Macbook Air 13 DREADFUL battery life

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by MacbookAlex, Mar 25, 2017.

  1. MacbookAlex macrumors member

    MacbookAlex

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2017
    Location:
    London, UK
    #1
    Hello all,

    So, here goes- my very first post on MacRumours.

    This is going to be a bit long so pls bear with me.....I have been having the following annoying problem with my Mac:

    I am using a mid 2011 Macbook Air 13. I fresh installed Sierra and found that I was only getting a maximum of two hours of battery life from a full charge. It was getting through 1% every 40 seconds!!!

    After reading around on the net, I decided I would fresh install El Capitan. I did so, and instantly things improved. The Mac said I would get over 5hrs on a full charge.

    Then I went to the app store and downloaded a software update. It installed and the Mac restarted, but after I logged into my account, the battery was only estimated just over an hour on a full charge. What??????

    I proceeded to (via recovery) reinstall OSX. Not a fresh install, though. Battery life has now improved (note that I have not installed the software update) but I am still not getting Apple's promised 7hrs web browsing.

    Have tried SMC and PRAM/NVRAM reset many times...in vain. Activity Monitor holds no answers and all apps are behaving normally when it comes to energy impact.

    The battery has done 550 cycles, but that is only just over half way to the promised 1000 cycles before it starts to gold way less charge, so surely one percent every minute or less is not right???

    Does anyone have any further ideas about how I can get some decent battery life oh this Mac? I use it for travel and keeping in contact with family when away, and I am always at a desk with my charger whilst using what is supposed to be Apple's most portable Mac.

    Thanks in advance for any help/advice everyone.....

    Alex
     
  2. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #2
    It's a 5 year old battery. It's not exclusively down to how many cycles it's done; lithium will degrade naturally over time as well. It's not unusual to encounter false readings of how much time you have left on the battery if that's the case.

    From your description the battery has definitely seen better days. No way around it I'm afraid, other than getting a new battery fitted.
     
  3. MacbookAlex thread starter macrumors member

    MacbookAlex

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2017
    Location:
    London, UK
    #3
    Thank you for the quick reply.

    If it needs a new battery it looks like it will have to be through an authorised service provider, and at quite a cost too.

    Oh well, I guess a quality laptop deserves a quality battery.
     
  4. merkinmuffley macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2010
  5. MacbookAlex thread starter macrumors member

    MacbookAlex

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2017
    Location:
    London, UK
    #5
    also thanks for the reply. That is no doubt what I will do when I have some time.

    Though, in the last day or two, my battery life has begun to improve, along with estimated time remaining, it is now usually quoting me around six or more hours on the web:cool:

    Perhaps after setting it up with an upgraded OSX it just needs some time to adjust to my usage and complete all little setup processes in the background. Have never noticed the effects of this on my other macs. U learn something new every day ha ha!

    Alex
     
  6. tentales macrumors 6502a

    tentales

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2010
    #6
    When you freshly install macOS or OSX, it goes thru a bunch of indexing and other busy background processing drawing power.
    You can use activity monitor to see how much power is being drawn and how busy the CPU is.

    As you found out, after a day or two this settles down and you will find your battery has more life left than you thought.

    After a fresh install I leave mine plugged in overnight and open and active. Then I drain the battery with normal use until it shuts off and then charge it fully to 100% and leave it that charging for another 4 hours, before taking it off mains power for mobile use.

    That recalibrates your battery and will give you a somewhat accurate reading of true battery life remaining.

    At 550 cycles and 6 years battery age, I would expect about 70-80% battery health left, but the decline is not linear. You can download coconutbattery app to check the health status.
     
  7. MacbookAlex thread starter macrumors member

    MacbookAlex

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2017
    Location:
    London, UK
    #7
    Have downloaded CB and it says that it holds 82% of the original capacity (though it displays it as green, so it still thinks that this is good, I guess).

    Thank you v much for sharing your calibration technique. I should give that a go sometime. I read somewhere that someone thought that completely draining the battery would do it more harm than good, although I personally do not see how calibrating now and again could harm it.

    I downgraded to El Capitan, due to really really bad battery life in Sierra. El Capitan has improved it, though when I was running Lion, the battery time estimates were amazing. I guess it comes down to having modern new and updated features or running an old but less taxing operating system.

    Thanks,

    Alex
     
  8. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #8
    FWIW, I had a 2011 13" MBA for about two years, I was running Lion. About 5 or 6 hours battery life was the best I could get. Apple switched to more efficient processors in 2013 and those machines approach twice the battery run time of the 2011 model.
     
  9. MacbookAlex thread starter macrumors member

    MacbookAlex

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2017
    Location:
    London, UK
    #9
    If only I had waited two years:(
     

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