Should I use MacBook Pro plugged in all the time?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Cyborg21, Mar 24, 2014.

  1. Cyborg21 macrumors 6502

    Cyborg21

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    #1
    Hello, I am new to Macs.
    I want my MacBook Pro to last as long as possible. I read some articles about lithium batteries and MacBook Pro Batteries. I read battery FAQ on website of Apple too but It wasn't clear enough. So should I use my MacBook Pro plugged in all the time to lower cycle counts or will it cause harm to battery? Thank you and sorry for my bad english.
     
  2. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

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    #2
    Mine stays plugged in all of the time except when I am traveling and unable to plug it in
     
  3. MartinAppleGuy macrumors 68020

    MartinAppleGuy

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2013
    #3
    No. I would recommend discharging the battery fully once every month, and partial charges every other time.

    You could leave it on charge all the time, but if you ever have to take it off, battery life will be almost unusable.
     
  4. joeblow7777 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2010
    #4
    I love how the first two comments responses totally contradict. The poor OP won't know what to do!

    The simple truth of the matter is this: if you can plug in your computer, plug it in to save battery cycles. HOWEVER, Li-ion batteries do last longer when they get some exercise, so every few weeks or so make sure to run it off the battery. A full discharge/recharge about once a month is recommended.
     
  5. Menge macrumors 6502a

    Menge

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    Dec 22, 2008
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    Amsterdam
    #5
    I had a 2008 MacBook Pro which stayed plugged in all the time and until last year, the battery was severely discalibrated and in the end the computer would suddently shut down without warning.

    I would recommend using it unplugged frequently and discharge/recharge (make the battery work).
     
  6. kage207 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    #6
    Okay, this is not true for the unibody MacBooks. The unibody MacBooks may be plugged in all the time as long as you unplug it once every day or two (as you commute somewhere or something). Otherwise you may leave it plugged in all the time and discharge it once a month (or down to about 20%~).
     
  7. Menge macrumors 6502a

    Menge

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    #7
    Mine was a Unibody MacBook. A little more info: battery life was ~1h20m long.
     
  8. dimme macrumors 65816

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    Feb 14, 2007
    Location:
    SF, CA
    #8
    I'm a bit confused. What is the difference between the above statement and ?I would recommend using it unplugged frequently and discharge/recharge (make the battery work)."
     
  9. Richdmoore macrumors 68000

    Richdmoore

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    Location:
    Troutdale, OR
    #9
    From the horse's mouth:

    http://www.apple.com/batteries/notebooks.html

    Standard Maintenance

    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. If on the other hand, you use a desktop computer at work, and save a notebook for infrequent travel, Apple recommends charging and discharging its battery at least once per month. Need a reminder? Add an event to your desktop’s iCal. When your battery no longer holds sufficient charge to meet your needs, you may choose to replace it. If your notebook came with a built-in battery, you should have the battery replaced only by an Apple Authorized Service Provider.
     
  10. kage207 macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 23, 2008
    #10
    So, Apple says there is two ways to take care of your battery. The difference is how you use the computer.

    Scenario 1: If you use it mainly as a desktop, then leave it plugged in all the time and discharge it completely (or down to ~20%) once a month.

    Scenario 2: If you commute or use it every day (or two) not plugged in and discharge it a bit, then you do not need to discharge it completely once a month.

    So, you would fall under scenario 1. If you did not discharge it once a month, this was your problem. I'm sorry for not reading your original post completely. You are right about frequently discharging it but to be more clear, one should follow the timelines for their respective scenario.
     
  11. takeshi74 macrumors 601

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    Feb 9, 2011
    #11
    Link posted in message 9 is pretty straightforward IMO.
     
  12. bigjnyc macrumors 603

    bigjnyc

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    Apr 10, 2008
    #12
    why get a laptop if you are looking for a computer to keep plugged in all the time? get an iMac, more power, more screen real estate, cheaper price.
     
