Best Ways to Charge a MacBook: 5 Tips and Tricks

You may know some different tips and tricks on how to get the best battery life from your MacBook Pro or MacBook Air, but how about keeping the battery itself healthy and lasting?

Batteries don’t last forever and their quality degrades over time and may no longer even hold a proper charge. That said, you can at least slow down degradation by taking good care of the battery and following a few simple guidelines to keep your MacBook’s battery healthy for as long as possible.

Every battery is different based on how it’s used by the MacBook user, but a battery should last for about three years before it starts to degrade slowly, but some users have reported that it’s only two years before their MacBook’s battery life starts to degrade. Again, there’s really nothing you can do to stop a battery from failing and eventually dying, but there are ways to at least keep it from starting to fail for as long as possible.

Don’t Always Empty

It’s a bad idea to constantly let your MacBook’s battery drop to a low percentage before recharging. In fact, the best the shorter the discharge time, the longer the battery will last. It is best to avoid a full discharge and to charge the battery more frequently between uses. A good percentage to aim for is to drain it to 50% and not let it drain any more if you can help it. In fact, it’s best to charge your MacBook in short bursts rather than constantly charging it from 0% to 100%.

Doing this will constantly drain the battery to 0% and can actually cause slow damage to the battery if you back it up to 100%, but how about calibrating the battery? Good question.

Calibrate the Battery Occasionally

Calibrating a battery requires the user to fully discharge the battery to 0% and recharge it to 100%. This not only gives you a more accurate percentage reading while using your MacBook, but also extends the life of the battery in general.

However, you only want to do this once in a while to reap these benefits. Apple recommends doing this once a monthbut you can easily get rid of it by doing this every few months or every few months.

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Heat is the Battery’s Worst Enemy

While a battery naturally heats up while charging, heat can quickly shorten the life of the battery. Heat is bad for any device because it can cause overheating and damage the processor and other circuitry, but batteries are more sensitive to heat so it’s important to never leave your laptop in a hot car if you can help it.

According to research Lithium-based batteries operating above 30°C (86°F), conducted by the Center for Automotive Research at Ohio State University in collaboration with Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the National Institute of Standards Technology, are at risk because this is considered high temperature. Exposing the battery to high temperatures and staying at full charge for extended periods can be more stressful than cycling.

For this reason, we recommend using some type of laptop stand so that the airflow reaches the bottom of the laptop and things are cooled.


How About Keeping It Plugged In All The Time?

Many MacBook users leave their machine plugged in all day, especially if they’re at a workstation rather than on the road. It is not good for the battery to leave the charger plugged in all the time, as the high voltage used to charge the battery is applied repeatedly to keep the battery at 100%.

Even the high voltages used to charge a battery are not good for it, so there is a maximum voltage at which chargers are plugged in. Ideally, the lower the voltage, the longer the battery will last before needing to be replaced. Keeping the charger plugged in all day is nothing more than exposing the battery to higher voltages, which can degrade the battery much faster.

So I personally like to use something like Belkin’s Housing Socket If I need to charge something overnight. This little mechanism turns off the power after a certain amount of time (30 minutes, 3 hours or 6 hours), so I don’t leave my equipment on charge all night.

Battery Monitoring Apps You Can Use

There are many apps that you can download and install on your MacBook that monitor the health of the MacBook’s battery. Again, Battery Diagnostics It’s one of the best apps we’ve tried.

Screenshot 2014-05-06 12.04.51 PM

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It is a battery monitoring application that displays the capacity and remaining charge of your MacBook battery as a percentage. The app also displays the source, battery health, number of charge cycles and estimated time remaining on current charge. You can also get more details, such as the temperature of the battery and the power usage displayed in watts.

Also, Battery Diag looks great with its iOS 7 app-like user interface. It also uses minimal system resources and sits quietly in your menu bar.

Moyens I/O Staff has motivated you, giving you tips on technology, personal development, lifestyle and strategies that will help you.