Battery Question: Plugged in as much as possible or Let it Drain?

jackmack

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 9, 2006
135
0
What's the healthiest for my macbook pro 17"... keep it plugged in as much as I possibly can (even if its at 100%) or... when it hits 100%, let it run off battery?
 

xUKHCx

Administrator emeritus
Jan 15, 2006
12,583
6
The Kop
I have no personal experience with this but take a read over at this page Apple Batteries.

More specifically

"Standard Maintenance
For proper maintenance of a lithium-based battery, it’s 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 his or her MacBook Pro on the train, then plugs it in at the office to charge. This keeps the battery juices flowing. If on the other hand, you use a desktop computer at work, and save a notebook for infrequent travel, Apple recommends charging and discharging its battery at least once a month."
 
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motulist

macrumors 601
Dec 2, 2003
4,093
354
In the real world, unless you really never unplug your laptop and basically use it as a stationary desktop (but why would you?) then you should really keep it plugged in as much as possible. With the exception of a VERY occasional health full drain, every electron that the battery spits out means a little bit less capacity for your battery to hold electrons when it recharges. Or at least that my understanding it.
 
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SmurfBoxMasta

macrumors 65816
Nov 24, 2005
1,351
0
I'm only really here at night.
gotta rotate them electrons once in a while :)

occasionally let it run down to zero, let it sit for an hour or 2, then recharge it 100% before using it again. Do NOT interrupt the charging cycle once it has started. This will only reduce the efficiency and future life of the battery.......
 
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Eric Sadoyama

macrumors newbie
Aug 14, 2006
24
0
Honolulu
What happens if you do let the battery run all the way down? Does OS X automatically shut off in a safe manner when the power drops below a certain level, or do you run the risk of messing up your OS X system files when the power runs out?
 
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Cameront9

macrumors 6502a
Aug 6, 2006
795
90
OS X puts the system to sleep.

the exception is when your battery is getting old, and there's not enough power to sleep. Then it just dies. Usually no harm done, though.

As for your original question, leave the computer plugged in as much as possible. These batteries like to be topped off all the time. However, you should (at least once a month) calibrate the battery every now and then.


Eric Sadoyama said:
What happens if you do let the battery run all the way down? Does OS X automatically shut off in a safe manner when the power drops below a certain level, or do you run the risk of messing up your OS X system files when the power runs out?
 
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aquajet

macrumors 68020
Feb 12, 2005
2,383
0
VA
This has been hashed out before. Apple and battery manufacturers recommend cycling lithium ion batteries on a regular basis (at the least, once a month), and my own personal experience jives with this. Leaving your battery plugged in all the time actually reduces its life expectancy. Why people continue to recommend to the contrary is beyond me. It's simply wrong and not helpful to anybody.
 
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