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How to Extend Your MacBook's Battery Life

How to Extend Your MacBook's Battery Life

Yesterday, PetSugar asked me a great question — how can she extend the life of the battery in her new MacBook Air? I gave her some of my "battery-saving" tips, but I didn't know if her notebook should be plugged in all day when it's turned off (and fully charged) — something she was concerned about, and something I do all of the time. Keep reading to find out the answers to some of the most popular MacBook battery conundrums.

  • When you first receive your MacBook, make sure you fully charge the battery before use.
  • MacBooks use lithium ion batteries, which means they don't have to be completely drained to prevent the memory effect. Completely running them out actually reduces their capacity.
  • According to Apple, it's important to keep the electrons in the battery moving occasionally, but it does not recommend leaving your laptop plugged in all the time.
  • Basically, it's best to keep your battery's juices flowing. Therefore, if you use it on the bus on the way to work, then plug it in all day while at work; that's actually good for it.

To see more MacBook battery-saving tips, just


  • If you don't use your MacBook regularly, you should set a reminder to charge and discharge the battery at least once per month.
  • And if you are away for more than six months, Apple recommends storing your battery in a cool place with a 50 percent charge. Therefore, completely shut it down with a 50 percent charge, since sleep mode still uses power from the battery to maintain your laptop's memory.
  • Apple periodically releases updates that may improve battery performance, so make sure you install the updates!


Join The Conversation
JoshS JoshS 5 years
From my understanding, having your computer die is also bad for your battery life. If this is a problem for you, you should check out an app called low battery saver, which makes sure your Mac sleeps before the battery completely runs out and let's you set a warning to alert you that the computer is about to sleep. ( It won't fix your battery problems but at least you won't lose your work, have to restart your computer, and keep your computer from dying completely.
Black-Velveteen Black-Velveteen 8 years
Can I do this with my Mac Powerbook?
MisterPinkNoTip MisterPinkNoTip 8 years
This is great info. Thanks. I already do this, but unintentionally haha. I'd like my laptop to last a while longer too because my next purchase will be a MacPro, and I'd like to have a laptop as well (without having to buy a new one).
MissMarisol MissMarisol 8 years
Great tips! I just purchased a new battery for mine after having had it for two years. I think that was a pretty good run with it. I kept my macbook plugged in 95% of the time and the Apple Genius suggested that I unplug it every so often.
thoroughlymodern thoroughlymodern 8 years
Thanks so much - I've bookmarked it, too!
macgirl macgirl 8 years
For PC people and for those with older Mac's- this information changes depending on the type of battery that is in your machine. The new Macs use the lithium ion now and this is best practice. Some of my older Mac's didn't use this type and you were told to let it drain all the way down before recharging.
glam-sugar glam-sugar 8 years
wickedcupofjoe wickedcupofjoe 8 years
Ooh - thanks! I've been emptying it like I do my notebook. @theavalanches: pc batteries need to be run out. Keeping it plugged in all the time is bad for it. If you are having probs with your battery, you're better off getting a new one. We just went through this with my husbands battery. Check ebay though MUCH cheaper --- and first check and see if your battery is under warranty if you haven't had it that long.
pioneers pioneers 8 years
city girl-- I heard the same thing! This whole time, I've been letting mine completely run out before I charge it just because I heard that it's better.
theavalanches theavalanches 8 years
and what about the people with a pc-laptop? i fight with my battery all day... maybe i should just get a new one?
macgirl macgirl 8 years
Good research!
electricxbaby electricxbaby 8 years
thanks for the information! it's been bookmarked!
The-City-Girl The-City-Girl 8 years
This was great information! I always fully discharged mine since I read that that maintained its best capacity. I'm happy to be set straight! :-)
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