New MacBook - what's the definitive way to prolong battery

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by jawad7, Feb 7, 2009.

  1. jawad7 macrumors member

    Nov 8, 2003
    tried searching and there are loads of threads about how to optimise battery, etc. hearing loads of conflicting things to do.

    basically - got a new macbook and will shortly be migrating all my stuff over to it from the MBP. I want to get the best out of my new MacBook and battery. Admitedly i've never really looked after my battery in my MBP and had it for 2 and a half years and now the battery is rubbish.

    Any tips on how to get the most out of my battery is appreciated.

    If when plugged in and the light turns green does that start to damage the battery if plugged in?
  2. o2xygen macrumors regular

    Jan 25, 2009
    Im not too sure, but I know you should calibrate your battery first thing. Before even using ur mac.

    When ur mac reaches full charge it starts running straight from power, and doesnt touch the battery like older laptops used too. So no it doesnt affect the battery if you leave it on AC.

    One thing that Ive heard is to calibrate monthly, and to use your battery alot, say run it down past 30%, and not just use it for 10% or so then charge it back up.
  3. jawad7 thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 8, 2003
    i've not switched it on yet. straight out of the box. how do i calibrate?
  4. o2xygen macrumors regular

    Jan 25, 2009
    Charge it to full, then allow it to rest at full charge for at least two hours, then unplug and run the battery right down until it goes into sleep mode. Once its gone to sleep leave it for at least 5 hours (because there is still a little bit of charge left). The charge it back to 100% and away you go.
  5. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    When you first get your MB, charge the battery for a long time, say between 5-10 hours. It'll be fully charged, but let it sit at full power for awhile.

    Then use your laptop (for the first time) on battery power, and use it on battery power until you drain it completely (from 100% --> 0%), and the laptop goes to Sleep mode by itself. Then charge it again to 100%, leaving it for 4-5 hours (it may only take 2 or 3 hours to fully charge), and use it until the capacity reaches 0% again. Then charge up to 100%, and use your laptop however you want.

    That was only for a new computer. You won't need to do that again unless you buy a new battery later on.

    For regular use, you don't need to completely discharge your battery before you charge it. It's actually better to use it, and just plug it in to charge whenever you feel like it. For example, if you use your laptop on battery power, and you drain it from 100% --> 38%, feel free to charge it back up to 100%.

    However, after every 20 recharges, or perhaps every 4 to 6 weeks (whichever comes first), do a full charge and discharge (100% --> 0%), and recharge it back to 100% without interrupting it. That's a monthly calibration.

    If you don't use your battery on laptop power often, I guess you could put your battery in your fridge to extend its life, and just use your laptop on AC power. However, I don't think it's necessarily at all. Just keep the laptop battery connected.
  6. o2xygen macrumors regular

    Jan 25, 2009
    Abstract from what Ive heard the calibration process for the new macbooks has changed, you need to leave it in sleep move for 5 or more hours because the battery retains charge before going to sleep. So in other words leaving it in sleep mode truely discharges it.
  7. VSMacOne macrumors 601


    Oct 18, 2008
    DO NOT use your laptop without the battery, as it will cripple your CPU performance. Just leave it in, and make sure you give your battery a good couple of hours of use every day, and then leave it plugged in for the rest of the time.
    I agree with all the other advice you've been give so far.
  8. Mikey B macrumors 65816

    Mikey B

    Jan 4, 2008
    the island
    So, I guess it's a bad thing that I haven't calibrated my battery yet? :eek:

    Going to get around to it sometime soon, but I haven't been able to budget the time required since I got it. But, it's been performing great regardless.
  9. Nitromaster macrumors 6502

    Jan 7, 2007
    Any idea how much exactly?
    I remember reading it only uses one core or is crippled to 1ghz or something before.
    I've actually been running my Macbook mostly without the battery for the last 6 months.
  10. VSMacOne macrumors 601


    Oct 18, 2008
    I don't know EXACTLY how much, I just know it puts stress on your CPU and logic board. And if you WERE to accidentally unplug the magsafe, that would really hurt the logic board...
  11. pellets007 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 28, 2009
    New York
    I never use a laptop without AC power. That wouldn't damage the laptop over time, would it? Because I've had this HP dv6000 for two and a half years. When I actually do use the battery, maybe a few times a year :)o) I only get thirty minutes of life. Granted, it only came with an hour or two of normal battery use. I have never calibrated it either. :(
  12. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location

    That's what I do with my own laptops anyway, since ALL Mac laptops batteries have retained charge even after they go to sleep.

    You can also take it out of the MacBook and put it in your refrigerator. Batteries are horrible at keeping their charge when it's cold, which is why camera and mobile phone batteries don't last as long in the winter if you're using it outside often.
  13. fedup flyer macrumors regular

    Jan 18, 2008
    Wow, someone needs a lesson in electricity and batteries. They still have the same charge, it is the chemical reaction that takes longer until the battery warms up.
  14. RMo macrumors 65816


    Aug 7, 2007
    Iowa, USA
    It won't damage your laptop, but as you've seen, it reduced the capacity of your battery faster. You'd be wise to use it once or twice a month (at least one "cycle" per month, i.e., one full recharge--but you don't have to do it all at once and can do it as, say, two times of using the battery down to 50%, then recharging, etc.). It's also good to avoid excessive heat--so, for example (unless you live in a cold area), don't leave it in your car during the day, especially in the summer.

    Lithium-ion (and probably lithium-ion polymer, like in the MacBook) batteries permanently lose capacity over time, but in addition to time, which you can't control, factors you can control include temperature, frequency of use/cycling (already explained), and the capacity at which the battery is "stored." They permanently loose less capcity when around a 40%-60% charge and stored close to 32 °F (some studies say as little as 2% loss per year) compared to 100% charge at room temperature (which may lose as much as 20% per year, maybe more due to higher temperatures such as those created near the laptop by the laptop itself). Unfortunately, refrigerating a battery is inconvenient, and most (all?) laptops don't really let you keep the battery installed but maintain a 40%-60%, rather than 100%, charge. Thus, while good to do, this may be difficult or inconvenient.

    But back to your battery, bascially, next time, you may want to use the battery a bit more frequently (at least once a month) and, if you're not going to use it for an extended period of time, store it charged to around half- rather than full-capacity, and, if you feel so inclined, maybe even pop it in the fridge (although I was always nevous about moisture when I did that)...if you care about your battery that much. I guess if you never use it anyway, it might not matter. :)
  15. okatidubi macrumors regular

    Apr 15, 2008
    For me, I will just charge it to 100%, then use the laptop with the battery (without the power adaptor) until a message pops up stating, "You are now on reserve battery bla bla." The message only appears when there's only ~5% charge left.

    I have only calibrated my battery once since March 2008. Attached is a screenshot of coconutbattery. I have 100% battery health at 400 cycles. Oh, and I always shut down when I don't use the computer.

    Attached Files:

  16. mynameisraj macrumors 6502

    Nov 14, 2008
    Boulder, Colorado
  17. domcole macrumors regular

    May 17, 2008
    When your not using the Aluminium Macbook

    When your not using it, is it best to shut it down completely?

    EDIT: Also, when it's 'sleeping' is it just draining the battery down?
  18. aethelbert macrumors 601

    Jun 1, 2007
    Chicago, IL, USA
    Doubtful. Calibrate it and check system profiler.
  19. daneoni macrumors G4


    Mar 24, 2006
    I envy you

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