If my MacBook battery needs replacing, can I still use it plugged in?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by SamSmith, Jul 27, 2012.

  1. SamSmith macrumors member

    Sep 17, 2011
    United Kingdom
    I have had my MacBook since 2009 and it's battery is beginning to die. (It needs replaced.) I never use it as a laptop any more, always in desktop mode. So can I continue to use it plugged in to the wall if and when the battery eventually dies completely, or do I need to take it to an Apple Store and get it replaced?

    If I was unclear, by battery dyeing, I mean needing replaced, not running out of charge.
  2. Reason077 macrumors 68020


    Aug 14, 2007
    Yes, your MacBook should still work on the mains even with "dead" battery.
  3. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    What is the battery condition and number of cycles? Use iStat Pro or iStat Menus to get accurate readings of your battery, temps, fan speeds and much more.
  4. theRAMman macrumors regular

    May 6, 2012
    The Moon.
    Don't worry! I have a MacBook with a dead battery and I just keep it plugged in, as a desktop. It also means for a quick way of tuning it off, just twitch the MagSafe ;) (ps don't do this or you can damage the computer!)
  5. jodelli macrumors 65816


    Jan 6, 2008
    Windsor, ON, Canada
    Ditto, it will work ok plugged in.

    You can also check About This Mac as seen below. As you can prolly see this battery needs replacing too:

    Attached Files:

    • syst.jpg
      File size:
      152.1 KB
  6. SamSmith thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 17, 2011
    United Kingdom
    Thanks guys, good to know I can continue to use this as a desktop Mac until Apple eventually stops supporting major OS X updates on my 3 year old computer (probably around 90 in computer years) and I decide to upgrade :)
  7. lindy53 macrumors newbie

    Aug 9, 2012

    I have a 2009 macbook pro and the battery says "Replace Now" and now it says "Not Charging" - will this tear up my computer if I use it plugged into the power supply (wall). Should I replace the battery.

    Also ocassionally, I am getting the "beachball" symbol and it spins and locks up my computer. Do I have a virus or do I just need to clear some things off of it.

    Thanks for any input.
  8. AppleFanatic10 macrumors 68030


    Nov 2, 2010
    Encino, CA
    I think that you should replace the battery, especially if it's saying "Replace Now". It does cost quite a bit at $129 but it's best if you keep your MacBook maintained well. No you don't have a virus, I think that the best way for you to stop the "beachball" symbol would be to upgrade your RAM if you can. What OS are you on?
  9. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Yes, you should.
    That usually means an app or process or the system is busy. It helps to know what's running at the time. To get a picture of what's running:
    1. Launch Activity Monitor
    2. Change "My Processes" at the top to "All Processes"
    3. Click on the CPU column heading once or twice, so the arrow points downward (highest values on top).
    4. Click on the System Memory tab at the bottom.
    5. Take a screen shot of the entire Activity Monitor window, then scroll down to see the rest of the list, take another screen shot
    6. Post your screenshots.
    No, you don't. Macs are not immune to malware, but no true viruses exist in the wild that can run on Mac OS X, and there never have been any since it was released over 10 years ago. The only malware in the wild that can affect Mac OS X is a handful of trojans, which can be easily avoided by practicing safe computing (see below). Also, Mac OS X 10.6 and later versions have anti-malware protection built in, further reducing the need for 3rd party antivirus apps.
    1. Make sure your built-in Mac firewall is enabled in System Preferences > Security > Firewall

    2. Uncheck "Open "safe" files after downloading" in Safari > Preferences > General

    3. Disable Java in your browser (Safari, Chrome, Firefox). This will protect you from malware that exploits Java in your browser, including the recent Flashback trojan. Leave Java disabled until you visit a trusted site that requires it, then re-enable only for the duration of your visit to that site. (This is not to be confused with JavaScript, which you should leave enabled.)

    4. Change your DNS servers to OpenDNS servers by reading this.

    5. Be careful to only install software from trusted, reputable sites. Never install pirated software. If you're not sure about an app, ask in this forum before installing.

    6. Never let someone else have access to install anything on your Mac.

    7. Don't open files that you receive from unknown or untrusted sources.

    8. For added security, make sure all network, email, financial and other important passwords are long and complex, including upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters.

