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View Full Version : Is it safe to leave my MacBook Air plugged in for clamshell mode?




malloryjones
Nov 30, 2011, 07:13 AM
Apple says they "do not recommend" leaving a notebook plugged into mains power all the time.

But I cannot use my MBA with an external display, external keyboard and trackpad *unless* I specifically put it in clamshell mode AND keep it connected to mains power.

Presumably, in this configuration, the MBA is constantly charging, which surely contradicts Apple's advice about not keeping it plugged into mains power all the time.

Does anyone definitively know if running the MBA on mains power is okay for the health of its battery? Is it simply that I should let the battery discharge fully by itself once a month but otherwise hooking it up to mains power does no harm? If so, why does Apple give this misleading advice?



miles01110
Nov 30, 2011, 07:26 AM
It's fine to leave your machine plugged in. Batteries can be replaced.

malloryjones
Nov 30, 2011, 07:32 AM
It's fine to leave your machine plugged in. Batteries can be replaced.

Well of course, that's a truism. So too, the entire laptop can be replaced but that hardly understands the point.

The query is how to keep the current battery in optimal condition and not to escalate its degradation.

simsaladimbamba
Nov 30, 2011, 07:35 AM
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This should answer most, if not all, of your battery questions:
Apple Notebook Battery FAQ (http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=9875442&postcount=23) by GGJstudios (http://forums.macrumors.com/member.php?u=186377)
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waloshin
Nov 30, 2011, 03:40 PM
Yes.

GGJstudios
Nov 30, 2011, 03:44 PM
Apple says they "do not recommend" leaving a notebook plugged into mains power all the time.

But I cannot use my MBA with an external display, external keyboard and trackpad *unless* I specifically put it in clamshell mode AND keep it connected to mains power.

Presumably, in this configuration, the MBA is constantly charging, which surely contradicts Apple's advice about not keeping it plugged into mains power all the time.
I highly recommend that you read the Battery FAQ that simsaladimamba posted. Your battery will not keep charging once fully charged, even if it's plugged in. If you run in clamshell mode, just remember to unplug and run it on battery a few times a week for several hours, so the battery gets exercised.

miles01110
Dec 1, 2011, 12:03 AM
Battery performance is a characteristic of the battery, not how often you exercise it.

GGJstudios
Dec 1, 2011, 11:11 AM
Battery performance is a characteristic of the battery, not how often you exercise it.
From Apple:
For proper maintenance of a lithium-based battery, itís important to keep the electrons in it moving occasionally. Apple does not recommend leaving your portable plugged in all the time. An ideal use would be a commuter who uses her notebook on the train, then plugs it in at the office to charge. This keeps the battery juices flowing.

Roman2K~
Dec 2, 2011, 02:09 AM
From Apple:
For proper maintenance of a lithium-based battery, itís important to keep the electrons in it moving occasionally. Apple does not recommend leaving your portable plugged in all the time. An ideal use would be a commuter who uses her notebook on the train, then plugs it in at the office to charge. This keeps the battery juices flowing.

Extremely useful info. Thanks!

ntrigue
Dec 2, 2011, 02:35 AM
I often use clamshell mode so I use every opportunity to exercise the battery when I am mobile. Even if I could plug in at the coffee shop or hotel I will let it go below 70% before plugging in. Often I time tasks based on battery life, "I will work on x until the battery dies" once a month.

glen e
Dec 2, 2011, 08:11 AM
My mba goes for months in clamshell mode while I'm between training gigs on the road. It powers a monitor and keyboard and sits closed on the floor. I never turn it off. once a month I run the batt down overnight and recharge.

works perfect for me - 100% batt life after a year or so...I do the same for my iphone and 2 ipads