Do you charge MacBook (Pro) all the time?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by dav951753, Sep 23, 2016.

  1. dav951753 macrumors newbie

    dav951753

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2016
    #1
    Hello, everybody !

    I have a question about the battery of Macbook pro.

    Because the 13" monitor is too small for me so I bought a 24 inches Dell monitor.

    And I want to wonder whether I can charge my Macbook pro all the time when I use it.

    Because if you don't charge it then you can't show the content on the external monitor while the screen of Macbook pro is folded.

    But my question is that if I charge it all the time while I am using it. Will it damage the battery ?

    If you can then can you please show us your work/study/gaming environment with Apple laptop and external monitor ?

    Thank you guys !!!
     
  2. jerryk macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2011
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #2
    Usually batteries do not last as long if you continuously charge them. But, the difference may not be worth the hassle. If my battery last in 3 years instead of 5 I will still plug in my laptop when docked.
     
  3. dav951753 thread starter macrumors newbie

    dav951753

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2016
    #3
    Thank you for replying. Just for me 3 years and 5 years are much different!!! Becuase it's so expensive to change a battery for Macbook pro. And it seems that for MacBook pro-2015 early if you want to change the battery then you have to change the keyboard too... So it would be soo expensive.... For me,I can't afford them...
    Thank you for commenting again!!!
     
  4. Tarek macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2009
    Location:
    Cairo, Egypt
    #4
    Of course it's not good to have the MacBook Pro plugged in all the time. In my opinion, MacBooks are not meant to be on all the time and used as docking stations, which is why iMacs are the solution for that. I did what you were doing on my old MBP and the battery ended up failing rather quickly, however my MBP has an external, replaceable battery so that wasn't really an issue.

    What I do with my '15 MBP is charge it all the way to 100% then unplug it and continue using it until it reaches 50-60% then recharge it again.
     
  5. geachy92 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    I spent 2 of my 3 years at university using my MBP docked most of the week and then occasionally undocking it to take to lectures or do work in the library. It is now 6 years old, has done 960 cycles and is only just below 80% health. So I'd say you'll be fine.
     
  6. navaira macrumors 68040

    navaira

    Joined:
    May 28, 2015
    Location:
    Amsterdam, Netherlands
    #6
    I keep on reading about this and there seems to be a controversy.

    Opinion 1: it's battery cycles that are bad for modern batteries, therefore the less cycles, the better your battery is going to behave.
    Opinion 2: constant charging is bad, so do what @Tarek is doing.

    My 2015 13" is so far 4 months old, 11 cycles, 104% maximum capacity. Charging 95% of the time or so. I have a back injury and it's my sofa computer, as sitting at the desk for a longer time is difficult for me.

    Apple used to discourage constant charging here: http://www.apple.com/batteries/maximizing-performance/ but they don't anymore (not that I see).
     
  7. JackieInCo macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2013
    Location:
    Colorado
    #7
    With todays batteries, it won't hurt them to keep them plugged in because the charging circuit is only activated when the battery gets down to a certain % and that is usually around 95%.

    I bought my 2015 MBP in June of 2015 and I have 11 cycles and the capacity is 96.2%. It was pretty much at that capacity out of the box.

    My 2012 was bought a year ago in July and it has 10 cycles with the capacity of 96.8%. It too was at about that capacity out of the box.

    Both of these stay plugged in 24/7.
     
  8. !!! macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2013
    #8
    It's not the constant charging that's the issue (see this post):

    It's the lack of usage that's the problem. Lithium-Ion batteries are made to be used, and after not using them for an extended period of time, they start to loose their capacity.
     
  9. JackieInCo, Sep 23, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2016

    JackieInCo macrumors 601

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    Jul 18, 2013
    Location:
    Colorado
    #9
    This is true and that I why I usually use them once a month on battery power. About once a month is what I have heard is recommended.

    In the past, I ruined the batteries in just about every MBP I owned because I never used them on battery. Back when I owned Windows laptops, it was the same way. I never knew back then however that not using that laptops battery would eventually ruin it.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 23, 2016 ---
    Also, the OS constantly shows the battery % as being 100% but if you look at Coconut Battery, it will show the actual charge level. You will see the MBP will only charge when it drops down to about 95% proving that the charging circuit isn't always activated. In the past, the OS used to show the actual battery % but I think that stopped with El Capitan.
     
  10. ljjycss macrumors member

    ljjycss

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2016
    #10
    My 2011 mbp battery died(dropped from 90% capacity to 50% in two weeks) after 4 and a half years of continuous charging. 99% of the time it is plugged in.
     
  11. Toutou macrumors 6502a

    Toutou

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    Jan 6, 2015
    Location:
    Prague, Czech Republic
    #11
    There is no such thing as "continuous charging". Trying to charge a Li-ion battery over its capacity would't merely "damage" it, but rather "destroy it in a hellfire of twisted metal and toxic fumes".

    It's better to have the computer plugged in while you're using it. There's no need to put unnecessary cycles on the battery, why would you do that? And it's always ready when you need to unplug.
     
  12. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon
    #12
    Plug it in when you can and run it from the battery when you need to. It will last 3-5 years in most cases.
     
  13. RichardC300 macrumors 65816

    RichardC300

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2012
    Location:
    Chapel Hill, NC
    #13
    I'm on my 6th year with my original battery of my 2011 15" MBP, and I'm at 950 cycles. I keep it plugged in at all times if I'm at my desk, but it's not plugged in when I'm in class, unless the battery is low. Battery is at ~75% of the original capacity, but it works great. No issues. This thing just keeps going.
     
