How to Check Battery Health on MacBook

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The battery in your MacBook is essential for portable use. Although you could use your MacBook with a bad battery, it could slow down considerably and die quickly when you unplug it.

To ensure your battery is in good condition, you can check your MacBook’s battery in the Battery Preferences menu.

I’m Jon, a Mac expert, and I own a 2019 MacBook Pro and a 2017 MacBook Air. I know exactly how to optimize– and check– the battery health on MacBooks, and I put together this guide to show you how. 

Even though modern MacBook batteries last for many years, it helps to check the battery’s health periodically. The steps below outline a quick and easy way to detect the battery’s health on your MacBook.

Steps to Check Battery Health via Battery Icon

Here are the steps to check your MacBook’s battery health through the battery icon. 

Step 1: Hold The Option Key

Locate the battery icon in your status bar in the top right corner of your screen. Click on the battery icon and select “Battery Preferences.”

Step 2: Check The Battery Status

Select “Battery” on the left-hand side of the window that appears. Then click on “Battery Health…” near the bottom of the window. 

In a smaller window, you’ll see one of four options: Normal, Replace Soon, Replace Now, or Service Battery. (In my case, my MacBook Pro’s battery is “normal.”)

Here’s what they mean:

  • Normal: Your battery is operating normally. 
  • Replace Soon: Your battery isn’t holding charge as well as it did when it was new. You may notice a slight difference in total working time before you need to charge from when you first purchased the device. However, the battery still works. 
  • Replace Now: Indicates your battery has degraded considerably since you first purchased the computer. While the battery still works, you’ll likely notice a considerable difference in how long a full charge lasts. At this point, it’s time to think about buying a replacement battery.
  • Service Battery: If your battery status says ‘Service Battery,’ this lets you know there’s something wrong with your battery. You should replace the battery as soon as possible. 

Step 3: Investigate The Battery Status

If your MacBook’s battery status says “Normal“ or “Replace Soon,“ you don’t need to do anything about it. However, if it says “Service Battery,“ you may want to investigate further.

The “System Report” will give you a better idea of what is happening. Start by clicking on the Apple icon while holding the Option key to view the report. In the drop-down menu that appears, click “System Information…“ 

Select “Power” on the left side of the screen for more information on your MacBook’s battery health. 

Then, look for the “Cycle Count” under “Health Information” in the right pane. 

For the most part, modern MacBooks can get at least 1,000 cycles (1 cycle is using the entire battery’s power, then fully recharging it) before the battery starts losing steam. 

However, older MacBooks may only have 500 cycles before the battery wears out. 

Check The Battery Health Through The Apple Menu

Alternatively, you can check the battery’s condition by navigating the Apple menu. This method takes slightly longer than the quick check with the battery icon, but it is also an option.

Click On The Apple Logo

Find the Apple logo in the top left corner of your screen. Click on the logo, then find System Preferences (System Settings on macOS Ventura and above) in the drop-down menu. 

Open The Battery Tab

Once System Preferences (System Settings on macOS Ventura and above) opens, find the Battery button in the options. The battery icon next to ‘Battery’ is a full green battery bar. After the Battery window opens, click on Battery again to open the correct tab.

Now, check the battery’s condition in this tab, using the steps we show in the previous section. 

Conclusion

Whether you use your MacBook occasionally or daily, checking the battery is essential. You can quickly check your MacBook’s battery health in Battery Preferences. 

By routinely checking the battery’s status, you stay on top of potential issues, possibly handling them before they become a significant problem. So, for the best results, check it every now and again!

How many cycles does your MacBook have? Do you need a replacement battery soon? Let us know in the comments below. 

About Jonathon Jachura
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Jonathon is a mechanical engineer with over ten years of experience. He is an Apple fan who currently holds a Macbook Pro (512 GB, 16GB RAM), iPad Pro 12.9", iPhone 11 Pro Max, Apple Watch 3, and 4x Acer 23" monitors.

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