Learn how to determine the number of cycles your Mac notebook’s battery has.
About battery cycles
When you use your Mac notebook, its battery goes through charge cycles. A charge cycle happens when you use all of the battery’s power—but that doesn’t necessarily mean a single charge.
For example, you could use half of your notebook’s charge in one day, and then recharge it fully. If you did the same thing the next day, it would count as one charge cycle, not two. In this way, it might take several days to complete a cycle.
Batteries have a limited amount of charge cycles before their performance is expected to diminish. Once the cycle count is reached, a replacement battery is recommended to maintain performance. You can use your battery after it reaches its maximum cycle count, but you might notice a reduction in your battery life.
Knowing how many charge cycles your battery has and how many are left can help you determine when a battery replacement is required. Your battery is designed to retain up to 80% of its original charge capacity at its maximum cycle count. For best performance, replace your battery when you reach its maximum cycle count.
Follow these steps to access information about your Mac notebook battery, including its cycle count:
- Hold the Option key and click the Apple menu. Choose System Information.
- Under the Hardware section of the System Information window, select Power. The current cycle count is listed under the Battery Information section.
Identify your computer
Cycle count limits vary between Mac models. For help identifying your Mac notebook, use the Tech Specs page or these articles:
Last updated on November 2, 2019 By Serhat Kurt Leave a Comment
Depending on your Macbook model (Macbook, Macbook Air, Macbook Pro, etc) and its battery health, your Mac battery will last several hours; and the average life of a battery can vary a lot. Is your battery not lasting as long as it did when you first got the computer? This is likely because the battery’s capacity decreases over time. Your battery is not meant to last forever. It’s important that you periodically check its health.
There are other scenarios that you may want to know Mac’s battery health. For example, if you want to buy a used or refurbished Mac, this should be the first thing you should check. Checking the battery life, not only provides information on battery health, but it will also give you an idea about how much a computer is used.
How to check battery life on Mac
macOS includes a hidden “Battery Report” feature. This battery report includes a lot of useful information:
- Battery cycle count: This refers to charge cycles. This is the number of times your battery has been drained fully and recharged.
- Condition: This shows the health of your battery. This may say any of these: Normal (this means your battery is functioning as expected, this is what you want to see), Replace Soon (battery works but you may want to replace soon and its performance is not perfect), Replace Now (battery works, but its performance is poor), Service Now (battery is not working). You can also see this by holding the Option key and then click the battery icon in the menu bar.
- Full Charge Capacity (mAh=milliampere-hours)
- Charge Remaining (mAh)
Here is how you can reveal this report.
You need to open the System Information app. There are multiple ways to do this. Choose any of the followings:
- Press and hold the Option key, and click the Apple menu and System Information, or
- Click Apple menu > About This Mac > and click the Overview tab and then click the System Information button, or
- Use Spotlight and search System Information, and lastly
- On your Mac, go to Applications / Utilities / System Information
This will open a white window. This provides a summary of information about your Mac and its hardware and software.
To learn more about your battery, click Power (left menu – under Hardware). And you can see an overview of information about your battery under the ‘Battery Information’ section.
You can also save a copy of your system report by choosing File > Save.
How long does your Macbook battery last?
Most of Apple’s newer notebooks can go through 1,000 charge cycles before you need a battery replacement. To put in perspective, for example, if you use 1 cycle a day (every day, including weekends), your battery will last about 3 years. But most people do not do this. As you can see in the image above, my cycle count is 342 and I am using this computer since 2013.
Older Macbooks (mostly before 2010) offer less maximum cycle charge count, usually around 300-500.
Beyond this number, it is not expected for your battery to function anymore. If you reach this number, you should replace your battery.
Also, it is important to note that Apple offers a One Year Limited Warranty for faulty batteries.
There are some steps that you can take to maximize your battery life.
- Keep your Mac up to date
- Shut down your computer if you are not going to use it for a long time
- Optimize your battery life by going to Energy Saver in System Preferences, so that you use less battery life and this means less cycle.
- Optimize your keyboard and screen brightness by going to System Preferences > Keyboard or Displays.
If you need to replace a battery, you can do that yourself because most of them offer removable batteries, or you can reserve a Genius Bar appointment.
