I have a 14" MacBook Pro which is connected to an OWC Thunderbolt dock/Studio Display 95% of the time. I may go weeks to a month or two w/o using the battery. MacOs manages to keep the battery at 80% charge. I just checked the Activity Monitoring I’ve been using the MBP for 4hrs of very light use and have 17% left (no drives attached; 80% brightness; pro-res on). Does this battery seem to be discharging at a faster than normal rate?
Battery Health shows this:
System Report shows this:
I looked at Apple Support and found this statement:
Battery Health says my MBP has a normal battery condition. The maximum cycle count for the MBP is 1000 cycles. Does the statement above mean that at 1000 cycles of my MBP, I should have about 80% of maximum capacity? Right now on a 10 month old MBP I have used 42 cycles and my maximum capacity is already down to 89%.
I don’t want to be overly paranoid, just the standard amount of paranoia.
All thoughts are appreciated.
The best method for extending the lifetime of your battery is to let it discharge fully (ie: less than 10%) every few days. A 10 month old MBP should be in the neighborhood of 200 cycles or more. The maximum cycle count of 1,000 cycles is more for warranty replacement than actual usage. I have witnessed 1,200+ cycles at 83% with a 3 hour runtime still. I have also witnessed 80 cycles at 45% - this computer was 5 years old and only unplugged when the customer travelled.
You are not paranoid… you are being prepared for the future!
Thanks. So maybe 2-3 times a week, use it on battery until I get the low battery warning, then plug it in. I’m still not impressed on how long I can run on battery power. Today I ended up with 5 hrs starting at an 80% charge (again light usage).
Update: I just noticed this on Apple’s Mac Repair & Service site:
“Your product is eligible for a battery replacement at no additional cost if you have AppleCare+ and your product’s battery holds less than 80% of its original capacity”. (bold is mine)
This suggests to me that I shouldn’t be at 89% capacity after only 10 months.
Even with not unplugging it enough, I think this is unusually fast degradation. If it’s convenient and you have AC+, I would bring it in to have a diagnostic run. They might not make you wait until <80% to service it if they notice something or if they are persuaded that it’s underperforming worse than it looks on paper.
I thought this was not necessary (and possibly detrimental) with li-ion batteries?
I have seen different behavior with batteries in Mac’s. My MB Air M1 battery got to 90% very quickly which did concern me.
My current MB Pro 14" does not have this issue at all. It’s still at 100% and I have it connected to my monitor using USB-C for most of the time. I sometimes notice it not being fully charged because of optimised charging. A few times a week I use the MB without external power for a few hours.
This is my current battery status:
Thanks for posting so I could compare. We essentially have the same cycle count yet my battery is at 89% max cap and your is at 100%. Not sure why that is the case.
There is an Apple Store about an hour away from me. I don’t have AC but it is in warranty but doubt they would replace now. It looks like it’s $200 to replace a battery out of warranty. So maybe I could just keep an eye on things and bring it in to the AS about a week before warranty is out. Thanks again for you suggestions.
hmm… My MBP 16" - less than 1 year old says 90% (seems low)…
So it would seem to me that if you were to use your MBP in the same manner, you would be at 80% in less than 2 years.
I don’t think this is the case anymore. The best way to extend a lithium battery’s life is to keep the cycle count low and avoid charging to greater than 80% or below 10% as much as possible.
This is not normal and your observed behaviour is not normal (assuming there’s nothing odd going on with software that’s background-consuming a lot of battery). I have the same computer and for light use it lasts much longer. For light (no-video conferencing) use it drains about 10% per hour (maybe a bit less or more depending on what’s going on) with the screen at half brightness. I have the M1Max with the 32 core GPU and notice that If I’m on Zoom then the battery usage goes up to something like 20% per hour though.
Also, I use my computer very much like you do, and almost always have it plugged in to a dock. Unless I’m travelling, I keep optimized battery charging turned on so that it almost never charges past 80% and I have a cycle count (after nearly a year) of 68 with a battery health of 100%
That’s good. It’s the max cap on mine that concerns me. Thanks for sharing.
I’d contact Apple while it’s under warranty/AppleCare and get some guidance from them. I think that your battery health for its cycle count is way off unless you’re working in extreme conditions.
89% at 42 cycles does seem low.
It isn’t anything you are doing. You don’t need to discharge the battery, or use fruit juice, or coconut oil, or any of the other gimmicky apps or shamanic rituals.
I would take/send it in and let them reassure you, or fix it.
My M1 MBP I bought Jan 2021 has 161 cycles, and 87% capacity.
Technologies have changed and this is not the case anymore. Yet those bad memories of NiCd batteries and their memories still persist.
I can add that I also have M1 Max chip with 32 core. I recall that some may have mentioned that there is less battery usage time available with Max VS Pro chip. My best these days is about 5 hours or so with “normal” use.
Just adding: the battery management system is keeping your battery at 80% because it has learned that you usually keep the device plugged in. Charging above 80% is more stressful for the battery, and in your case, there is usually no need to do so.
Until yesterday it had been plugged in (clamshell mode) for about 1-1/2 months. Charge showed 80%. After I unplugged and ran to down to 2% (took 5hrs from 80%–>2%), I plugged in in and the battery went to 100%. Doesn’t it slowly trickle down to 80% while plugged in?
Also - good to know that I don’t need the services of my local shaman. I’ll cancel my appointment with him.
Just thinking out loud - Is there some other hardware component that is associated with the battery that may have issues? Could it be that my alternator is bad???
Using it unplugged right now - Battery has gone down 10% in 30 minutes. Just surfing the web in Safari. Nothing unusual in activity monitor. I’ll schedule an appointment with Apple for next week. If they don’t replace the battery under warranty, I just pay for a new one.
Thanks for you help.
Mine does this. If I run it on battery for a while it usually charges back to 100% and then trickles down to 80%
I have never had the battery go down 10% in 30 minutes on my M1 Max 64GB 16". I know it’s not the same laptop or the same build, but my machine is still (in theory) going to guzzle lots of power. I’m always using at least 50gb of RAM, 20% total CPU usage as a minimum all the time. I will lose a maximum of 10% of battery in an hour.
To add to this, I checked my battery health today and I am at 100%. I’ll unplug a couple times a week for a few hours at a time for normal usage, and I don’t worry or baby the battery or machine a lot. I treat it like a tool.
I have had the machine since March or so.
Completely agree with you…
Apple may make you wait till you hit 79% before offing a free battery replacement. That was the policy when I was employed by them. It sucked to tell someone at 81% that they would have to pay for a new battery.
For everyone informing me that Li-ion technology is not the same as Ni-Cad, Thank You. I am aware of this, BUT even Apple seemed to offer dual opinions on charging/discharging batteries. Please understand I am not arguing with anyone. I am just sharing what I was instructed to explain to customers. Personally I never saw a negative issue with this advice. YMMV.