If you’ve started to notice a drop in the battery backup of your MacBook then maybe you can save yourself a visit to the Genius bar and fix this issue. In this article, we’ll look for ways to check the battery health and optimize the Mac to get the best performance. Let’s begin.
1. How to check the battery discharge rate
Standard Li-ion batteries degrade over time and lose their capacity which leads to worse performance over the years. This happens gradually every time you charge and deplete the battery, also known as the Charge Cycle. In other words, the ‘Charge Cycle’ is a good indicator for battery health. That’s, more is the charge cycle, older is the battery.
To find the Charge Cycle of your Mac, click on the Apple icon on the top left corner, open “About This Mac“, click “System Report“.
Under Hardware, Click “Power” and it would show you all the necessary information to infer the battery health. Look at Cycle count and Condition under Health Information.
What does it tell you?
Apple provides a comprehensive list of Charge Cycles for all the MacBooks it has released during the years. Different MacBook models have different Charge Cycles ranging from 300-1000. Most modern Mac battery is rated for 1000 cycles. You can visit the page here to check what’s the maximum limit for your MacBook and find out if your battery is nearing its normal cycle limit.
For example, I use an Early 2015 MacBook Pro and its battery is rated for 1000 cycles and my machine’s battery sits at around 76 cycles. This means I’ve more than 900 charge cycles left before I’d to worry about my battery backup.
2. Check your Battery’s Current Charge Capacity
Okay, we’ve got the Charge Cycle count but to investigate even further we can use an app that tells you the current battery health of your MacBook.
Battery Monitor is a free app on the App Store that shows current Battery Capacity and other useful stats.
Once you install the app, you can easily access it from the menu bar. It shows your battery’s current capacity, currently charged value, and if you click the i button, it also tells you the current battery temperature and power usage.
If your battery is damaged, it’ll discharge quickly, and will have a higher temperature than usual. Although do keep in mind, if you’re editing a video or have a browser open with loads of tabs, even a healthy battery will discharge much faster.
3. Optimize your Mac to get some more juice
We’ve determined that your MacBook has a functioning battery but if the battery life is reduced more than the battery has degraded then we can optimize a few things and get more. Here are a few things that you can try;
Disable Battery Guzzling apps
Click on the Battery icon on the menu bar to reveal the options. Under “Using Significant Energy“, you’ll find all the culprit apps that may be partially responsible for short battery life on your Mac. I use Google Chrome and it is a popular battery guzzler and if you use it with your MacBook then you should try switching to Safari or Firefox.
Adjust Keypad and Display Brightness
When using your MacBook on Battery, you can try reducing the brightness on both keypad and the display to get some more battery life. It won’t make a huge difference but it would certainly be something.
Use Native Apps
Apple’s native apps are well optimized for the MacBook hardware and using those can actually help you increase the battery life on your MacBook. This includes replacing any third-party apps like VLC with native Quick Time Player.
This was a quick guide on how to check your battery health and improve the performance based on it. Surely there are more ways to enhance battery life like turning the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth OFF but that is really not helpful when you’re connected to the internet using wi-Fi and use a Wireless keyboard. However, you can still tweak some settings in the Energy Saver section to get more out of your old MacBook. What do you do to make your MacBook last longer? Let me know in the comments below.