How long does a MacBook Pro battery last

How Long Does a MacBook Pro Battery Last? | Updated 2021

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So, how long does a MacBook Pro battery last? I wanted to know exactly how many years a MacBook Pro battery will last before a replacement would be necessary (on average).

Here’s how long MacBook Pro batteries last:

A MacBook Pro battery will last 5 years on average with moderate use before replacement is needed. It could last a few years longer if the battery is calibrated monthly and stored at 50% charge for shutdowns longer than 72 hours. A single charge typically lasts 4-6 hours on average.

My Macbook Pro battery started lasting 4-6 hours on a single charge just a few months after purchase. (Which is far better than the Asus Zenbook I used; which lasted barely 3 hours without being plugged in after 3 months).

Did you know…

Calibrating and not keeping your MacBook Pro battery charging 100% of the time will also extend the length of its lifespan? (Explained further in this post)

Here are specific questions about the Macbook batter you can explore.

I’ll be covering in this post how and why chrome and non-Apple apps drain your battery as well as battery replacement statistics. I’ll also be showing you how to make your MacBook Pro battery last longer through calibration and battery life cycle count.

What you may not know about the MacBook battery

What most don’t know, is that how long a Macbook Pro battery will last is strongly based on how you use your laptop.

Battery charge claims of 9 to 11 hours are typically marketing tactics that are based on a brand new MacBook with minimal apps being used. These ‘experts’ are basing these numbers from using a low brightness display combined with Apple only apps that are designed to save battery, such as Safari and Apple TV.

It’s possible that as a marketing tactic, many experts claim a single charge battery lifespans of 9-11 hours, but the truth is they’re running the most minimal settings possible and claiming a longer battery life.

How many years does a MacBook Pro Battery Last?

A MacBook Pro battery will last roughly 5 years or so before it can no longer hold a charge. After 3 or 4 years you’re likely to have to have to on the charger most of the time. This could be different for those who calibrate their battery consistently, as I did not. Calibrating your battery will help it both last for more years while preventing a swollen battery from it being plugged in all the time. I’ll be covering how you can do this in detail further in this article.

How long does a MacBook battery last on a single charge

Initially, my MacBook Pro lasted 7 hours per single charge, however when I used my Mac for 3.5 hours a day my MacBook Pro battery dropped to 4-6 hours per charge after a few months. I personally recorded myself on my own MacBook Pro the charge lasted and will share the results with you below.

Here is a chart on how long my MacBook Pro battery lasted over time per charge:

TimeHow long Macbook Battery lasts per charge
1 Month7 hour charge
6 Months5 hour charge
1 Year5 hour charge
2 Year4 hour charge
3 Year3 hour charge
4 Year1 hour charge
5 Year20 min charge
I did not calibrate my MacBook battery In the results above. I wish I had!

As you can see from the chart above my Macbook couldn’t hold a strong charge without it being plugged in after roughly 5 years in. This happened to my Asus Zenbook at the 1 year mark. The MacBook Air battery (subjectively) was 5x stronger than the Zenbook.

If you keep your battery at 50% battery life when shutting it down for more than 72 hours you could greatly increase your battery. (source)

My MacBook lasted far longer than my laptops using windows

The battery life of the Asus ZenBook laptop I owned advertised a 12 hour charge. After one year it wouldn’t last without it being plugged in. It took my MacBook 5 years to get to that point.

MacBook Air, users can expect a slight bit longer battery duration regarding both lifespan and charge. The reason for this is discussed in our article: How many years does a MacBook Air battery last?

How long does a MacBook Pro battery last before replacement

How long does a MacBook battery last before replacement? The truth is that the MacBook Pro battery will likely last you 5 years before replacement, however at 4 years in I was only able to use my laptop for 1-2 hours max before I had to plug the power cord back in. Most will want to replace the battery at this time if they are out working on their laptops at coffee shops or WeWork.

Is it worth replacing a MacBook Pro battery?

If you are not looking to buy a new laptop, then it is worth replacing your MacBook Pro battery when there are no other performance issues and if your MacBook is younger than 6 years old. Many may want a new laptop and the battery running out is just a good reason to make the upgrade.

When to replace a Macbook Pro battery

Most replace their battery at the 5 year mark. It could last you much longer if you took care of your battery and use Safari (rather than chrome) with minimal apps running in the background.

When considering a MacBook battery replacement: keep in mind that If your laptop is over 8 years old it may not be able to update to the latest operating system.

Did you know…

Macbook Pros made before 2012 can’t update to Catalina since these older laptops are no longer supported. Catalina was released in 2019.

How much does a MacBook Pro battery cost

If you don’t have Apple care then the cost of a new battery is $129 -$199 depending on the MacBook model. (source) The cost of Apple care could be anywhere from $249 – $380 depending on your Mac and only lasts a limited number of years.

