Devices have evolved a lot in the past years, being now capable of doing awesome things at incredible speeds. Today, we will speak about the beloved Apple laptop, the MacBook, that maybe many of you already own and more exactly, about its battery issues and how to combat them.

For this purpose we created a little guide which includes some optimization tips for you to try, in order to ensure a longer lifetime for your battery. So don’t change the tab of your browser and read the following article to discover the best ways to maintain and calibrate the key component of your computer.

MacBook Battery Optimization Tips

battery-indicator-macbook-pro

Either you use an old or a new MacBook, MacBook Air or MacBook Pro laptop, all of them have an internal processor that has the main purpose of maximizing the battery’s performance. But what happens when this processor doesn’t do its job so well? In order to help every user to optimize his MacBook’s battery and to get the best out of it we made this article.

Calibrate the battery

As soon as you get your hands on your new MacBook, calibrate its battery. Take into consideration that this process represents the most effective solution to improve the battery life of your MacBook. Basically, this optimization consists in leaving your computer plugged for another two hours after it completely charges and to use it until it shuts down because the battery completely drained. For more comprehensive information, please follow the next simple step-by-step guide which will teach you how to do this:

  1. First of all, you have to connect your MacBook to a power source and wait until it charges to 100 per cent and the green light appears on your laptop’s adapter.
  2. Secondly, let your laptop plugged for at least another two hours, time when you can use your laptop freely.
  3. Then, unplug it from the drain and wait until the battery drains completely. In all this time you can use it as you like or you can just leave it on and it will automatically go to sleep.
  4. Finally, it will turn itself and leave it so, for at least five hours.
  5. Plug your MacBook again and leave it until it will completely recharge.

Also, these steps are recommended to be followed every month in order to maximize the life of your MacBook’s battery, especially when you let your computer always plugged in. You will see a significantly change in the lifetime of your laptop’s battery immediately after the calibrating. Also, keep in mind that is good to always save you current your work before doing this.

Note that for the newer MacBooks that have a built-in battery, this process doesn’t need to be done. If you don’t know if you own such of a laptop, go to the Apple’s support page where you can identify the model of your portable computer (for MacBook, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro). For example the 13-inch MacBook (from the second half of 2009 and later) and MacBook Pro with Retina display are portable computers that have a built-in battery.

Reset the SMC (System Management Controller)

The System Management Controller is a key part of your computer that has various attributions, including in the power management of the laptop. Unfortunately, the controller can encounter issues that may cause unexpected behavior from the computer, which can drain the battery faster than usual times. Note that this kind of problems refer at issues with the fans, lights, system performance, video and power.

Regarding to the power related problems, you should know that the battery of your computer may behave unusual and some good examples are when the MagSafe power adaptor Led doesn’t work properly or when your computer goes to sleep or shuts down without any warning.

To learn how to reset the SMC of your computer with a removable battery, follow the next steps:

  1. Firstly, shut down the computer and disconnect the MagSafe power adapter from your laptop.
  2. Secondly, remove the battery and press on the power button for merely 5 seconds.
  3. When the time is up, release the button.
  4. Connect again the MagSafe power adapter and the battery.
  5. Finally, turn the computer as you usually do by pressing on the power button.

If you own one of the new MacBooks that have a built-in battery, some changes appear in the guide:

  1. Shut down the computer.
  2. Connect the MagSafe power adapter and plug it to a power source.
  3. Using the keyboard from your laptop and not a USB keyboard, press at the same time the left side Shift + Control + Option and the power button combination.
  4. Then, release them and simply press on the power button to turn your laptop on.

Battery Health

battery health

You should give a try to the application called Battery Health made by Fiplab, a company that creates great mobile and desktop applications. This is a very useful application that offers important information about your battery, including the battery capacity, power usage, the current charge level and much more.

The installation process is very simple, its accuracy is very precise and its interface is so user-friendly that everything can be found with much ease. When the installation finishes, a pop-up message will appear asking you if you want to automatically run the app every time you start your computer.

The small program shows all the information you need about your battery, such as the current charge level, the original and current total battery capacity, the time until it totally depletes, some useful battery specifications (like its age and total number of charges) and many other. Furthermore, under all these info the app shows a little graph which shows the ongoing usage of the battery.

This monitoring of your laptop’s battery can be really helpful because you can avoid battery replacements which can be really expensive. If you are interested in using this application, please go to the following link and download it.

Preserve your Battery

Unlike other laptop producers, Apple advices its users of MacBooks not to fully discharge and recharge the battery more than one or two times a week. Some people believe that if they let their battery discharge at every use, they will be able to keep the battery longer, but this is just a myth.  If you want to preserve your battery and to optimize it, you should use it wisely, without completing too many discharge and recharge cycles per year.

Moreover, you should be careful not to leave your laptop plugged in all the time, because the battery may get seriously affected in time. However, there are many people who use their laptops at work and who keep them plugged in, but if you unplug it and use it on battery when you go home, then you have no reason to worry that your battery will have to suffer because of this habit.

Also, take into consideration the following tweaks regarding the System Preference settings, in order to optimize more your MacBook’s battery:

  • In the “Energy Saver” section of the System Preferences, users should select the “Better Battery Life” option when running only on the battery.
  • Disable the Spotlight feature by
  • Go to “Displays” and deselect the “Automatically adjust brightness…” option, which will considerably increase the battery lifetime.
  • Stop using features like Expose, Spaces or Dashboard. If you already are using Dashboard, type “killall Dock” into the Terminal to restart and to be able to close it.
  • Another good tip is to turn off hot corners from the “Screen Saver” or “Expose” preferences.
  • If you don’t own or use a remote control very often, it is a good idea to disable the infrared receiver for the remote control by accessing the “Security” section of System Preferences.
  • Also, stop all sharing services that are not necessary, like Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, especially if you using a cable for your connection.
  • In the “Displays” area, reduce the Brightness level to the minimum you support, because the screen is one of the largest battery consumers.
  • Also, if you don’t absolutely need the backlight from your keyboard you should stop it too. To do this, go to “Keyboard” section and de-select the “Automatically illuminate keyboard in low light” option. Now, if the light is still on, press the F5 until it will totally turned off. From now on, you keyboard lights won’t be on until you will want this.
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Feature Writer

Alex holds an engineering degree in Telecommunications and has been covering technology as a writer since 2009. Customization is his middle name and he doesn’t like to own stock model gadgets. When he’s away from the keyboard, simpler things like hiking, mountain climbing and having a cold drink make his day.