Fixing MacBook Pro Battery Draining Fast & Other Issues

It’s a dreaded message: “You are now running on reserve battery power.” Or, if you’re using a newer macOS, it might say “Low Battery: Your Mac will sleep soon unless plugged into a power outlet” instead.

low battery notification macOS Monterey

If you’re near a wall outlet, this warning usually doesn’t have much impact. You simply pull out the charger, plug it in, and your MacBook Pro is now back to normal.

Unfortunately, it’s not always that simple especially if you’re using an old MacBook Pro which tends to suffer battery draining fast and other issues over time — just like other technology.

However, if this warning is showing up too often, sooner than normal, or the battery just keeps acting up, it’s time to diagnose the problem and find out what you can do to fix it.

The battery in your MacBook Pro might be vulnerable to more issues than you think, so what can you do about it? In this post, I’ll help you find out what might be causing your battery to drain so fast, together with fix solutions.

Knowledge Time about Battery

It’s good practice to regularly check your MacBook’s battery health. There’s no easier way to do this than CleanMyMac X. Just click the app icon on your Mac menu bar, it’ll give you a quick overview of the health of your Mac’s battery (see below). The app doesn’t stop there, it also offers a collection of utilities to help you quickly clean up Mac drive, uninstall unneeded apps in batch, optimize startup items, and a lot more.

Battery life isn’t always consistent. Variations in temperature, usage, and settings can have a significant impact, and should always be considered before any potential hardware issues.

Habits can make or break your MacBook battery life. Whether you know it or not, certain behaviors such as extensive multitasking or using resource-hungry apps are common culprits of battery life theft. When using your MacBook, consider these as potential sources of the problem.

Battery issues are rarely due to bugs. Unless you have the latest software with the newest macOS, Apple has very few unresolved bugs. This means your problem probably stems from something else, usually usage patterns or hardware errors.

Now moving on to the issues and fixes!

Your MacBook Battery Is Draining Faster than Normal

Issue 1: Overuse (By You, or Applications)

Possible Cause: If your battery seems to be draining twice as fast, it might be because you’re using it twice as much. Especially if you recently made a major change to your workflow, such as greatly increasing how much multitasking you engage in, this could be the reason for seemingly sudden battery drainage.

How to Fix:

You can get a basic idea of which apps are draining the most power by choosing the battery icon in the top right of your Mac. This will show you which apps are currently using the most power and help you get an idea of what’s gobbling up power.

You can also cut down on the battery drain by limiting the number of programs you leave idle in the background while you work and reducing the amount of multitasking you do.

Issue 2: Using the Wrong Settings

Possible Cause: Your computer’s default settings are unnecessarily gobbling up energy while you work.

How to Fix:

Here are a few basic settings that once changed, should help reduce the amount of battery your MacBook Pro is using while you work:

Bluetooth: Always turn off Bluetooth when you aren’t using any Bluetooth accessories. Just click the Bluetooth icon located on top of the menu bar and click “Turn Bluetooth Off.”

Screen Brightness: Dimming the screen by a few degrees is both better for your eyes and the battery. If you’re on an older MacBook, use the function key F1 to lower the brightness. For new MacBook Pros with Touch Bar, tap on the smaller-sun icon.

Keyboard Backlighting: MacBook Pros have a very nicely lit keyboard, but if yours is glowing in broad daylight, you may want to consider adjusting this with the F5 function key (new MacBooks with Touch Bar is a bit different).

Energy Saver Preferences: Open “System Preferences”, and then choose “Battery” (for macOS Big Sur or Monterey) or “Energy Saver” (for macOS Catalina or earlier). Reduce the amount of time it takes for the computer and the display to sleep to save battery.

Since macOS Big Sur, “Battery” replaced “Energy Saver”.
“Energy Saver” feature on macOS Catalina or earlier.

Doing these things should help you see a considerable increase in battery life, especially if you were previously using dramatically different settings.

Your MacBook Pro Doesn’t Charge to Capacity or Doesn’t Charge At All

Issue 3: Poor Storage Methods

Possible Cause: If your MacBook goes into extended storage with full battery or no battery at all, the battery will likely suffer the consequences. Additionally, Apple notes that leaving the lithium-ion battery MacBooks with less than 20% charge for more than two days can have a similar effect.

How to Fix:

Because most MacBook Pros use lithium-ion batteries, they should be charged (or discharged) to 50% before being stored for any amount of time longer than a few days.

