured in 2020 has 1000 cycles in its tank.
Apple states in a bulletin regarding how charge cycles work. Say someone only charges their 12-Inch MacBook halfway, and then does the same thing the next day, then that will count as one cycle. So, it is good for those who have an unpredictable charging schedule to keep this bit of information in mind.
Keep your MacBook battery happy!
MacBooks are expensive devices. There is no doubting that. That means repairs and part replacements are going to cost a pretty penny. It is also relatively difficult for a non-repair savvy user to replace one. However, by keeping in mind how to take care of a MacBook battery, you can hopefully save someone a couple of extra bucks.
At MicroReplay, we know a thing or two about MacBooks and how to repair these devices. With over twenty plus years of experience, our company specializes in repairing liquid damaged MacBooks and other high-end laptops.
In need of a liquid spill or cracked screen repair? Book a repair with us today!
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