Battery draining quickly even when plugged in & idle

bmac89

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Aug 3, 2014
1,133
286
Hello,

I have an old 2010 MacBook 7,1 with 8gb RAM and SSD which I recently did a clean install of macOS High Sierra.

I understand the battery won’t last as long on a newer operating system but it really does drains much faster than I would have expected even when idle and no apps open. Basically every app (safari no tabs open etc) says using significant energy even with no other apps open. Spotlight has finished indexing.

Currently I have just left it to sync emails in the Apple mail app and despite being plugged into mains power, the battery has drained from 100% down to 92% in 20 minutes. Why would the battery be draining when it is plugged into the mains power. The menubar says it is plugged in and the MagSafe light remains green.

The battery is in good condition and I had no issues prior to updating.

Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks
 

chabig

macrumors 603
Sep 6, 2002
5,884
3,140
Not enough information. What happens after 20 minutes? I bet it’s one of three things:

1. Your charger might be dying or nearly dead.
2. It’s a measurement anomaly.
3. Your ten year old battery is dying.

Of those, number three is most likely.
 
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bmac89

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Aug 3, 2014
1,133
286
Not enough information. What happens after 20 minutes? I bet it’s one of three things:

1. Your charger might be dying or nearly dead.
2. It’s a measurement anomaly.
3. Your ten year old battery is dying.

Of those, number three is most likely.
Thanks for the reply.

It was only 20 minutes at the time of posting this. It continues to drop.


1. I would be surprised if it was the charger. Charger has been replaced (with official Apple product) not that long ago. Also the issue did not occur prior to installing High Sierra (previously on Snow Leopard) and the battery was lasting almost the original expected time. I can almost guarantee the issue would disappear if I boot into SL.
The menubar is telling me the power source is mains (and Activity monitor states the correct length of time running on AC power) despite it showing the battery discharging. When I unplug it changes to battery. When I unplugged and then plugged the charger back in it started charging.


2. Maybe? Although that wouldn’t explain that it starts charging again. ^
I also checked using coconut battery and it too showed the battery charge going down despite power source: mains.


3. The battery was replaced by Apple and has 186 cycles with “good” battery condition. Again the issue has only started since installing High Sierra. The battery lasted a very long time on Snow Leopard and obviously some decline is to be expected with a newer operating system.

Full charge = 4808 mAh
Design Capacity = 5770 mAh (83.3%)

Thanks
 

chabig

macrumors 603
Sep 6, 2002
5,884
3,140
That's interesting information. If you let the machine sit for a few days, I bet it will fix itself.
 

avz

macrumors 6502a
Oct 7, 2018
587
811
Thanks for the reply.

It was only 20 minutes at the time of posting this. It continues to drop.


1. I would be surprised if it was the charger. Charger has been replaced (with official Apple product) not that long ago. Also the issue did not occur prior to installing High Sierra (previously on Snow Leopard) and the battery was lasting almost the original expected time. I can almost guarantee the issue would disappear if I boot into SL.
The menubar is telling me the power source is mains (and Activity monitor states the correct length of time running on AC power) despite it showing the battery discharging. When I unplug it changes to battery. When I unplugged and then plugged the charger back in it started charging.


2. Maybe? Although that wouldn’t explain that it starts charging again. ^
I also checked using coconut battery and it too showed the battery charge going down despite power source: mains.


3. The battery was replaced by Apple and has 186 cycles with “good” battery condition. Again the issue has only started since installing High Sierra. The battery lasted a very long time on Snow Leopard and obviously some decline is to be expected with a newer operating system.

Full charge = 4808 mAh
Design Capacity = 5770 mAh (83.3%)

Thanks
I would say that full charge capacity(health) is more important than number of cycles. I have a similar battery with 1700 cycles and it has better health than your battery.
It would be interesting to see how your full charge capacity will behave under a heavy load.

P.S. It is OK for the MacBook to use battery power while being plugged in. The CPU will throttle if you don't have a battery installed. The charger is unable to supply high current in an instant but the battery is able to do it. The purpose of a battery goes far beyond portability.
 
