What Happens When You Leave Your MacBook Charging Overnight

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The biggest advantage of MacBooks and other mobile devices is that they’re easy to carry anywhere and don’t need a continuous power connection to work.

Whether you have a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro, it’s important to understand how to prolong battery lifespan and maximize its performance. You probably have wondered whether leaving your MacBook charging overnight is bad with it’s lithium-ion batteries.

As a general rule leaving your MacBook charging overnight is good for the MacBooks battery. The MacBooks lithium-ion battery uses fast charging to reach 80% of its capacity, then it will use smart charging to slowly trickle charge to 100%, which will happen overnight.

Charging your Mac overnight allows you to start the day with a 100% charged MacBook, in fact its better for the Macs lithium-ion batteries as they prefer to be closer to fully charged.

I always leave all my Apple devices charging overnight, and the battery life is staying strong.

For more information about potential issues that your Mac may have when you keep it plugged in all the time, read on to learn some helpful tips on how to take care of your battery long lasting.

Can I Leave My MacBook Plugged in Overnight

In general, leaving your MacBook charging overnight is okay. Lithium-ion batteries are not like traditional batteries that used to get easily damaged due to overheating, although if your Mac gets hot when charging do not leave it plugged in overnight. MacBooks are designed with optimised charging to make the battery last longer.

The overcharging battery myth comes from the old nickel batteries made popular in the 80s, modern lithium-ion batteries which are used in everything from electrical cars, to your MacBook are designed to be charged anytime for any amount of time.

There are two phases of charging lithium-ion batteries in MacBooks:

  1. The first phase is charging the battery as fast as possible. The MacBook will charge until the battery charge is at 80% of the current capacity.
  2. The second phase is called the trickle stage, where the the battery will slowly charge to 100% using Optimised battery charging

Your Apple products learn from how you battery habits and adjust optimised battery charging to your usage.

For example, if you always charge your MacBook at 11pm when you go bed and unplug it around 7.30am before you got to work, it will start slow charging past 80% at around 6.30pm just in time for when you need your Mac at 7.30am.

Charging your Mac overnight increases the battery lifespan, as it reduces the charge cycles your MacBook goes through.

Your Macs battery works in charge cycles, you complete one charge cycle when you used an amount that equals 100% of your batteries capacity, not necessarily from one charge.

If you used 75% of charge on Monday, then leave it charging overnight one charge cycle will only be completed when another 25% is used on Tuesday.

The capacity of your MacBook will decrease after each complete charge cycles, your MacBooks lithium-ion batteries are designed to hold 80% of their original charge for around 1000 charge cycles for most MacBooks.

Leaving your MacBook charging overnight reduces the charge cycles, as optimised battery charging reduces the time your Mac spends fully charged, it will only charge to 100% when it knows your about to use the device.

It is normal for your MacBook to get a little hot hile charging, but if its very hot to touch then this indicates a serious problem, take it to a l Apple Store to have the battery checked.

If you’re curious about how and when to replace your MacBook battery, you can read my article. Is there a point in replacing a MacBook battery to get some tips.

What to Do if You Leave Your MacBook Plugged in Overnight

When charging your MacBook for a while, Apple recommends checking if the battery gets hot, if it does unplug it and then it cool down and take it to a certified Apple repair specialist. This usually isn’t an issue with newer MacBooks but older MacBooks batteries can degrade overtime and get overheating issues.

The best way to keep your MacBook safe from overheating while charging overnight is to put it in Sleep Mode. Of course, it’s also better to turn off your laptop if you want to charge it all night long. It will fully charge your computer to readily use it during the day, especially when you need to download large files.

On the other hand, if you’re planning to leave your MacBook overnight, position it on a desk or any stable, flat surface. Make sure there’s enough ventilation on each side of the laptop and the power adapter. Allowing your notebook and the adapter to “breathe” while charging is important in preventing overheating.

How to Maximize Battery Lifespan

Whether you’re looking to prolong your Intel-based MacBook’s or M1 MacBook’s battery, the best tip I can give you is to take advantage of the battery-friendly tools that come with your macOS, such as Battery Health.

Here’s how you can access them:

  • Go to the Apple Menu found on the upper left side of the screen.
  • Click on the System Preferences tab and select battery.
  • Be sure to choose the battery through the left sidebar.
  • Enable the Optimized Battery Charging to reduce the MacBook’s battery’s aging by determining the user’s charging pattern. You can enable this feature in Intel-based and M1 MacBook Pro and Air models.
  • Tap the Battery Health tab found on the lower right side. A pop-up will appear showing the current condition of the battery. Enable the Manage Battery Longevity feature to limit the peak capacity of the battery to prolong its lifespan.

To keep your MacBooks battery healthy, it is important to understand more about lithium-ion batteries, learn more about why you should NEVER deplete your MacBooks battery to 0% in my article.

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