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Summary:

I recently wrote about extending your MacBook’s battery life via a firmware update. Today I am going to outline how to extend your battery life by calibrating it so that it holds its charge properly. After all, running out of juice with when you’re on the […]

battery_lifeI recently wrote about extending your MacBook’s battery life via a firmware update. Today I am going to outline how to extend your battery life by calibrating it so that it holds its charge properly. After all, running out of juice with when you’re on the go is the worst possible scenario in the electronic world!

As a general rule, you should calibrate your battery every month or two to keep it running in top form.

To calibrate your laptop’s battery:

  1. Plug your laptop in and let it charge completely (your battery icon in the menu bar will be completely full and the charger’s connector light turns green).
  2. Keep the laptop plugged in for another two hours (after it is fully charged).
  3. Disconnect your laptop from power. Use it until it falls asleep from low battery.
  4. Turn off the laptop and let it “rest” for about five hours.
  5. Plug your laptop back in and let it fully charge.

It is completely fine to use your laptop during all of these steps (except, of course, when the computer is asleep).

Calibrating your laptop battery every few months is a great way to ensure you get the longest life out of it. If you’ve had your laptop for a little while and want to know the current maximum capacity of your battery, you can use the free coconutBattery utility.

coconutBattery isn’t just a tool which shows you only the current charge of your battery – it also shows you the current maximum capacity of it in relation to the original capacity your battery had as it left the factory. You also get information about the battery-loadcycles (how often did you fully load your battery), the current charger (coconutBattery even warns you if you plugged in a wrong charger for your Notebook) and last but not least information about the age of your Mac.

  1. Maybe I’m missing something here.

    Is this officially proven to actually calibrate and extend the battery life or is it just your own opinion and personal benchmark?

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  2. It’s the official method from Apple

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    1. my laptop battery will not charge any more its like frozen on the power meter how can i fix that.

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  3. Hi,

    I believe it is very difficult to “switch off your laptop” while it sleeps because of low low battery… so this step should be ommitted. Just basically let it rest without beeing plugged in for about 5 hs…

    regards, Rolf

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  4. Christian Oliver Friday, May 29, 2009

    Wouldn’t this work on the iPhone and other Li-ion batteries?

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  5. I’m interested to know if this works for the iPhone too.

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    1. Yes, it works with ipods too. In fact this holds good for all Li-ion batteries.

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  6. Another tip: if your battery is old and eventually drains itself to the point where it refuses to recharge, and the host Mac won’t even recognize it, take the battery out and let it sit for a few days. It’s worked twice for me now.

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  7. Great article! tHanks. My pro is not even 6 months old and giving me terrible battery life!

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  8. [...] See the rest here:  How-To: Calibrate Your Laptop Battery [...]

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  9. Hi All.
    I have MacBook v 1.1, 38 months old and 291 cycle of baterry charge with remaining capacity 5080mAh (CoconutBattery). My firs battery was replaced due to malfunction. LiIon (LiPol) batt. dont like deep discharge (dont make so often battery formating) and dont like high current charge. But LiIon battery is relatively imune to short cycle recharging with small current (regardless of remains energy stored in batt.) and continual charging(or continual plugged power adapter) In my case charge current is step changing in 56% and 75% of full capacity during recharge. MY recommendation – 1, when you transport your MacBook with power adapter unplugged in “sleep mode” for longer as 2-3 hour – shut down your MacBook. 2, when you discharging battery watch 55 or 75% of discharge when it is possible recharge battery. For instance – 3 times discharging from 100% to 75% – battery cycle counter increase only about +1 after 3x recharge. 3, when you working (or leaving) plug and connect power adapter to your MacBook, even if it is charged for 100%. 4, When you start working plug power adapt to MacBook even if is fully charged. (In 100% charge battery is not charged and not drained). Good luck. appledont

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  10. I’ve been using this method on all my battery-powered devices, MacBook, iPod touch, etc. Heck, I do this even for my PS3 controllers.

    As of today, my Late 2008 MacBook’s battery continues to hover around 4300mAh maximum capacity – original capacity is 4100mAh. Data provided by coconutBattery.

    Here’s a screenshot: http://twitpic.com/6j64z

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