Computer batteries have a limited lifespan and degrade over time, so they’re often the first thing to go in a Mac laptop. You can replace a battery yourself or pay Apple to do it, but you should check its health. first. Any battery life issues you’re having could be due to a runaway process or just heavy use.
Check the Battery Cycle Count on Your Mac
A charge cycle is one full charge and discharge of the battery. Every modern Mac battery is rated for 1000 cycles; some older models (pre-2010) are rated for 500 or 300 cycles. While the battery won’t suddenly fail when it reaches its limit, it will start to hold less and less charge as it approaches that limit. Eventually, you’ll need to keep your Mac connected to its power cable to use it.
To check how many charge cycles your battery has been through, hold down the Option key, click the Apple icon at the top left corner of the screen, and then select the “System Information” command. If you don’t hold down the Option key, you’ll see an “About This Mac” command, instead.
In the system information window, expand the “Hardware” category on the left, and then select the “Power” option.
In the right pane, you’ll see all the stats for your battery. The “Cycle Count” entry is under the “Health Information” section.
The MacBook in our example has a cycle count of 695. The battery doesn’t need to be replaced yet, but it probably will need to be done later this year. If there is a problem with your battery, the “Condition” entry (which shows Normal in our example) will display something like “Service Battery.”
Get a Bit More Information with coconutBattery
System Information has most of the data you need to assess your battery’s health, but it’s not very well laid out and could provide a bit more information. For example, it tells you your battery’s current maximum capacity but not it’s original capacity. If you want a little bit more info that’s easier to understand, download the free app coconutBattery.
When you run the app, you’ll see something like the screenshot below.
As well as the cycle count, this app shows us that the battery now has a Full Charge Capacity of 7098 mAh. When it was new, it had a capacity of 8755 mAh. Losing 15% capacity over almost three years isn’t too bad at all.
If you’ve got an older MacBook, the battery almost certainly holds less charge now than it did when it was new. With either System Information or coconutBattery, you can quickly see how much capacity it’s lost and whether it needs to be replaced.
Batteries on electronic devices have a very limited period of usage capacity. Your MacBook Pro Battery life can go down gradually after a certain amount of charge cycles, and you might need to replace them. The MacBook battery cycle count can be checked within your Mac itself before they get worn out.
Here is our guide on how to check battery health on Macbook, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro.
How to Check Battery Health on MacBook?
macOS Big Sur brings the dedicated screen for Battery Health and battery capacity. This feature shows the “Battery Usage History” and additional battery settings on a dedicated window.
- Go to System Preferences
- Click on Battery icon
- Select Battery from the left sidebar.
- Now, click on Battery Health button.
The popup window will show you the Battery condition, Maximum Capacity, etc. The Maximum Capacity measure the capacity of the battery to hold the power. The new battery shows you 99-100% while the value goes down when your mac gets old after several battery cycles.
How to Check Battery Health on MacBook?
The battery health on MacBook is determined by your MacBook itself and will let you know if something goes wrong. In normal cases, the MacBook Pro battery lasts up to 10 hours while the smaller MacBook Air models can last up to 12-15 hours.
If you are a heavy regular user, you would probably not be keeping track of the battery usage and charging cycles. Therefore, you might not notice the small dip in your MacBook battery health and performance. Apple also recommends users to check battery health on MacBook often to avoid battery failures. Here is how to check battery health on MacBook Pro and MacBook Air.
- Press and hold the “Option” key on your MacBook keyboard.
- Click the Battery icon on the top right portion of the menu bar.
- You will find the “Condition” of the MacBook battery.
If the condition says “Normal” it means your MacBook battery is alright and the battery health is fine at the moment. Here are the possible condition status of your MacBook Battery health and what they mean.
- Normal: Your MacBook Battery health is fine and nothing to worry about.
- Replace Soon: Your battery health is at risk and will need a replacement anytime soon.
- Replace Now: Do Not use your MacBook on battery further. Replace to get the battery performance as before.
- Service Battery: Take your MacBook to a nearby service center. The battery is almost dead.
How Do I Know if My Mac Battery is Bad?
