Taking care of your Mac’s battery

Ben Higgs

Posted on November 20 2020

The batteries found in Macs use lithium-ion (Li-ion) technology. Li-ion batteries are the most common choice for consumer products as they have a high power density, are comparatively light and have a long lifespan.

 

All batteries are consumable components and over time their effectiveness is reduced, Li-ion batteries are no exception. The lifespan of a battery depends on more than that it’s age in time, it depends on it’s chemical age. The chemical age of a battery also takes into account usage, charging patterns and temperature history.

 

Usage

When a battery discharges an equivalent of 100% of it’s charge it counts as a battery cycle. As the number of cycles increases the charging capacity becomes smaller. Apple advise that their batteries should be able to accrue 1000 cycles before any significant reduction in charge capacity occurs.

 

Charging Patterns

Li-ion batteries are very flexible with when they can be charged, unlike older battery technologies, you can charge a Li-ion battery anytime and it will not cause degradation to the charge capacity. Where degradation can occur is when the battery is left at empty at 0% or full at 100% for extended periods of time. If you are storing you Mac try to keep it with around 50% charge, or if you often use the Mac plugged into the AC Adapter let it complete a couple of discharge cycles per week.

 

Apple have now built a feature into macOS Catalina and Big Sur that optimises the way the battery is charged, keeping it below 100% charge when the Mac thinks it will be left of charge for an extended amount of time (overnight for example).

Mac Optimise Battery Charging

Temperature

Li-ion batteries have an operating temperature range of 10-35°C. Below or above this the charge capacity will be reduced and prolonged storage or usage at this temperature will permanently degrade the charge capacity. These temperatures can easily be exceeded if the Mac is left in a car on a hot summers day or cold winter evening.

 

 

Every device at Hoxton Macs has a comprehensive battery check to ensure that it has plenty of functional life left, but should your battery have an issue it will be covered under our comprehensive 1 year hardware warranty.

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