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Should You Keep Your Mac Plugged in All the Time? (Apple Says)

We all hate not having enough battery charge to play games or use applications on our devices, especially when it comes to our laptops.

Charging your MacBook does help solve this problem. But are you intentionally causing damage to your MacBook by doing so? Let’s dig into MacBooks that are constantly plugged into their charger.

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Should You Keep Your Mac Plugged in All the Time?

There’s nothing wrong with keeping your MacBook plugged in all the time, but this may eventually cause your MacBook’s battery to deteriorate faster than usual. Charging your MacBook frequently for long periods may weaken your Mac’s battery capacity in the long run.

Though Apple’s lithium-ion batteries are fast-charging and long-lasting, all rechargeable batteries lose their effectiveness over time. The time it takes for this to happen depends on a battery’s chemical age, which also depends on how often you charge your battery and how you take care of it. Of course, the declining effectiveness depends on what applications you’re running on your MacBook, too.

This handy guide of mine talks about all there is to know about MacBooks and charging. I suggest you check this out to learn even more about it.

You won’t cause any immediate damage by charging your MacBook all the time. Apple has improved its batteries by implementing battery health management, which lengthens the time you can use your battery overall before it becomes less effective. This feature studies how you use your MacBook and adjusts your MacBook to charge to an optimized level.

Although this feature helps lengthen your battery life, it might decrease the amount of time you can use your MacBook before needing to plug in your charger. If this bothers you, you can manually turn off battery health management by following these steps:

  1. Go to the menu and select ‘System Preferences.’
  2. Click ‘Battery.’
  3. Select ‘Battery Health.’
  4. Deselect ‘Manage Battery Longevity.’
  5. When the prompt appears, click ‘Turn Off’ to turn the feature off.

However, you have to remember that the battery health management feature focuses on preventing your MacBook from overcharging. Overcharging your MacBook by leaving it plugged in may reduce your battery’s efficiency over time as the electrons inside your battery need to move to keep the battery healthy. Therefore, Apple suggests that charging your battery to 80% is better than keeping it plugged in all the time.

Do you always use your MacBook while charging it? If you’re worried about damaging it unintentionally by doing this, you can read my article about it.

Another thing to look out for is temperature. Like all Apple devices, MacBook batteries don’t work well under severe temperatures, whether this is hot or cold. Frequently exposing your MacBook to temperatures above 35 degrees will permanently damage your battery.

Some MacBook cases retain warmth, which might deteriorate your MacBook. My article about cases and if they can damage your device talks about this, which you can find here.

Newer MacBook models can go through 1,000 charge cycles before the battery deteriorates below Apple’s battery effectiveness guarantee of 80%. A charge cycle refers to a process where your MacBook fully uses 100% of its battery. For example, using 30% of the battery for one day and 70% the next day will count as one cycle. I wrote a detailed guide about MacBook battery cycle counts, and you can read it here.

If you really want to have your MacBook’s battery lastT as long as possible, there are many ways you can do this.

Apple always suggests that you update your device to its latest software. Usually, Apple improves the energy-saving technology of their devices, making their batteries run more efficiently. However, do make sure to back up all important information before doing this. I wrote an article about properly preparing before having your MacBook’s software updated.

Another way to keep your battery healthy is by optimizing your MacBook’s settings. By optimizing your settings, your MacBook will use less energy to run, and you won’t need to have your laptop plugged in all the time. Your MacBook’s energy-saver pane has several settings for you to choose from. Reducing your screen’s brightness and closing applications you aren’t currently using are also simple ways to use less energy.

Keeping your MacBook’s environment safe is also another way to charge your MacBook safely. When you keep your MacBook’s charger plugin, make sure you’re placing it somewhere neither too hot nor too cold. By retaining your MacBook’s environment between 10 degrees to 35 degrees, you will ensure that you won’t further damage your battery.

If you’re worried about your MacBook getting too hot when charging, this article of mine about a MacBook’s cooling system might help you.

Want To Keep Your MacBook Battery Heathly?

This article is part of a series on keeping your MacBooks battery in the best condition, want to learn more? See my ultimate guide to MacBook battery health here.