If you’re storing your computer for several months, you should charge it to 50% every 6 months in order to avoid losing battery capacity.

Other types of batteries used in older MacBook Pros also have special storage instructions, and you can find out what battery your MacBook uses here.

Issue 4: Wall Adapter is Malfunctioning

Possible Cause: It may seem simple, but sometimes the error isn’t inside your computer — instead, it’s with the wall adapter you’re trying to charge it with.

If a wall adapter becomes damaged or dirty, it will be unable to charge your MacBook Pro. If the charger’s LED isn’t turning on, you see sparks when plugging it in, or the computer only charges sometimes, the charger is likely your culprit.

MagSafe Power Adapter, from Apple

How to Fix:

There are several possible fixes for this problem:

  • Try a different wall outlet.
  • Check for wire with fraying insulation, and replace chargers with splitting wiring.
  • Make sure you’re using the right wattage adapter for your MacBook Pro model by checking this page from Apple’s official website.
  • Clean the charging port and the MagSafe connector.
  • Look for pins in the MagSafe connector that are stuck down. If any are, plug and unplug it to your MacBook or gently push the pins to one side to try and dislodge them.

You can learn more from Apple about troubleshooting the MagSafe adapter and charger here.

Example of MagSafe Adapter with stuck pins, from Apple

Issue 5: The Battery is in Poor Condition (Showing “Replace Soon” or “Replace Now”)

Possible Cause: Your battery has reached the end of its lifespan or has been physically damaged, perhaps through accidental laptop dropping.

How to Fix:

You’ll probably have to replace your MacBook battery. But before jumping to any conclusions, check the status of your battery.

First, click on the Apple menu in the top left. Then hold the OPTION key. You’ll see “About This Mac” change into “System Information”. Choose System Information, and then “Power” from the left-hand side.

From the Power tab, you can check the condition and cycles of your battery.

If the condition is something positive such as “fair” other “normal”, you’re good to go. But if it says “poor” or “check battery”, your battery will likely need to be replaced.

You should also compare the number of cycles to this chart from Apple that shows how many cycles your Mac’s battery will last before it begins to deteriorate. While batteries will still function after reaching this threshold, they’ll gradually work less efficiently.

If you’ve figured that you need to replace the battery, it is recommended that you go through Apple to have it replaced. The newer your MacBook Pro, the less likely you have the ability to change it out by hand. This guide will help you determine how to get a defective battery fixed with service price related information listed as well.

If you’re a computer person, you can do it by yourself. First, buy a new replacement battery for MacBook Pro. Then, watch this tutorial for how to replace the battery:

Issue 6: The Battery Doesn’t Charge to 100%

Possible Cause: If it stops charging between 93% and 98%, this is completely normal and not a problem. It’s actually a feature that prevents brief charging cycles from increasing wear on the battery. But if it isn’t reaching 90%, then you might have an actual issue.

How to Fix:

Before attempting a more complex solution, charge your Mac to 100% with the adapter and use it for two hours with the charger connected. Then unplug it and allow your MacBook’s battery to drain to 0% and the laptop to shut down by itself. Wait at least 5 hours, and power on your MacBook. The battery is now calibrated.

If calibration doesn’t work, consider resetting the MacBook SMC (System Management Controller), which should fix the battery charging and indicator. These steps will get you there:

  1. Power off your Mac.
  2. Hold SHIFT+CONTROL+OPTION on the left side of the keyboard, then press the power button at the same time for 10 seconds.
  3. Release all keys.
  4. Press power once and boot your Mac up.

Final Words

Battery issues suck. They ruin productivity, produce constant uncertainty, and seem to have elusive solutions. While this guide identifies many of the main reasons for untimely battery depletion, there is a chance that your particular issue is not listed.

If none of the above solutions seem to work, we recommend researching the issue on reputable and active Apple forums such as the Apple Support Community and MacRumors Forums. If you still can’t find an answer, you can always call the Apple support lines.

Have you experienced battery draining fast or other issues on your MacBook Pro? If so, tell us what happened and how you solved it.

About Eric
Eric currently uses a 15-inch MacBook Pro for both work and personal errands. He did all the research and testing to make sure all the fixes and optimization tips shared on the blog are relevant to Apple’s latest macOS updates as well as fact-checking.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

  • Bruce Cichowlas

    In my case, it said the TuneIn app was causing coreaudiod to prevent sleep. Check that it is off. “pmset -g” can tell a lot! Also, add the “PreventingSleep” column to Activity Monitor.

