MacBooks Battery Charging – Everything You Need To Know


Do you have questions about your MacBook battery? Questions like, is it OK to leave my MacBook plugged in overnight? Or is it’s better to run my MacBook on Battery or AC? Well, I’m here to help you answer all your queries.

MacBook batteries can have a lot of issues in the long run; some batteries drain quicker, others don’t even hold the same capacity as they did initially. With my experience, I will help you answer these common questions that you would get with MacBook batteries.

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Is It Ok to Leave My MacBook Plugged in Overnight?

Yes. If you shut down or put your MacBook in sleep mode before plugging it in and leaving it overnight, then it’s not going to harm the MacBook’s Battery.

Apple devices are designed to allow your charger to let in power only when it’s necessary. It means if your MacBook is already full battery, it will not take in more power anymore, and this is because of their chargers.

To know more about MacBook Chargers and if they’re Universal or Not, check my article by clicking the link above. That way, you will understand which chargers are compatible with the other models of MacBooks.

Lengthy Charging

Leaving your MacBook charge overnight is not bad. However, you need to reset your battery usage at least once a month. One way to do this is by totally draining it and charging it to total capacity again.

Warnings and Troubleshoot

Most battery issues people face with charging their MacBooks is having them overheat when they unplug it from the power adapter. If this is your case, let it cool off. Then, please take it to an Apple Care Specialist since this is not supposed to happen when you charge your MacBook overnight.

Considerations

Turning your MacBook off or putting it in sleep mode will be a significant factor when it comes to wearing down your laptop. Also, to ensure it doesn’t overheat, ensure it’s turned off so while your computer is charging, it isn’t running.

Does Leaving the MacBook Plugged in Hurt the Battery?

No. Leaving the MacBook plugged in a while using it isn’t going to hurt your battery if you’re only going to leave it plugged in once or twice. Plugging it in is efficient, especially if you’re performing CPU-intensive work with your MacBook (such as gaming, photo editing, and other related tasks), as it will drain the battery faster while performing these tasks.

Using your MacBook just like a desktop may be reassuring because you don’t have to worry about running out of battery while doing your tasks. However, I strongly urge you NOT TO PLUG IN your MacBook ALL THE TIME. It’s damaging and will reduce the life expectancy of your laptop.

In the long run, if you continually plug the MacBook and never run it on its Battery, it’s going to gradually reduce the original battery capacity from 100% down to 90% percent. Eventually, you’re going to have to replace them if they only hold 80% of your original capacity because it’s always running on full Battery, which will wear it down even quicker. As a result, you’ll eventually lose minutes and hours of usable time on your MacBook.

Checking your MacBook’s battery life is essential. First, you need to be aware of your Battery’s health to know if it needs replacement or not. To check your Battery’s health, open Apple Menu > System Preferences > Click Battery or Energy Saver > then select Battery in the sidebar. I recommend you change a few settings to have efficient battery life when running the MacBook on Battery.

For efficient and maximum battery life, use the following settings:

  • Turn on “Slightly dim the display while on battery power.” This setting lets your MacBook adjust the brightness to 75% for lower energy consumption.
  • Turn off “Enable Power Nap While on Battery Power.” This setting prevents your Mac from checking for mail or other iCloud updates during sleep, improving standby time, saving a lot of CPU resources, and prioritizing the tasks you’re currently doing.
  • Turn on “Automatic Graphics Switching.” This setting lets MacBook Pro models with multiple graphics processors automatically switch between them to maximize battery life.
  • Turn on “Low Power Mode.” This setting reduces energy usage to increase battery life, which can be incredibly useful because it enables you to prolong the MacBook’s battery capacity temporarily.

To sum things up, it’s OK to keep your MacBook plugged in once or twice. Just make sure that you drain the battery completely (use it without charging, or use it until there’s no more battery left) to ensure that the battery doesn’t wear out faster.

Besides, your MacBook has a battery for a reason, and you should take advantage and use it from time to time. For more in-depth instructions and troubleshooting guides, head on to Apple’s Support Page to check on how to diagnose battery problems and information about MacBook batteries in general.

Can I Overcharge My MacBook Air?

No. Overcharging is not possible when charging Apple devices, at least in the latest models. The charger will only allow enough energy that the MacBook Air can take. The same goes for the MacBook Air. It will limit the wattage intake to make sure it doesn’t overcharge and wear out the Battery.

iOS Devices use special chargers compared to your average Android user because they have a unique mechanism wherein it’s impossible to overcharge a device. The way their chargers work is that they create a handshake connection where the MacBook tells the charger how much energy it needs, how many watts are required to charge specific devices (you can use the same charge for multiple devices), and how long does it need to stay charged for.

However, there may be multiple problems that can occur when you’ve been charging your MacBook Air for a long time and your laptop isn’t charging at all. Then the charger may not be the problem here. Instead, you need to check on your batteryOpens in a new tab. if it’s showing some signs of replacement.

Checking your BatteryDescription
Cycle CountBatteries are expected to function for a certain number of cycles. This number represents the sum of total and partial discharge cycles throughout the life of the battery. You can see the cycle count limit for your computer by reviewing Determine battery cycle count for Mac notebooksOpens in a new tab..
Full charge capacityMeasured in mAH (milliampere-hours) refers to the amount of power the battery can contain, less the energy required to shut down the device. This number lowers as the battery becomes depleted with usage and wears down with age.
Remaining Charge CapacityThis number represents the current power left in the battery as measured in mAh (milliampere-hours). Using the computer when not connected to AC power will cause this number to lower as energy is depleted from the battery. Hence you may need to change or replace your battery.
DefectiveBatteries are considered flawed when they stop working due to a defect in materials or artistry or a manufacturing defect. Faulty batteries are covered under Apple’s one-year limited warranty and extended service contracts. So, your newly bought MacBook isn’t charging like it’s supposed to, then you need to go to Apple’s customer to make a warranty request.
LoadThe amount of activity being performed by a task or task. Specific power-intensive processes place a heavier load on the battery and result in a much-reduced runtime per charge. The more load/activity your MacBook is performing, the faster the battery will drain.

