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?


Daniel Padilla

So, at step 3, how can you power the computer off if it´s in sleep mode?

Ben Drawbaugh

I have experienced between 30 and 45 minutes of extra battery time after performing this. It is such a pain, I usually only do it just before a trip.

Kevin C. Tofel

Jose, I look at it is ‘preventative maintenance’ so I’m not really seeing any battery improvement. With proper usage and calibration, I expect my battery to have an overall longer lifetime than if I didn’t take care of it properly. Yes, you can calibrate the extended battery.


Have you noticed any battery improvement after running a calibration on the Q1? can you calibrate with the extended battery?? Thanks ;)

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