    Reply
  • Anna

    Just wanted to write a thank note here cause I think it’s because of my bluetooth was on. I’ll see now how this will work. Should be better.

    Reply
  • Simon

    My laptop is macbook pro 15 mid2015. After replaced the battery from after market, sometimes it couldn’t start up the laptop, it’s showing low battery on the screen, even though the battery is still got 35% power battery . Then It needs to plug in power AC adapter, it only able to start up the laptop.
    Any idea or solution about this issue?

    Reply
  • Gianni Zanini

    My original Apple battery on my mid-2015 Macbook Pro showed less than 800 cycles and “normal” status but was not lasting more than 2.5 hours. So I replaced it with an aftermarket one. Laptop came back to life and charges all the way to 100%. Cycles now are only 25 and status shows as “normal”. But new battery still drains as fast as before…I do not get more than 2.5 hrs! Checked all settings and dimmed everything that I could, but battery performance remains as lousy as before. So, if the root of the problem is neither the battery or the settings, what else is causing this lousy battery performance? Nothing in this article helps understand this problem of mine, and of many others commenting above!

    Reply
  • Reda

    Hi, I’ve been looking for a solution for a while, My battery reading is not accurate and does not show the actual speed at witch it is charging, I have to restart it every time to get an accurate reading, already rest sec and drained and charged the MacBook completetly (though not consecutively) any tips would be great, thanks in advance

    I have a m1 MacBook Air btw

    Reply
  • anonymous

    my mac battery keeps degrading it’s at 80% after 1 year of use. I suspect it’s an intel problem cause the new m1 macs seem to have a better outcome when it comes to MacBook batteries.
    I have coconut battery installed. Whenever I see it degrade, I get so frustrated. I leave the battery plugged in overnight and I rarely use it on battery. IDK but I need a new battery this is just horrible.

    Reply
  • Oscar

    I have a MacBook Pro 13”. It doesn’t go any far than the apple logo and shuts down. It does not work while plugged in either. Can the battery cause that the Mac doesn’t power up properly?

    Reply
  • Sahwa

    Actually my mac is not opening without charging i dont know what was the issue was

    Reply
  • Martins

    when my mackbook charger it shows charging and within 5mins it will show 100%. immediately I remove my charger it goes off. I don’t know what to do

    Reply
  • yoonus

    I bought Mac Pro 2020, i7 32gb 2tb. when I start using I was getting only3.5. hrs exact time all the days . I was frustrated and opened case apple multiple tickets but they not ready to replace or do repair, finally I went apple support walking twice but they did only wife and re install and did diagnostic and they said we can’t find any issue with your system.
    after wiping I’m getting 5 to 6 hr. on browsing. but I don’t believe that will be the exact backup I expect at least 8 to 9 hrs on normal usage.
    also it start heating on back side. Im still un happy and I will not recommend to by i7 32 gb MacBook Pro 2020 .

    Reply
  • Albert Labrador

    I recently replaced the battery in my MacBook Pro retina 15in mid 2012. Now it won’t switch on! It appears to be charging because the light on the mag connector shines pink, then the start up chime will ring repeatedly for a few moments, then stop, then the white Apple logo will appear with the horizontal bar moving steadily to the right, while the lap top makes a ssh-ing sound. Then once the bar reaches the right hand side nothing happens … oh and the caps lock light comes on.

    I wonder if (a) I have the new battery connected wrongly (is that even possible) or (b) I still have residual alcohol used to debunk the adhesive or some of the old gunk inside the machine causing a shortage?

    Reply
  • Deepak

    I have an macbook pro mid 2017 model. Its working fine and all of sudden baterry not charged and stuck at 0%. I checked cycle count and its showing 252.

    Please help me fix this problem

    Reply
  • Guy

    I tried all this but my battery still goes from 100 to 0 in less than an hour. What on earth should I do?

    Reply
    • Emmanuel

      I am also having similar issue, any fix to this please?

      Reply
  • Hans op 't Landt

    Via a Mac dealer the battery of my MacBook Pro was replaced. Within one week the original max capacity went down to 94%. Is this normal?

