MacBook Pro Battery Life

The batteries on newer MacBook Pros (MBP) are not removable by the user (although they can be removed by a certified Apple technician, or indeed by anyone after your warranty has expired). For the usable life of your Mac’s battery, it is worth spending some time trying to extend your Macbook Pro Battery Life and ensure you are charging and using it correctly.

If you have a MacBook Pro with Retina Display, it is even more important to make sure the battery is looked after because it is harder and more expensive to replace than a non-Retina MBP battery.

This article is not about increasing the number of hours your battery lasts on each charge. This article gives advice about how to care for the battery and charge it correctly. A side-effect of this might be improved battery charge life, but the goal here is to keep your battery healthy throughout its life.

Top Tips for MacBook Pro Battery Life and Care

1) Monitor the number of cycles

The best practice is to keep the charging cycles as low as possible. On the MacBook pro with Retina Display, the battery is expected to keep 80% of its charge after 1000 charging cycles. How much your use your computer and how often you use it when traveling will ultimately determine how many cycles are used.

2) Charge at the correct time

Full discharges should really be avoided on these batteries. Charging down to 50% is recommended, then you can plug it back in and charge it to 100%. Do this every couple of days if you usually keep it plugged in all the time.

3) Discharge occasionally rather than never

If your MacBook is used as a desktop replacement, it is most likely going to be plugged in and not using the battery most the time. The problem with this is that the electrons in the battery are not moving, which will degrade the battery. Apple does not recommend that you keep your laptop plugged in all the time. Apple recommends that you discharge and charge the battery at least once a month.

 4) Keep the temperature consistent

If you are in a hot or cold environment, and the temperature reading on your MacBook Pro battery is higher or lower than normal (it should be around 30 C), this might degrade its life. Extreme temperature changes and frequent temperature changes will also affect the life of the battery. If you see this happening regularly, you might have a faulty battery and need to take it into an Apple Store for diagnosis.

 5) Use Battery-Time Remaining and Battery Health

These utilities will help you monitor your battery and keep track of the charge cycles.

Battery-Time Remaining is a menu app which is more detailed than the one provided with Mac OS X, it gives you cycle count, power usage in watts, temperature and has a handy notification feature which uses the Notification Center in Mountain Lion to notify you when the battery charge hits a certain level.

MacBook Pro Battery

Battery Health is a more thorough utility which  shows the current charge and battery health in both mAh and percentage. It also gives detailed estimates for remaining time left on the current charge – this is useful if you want to do a particular task such as watching a movie and need to know how long you have left. It also gives you the Age of your battery in months.

MacBook Pro Battery Health

More Information about MacBook Pro Battery Life

Apple gives guidance about extending battery life and ensuring good battery health.