The MacBook Pro battery life will decrease gradually like any other electronic device. So, how do you know if your MacBook battery health is okay? Basically, you can if your Mac battery is bad by using the above method. You can click the battery icon on the menu bar by pressing the “Option” key on your Keyboard. It will tell you if you need a battery replacement or service immediately.
Unlike Windows PCs, you do not have to wait until the battery starts to malfunction in the case of MacBooks. Before the battery health goes wrong, your MacBook will warn you about the battery health condition. Also, you can check battery health on MacBook manually at certain intervals.
How to Check MacBook Battery Cycle Count
You might be hearing about the charge cycle or battery cycle counts regarding your MacBook and iPhone. Most of the users are still not yet sure about the term. According to Apple, a single battery cycle is counted once you use the 100% capacity f the battery.
It necessarily does not require you to use the battery from 100% to 0% and fully recharge it back again. If you are using 50% of your MacBook battery charge (check MagSafe Mac Chargers) in one day, and then plug it into 100%, it is counted as a half-cycle only. A single cycle is counted when you another 50% of your battery juice.
Windows running laptops do not have an option to check your detailed battery information including battery cycle count. However, if you are a MacBook user, you can easily check the battery cycle count in no time. Mac keeps the track of your battery health, charge and discharge rate, charge cycles, etc. Here is how to check the MacBook battery cycle count.
- Click on the Apple icon from the Menu bar while holding the Option key.
- Click System Information.
- Choose “Power” from the left side panel fo the opened window.
- Find the MacBook battery cycle count from the window.
An Apple MacBook Air or MacBook Pro battery life is limited to around 1000 battery cycles. It does not mean that you will have to replace your battery past the limit. Instead, you will only be able to utilize 80% of your MacBook battery capacity.
The storage capacity of your MacBook battery will go down gradually by each cycle. However, you can still continue using your MacBook with the same battery until you get the battery health warning or the condition becomes “Replace Soon.”
How to Improve MacBook Pro Battery Life
We know that you can utilize the maximum battery capacity of your MacBook Pro until 1000 cycles. If you think this is very less compared to other laptops, well, it is actually not. Not all the laptops in the industry could survive 1000 charge cycles. If you still want to preserve more charge cycles and improve MacBook Pro battery life, try the following methods.
- Turn off radios when not in use (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth).
- Disable Keyboard backlit when not necessary.
- Use power-saving mode while the workload is very less.
- Use less power-consuming apps and services.
- Use with the charger plugged in while using resource-consuming apps. Do not use the MacBook plugged into the charger always.
- The dark mode may save some battery juice while you use the Mac for a long time.
The above methods basically reduce the battery consumption on your MacBook, which will definitely result in preserving battery cycles. If your MacBook already has a battery that is not “Normal”, do not delay the replacement with the genuine battery from Apple.
Mac notebook computers with an Intel processor use battery health management, a feature designed to improve the lifespan of your computer’s battery.
About the lithium-ion battery in your Mac notebook
Mac notebook batteries use lithium-ion technology. Lithium-ion batteries charge quickly, are long-lasting, and currently provide the best technology to power your computer.
All rechargeable batteries are consumable components that become less effective as they get older—and their age isn’t determined only by time. A battery’s lifespan depends on its chemical age, which is affected by factors such as its temperature history and charging pattern. As your notebook’s battery ages chemically, its charging capacity gets smaller.
With these tips for maximizing battery performance, you can get the most out of all your Apple devices. And with battery health management, your Mac notebook can take battery optimization even further.
How battery health management helps
The battery health management feature in macOS 10.15.5 is designed to improve your battery’s lifespan by reducing the rate at which it chemically ages. The feature does this by monitoring your battery’s temperature history and its charging patterns.
Based on the measurements that it collects, battery health management may reduce your battery’s maximum charge when in this mode. This happens as needed to ensure that your battery charges to a level that’s optimized for your usage—reducing wear on the battery, and slowing its chemical aging. Battery health management also uses the measurements to calculate when your battery needs service.
While battery health management benefits your battery’s long-term lifespan, it can also reduce the amount of time your Mac runs on one battery charge when capacity limits are applied. If your priority is making your Mac notebook last as long as possible before recharging, you can turn the feature off.