    Reply
  • CDS

    Hi

    Many thanks for the very useful tips on battery issues, especially that your advice is free. I have taken the advice, reduced lighting, adjusted battery sleep modes so this should make a difference.

    Stay safe
    CDS

    Reply
  • Madhu

    I have a MBP mid 2012 i5 2.5GHz A1278 model. I see lot of display issues, lines, spots, sometimes collage like random pixel shifting, some times the menu bar goes missing or renders partially. When I disconnect battery and work with direct power, I don’t see any of these issues. I replaced the battery, but still has the same issue when the battery is connected.

    Reply
  • Misty

    I have a MacBook Pro purchased Feb 2015, MGXC2LL/A 15.4-Inch Laptop with Retina Display.
    As soon as battery said “Replace Now” It would no longer keep a charge without warning. I instantly started having issues with the letter “ż” showing up in addition to all letters typed on the bottom row. To show an example I typed all the letters on bottom row: (xzczvzbznzmz,z.z/) Or (typinzg a senztenzcze that uses letters inz the bzottomz row.z) I also am unable to type the letter “Z” key. Nothing happens when I hit it. I have to type X C V B N or M in order for Z to show up and backspace out the letters I don’t want.

    Apple states the battery life of this model is 1000 cycles. It only made it to a Cycle Count: 376.

    Reply
  • shawn

    Hi thanks for the info – that nice screwdriver set where did you buy that?

    Reply
  • KissMyMac

    Thank you for the perfect article! I know how to maintain my macbook’s battery well in the future to keep it running long!

    Reply
  • Donovan Moloney

    Hi, I have a mid 2011 MAcbook Air 13″. The battery shows normal however it drains within 2 hours. There are no major apps running that could drain the battery this fast. I suspect the screen is the culprit. How can I confirm it?

    Reply
  • Goshi

    I just found a Macbook Pro 2010 from garbage box outside of my home, it was installed with 128SSD / 4GB / Core2Duo it started just as normal but it was not charging at all,
    After resetting SMC settings it is working as normal

    Reply
  • Nitish Kulkarni

    I bought a macbook pro 2019 (256 GB| 8GB| 1.4ghz with a touch bar n touch id).
    It shuts down when the battery is around 40%. And as I plug in the charger as there is no other way to start it, I can the battery charging at around 40-45%, meaning its not completely draining out as well.
    I tried installing latest macOS update, but it didn’t resolve the issue.

    Reply
  • Ashwin

    Hello,

    I have a Mac-book Pro (late-2011). I’ve been recently running into a problem in that it suddenly shuts down while charging and also the battery level completely drains to zero no what percentage it was at. Also for information, the connector pins on the laptop are worn out, so I usually have to connect my MagSafe plug a bit tilted so that it makes a proper connection. The cycle count is around 830 and the health condition is displayed normally.

    I’m afraid that if there will be some short circuit in the hardware and losing my laptop. Could you recommend me something?

    BR

    Reply
  • anomanous

    I use a macbook pro 13 inch, i’ve had it for 5 years and still using it. I already had a hardrive changed about a year ago and it’s been working fine since. But now, when it charges to 100, i would disconnect the charger, and it would drop to 90%

    I put it back in and charge it 100, take it off, and it automatically drops to 90. I’ve tried letting it drop to 85 and then charge it back to full, but even then when i take it out and plug it back in, it drops from a range of 2% – 8%

    i will remind you that it’s an old laptop, so it’s not in the best condition. theres already scrapes and bits of metal dented in. Is there a way to fix it or do i need a new battery?

    Reply
  • anilkumarkv

    condition replace soon showing to mac book pro battery

    can it do something?

    Reply
  • Tatiana

    This article is one of the most comprehensive ones I was able to find, still my case is somehow doesnt fit any description..
    Mine is Macbook Air, but most info out there is on pros.. Im not sure if its supposed to be significantly different..
    I checked system information and there’s no info on the battery displayed. also it says in the system preferences that current buttery charge is 0 per cent and it wont show up the battery icon in the menu bar. Coolers keep running even when I close the laptop so I have no idea what to do or whats happening – google wont show similar situations..
    Is there any ideas on what it could be?
    I thought maybe battery is damaged but then it doesnt show info ab it neither it says no battery is connected. Im kinda lost on what to do

    Reply
    • Someone

      i had the same thing happening just like tatiana, let it shutdown on itself when its open till it cannot open even if u hold the power button, and that way my mac got fixed.
      im typing from the same mac 🙂

      Reply
  • Jay

    Hello,

    I have a 2017 model MBA and I have only had it for one year. About 4 months ago that is is losing significant amounts of battery while sleeping. I have contacted apple and they say that they think it is a software problem. I have even tried factory resetting my Mac but it didn’t seem to help. Do you think that it might be the battery itself that is the problem?

