Best way to extend battery lifespan?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Arldon, Nov 5, 2016.

  1. Arldon macrumors newbie

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    Nov 3, 2016
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    Canada
    #1
    Hi everyone,

    (Soon to be) new Mac user, so I apologize if this is an obvious question - I've heard mixed things about the best way to extend the battery lifespan of the MBP. Is it true that a) keeping it plugged in all day (e.g. working from a desk) is bad for the battery lifespan, and b) the best way to extend the lifespan is to drain the battery once a day?

    Thanks!
     
  2. mdlyen macrumors newbie

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    Oct 3, 2015
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    #2
    Li-ion batteries are best when kept between 50-80% or so. They don't like being totally discharged. It is better to have them more charged than not.

    Look into Fruit Juice in the App Store. It will tell you what to do to keep your battery in prime condition.
     
  3. GubbyMan macrumors 6502

    GubbyMan

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2011
    #3
    I keep my batteries between 30-80% if I can. Charging above 80% means that the battery will use a higher voltage which slightly decreases its life.

    Does anyone know if MacBooks charge the battery in parallel? Does it switch to AC power when it is charged at 100%? If that's the case, is it better to have my MBP plugged in at 100% charge under heavy CPU/GPU load than to drain the battery?
     
  4. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #4
    a) It won't hurt the battery at all to leave it plugged in all the time. The MacBook has circuitry built in to prevent overcharging.

    b) No.... do not ever run it down on purpose for any reason. It accomplishes nothing and only adds unnecessary discharge/charge cycles to the battery.

    Here are a couple links with Apple's official battery information.

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1446

    http://www.apple.com/batteries/
     
  5. mmarcus178 macrumors newbie

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    Apr 26, 2010
    #5
    I keep '13 MBP plugged in a lot and then run it down to nothing when unplugged. Still at 87% of original capacity. Apple's got problems, but their batteries are legit.
     
  6. Toutou macrumors 6502a

    Toutou

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    Prague, Czech Republic
    #6
    To be more accurate, Li-ion batteries of this size and complexity NEED to be charged via the smart circuitry, they're very delicate and possibly extremely dangerous when charged improperly.

    So yeah, by plugging the MacBook in, you're not charging it (as in directly and forcibly), you're merely offering it a power source.
     
  7. hj576 macrumors regular

    hj576

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    Oct 31, 2016
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    Netherlands
    #7
    I was just reading about this as well.
    This will be my first macbook, and coming from HP laptops whose battery life is down to less than 30 mins (initially 3 hours) after like 3 years, I really want to maintain the battery life of this machine over the years
    My Understanding from reading around is
    Its best to leave it plugged in when on desk, near a socket (usual days), but once a week or in few days let it run on battery power, since as the analogy goes, batteries are like muscle and they need to flex.
    NEVER ON PURPOSE DISCHARGE ALL THE WAY DOWN TO 0%. The most you want to go down to is 20%, Its best to take it to 50%, so when you are flexing the battery, discharge it to around 40-50%

    SO plugged in when ever possible, but once in lets say 4-5 days, let it discharge to 40-50% and charge and then plug it back in

    This is my understanding, anyone more experienced care to comment on this ?
     
  8. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #8
    Apple previously had similar information on their web site related to "exercising" the battery, but a couple years ago revamped the battery pages I linked above, and they no longer recommend that. Presumably they decided this just adds unnecessary charge/discharge cycles to the battery.
     
  9. hj576 macrumors regular

    hj576

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    Netherlands
    #9
    A couple of questions
    Those who say its best to keep battery between 50-80%, how do you achieve that, run on battery till you go down to 50, and then unplug when charge is back to 80% ?
    Is this a better approach than keeping it plugged in through out

    Secondly, I read on some apple page (which seemed quite old considering the text and fonts used) that its a BAD idea to keep it plugged in when the laptop is sleeping? anyone care to comment ?
    --- Post Merged, Nov 5, 2016 ---
    So just plugged in when ever on desk, regardles if its always there and you wont discharge it for months ?(highly unlikely, but still :p )
     
  10. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #10
    That's what Apple says and that's what I have always done. Mine is plugged in for weeks at a time and I only run on battery when I need to be portable. I never have had any battery problems.
     