When battery health management is turned on, your battery’s maximum charging capacity might be limited. Although the feature is designed to improve your battery’s lifespan, the limited maximum capacity might update your battery status menu to indicate a need for service. Your Mac calculates when to recommend service for your battery based on battery health management being continuously enabled.
How to control the battery health management feature
Battery health management is on by default when you buy a new Mac notebook with macOS 10.15.5 or later, or after you upgrade to macOS 10.15.5 or later on a Mac notebook with Thunderbolt 3 ports.
If you want to turn off battery health management on a Mac notebook with an Intel processor, follow these steps:
- Choose System Preferences from the Apple menu , then click Battery.
- Click Battery in the sidebar, then click Battery Health.
- Deselect “Manage battery longevity”.
- Click Turn Off, then click OK.
Note that turning this feature off might reduce your battery’s lifespan.
If you feel that your battery isn’t lasting as long as it should, you can learn about getting service for your Mac notebook.
- Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)
Batteries aren’t meant to last forever, and that includes the battery that powers your laptop. It might seem like the power source that gives life to your device should be the tech equivalent of an everlasting gobstopper, but as with any other battery, your laptop battery has a life cycle, one that ends at some point.
It’s important to keep an eye on your laptop battery’s health for that very reason: it can, and likely will, die at some point, and you don’t want to get stuck replacing it in a pinch. Plus, just because the battery has died doesn’t mean you need to buy a new laptop. Tap or click here for 5 signs it’s time for a new laptop.
Let’s take a look at how you can check the life of your laptop battery on both PCs and Mac laptops.
How and why laptop batteries die
Most laptops use lithium-ion batteries as the power source, and as a general rule, this type of battery tends to lose charging capabilities. This can cause your laptop battery, which once held a full charge of 100%, to be limited to, say, over 30% over time.
This can obviously interfere with your productivity — and also your laptop’s efficiency. Laptops are meant to be portable, but if you can’t move it from one place to the next without the battery dying, it can cause issues with how useful your device is to you.
Tech news that matters to you, daily
Privacy, security, the latest trends and the info you need to live your best digital life.
This happens because your laptop battery is only equipped to handle a limited number of full battery cycles — or, in layman’s terms, the charging process in which your battery goes from 0% to 100% — before it starts losing efficiency. If you consistently put your laptop battery through full charge cycles, it will lose efficiency, and so will older batteries as they age.
Your laptop battery can also lose efficiency if you’re partially charging it. Let’s say you regularly charge your laptop from 30% to 50%, or about 20% each time you charge it. Well, do that five times and you’ll have completed one battery cycle because you’ve charged your laptop 100% in total.
You can’t just avoid charging your battery to cut down on the cycles you put it through, though — which is why it’s important to check your battery’s health instead. Doing so will give you a good idea of how much more abuse your battery can take, and help prompt you to make some changes to preserve the battery health when you can.
But how do you do that? Let’s take a look.
How to check the battery life on your laptop
The steps you take to check your battery health will depend on which type of laptop you use. Checking on the health of your battery on a Macbook is much simpler than checking the health of your battery on a PC laptop, which involves a much more laborious process. Let’s start with the difficult one first.
How to check the battery health of your PC laptop
Option #1: Use the Windows PowerShell terminal (Windows 8 or later).
To check your battery health, you just have to use one simple command from the Windows Powershell terminal.
- Click the Start menu on your laptop.
- Search for PowerShell and then click on the PowerShell option that appears.
- Once it appears, type the following command: powercfg /batteryreport.
- Press Enter, which will generate a report that includes information on your battery health.
- Search for the folder in your user accounts directory with the name: C:\Users[YourUsername] to access the report.
- Note: Rather than searching for Powershell, you can opt to type “cmd” while pressing the Start button.
- Press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to run it in administrator mode.
- While in admin mode, type powercfg /batteryreport.
- Hit Enter.
- Go to Users\Your Username folder and look for the battery-report.html file to access the report.
Following either set of instructions above generates a report that includes a ton of information on your laptop, including information about your battery health. This report will be an HTML file, so all you have to do is double-click it to view the contents.
You can find the information about your battery health by scrolling down on the report to the Battery Information section. This section will include subsections with information on Design Capacity, Full Charge Capacity, and Cycle Count.