    Thanks

    Reply
  • Andrew Clayton Kaufman

    My father has an early 2015 MacBook Pro retina. Recently, he began noticing the battery not getting the charge it used to, which is understandable, since it is coming up on 4 years old as of 05FEB19. We researched things fairly well, and I offered to replace the battery. I knew it would be a bit difficult for most, so I looked up the battery replacement procedures on the ifixit website. I saw the steps, read through them carefully, made the purchase of the appropriate replacement battery and tools, and went about using the ifixit guide to replacing the battery, including the battery reset method as described in the literature that was received along with the battery. This was about 2-3 weeks ago. As of today, the battery cannot hold more than 3 hours of usage during a 100% charge. It works for less time than an iPhone streaming video at full volume through the iPhone’s speakers. On a brand new battery. This doesn’t seem right at all. Any thoughts?

    Reply
    • DERRIS

      I’m having the exact same issue on my 2012 Macbook Pro Retina

      Reply
    • Dave

      Check if fan is always running and cpu is hot. Check programs running in background such as Google … and using large amount of cpu power or other hhd or memory.
      disable that program.

      Reply
  • Meeran Fazil

    Thank you very much. turns out most of my problems were caused by the screen brightness and my bluetooth being on. Very helpful article!

    Reply
  • Melissa

    Thank you very much. This article was extremely helpful.

    Reply
  • Nicolas Pinzon

    I have a 13 inch MacBook pro that otherwise functions really well. I installed an 8GB SSD card in it 2 years ago and I have replaced the battery twice but I keep running into the same issue. The battery status is “normal” but the battery drains from 100% to 0 in about an hour with only one simple program running (word or firefox or anything simple like that) and internet and Bluetooth disconnected. I’ve also turned off the keyboard light to try to get more battery life but it’s never more than one hour. I’ve bought two very well reviewed batteries and they just drain super fast. Am I doing something wrong?

    I’m on version 10.11.12 with a 2.3 GHz Intel Core i5 processor

    Reply
    • Michael

      I found the wake on network was killing my battery in about an hour.
      By disabling it I get all day battery life again.

      $ pmset -g
      System-wide power settings:
      Currently in use:
      standbydelaylow 4200
      standby 0
      halfdim 1
      sms 1
      hibernatefile /var/vm/sleepimage
      disksleep 180
      standbydelayhigh 4200
      sleep 10
      autopoweroffdelay 14400
      hibernatemode 0
      autopoweroff 1
      ttyskeepawake 1
      displaysleep 2
      highstandbythreshold 50
      acwake 0
      lidwake 1

      pmset -a hibernatemode 0

      Reply
      • Michael

        To disable wake on network

        pmset -u womp 0

        Reply
    • Dave

      Check if fan is always running and cpu is hot. Check programs running in background such as Google … and using large amount of cpu power or other hhd or memory.
      disable that program.

      Reply
  • Ken Stearns

    2014 15 inch Macbook Pro.

    My cursor would simply start moving and clicking randomly starting January of 2018. The episodes of this became more frequent. “SCM and NVRAM” did not fix the problem. Running in “safe mode” achieved no good result. Nothing showed amiss when I ran Apple’s onboard diagnostic.

    My power was okay. My Macbook Pro, a 2014 15 inch model, quad I7s, spends most of its days plugged into a UPS/inverter, so it never gets close to draining its battery. The cause of my random cursor movement was my battery which was swollen, warped out of shape, and putting pressure on my trackpad. New battery seems to have solved the problem. This cost me $300.00 to replace where I am, India.

    My Macbook does get subjected to low temperatures of around 0 centigrade up to 38-40 centigrade. It operated for 3.5 years, heavy usage, in this environment before the symptoms showed. I consider this battery failure to be a sub-standard design flaw and it will be a factor in choosing my next laptop.

    Reply
  • Patty O'Brien

    This was exactly what I was looking for! Thanks a lot!

    Reply
    • Lorena

      You are welcome!

      Reply