How to Calibrate Mac Battery?

The battery on MacBook and other Apple computers is a vulnerable component. MacBook Pro and MacBook Air that manufactured after 2009 have a built-in battery life of 1,000 charge cycles. After that, it is recommended to replace the battery completely. The computer counts charge cycles using the software. Because of this, malfunctions may occur. And even in 1-1,5 years after purchasing the device, the operating system may display a notification to check and replace the battery.

There is a way to calibrate Mac battery. This method updates the parameters of the controller, which reads the number of recharge cycles. If you often charge the device by only a few percent, or if you work long hours with your computer connected to the network, the controller may not read the number of recharge cycles correctly. In that case, you will see a notification to calibrate MacBook battery even if the battery is still intact.

We will perform calibrate MacBook Pro battery on a test device. This is a 2010 MacBook Pro. Devices older than 5-7 years are more likely to have a replaced battery. In that case, it is advisable to calibrate more often to avoid system malfunctions.

How to Check the Battery Status on Your MacBook?

First, check the condition of your battery and see if you need calibration.

  1. Go to your MacBook’s system settings;
    calibrate macbook pro battery
  2. Open the detailed system report;
    calibrate macbook battery
  3. Select the Power section;
  4. Look at the number of recharge cycles so far, the state of the battery, and its maximum capacity (this parameter is gradually decreasing).
    calibrate mac battery

As you can see in the screenshot, the battery on the Mac has lost more than 20% of its maximum capacity after 120 recharge cycles. Recall that the maximum capacity of the original battery exceeds 5500 mAh on this MacBook model. This means you need to calibrate the battery and if possible installation power monitoring and power-saving apps.

How to Calibrate the Battery on Mac?

The maximum battery capacity is stored in the power controller, after reaching which the battery stops charging and 100% is lit on the power indicator.

Occasionally, these values get confused and the SMC controller stops charging earlier than necessary (you might be interested to read our instruction on how to reset the SMC system). Or it shuts down your MacBook when it has 20% of charge left. All of this shows that the battery capacity limits are not written in the SMC correctly. We need to reset the system management controller (SMC) settings to fix this.

Use the following steps to reset your 2009 and later MacBook with a non-removable battery:

  1. Turn off your computer.
  2. Press the Shift on the left side of the keyboard, Control, and Option keys at the same time. At the same time, press and hold down the power button for more than ten seconds (on Macs with the touch-sensitive power button, you must also hold down the power button).
  3. After holding the buttons for ten seconds, release them and restart the device with the power button.
  4. The controller data will be updated. After that, your device may lose the notification that your Apple computer needs to replace the battery.

Please note that this action does not affect system settings, delete user data, or change other settings.

After resetting the battery on your MacBook, you need to discharge it completely before turning it off. And then charge it to 100%. After that, your battery health should increase.

When to calibrate your MacBook Air/Pro battery:

  • If you receive a notification to replace the battery, but the battery has less than 1000 recharge cycles;
  • The battery capacity decreases disproportionately to the cycles (for example, in 100 cycles out of 1000, more than 20% of the battery capacity is lost);
  • Your MacBook’s autonomy has decreased significantly;
  • You’re getting other battery performance errors or your device has stopped charging.
Cyril Kardashevsky

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