  13. Barney63 macrumors 6502a

    Barney63

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    Jan 9, 2014
    Location:
    Bolton, UK.
    #13
    I tend to have mine plugged in most of the time.
    At home during the day and evening it is besides me on the sofa (so it is plugged in), at Uni I am also always beside a socket. I take it to bed with me on battery power and do a couple of hours surfing (uses about 10%).

    Barney
     
  14. Praxis91 macrumors regular

    Praxis91

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2011
    #14
    I keep mine plugged in most of the time, but 1-2 times a week at work, it will go down from 100 to 70-ish back to 100 to 70-ish to 100.
     
  15. Cyborg21 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Cyborg21

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    Sep 2, 2013
    #15
    How old is your Mac and how is the battery life?

    ----------

    Well, there were 4 reason why I got a MacBook Pro Retina

    1) I want a portable computer (but I do not want to make more battery cycles when I am at home this is why I asked this question here)

    2) I do not need a super powerful computer
     
  16. Barney63 macrumors 6502a

    Barney63

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    Jan 9, 2014
    Location:
    Bolton, UK.
    #16
    It is a month old.
    [​IMG]
    Yesterday the charge remaining was actually showing higher than the capacity.

    Barney
     
  17. leman macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    #17
    The lifespan of your computer does not really depend on whether you have it plugged in or on. E.g. I am completely mistreating my battery and my machine and after 1 year and 7 months and 705 load cycles, I still have around 80% of my original capacity. I guess it will fall to 70-75% by the end of the year, at which point I will either buy a new battery or get a new computer from my employee. If you are very careful about your battery, your might last half a year, maybe a year longer. It is not really worth the hassle, as far as I am concerned, given how cheap battery replacement is.
     
  18. Cyborg21 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Cyborg21

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    Sep 2, 2013
    #18
    How much does it costs if I make a battery replacement in an Apple Store?
     
  19. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #19
    $199
     
  20. jkim3691 macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 8, 2011
    #20
    This is untrue. I always have mine plugged in and occasionally I'll have it use it without the power adapter and it works just fine.
     
  21. syobwoc macrumors member

    syobwoc

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    South Texas
    #21
    i think i read somewhere here that for the rMBP, apple replaces the battery, kb and trackpad as one piece. Not sure if that;s true or not but can someone confirm?
     
  22. 5to1 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2008
    #22
    There are a couple of things one should avoid with Li-ion/polymer batteries as they can cause premature failure:

    1) Exposure to extremes of temperature. For example try to avoid leaving it in the trunk if you are fortunate enough to live in an extremely hot climate, or unfortunate enough to live in an arctic climate.

    2) Leaving it unused for long periods while fully charged. Something I've suffered from in the past with second batteries that I didn't use often. Hence I'm now just content with a sealed in battery given it lasts long enough for most occasions.

    3) Draining every last ounce of juice from it.

    None of these will guarantee premature failure, nor will avoiding them guarantee perfect battery life cycle.

    Even if you discharge it every day, you're likely to get 3 years out of it, with approx 80% capacity left by the end.


    Lets just say you molly coddle it, only discharging it once a month and holding onto the power cord like a baby grabbing their pacifier. The best possible outcome would be that after 3 years (come failure time) it still holds 100% (very unlikely). But what use is that to you, if you're never ever using that capacity anyway. The old saying "you can't have your cake and eat it" comes to mind. (Although in reality I suspect no matter what you do you can't have your cake, something else will eat it if you don't :/).

    IMO if £109 (Apples prices) for a battery replacement worries you enough not to use the thing as a mobile computing device (kind of the point of a laptop), you're better off buying a cheaper computer (so you can more easily afford a new battery or computer in a few years time).
     
  23. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #23
    You are correct. The whole top case gets replaced.
     
  24. syobwoc macrumors member

    syobwoc

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    Oct 16, 2013
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    South Texas
    #24
    Awesome good to know, so the $199 includes a new battery, kb, trackpad and top case. Kind of helps justify the cost a bit. thanks weaselboy!
     
  25. MartinAppleGuy macrumors 68020

    MartinAppleGuy

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2013
    #25
    Well that is your experience. You are deteriorating your battery by keeping the charge full.
     

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