It also includes a subsection called Battery Life Estimates, which will give you a clearer picture of how long your laptop battery will last now on a full charge, along with information on how long it would last on a full charge when it was new. This information should help you better understand where your battery is in its life cycle.
Option #2: Use Battery Report, which allows you to see your battery health (best for older laptops)
- Press Windows Key + X to open Win + X menu.
- Choose Command Prompt (Admin). (Note: This opens Command Prompt as an administrator, which allows you to run a battery report for your laptop).
- When Command Prompt opens, type in the same command you use for Windows PowerShell: powercfg /batteryreport and run the report.
This will do the same thing as the Windows PowerShell method does: it will generate a report that includes information on your battery health, which can be found by searching in your accounts directory for a folder called C:\Users[YourUsername].
As with the PowerShell method, this report will show you information about your battery, along with the name, serial number, and chemistry type of the battery.
How to check the battery health for your Mac laptop
It’s surprisingly simple to check the health of your Macbook battery, especially when compared to checking the battery health on a PC laptop. To check the health of your battery on a Macbook:
- Hold the Option key and click on the Apple menu.
- Click on System Information.
- Scroll down to Hardware > Power > Cycle Count.
The “Cycle Count” section will give you a firm number of times your laptop battery has completed the battery cycle, and you can use this number to better understand where your Macbook battery is in its life cycle. You’ll also find information on what the full charge capacity is, the charge remaining, and a ton of other information about your battery, including the serial number.
This information is important because the battery cycles will vary with each model of the Macbook. As you can see on the screenshot above, the Macbook this was written on has a cycle count of 253, which may seem high, but it’s a Macbook Pro, and Macbook Pros released from 2009 and later have 1,000 cycles on their batteries. So, this Macbook is about a third of the way into the full battery life cycle.
If your MacBook’s battery life seems to be getting shorter and shorter, it might be time to check your MacBook’s battery health. All MacBooks ship with batteries that are designed to last for years, but depending on how you typically recharge your MacBook’s battery, the battery’s capacity can be reduced early leading to shorter battery life. Checking your MacBook’s battery health can help you keep an eye on things and make sure your MacBook’s battery isn’t defective.
Here’s how to check your MacBook’s battery health:
Download a free application called coconutBattery.
Open the coconutBattery application.
Your MacBook’s battery health is displayed in the application, as shown below.
Tips for Maintaining Your MacBook’s Battery Health
Here are some tips for maintaining the health of your MacBook’s battery:
- Try not to drain your MacBook’s battery below 20% before recharging.
- Don’t store your MacBook in extreme temperatures. Ideally, the battery would always be kept at room temperature.
- When storing your MacBook for a prolonged period of time, discharge the battery to around 50%-80%, shutdown the MacBook, and keep the charger unplugged.
For more tips and tricks, see this article from Ars Technica. Happy charging!
Subscribe to our email newsletter
Sign up and get Macinstruct’s tutorials delivered to your inbox. No spam, promise!
Maybe you have noticed a drastic reduction in your MacBook Pro’s battery life recently or just wish to find out the actual condition of the battery of your notebook. Whatever could be your personal reason, checking MacBook Pro’s (or any MacBook’s) battery health is pretty straightforward. While most modern MacBooks come with batteries rated 1000 charge cycles, the older ones like MacBook Pro (15-inch Late 2008) and MacBook Air (Late 2008) feature batteries rated 500 and 300 charge cycles respectively. The methods I have mentioned below will help you determine if your battery has passed those charge cycle limits and are in need of a change if you want the best battery life for your Macs.
Check MacBook Pro Battery Health: Three Methods Explained
macOS including the latest macOS Catalina, makes it a lot easier to keep track of the MacBooks battery including the cycle count. And there are a couple of ways to get it done. Let me show you how it works!
Check MacBook’s Battery Health from Status Bar
- First off, while holding the option key, click the battery icon that is located in the status bar at the top right of the screen.
- Now, you should see the battery health of your MacBook/MacBook Air or MacBook Pro. It would be shown as: Normal, Replace Soon, Replace Now, or Service Battery.
While this is the easiest method, it won’t show you the specifics of battery health. If you want more information, you should use the method mentioned below.
