How-To: Calibrate Your Laptop Battery

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.