Should I use macbook battery or macbook plugged in?


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 24, 2010
Hi, I just got a brand new macbook last week for university in the fall. I LOVE it and want to take super care of it so it will last me AT LEAST the four years. Up until a few days ago, I was using it only off battery and then charging it until it was full and doing that over again. My parents suggested that I use the AC power while I am at home to not wear my battery out. I've been using it a lot in the past few days because I just had my wisdom teeth removed and am house ridden :p Now I use it plugged in, but I also heard you shouldn't keep it plugged in 24/7. It's confusing :( I just want whats best for my pretty little macbook!


macrumors 68020
Apr 21, 2004
hmmmm I LOVE MY 10hr battery life macbook and use it most of the time. Honestly I would enjoy it and use it on battery. Ive never run out of juice. Will that wear out the battery faster???? Maybe but why be attached to the wall 100% of the time and not use the features that make this computer truly compelling. If anything in two years when it starts to not last as long, you can upgrade the batter for $100 and be good to go again. I'm sure by that time, a third party battery vender will have a higher more efficient batter that will bost the battery life by 10%. Life's too short to worry about what your doing wrong to your laptop imo.


macrumors newbie
Jul 19, 2010
From GGJstudios shared link:

AppleCare support recommends that if you leave your Mac plugged in most of the time, unplug it every 2 or 3 days and run on battery down to somewhere around 50%, then plug it back in. That keeps the electrons moving.

It is advisable to have your battery "juices" running. Say for example, you'll go to the office but will get breakfast first at a local coffeeshop. You can run your Macbook in battery. Once in the office, you can plugged it on AC. If during the day you have a presentation, you can have your Macbook run on battery. It is preferred to use your Macbook on battery sometimes and plugged it on AC when necessary.

That's what I usually do in my Mac. I also don't wait my battery to fall down below 30% to charge it. As much as possible when my battery's around 50-80%, I already charge it. I also try to calibrate it at least once a month.


macrumors 68020
May 30, 2010
Yeah, your MacBook user guide (The little booklet that says 'Everything Mac' on the front) has more information on calibrating your MacBook battery.

It's important to let your computer run on the battery at least some of the time to keep the electrons moving and to keep your battery running good. Also calibration about once a month is a good idea - see your MacBook user guide that came with your Mac or the battery FAQs that GGJstudios linked to.

Have fun with your Mac!

Blondie :)

macrumors 6502a
May 12, 2010
Prescott, AZ
Definitely use the battery frequently. Not 100% of the time of course, especially while doing cpu intensive stuff (such as ripping DVD's, gaming, etc). Even when I'm just sitting at home, I'll use 10-25% of my battery up to twice a day, just to keep the electrons moving. I calibrate every couple months. So yeah, just use your macbook and enjoy it! :D


macrumors 604
Jul 6, 2009
Your parents are right about wearing out the battery. The battery life span is accounted for in charge cycles.
A charge cycle means using all of the battery’s power, but that doesn’t necessarily mean a single charge. For instance, you could use your notebook for an hour or more one day, using half its power, and then recharge it fully. If you did the same thing the next day, it would count as one charge cycle, not two, so you may take several days to complete a cycle.
The Macbook has 1000 cycles so it has a pretty long life span.

To see the battery wear (health) and used cycles, you can download Coconut Battery

Don't worry, you don't need to install anything, you just need to run the program.


macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
what about the battery faq saying that calibration
Calibration is not required for the newer models with built-in batteries. However, you can calibrate any battery if you suspect your readings are inaccurate. Using the battery is required for all models, to keep the battery healthy.
As with any battery, it is best to use it until its empty, then charge it up to full again, etc...
That is not true. It is not required or best to drain the battery until empty before charging, unless your normal situation requires it (lack of AC power available). You can recharge a battery at any stage of depletion. Intentionally draining it fully when you could have plugged in at 20%, 50%, 80%, etc. is simply putting excess cycles on the battery, needlessly.


macrumors regular
Aug 25, 2011
Salt Lake City, UT
the best way to keep your battery status is what ive heard...

the average computer user that is a public commuter, the commuter will run his computer battery while on his way to work riding the bus/train/plane then when he gets to work/home he will plug in his laptop and let it fully charge and keep it there

pretty much sums it up for me, when i get to work i run the macbook only on battery till about 50% or so then plug it in and let it charge, and at home I will use the battery once down to about 50% then keep it plugged in on AC power for up to a couple of days.


macrumors member
May 4, 2011
I bought my MacBook in May and coconut battery says my maximum capacity is now 88%. Is that normal?


macrumors member
May 4, 2011
Thanks dude, makes sense. It makes me glad I have a 2010 macbook as it seems they have way better batteries and higher life cycles.