Check MacBook’s Battery Health from System Preferences
- Click the Apple menu in the top left corner of the screen and choose About This Mac.
2. Now, click System Report.
3. Next, click on Power.
In the window, you can see plenty of info related to your battery. On this very screen, you can also check the cycle count that can provide a better picture of how much life the battery has still got. As you can see, the condition of my MacBook Pro is normal. And the cycle count is 152 which shows that the maximum full cycle is still a long way away.
Get In-Depth Battery Health Status Using Coconut Battery
While the above two methods should be enough for most users to determine if they need to replace Mac’s battery or not, if you want even more detailed information, you can install a free Mac utility called Coconut Battery (free, in-app purchases). This simple utility will help you see the age of your Mac’s battery, how often it was charged, and even more such relevant information. Not only that, you can even connect your iOS devices to your Mac to check their battery life status using the same app.
Keep a Track of the Battery Health of Your MacBook
That’s how you can keep an eye on the battery health of your Apple notebook. Though the battery of most MacBooks can comfortably deliver 1000 charge cycles, their lifespan may be reduced if you don’t offer the needed care of the battery. Always avoid exposing your notebooks to ambient temperatures higher than 35° C as it can completely damage the battery capacity. You can also disable turbo-boost to prevent heating to preserve battery life. That’s all from us, let us know your thoughts on the subject in the comments below.
If you have a 2016 or 2017 MacBook Pro and it doesn’t charge beyond one percent – which means you can only use it when it’s connected to power – there’s has a chance that you can get a replacement battery for free. This is because Apple has just launched a battery replacement program for qualifying MacBook Pros.
If your MacBook Pro has been criticized for this battery issue and you want to check if it qualifies, then you need to check your MacBook Pro’s battery health first. But before doing that, make sure that you are running macOS Big Sur 11.2.1 or later or macOS Catalina 10.15.7 Supplemental Update. Once you’ve done that, you can move on to the next step.
How to check the health of your MacBook Pro battery:
- Open System Preferences.
- Select the Battery icon.
- Select the Battery option from the sidebar menu.
- Click on the “Battery Health” button at the bottom of the window.
If you see a “Recommended Service” message, your MacBook Pro is eligible for Apple’s replacement program. (If it says your battery is normal, your MacBook Pro is not eligible.)
From here you will need to contact Apple Support. Click on the “Service Options” button that appears at the top of the same window that you clicked on …
Rechargeable battery in any gadget has a limited lifespan and degrade over time. The same thing happens with the battery of the MacBook. When the battery of MacBook stops offering proper battery backup, you can get it replaced. But before you go and replace the battery of your MacBook, you should check its health first.
The battery is rated with a charge capacity and there are charge cycles manufacturers claim for a healthy battery. A Charge cycle is actually the one full charge and discharge of the battery. Apple claims that Batteries of MacBooks are rated for 1000 cycles. After cycles cross this number, chances of battery fail increases. But battery won’t suddenly fail after it crosses the limit. It just starts holding less charge. With the time, its capacity will degrade and in few months or years, you will have to keep your Mac connected all the time when the battery stops holding a considerable charge.
There’s a Quick check if you don’t want to spend much time. Click the battery icon in your status bar. It will show the battery condition that should be one of these: Normal, Replace Soon, Replace Now, or Service Battery. If it is Normal or Replace Soon, you can keep using the same battery until it starts showing Replace Now.
If you want more detailed information, You can check the charge cycles of your MacBook’s battery. Here are the steps.
Click on Apple icon at the top left corner and then select “About This Mac” option.
.It will open a dialogue box where you need to click on the ‘System Report’ button.
It will open a detailed system report Window that will be something like the screenshot below.
Now look for the ‘Power’ option from the left side options in the Hardware section. Click on it to open the Power report.
In the Power report, you will see different things about battery including Charge Remaining, Full Charge Capacity, and Cycle Count. If cycle count is more than 1000, your battery is on the risk of failure.
There’s is also a good free app that similar information. It shows original capacity, current capacity, cycle count and Battery Failure if there.
If you own an Old MAcbook that doesn’t give expected battery life, you need to check its battery health before you decide to replace the battery.
Deepanker Verma is the founder of Techlomedia. He is a tech blogger, developer and gadget freak.