    9. Always keep your Mac and application software updated. Use Software Update for your Mac software. For other software, it's safer to get updates from the developer's site or from the menu item "Check for updates", rather than installing from any notification window that pops up while you're surfing the web.
    That's all you need to do to keep your Mac completely free of any Mac OS X malware that has ever been released into the wild. While you may elect to use it, 3rd party antivirus software is not required to keep your Mac malware-free.
    If you're having performance issues, this may help:
  10. lindy53 macrumors newbie

    Aug 9, 2012
    Mac OS X 10.6.8

    MacBook Pro
    Model Identifier: MacBookPro5,1
    Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo
    Processor Speed: 2.4 GHz
    Number Of Processors: 1
    Total Number Of Cores: 2
    L2 Cache: 3 MB
    Memory: 2 GB
    Bus Speed: 1.07 GHz
    Boot ROM Version: MBP51.007E.B06
    SMC Version (system): 1.41f2
    Serial Number (system): W891232F8Q1
    Hardware UUID: 7D1B9B73-21DA-568C-8A4D-5D90BBDE4902
    Sudden Motion Sensor:


  11. noodile macrumors regular

    Aug 4, 2012
    you'll be good. My battery has been needing replacement since last october but i've been waiting for the new MBP line-up update.

    I'm up to 1100 cycles on the battery, but my battery bloated breaking my trackpad (along with its "plastic" mounts).
  12. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    In your /Applications/Utilities folder. Or you can press Command-spacebar and type "Activity Monitor" in the Spotlight search bar in the top right corner of your screen.
    ScreenCap 2012-08-09 at Thu, Aug 9,10.26.40 PM .PNG
  13. mrscline macrumors newbie

    Feb 4, 2013
    I have a very similar issue, so I am reviving and hijacking this thread...

    I recently bought a used MBP to replace a stolen one. They are the same models - late 2008/early 2009 all silver (I guess this is the aluminum model as opposed to unibody? I always get confused about that terminology...). Anyway, the stolen MBP had Leopard and this one has been updated to Snow Leopard. The previous one had no battery issues what so ever and still had the original battery.
    The battery in the new MBP is new, 50 cycles now, and is made by Sony if that matters (it was replaced by previous owner). It didn't hold a charge well when I got it and was saying the battery needed to be serviced. Now, after about 2 months, it is not charging at all. It says "not charging" in the top right corner and when I click on it it says to replace it. If I remove the power cord it shuts off immediately.
    Battery issues aside, I only use it at home and pretty much always leave it plugged in when I'm using it; when I'm not using it it is usually unplugged and asleep.

    Ok, here's my questions:
    Will it harm my computer to not replace the battery? Like, never?? The answers above to the 2 different situations confused me (one said no, another said to replace...). I've heard about batteries swelling (like a pp posted) so I am worried about that if I don't replace it, but I am reluctant to spend 130 if it is an issue with the upgrade to Snow Leopard (I read all about that on other threads). I don't mind having it plugged up all the time.

    If I remove the battery completely will the computer work when plugged up? I am guessing not, and maybe that is a stupid question...

    I am thinking of upgrading to Mt. Lion also, and I don't know if the battery issue will get worse (can it??) or what. I have read similar battery trouble stories with that upgrade, too.

    Thanks for reading this ridiculously long post and TIA for any help!!
  14. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Yes, your battery could swell over time and damage internal components. If you run with the battery out, your Mac's performance will suffer. It is highly recommended that you replace the battery. The need for battery replacement has nothing to do with which version of Mac OS X you're running.

    Also, I wouldn't trust or recommend any non-Apple battery, due to the number of problems reported with "knockoff" batteries. Also, there is no assurance that knockoff batteries have the same charging technology that Apple uses, involving the battery, the MagSafe adapter and the Mac's logic board.

    Battery Replacement
    Replacing the built-in battery in your MacBook Pro
    Replacing the Battery in your MacBook Air
    Intel-based Apple Portables: How to replace or service a built-in battery

    The link below should answer most, if not all, of your battery/charging questions. If you haven't already done so, I highly recommend you take the time to read it.
  15. mrscline macrumors newbie

    Feb 4, 2013
    Thanks so much for the quick reply. I agree that the OS X version should have nothing to do with the battery, but there are SO many people out there saying that after upgrading from Leopard to Snow Leopard battery issues started happening within days. I don't know if that has anything to do with my issues or not, but I thought it was worth mentioning.

    I think I am going to take it in to the Apple store. I did a little searching and it looks like Sony is a legit producer of Apple batteries (you can get them from Apple), but I am not the first to have this type of trouble with a Sony battery. Since the battery only has 50 cycles on it I am hoping they will exchange it for me, but worse case I just get a new battery while I'm there.

    Again, thanks for your help!!

Share This Page