Is it safe to leave my MacBook Air plugged in for clamshell mode?

malloryjones

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 5, 2011
20
0
Apple says they "do not recommend" leaving a notebook plugged into mains power all the time.

But I cannot use my MBA with an external display, external keyboard and trackpad *unless* I specifically put it in clamshell mode AND keep it connected to mains power.

Presumably, in this configuration, the MBA is constantly charging, which surely contradicts Apple's advice about not keeping it plugged into mains power all the time.

Does anyone definitively know if running the MBA on mains power is okay for the health of its battery? Is it simply that I should let the battery discharge fully by itself once a month but otherwise hooking it up to mains power does no harm? If so, why does Apple give this misleading advice?
 

malloryjones

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 5, 2011
20
0
It's fine to leave your machine plugged in. Batteries can be replaced.
Well of course, that's a truism. So too, the entire laptop can be replaced but that hardly understands the point.

The query is how to keep the current battery in optimal condition and not to escalate its degradation.
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,427
786
Apple says they "do not recommend" leaving a notebook plugged into mains power all the time.

But I cannot use my MBA with an external display, external keyboard and trackpad *unless* I specifically put it in clamshell mode AND keep it connected to mains power.

Presumably, in this configuration, the MBA is constantly charging, which surely contradicts Apple's advice about not keeping it plugged into mains power all the time.
I highly recommend that you read the Battery FAQ that simsaladimamba posted. Your battery will not keep charging once fully charged, even if it's plugged in. If you run in clamshell mode, just remember to unplug and run it on battery a few times a week for several hours, so the battery gets exercised.
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,427
786
Battery performance is a characteristic of the battery, not how often you exercise it.
From Apple:
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 her notebook on the train, then plugs it in at the office to charge. This keeps the battery juices flowing.
 

Roman2K~

macrumors 6502a
Mar 11, 2011
552
16
From Apple:
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 her notebook on the train, then plugs it in at the office to charge. This keeps the battery juices flowing.
Extremely useful info. Thanks!
 

ntrigue

macrumors 68040
Jul 30, 2007
3,805
2
I often use clamshell mode so I use every opportunity to exercise the battery when I am mobile. Even if I could plug in at the coffee shop or hotel I will let it go below 70% before plugging in. Often I time tasks based on battery life, "I will work on x until the battery dies" once a month.
 

glen e

macrumors 68030
Jun 19, 2010
2,619
2
Ft Lauderdale
My mba goes for months in clamshell mode while I'm between training gigs on the road. It powers a monitor and keyboard and sits closed on the floor. I never turn it off. once a month I run the batt down overnight and recharge.

works perfect for me - 100% batt life after a year or so...I do the same for my iphone and 2 ipads
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.