  11. el-John-o macrumors 65816

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    Missouri
    #11
    Part of the problem is that new battery chemistries are here (and have been here), and people have parroted what worked for old chemistries. For example, NiCD and NiMH batteries sometimes needed to be 'exercised' but the opposite is true of these modern lithium cells. Each

    Your best bet is to consider the battery a finite resource. Use it when you need to, but not when you don't. So yes, keep it plugged in. Your lithium battery will have a fixed number of discharge cycles before it fails. Lithium batteries also tend not to 'fade' but rather just stop working. You may go from 8 hours of battery life to an hour in the span of a week, when the battery is at the end of it's life. And yes, even if it's for months at a time; that is better for lithium batteries than discharge cycles. In an ideal world, we could store them in a cool dry place at 70% charge and check them every couple of months. But this isn't an ideal world; so actually the next best thing is leaving it plugged in. Anyone who, in a real world scenario, is going to LEAVE a MacBook Pro plugged in for months... I'd suggest they look at a Mac Mini.

    Keep in mind, Apple has a great battery replacement program and you can take your Mac to an Apple store and get a new battery if you keep it long enough to wear the battery out.

    Keeping the laptop cool is important too. Batteries don't like heat. So don't sit it on the bed, don't leave it in direct sunlight, etc. Leave it where it can get plenty of airflow as much as you can, and it'll thank you.

    You should expect a solid couple of years of frequent/daily use from a MacBook Pro battery. If it's left plugged in and, for example, only unplugged on the weekends; you could expect even more life. Though lithium cells do have a bit of a 'shelf life' too. After a few years, no matter how well or poorly it's been treated, it's going to need replaced.
     
  12. hj576 macrumors regular

    hj576

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    #12
    thats going to be hard :p
    And i get Batteries should remain at around 30C
    What about countries where temperature go up to 45C on summer days :p
     
  13. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #13
    Just stay in the house until winter. That's what I do. :D
     
  14. hj576 macrumors regular

    hj576

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    #14
    How about with no central cooling ? Where you only use ACs at certain times to save up on electricity bills..... sad stories of a 3rd World/ Developing country :p
     
  15. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #15
    Dang... I feel for you then my friend. I gotta have me some AC!

    Screen Shot 2016-11-05 at 1.40.15 PM.png
     
  16. hj576 macrumors regular

    hj576

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    #16
    Well currently I am in Netherlands so no worries,
    But back home, in Pakistan, Summers is usually 35C - 45C
     
  17. fs454 macrumors 68000

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    Dec 7, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles / Boston
    #17
    I really do believe that this entire topic is absolute nonsense. Use the computer as you would, and do not worry a single bit about strange rituals to potentially keep it healthier longer. It's going to make a microscopic difference in the long run, and you'll save yourself the asinine superstition over the course of three, four years. It's designed to be used as a notebook, be it plugged in or always on the go - just don't do anything stupid like let it sit at 0% for weeks.

    Seriously, this is nonsense. Let it sit on your bed, use it at your desk all the time plugged in, run it down and charge it up 4 times in a day if you have to - it all is within the normal use case of the battery. I've got a Late 2013 with 900 cycles on the battery and it's at 90% health, and I don't ever think for a second about if what I'm doing with it may not be prolonging the battery. It's been all over the world, on several music tours, discharged in bed over and over again because I'm too lazy in the morning to grab my charger and would rather just use a cycle, etc. At this point, the number of typical cycles to get to 70% original capacity pretty much exceeds the life of the computer, even when you're not thinking about being "economical" about it.

    And better yet, $120 gets you a new one installed from Apple if you were to ever need it.
     

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