If your Battery is defective (doesn’t charge, takes too long to charge, and only holds 80% of its original capacity), then you need to go to Apple’s tech support and talk to them to get a free battery replacement (if you’re still eligible for the standard 1-year warranty) and even better, is if you’re going to avail their extended warranty. The AppleCare+ packageOpens in a new tab., where they give you two accidental damages per year, read more about the AppleCare rules and eligibility in my other article: The Complete Guide to AppleCare & Damage.

Should I Use My MacBook Plugged In?

Yes. It’s not harmful to use your MacBook plugged in. Just make sure that you also use your battery to ensure that your battery won’t wear out faster.

Having your MacBook plugged in will ensure that your laptop’s processing speeds won’t slow down if you’re doing heavy-intensity activities like editing and gaming, where the main factor of the performance of these apps relies on the GPU or the built-in graphic drivers in your laptop.

With your MacBook plugged in, you don’t have to worry too much about performance issues since your MacBook will not be saving power since it’s constantly being provided with sufficient energy through the AC.

When Should You Charge Your MacBook?

You should charge when it runs out of battery, charging it before it reaches 50% or 20% isn’t bad, but it’s healthy to drain your battery once in a while so that the battery won’t wear out quickly.

It brings up the question, How Long Does a MacBook Battery Last?Opens in a new tab. typically, you would get about an average of 7-18 hours of using the MacBook, depending on the model. If you purchased your MacBook between 2015-2020, expect these models to at least have 8 hours of battery usage.

Other than using your MacBook to take notes, make reports, listen to music, and browse the web, it would be best if you charged it when it’s below 20%. That way, the battery’s still in good condition, and you don’t need to be constantly stuck on the wall because you need to charge your MacBook from time to time.

Does Charging Your MacBook Overnight Ruin the Battery?

No. Charging your MacBook overnight is entirely safe as long as you shut it off or put it in sleep mode where no apps are running. The MacBook will only receive energy from its chargers if it requires energy. Once the battery capacity is sufficient, it will stop receiving energy from its power adapter and cord.

I charge my MacBook overnight, and up to this day, it’s still working in pristine condition as long as it’s turned off while you charge it. So what are the risks of charging it overnight while it’s off? Your laptop will wear down incredibly quickly and risk your MacBook to some GPU or CPU failure in the future.

If you decide to let it run overnight and charge without supervision, the CPU will constantly run and stay idle. It’s terrible because your MacBook is unnecessarily running while charging, which can damage your laptop’s hardware in the long run.

One clear sign of this is when your MacBook overheats after unplugging it from your charger, with slower loading times and slower processing speeds. So, heed my advice, don’t charge your MacBook overnight if you’re going to leave it while it’s on. Instead, turn it off, and you’ll be fine.

Is It Bad to Leave Your MacBook on All the Time?

Yes. Constantly leaving your MacBook on all the time will decrease the battery’s capacity and degrade your laptop’s processing speeds over time.

Like people, our devices need some time to rest too. In their case, it needs to cool down. It’s normal for a MacBook to be a little bit too hot when used for a very long time without turning it off since the laptop is constantly running. Sometimes, the macOS series might even overheat if it doesn’t have time to cool off between uses. 

However, there are remedies to this to avoid wearing down your MacBook too quickly, especially the battery, which most people disregard since they use it with the AC most of the time.

  • Unplug your MacBook from time to time.
  • Make sure that you turn off your laptop when you’re not using it.
  • If you plan to charge it overnight, make sure it’s turned off.
  • Go to Apple Menu > System Preferences > Battery or Energy Saver, select Battery, and monitor the Battery Health Management.
  • Replace your macOS battery if it’s showing signs of a defect.

Since macOS use lithium-ion and lithium polymer batteries, you’re bound to replace them after three to five years of usage because as the MacBook age, the battery will wear down too, so it’s just right to get yourself newer batteries to have more usable time with your macOS.

Is It Better to Run MacBook on Battery or AC?

Using your MacBook on Battery and AC are more or less the same, but if you’re doing high-intensity tasks like rendering or editing, then running it on AC is better. Other than that, simple tasks like browsing, listening to music, and taking notes, can be done on battery with little-to-no performance issues.

Running your MacBook on the battery is better if you’re always on the move. For example, I would bring my MacBook to a café where an outlet isn’t always available. That’s what makes the battery better than the AC, but if you’re just at home, then using it on battery or AC isn’t going to make a big difference.

There are a few things to note to make sure that your battery is still in good condition, and there’s a procedure for doing this. Follow my steps below, and you’ll have a MacBook with an extended battery lifespan compared to the average battery life expectancy your battery has.

Step 1: Charge your MacBook to Full Capacity.

Step 2: Use the MacBook in its Full Capacity State.

Step 3: Disconnect from Power Adapter/AC and Continue Use.

Step 4: Continue to Use it Until MacBook Shuts Off (Save everything before it shuts off).

Step 5: Let MacBook Cool off from 30 minutes up to 1 hour.

Step 6: Recharge the MacBook up to Full Capacity.

You don’t have to do this every time, but it does help extend its lifespan since you’re constantly draining your battery from time to time which you don’t get to do if you use them with AC plugged in. This way, you’re recalibrating your Battery for maximum efficiency.

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