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Quick Tip: Prolong Your MacBook Battery Life

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Having a laptop battery that drains quickly is one of the most annoying things I can think of. I bought a laptop over a desktop so I could use my computer anywhere and expect the battery to last enough time to get a decent amount of work done. Whenever I find something that can increase my battery life, I get excited. I recently stumbled across a firmware patch for MacBooks that does just that.

The patch was released in March 2009, but I did not find it until just now. According to Apple (s aapl): “This update improves the ability of MacBook batteries to maintain a charge when the system is shut down and not used for an extended period of time. For more information about this update, please visit this web site: About Battery Update 1.4.”

The products that were affected are as follows: MacBook (13-inch Late 2006), MacBook (13-inch Mid 2007), MacBook (13-inch), MacBook (13-inch Late 2007), MacBook (13-inch, Early 2008), MacBook (13-inch, Late 2008), MacBook (13-inch, Early 2009).

If you own one of the affected models and are interested in giving your MacBook’s battery life a boost, head over to the firmware update page and click the download link.

14 Responses to “Quick Tip: Prolong Your MacBook Battery Life”

  1. I own a MacBook Pro and the battery life and even after installing the firmware patches I was only able to get just a few hours per charge and that is if I was lucky. I’m a professional photographer so this just didn’t cut it for me so my eventual solution was to get an external laptop battery from Novuscell Batteries. So far, no regrets because I’m now getting an extra 12+ hours of battery runtime per charge on my MBP.

  2. there are cheaper batteries for MacBook Pro available from Amazon & other, starting at about $55, are any of the cheaper batteries worth buying? disappointed in life of $129.00 apple batteries.

  3. James Wu

    @Ben in Taipei:
    Out of warranty but under AppleCare? Apple replaces the bad/defective battery.
    Out of warranty without AppleCare? You’ll have to buy a new battery ($129 USD).

  4. Ben in Taipei

    I tried this update on my MacBook (13inch, mid2007) but it didn’t change the battery status, which is : not recognized by the system, though iStat (and System Profiler) gives me only 91 complete cycles…

    Could I get a free replace even if the warranty period is over?
    I guess this issue is caused by a bad battery and not by improper use, so this should be taken care of, right?

    Any comments or ways to solve this problem are very welcome!

    Thank you all!

  5. If Nick is right what about Unibody? Mine doesn’t do well when it’s not plugged in. My white Macbook holds a charge much better. I’m up to date, reset everything that can be reset. Losing at least 3% an hour while sleeping.

  6. Billy

    Don’t quote me on this, but I think this update solved the infamous MacBook screen flicker that I’ve learned to live with on my ‘road warrior’ 2006 MacBook (it only ever happened for the first few minutes after startup). I didn’t expect this, in fact I only installed it to breathe a tiny bit more life into a dying battery that gives an hour’s life at best.

  7. Nick Onken

    This is not for unibody Macbooks; I tried to run the installer and it said that this computer (the unibody Macbook) did not need this update.