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Understanding batteries in Mac notebooks
Optimizing battery life
MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro computers come with lithium polymer batteries to provide maximum battery life in a compact space. Miro download. To understand battery technology and battery life, it's good to know common battery terminology:
Setting up your Mac for the first time
When you set up your Mac for the first time, some activities—like setting up Mail and Photos, downloading your files from iCloud, and indexing your files with Spotlight—can use more power than your Mac requires in general use.
If you have a large amount of data to transfer over Wi-Fi, it might take a few days for your Mac to finish its setup process. It's best to keep your computer connected to a power source during this time. Once setup is complete, the battery life will begin to reflect the regular activities you perform on your Mac.
Your primary resource for viewing battery status is the battery status menu. It shows you how much charge your battery has and whether it's currently charging. This menu is at the right side of the menu bar:
The battery status menu also tells you if your display or any apps are using significant energy. Click Display Brightness if it's listed under Using Significant Energy, and your display dims to 75% brightness. Also consider closing any apps that are listed to save battery power.
To see the health of your battery, hold the Option key and click the battery icon in the menu bar to reveal the battery status menu. You'll see one of the following status indicators:
In earlier versions of macOS, the battery status might display Replace Soon, Replace Now, or Service Battery if your battery holds less of a charge than when it was new or needs to be serviced. If the battery's lowered charging capacity is affecting your experience, get your battery evaluated at an Apple Store or Apple-authorized service provider.
While some third-party apps report on battery health conditions, the data reported by these apps may be inaccurate and isn't a conclusive indication of actual diminished system run time. It's best to rely on the information reported in the battery health menu, described above.
Your notebook battery life depends on your computer's configuration and how you're using the computer. Here are some settings and steps you can take to get the most from your MacBook, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro battery.
The Energy Saver pane in System Preferences has options to help improve the battery life on your Mac notebook when it's idle. For instance, setting your display to sleep when idle temporarily turns off the backlight and significantly improves the battery life.
Deselecting 'Enable Power Nap while on battery power' can also extend your battery's charge.
On Mac notebook computers introduced in 2016 or later, the display brightness adjusts to 75% when you unplug the computer from power if you have 'Slightly dim the display while on battery power' enabled.
The example above is from macOS Catalina. Some features such as Automatic graphic switching and Power Nap aren't available on all Mac notebooks or versions of macOS.
Your Mac notebook's built-in keyboard has settings that can help automatically conserve battery power:
You can use the F5 and F6 keys to manually adjust your keyboard's brightness, setting it as low as possible while still allowing you to see the keys.
Your display's brightness has a major effect on battery life, and allowing your display to automatically adjust can significantly help to conserve power. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, and then select Displays. Enable 'Automatically adjust brightness' to allow your display to dim or brighten based on your surrounding's light levels.
To manually adjust your display's brightness to a comfortable level, use the F1 and F2 keys.
MacBook Pro with Touch Bar
If your Mac has a Touch Bar, you can quickly adjust your display brightness by tapping in the Control Strip on the right side of the Touch Bar. To access the keyboard brightness buttons, tap in the Control Strip:
The Control Strip expands, and you can tap to adjust your display's brightness, and tap to adjust keyboard brightness:
MacBook Pro 15-inch and 16-inch notebooks commonly include two graphics processors, or GPUs. You might see them documented as a discrete GPU and an integrated GPU. The discrete GPU generally provides substantial performance at the expense of high power draw. The integrated GPU allows for optimal battery life, but in most cases doesn't have the performance of a discrete GPU.
For optimal battery life on your MacBook Pro, use automatic graphics switching.
Mac notebooks have a number of integrated technologies which can have a significant effect on battery power.
A great place to start when troubleshooting battery issues is the built-in diagnostics that are available on your Mac notebook. Learn how to use Apple Diagnostics on your Mac.
If Apple Diagnostics tells you that your battery requires service and cites reference code PPT004, you should confirm this issue by running Apple Diagnostics over the Internet, which uses the latest diagnostic information. To do this, turn off your Mac by choosing Shut Down from the Apple menu . Then press the power button to turn on your Mac. Immediately press and hold Option-D until Apple Diagnostics begins.
If running Apple Diagnostics over the Internet confirms the issue, contact Apple or take your computer to an Apple Authorized Service Provider or Apple Retail Store. They'll tell you which service and support options are available.
If you don't find any issues with Apple Diagnostics read on for more information about troubleshooting your battery.
Confirm the correct wattage AC adapter for your computer. A power adapter rated for a lower wattage than is required for the system might not reliably charge the computer. If you're not sure which power adapter to use with your computer, learn how to find the right power adapter and cord for your Mac notebook.
For more help, learn what to do if your USB-C power adapter isn't charging your Mac notebook. If issues persist, reset the SMC.
Occasionally, the battery might not show a full charge (100%) in macOS, even after the power adapter has been connected for an extended period of time. The battery might appear to stop charging between 93 percent and 99 percent. This behavior is normal and will help to prolong the overall life of the battery.
If the battery in your MacBook, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro is fully drained of power, the battery will put itself into a low power state to preserve its ability to charge in the future.
Connect your Mac notebook to AC power and allow it to charge for at least five minutes. If the 'connect to power' screen persists after charging for five minutes, reset the SMC.
If you don't receive a warning when your battery has a low charge, generally reported at or under 15%, it might be because the battery menu bar icon is disabled. Follow these steps to enable the battery status menu item:
Portables using OS X Mavericks v10.9 or later display the low battery warning when the battery has approximately 10 minutes of power remaining. Earlier versions of OS X report it at 15% or less.
MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro computers with built-in batteries should only have their batteries replaced by an Apple Authorized Service Provider or Apple Retail Store. Attempting to replace a built-in battery yourself could damage your equipment, and such damage is not covered by warranty.
Most older Mac notebooks have removable batteries that you can replace yourself. Contact an Apple Authorized Service Provider or Apple Retail Store for assistance servicing a removable battery.
Your Apple One Year Limited Warranty includes replacement coverage for a defective battery. If you purchased an AppleCare Protection Plan for your Mac notebook, Apple will replace the notebook battery at no charge if it retains less than 80 percent of its original capacity. If you don't have coverage, you can have the battery replaced for a fee.
Learn more about the batteries used in Apple products.