Mac OS X 10.4 battery calibration steps: MacBooks & MacBook Pros

Macbook_batteryThere’s no question that battery power is a key enabler of a mobile lifestyle. If it’s not the primary challenge we face, it’s definitely in the top three. On my UMPC, I run a battery calibration function in the BIOS every few months: on the Samsung Q1 series, you’ll find it in the Boot page of the BIOS. Look for the "Smart Battery Calibration" option.

How about for the MacBook and MacBook Pros? There’s no BIOS there, but you can still calibrate the battery; in fact, Apple suggests you calibrate every month or so. Here is the simple process:

  1. Fully charge your battery from AC power and make sure you keep the unit plugged in for at least two additional hours.
  2. Unplug the computer and use it to fully drain the battery; ignore any low power warnings. The unit will eventually enter Sleep mode.
  3. Either power it off or leave it in sleep mode, but let it sit for at least five hours; I usually let this step run overnight.
  4. Plug the unit back in. [Be sure to let it fully charge – thanks Ben!]

These steps are in the documentation that comes with the MacBook or MacBook Pro, but after seeing the shiny new hardware, you didn’t really read the little leaflets, did you?

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