How to check battery health on MacBook (3 Ways)

How to check battery health on MacBook

Is your MacBook’s battery acting funny-like draining quickly or taking time to charge? This could signify its poor health.

Apple’s MacBook lineup is known for its reliability and longevity. However, as is the case with any lithium-ion batteries, Mac batteries have a limited time span. Thus, affecting the device’s performance over time.

But before deciding on replacing the battery, check its health to be sure as the issue could simply be due to heavy usage (among other reasons). Let’s learn how to check it and better understand how Apple measures your device’s battery health.

Quick way to check MacBook battery health

Note: The steps to check battery health works differently depending upon the OS your MacBook is running. So I have shown them separately for each.

For macOS Big Sur

  1. Click the Apple icon at the upper left corner in the menu bar. 
  2. Go to System Preferences.

    Go to System Preferences on Mac
  3. Select Battery

    Navigate to Battery menu on Mac
  4. Next, select Battery Health at the bottom.

    Select Battery Health at the bottom on Mac
    The following pop-up menu will showcase the device’s battery condition.

    Showcase of the battery condition on Mac

Tip: Apple introduced the Battery Health Management function in macOS Catalina 10.15.5 to extend battery lifespan. Hence, it is beneficial to keep the ‘Manage battery longevity’ option checked.

For macOS Catalina or earlier

Hold the Option key and click the battery icon in the menu bar to reveal the battery status menu.

Battery Health condition in macOS Catalina or earlier

You can see the battery health at the top as either: Normal or service recommended. 

  • Normal: The battery is functioning normally. 
  • Service Recommended: The battery efficiency is decreasing, and it has reached a level where it needs replacement. You can continue using your Mac as usual, but you will find random slowdown and glitches due to poor battery condition.

Next, let’s understand the battery’s cycle count based on which your Mac shows the battery health status.

What is MacBook’s battery cycle count, and how to check it?

The cycle count refers to the battery’s one full charge and discharge cycle, i.e., when you fully charge your device to 100%, the company logs it as a single charge cycle.

Most modern MacBooks come with 1000 battery charge cycles (visit Apple’s official page to see the list of all MacBook models with battery charge cycles). Your Mac may need a battery replacement once you cross that mark.

Here’s how you can proactively track your battery’s cycle count.

  1. Use command + space keys to open the Spotlight Search menu.
  2. Type System Information and open the menu. 
  3. Choose Power under the Hardware menu. 
  4. On the right side, you will find all the relevant details from the Battery Information and System Power Settings menu. 
  5. Glance over at Cycle Count under the Health information menu. The number represents your current charge cycle for the MacBook. 
Check battery cycles of MacBook

In this case, the cycle count showcases 382, meaning my MacBook Air is good to go for another 3-4 years of regular usage. 

Get detailed info about Mac battery using coconutBattery app

Third-party apps give you detailed insights into your MacBook’s battery health. For this article, I have tried coconutBattery 3.

It is free to use and offers advanced details such as battery temperature, battery manufacturer, charge cycles, and more. You can unlock extra functions such as Wi-Fi support, iOS Battery Analyzer, notifications, and more by purchasing the Plus version.

  1. Download coconutBattery on your Mac.
  2. Open it, and you will see information such as Current Charge, Full Charge Capacity, Cycle Count, Battery Status, and more.
Use coconutBattery app to check battery health of Mac

Now that you know how to stay at the top of your MacBook’s battery health, here’s a little secret to prevent its quick wear and tear. Keep reading!

Turn on Optimized battery charging on Mac

Note: Optimized battery charging option is only available for the latest MacBook models with Thunderbolt 3 Type-C port

Most MacBook owners use their machine as a desktop replacement meaning the MacBook battery is always connected to a power source, which is not beneficial for someone who keeps their MacBook on charge all the time. This is where enabling Optimized battery charging can help.

However, it won’t stop charging your device battery to 100%. The OS will learn your device usage pattern and limit the charge to 80% when needed. 

Here’s how you can enable it:

  1. Click the Apple icon in the upper left corner of the menu bar. 
  2. Go to System Preferences.
  3. Navigate to the Battery menu.
  4. Enable Optimized battery charging at the side menu.
Use Optimized battery charging on MacBook

Do you still have questions? We have a handy FAQ section below to help clear your queries.

FAQs of Mac’s battery health

Q. What’s a good battery cycle count?

Most modern post-2009 MacBook models come with 1000 charge cycle support. So in an ideal scenario, you are completely fine at 80% of the charge cycle on the device. You don’t have to worry till the 800 mark in the System Information menu. 

Q. How long does a MacBook battery last?

Based on our estimate, when you enable the Optimized battery charging option from the System Preferences menu, you are good to go with 5 to 7 years of lifespan on your MacBook battery. 

Q. How do you reset the cycle count on a MacBook?

You can’t reset the cycle count on a MacBook. You can only visit the authorized Apple store and replace the aging MacBook battery to reset the count from the start. 

If you have any further queries or feedback, share them in the comments section below.

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