  14. Murgatroyd314 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2012
    #14
    Years ago, I left my Powerbook plugged in for about six months straight. The first time I used it unplugged after that, it died in about ten minutes. Battery life improved with repeated cycling, but was never what it had been before.

    I don't know how current batteries compare.
     
  15. dav951753 thread starter macrumors newbie

    dav951753

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2016
    #15
    Yes, I agree with you! iMac is more proper for docking stations than Macbook pro.
    But for a college student as I am , I can't afford iMac and Macbook pro at the same time...
    --- Post Merged, Sep 23, 2016 ---
    Thank you for sharing your experience with us.
    You give me more confidence haha !
    --- Post Merged, Sep 23, 2016 ---
    So you charge your Macbook pro all the time ?
    You agree with the first opinion ?
    --- Post Merged, Sep 23, 2016 ---
    Wow!!! Really ? It seems that it's healthier for Macbook pro if the battery cycles are lower ?
    --- Post Merged, Sep 23, 2016 ---
    Guys thank you so much !!!
    Thank you for sharing your own experience with everybody!!!
    So now I have a thought.
    Maybe it's better to charge it while I'm using it(so I can reduce the battery cycles) and every week I can use it without plugging in the charger(with this part the battery won't fully charged all the time) ?
    Maybe this is the best solution ?
     
  16. navaira macrumors 68040

    navaira

    Joined:
    May 28, 2015
    Location:
    Amsterdam, Netherlands
    #16
    I seriously don't know. According to Coconut Battery my battery is at 6807 mAh capacity out of 6559 design capacity :) but I have no idea how true that is. When I disconnect it, it says I've got 6-7 hours battery life, but I'm using Chrome and Spotify at once. Possibly without those two it would be 9 hours, but then if I just put it on the table and did nothing I can achieve up to 20 hours of not using it ;) (I checked)
     
  17. Toutou macrumors 6502a

    Toutou

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2015
    Location:
    Prague, Czech Republic
    #17
    You're right, you don't need to burn through unnecessary cycles and as long as you unplug it once in a while, you'll be fine.

    I'll tell you about my Late 2013 13" rMBP.
    I use it roughly eight to ten hours a day (a computer science student) and I don't really care about the battery. I usually plug it in when I'm at my desk (23" FullHD monitor), unplug it when I want to code in my bed, then plug it again for a little game, then unplug it to surf the web in the bed again. I don't want to carry the charger to school, so that's always unplugged.

    I feel like a monster for abusing it this way, but I'm sort of trying to "let go". Yes, I do keep it perfectly clean and usually don't let other people mess around with it, but I've learnt (and forced myself) not to care about the battery.
    The result?

    After two years of abuse it has 225 cycles on it with 95% health and yesterday I got seven hours of usage from it with 20% left when I plugged it in.
    Is that a damaged battery or what? :cool:
     
  18. dav951753 thread starter macrumors newbie

    dav951753

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2016
    #18
    Okay I got it ! Thank you ~
    Wow! After two years, the battery cycles are only 225 ? So you must plug it most of time right ?
    Because for me,I don't really keep it plugging in all the time so after 474 days my battery cycles are 258 and the
    health of the battery is 95.4%.
    Okay then I think I will keep it plugging in while I'm using my Macbook pro and run the battery out (not 100% out of course,maybe just 70% out) every week.
    Thank you for sharing the experience with us again!
     
  19. Toutou macrumors 6502a

    Toutou

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    Jan 6, 2015
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    Prague, Czech Republic
    #19
    Pretty much, most of the time I code/learn at my desk, with both the large monitor and the power brick plugged in.
     
  20. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #20
    There is no need to run down the battery on purpose. All that does is add unnecessary charge cycles. Just leave it plugged in when you don't need to be portable, then of course run on battery when you do need to be portable. You do not need to do anything else, the battery will take care of itself.

    You MBP is designed to be used like this in what is called clamshell mode and it won't hurt a thing.

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201834

    Here is Apple official information on batteries.

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201834

    http://www.apple.com/batteries/
     
  21. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    #21
    What this guy said.

    Basically, a TL;DR version: It doesn't matter, your battery will croak from old age (because they aren't meant to last forever, used or not) and that's that.
     
  22. JackieInCo macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2013
    Location:
    Colorado
    #22
    I don't know about the accuracy of Coconut Battery. The last few hours, I've been running my 2015 15" MBP on battery power and I've watched the capacity go fluctuate from 96.7 all the way down to 92.6. In the last minute, it went back up to 94.5. My battery has 12 cycles on it.
     
  23. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #23
    Coconut battery is spot on accurate. You can look in System Report under Power and see the numbers yourself and compare.
     
  24. d0nK macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #24
    late 2011 15" mbp here. I've always kept it plugged in when possible but I'm not shy to use it when not plugged in.
    I use it every day. It has a 359 cycle count and health is at 86% of initial capacity. Not bad for 5 years of constant use.
     
  25. JackieInCo, Sep 25, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2016

    JackieInCo macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2013
    Location:
    Colorado
    #25
    So yeah, I lost 3% of my battery capacity today. I'm now at 93.2% on 12 cycles. I didn't buy AC because it's cheaper to replace the battery then it is to buy AC.
     

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