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bmac89

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Aug 3, 2014
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P.S. It is OK for the MacBook to use battery power while being plugged in. The CPU will throttle if you don't have a battery installed. The charger is unable to supply high current in an instant but the battery is able to do it. The purpose of a battery goes far beyond portability.
Thanks for the explanation.

I guess the newer operating system alone is very energy hungry, which I understand would be the case to an extent... I guess that High Sierra alone might be requiring the extra juice from the battery despite being plugged in and no apps running. A bit disappointing but I understand I’m working with old tech and new(er) operating system.

Since updating with clean install of macOS many apps say they are using significant energy, including default apps such as safari (with no tabs open) etc and with no other apps open.
 
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avz

macrumors 6502a
Oct 7, 2018
587
811
Thanks for the explanation.

I guess the newer operating system alone is very energy hungry, which I understand would be the case to an extent... I guess that High Sierra alone might be requiring the extra juice from the battery despite being plugged in and no apps running. A bit disappointing but I understand I’m working with old tech and new(er) operating system.

Since updating with clean install of macOS many apps say they are using significant energy, including default apps such as safari (with no tabs open) etc and with no other apps open.
I believe that something is still not quite right with your machine. I have a late 2008 unibody MacBook with a battery that have a very poor health and I am very happy with the performance of High Sierra 10.13.6/Mojave 10.14.6. I have Spotlight turned off if that makes any difference.

Screen Shot 2019-07-29 at 5.15.03 pm.png
 
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bmac89

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Aug 3, 2014
1,133
286
I believe that something is still not quite right with your machine. I have a late 2008 unibody MacBook with a battery that have a very poor health and I am very happy with the performance of High Sierra 10.13.6/Mojave 10.14.6. I have Spotlight turned off if that makes any difference.

View attachment 850372
Thanks for the reply. Do you often find Apple apps such as safari & mail listed under ‘using significant energy’?

Spotlight is on but has finished indexing. Infact I did a clean install and basically nothing stored on my drive anyway. I can try switching spotlight off but I don’t think that is the issue. BTW Siri is switched off as I never use it anyway.

The only other thought I have... is it possible that the new SDD and/or ram chip that I installed is draining the energy? I would assume an SSD would be more efficient but maybe somehow it has a part to play? I have 1 x 8GB chip installed. I have no reason to suspect they are faulty but just throwing it out there.

I purchased them both from the reputable macfixit store...

250GB OWC Mercury Electra 3G SSD Solid State Drive - 7mm

8GB OWC PC8500 DDR3 1066MHz SO-DIMM 204 Pin RAM
 

avz

macrumors 6502a
Oct 7, 2018
587
811
Thanks for the reply. Do you often find Apple apps such as safari & mail listed under ‘using significant energy’?

Spotlight is on but has finished indexing. Infact I did a clean install and basically nothing stored on my drive anyway. I can try switching spotlight off but I don’t think that is the issue. BTW Siri is switched off as I never use it anyway.

The only other thought I have... is it possible that the new SDD and/or ram chip that I installed is draining the energy? I would assume an SSD would be more efficient but maybe somehow it has a part to play? I have 1 x 8GB chip installed. I have no reason to suspect they are faulty but just throwing it out there.

I purchased them both from the reputable macfixit store...

250GB OWC Mercury Electra 3G SSD Solid State Drive - 7mm

8GB OWC PC8500 DDR3 1066MHz SO-DIMM 204 Pin RAM
Safari is listed most often(on intensive websites, MacRumors does not seem to trigger it) as 'using significant energy' but Apple Mail not so much(I only have two mail accounts). If you receive a lot of mail it might trigger the spotlight but I am not sure how the spotlight usually operates.
Your 8GB RAM memory stick does generate more heat, I am using 2X4GB but then again I am not an expert on RAM and can't say for sure that this is a problem. I am not sure about the quality of your SSD but it is important to have a quality controller(that is why not all SSD's are compatible with Macs).
 
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