A MacBook Pro replacement of course battery costs much less than a new laptop. Here’s how much a MacBook Pro battery costs:

MacBook Pro modelCost of MacBook Pro battery replacement – Apple (No Warranty)
13-inch MacBook Pro (Retina)$199
15-inch MacBook Pro (Retina)$199
16-inch MacBook Pro$199
13-inch MacBook Pro$129
15-inch MacBook Pro$129
17-inch MacBook Pro (Vintage)$179

Cheapest way to replace a MacBook Pro Battery

  • Expensive, but safe: Visiting the Apple store and get it serviced will ensure a safe replacement, but pricey.
  • Cheaper, but less safe: You can go to a local computer repair shop and get it fixed for fairly cheap.
  • Super cheap, but risky: Grab the correct MacBook battery online and do it yourself. There are plenty of useful MacBook Pro replacement YouTube guides to help you through this.

My MacBook pro battery is draining fast

My MacBook Pro battery is draining fast and dying fast

Why is your Macbook Pro battery dying so fast? Its possible you have background apps running, haven’t been calibrating it monthly, have had it for a few years, or have a combination of all three occuring. If you stored your MacBook at 0% battery life for months at a time, it may be tough to save your battery.

For those whose MacBook Pro battery is draining quickly, you can use these numbers as a loose benchmark when judging if there’s something seriously wrong with your laptop battery or not.

How to fix your MacBook Pro battery draining fast:

  • Put it into sleep mode if you’re using it the next day. Do not shut it down
  • Shut it down with 50% battery life if you’re not using your battery for longer than 3 days.
  • Never store it at 0% battery for longer than a few hours.
  • Calibrate your battery once a month

If you’re shutting down your MacBook every night [instead of sleep mode], then you aren’t preserving battery life as best possible. When not using your MacBook for 3 days or longer, it’s best to shut it down at 50% battery life.

According to research via Apple support, you should put your MacBook into sleep mode only when you plan to use it again within the next day or two. If you’re not using your MacBook 72 hours or longer, then your battery will benefit most by having it stored at 50% in sleep mode (do not shut it down).

Battery Saving Tip (Safari vs Chrome)

When it comes to Mac… the Safari browser will use significantly less battery (and resources) than Google Chrome. Apple applications are designed to work very efficiently with your Mac.

How to keep a MacBook from dying fast

  1. Put your MacBook in energy saver mode
  2. Use Safari browse rather than chrome
  3. Shut off WiFi if you aren’t using it
  4. Set screen brightness as low as visually comfortable
  5. Shut off all background apps (activity monitor app)

MacBook Pro battery draining fast while sleeping

Many Mac users are left wondering why their battery is dying so fast when they’re sleeping or when closed. Fortunately, this is not a new problem and there are some very good reasons for this that could be caused by a variety of different factors that I’ll be discussing below.

Here is why your MacBook Pro battery is draining fast while sleeping or when closed:

Bluetooth is waking up your MacBook intermittently

If your battery is draining fast while you sleep, the most common cause is that a bluetooth connection is waking up your Macbook at night or when it sleeps. Your MacBook may be turning on randomly at night. This is because bluetooth is connected to keyboard, mouse, headset, etc) one way is to just disable it. Another is to disable allow bluetooth to wake this computer

Power Nap while plugged into a power adapter is enabled

When your battery is dying quickly when its closed or sleeping it could be related to this setting being enabled. This setting updates apps such as mail, calendar, iCloud updates, and more while sleeping and could turn your Mac on and waste battery throughout the night.

  • Disable this unecessary option by hovering over your battery icon on your screen and selecting ‘Open energy saver preferences’, then simply unchecking the box.

Background apps are draining your MacBook Pro’s battery

You can of course force quit the apps you aren’t using, but are running if needed in the activity monitor app. In addition. it’s important you ensure your laptop isn’t launching unnecessary programs when it starts up, which run in the background. A good example of this could be Adobe cloud, a VPN app or a torrent downloader.

Reset PRAM and NVRAM

If your battery is still draining overnight, then you could try reseting your MacBook’s NVRAM and PRAM. NVRAM is essentially memory that your laptop uses to store and retrieve specific settings when needed for quick access. This includes the settings you have set for sound, display resolution, time zone and more. PRAM is very similar. You can learn more on how to reset these on the Apple website.

  • To reset PRAM/NVRAM, you can hold the following commands for 20 seconds when your Mac starts up: option, command, P and R.

Reset your Mac back to factory settings optional.

If I see a ton of old apps running in the background on my MacBook of many years, its not uncommon for me to do a full factory settings reset if deleting the apps and the other fixes listed didn’t solve the problem. This is of course an optional, but useful fix if you’re sure this is the case. Many may not advise this and you may not want to take the time to back everything up to a USB, but it can feel refreshing to start new.

Update your Mac to the latest OS

A commonly overlooked solution… Updating to the latest operating software can solve a whole heap of trouble in addition to reduce vulnerabilities. I’ve seen many do a MacBook OS update and see a noticeable difference in battery life. However, these were people who never update their Mac and were behind by several updates.

Related: Is AppleCare for iMac worth it?

MacBook Pro battery calibration to extend battery life

It is important to calibrate your MacBook Pro battery every few months at minimum. Calibrating your battery could lead to noticeable increase in battery duration and charge since calibration allows your laptop to manage its battery more efficiently and accurately. I personally calibrate it once every few months and my new battery is holding up much better than my old one.

There is some opinions, by Battery University that claim to never discharge your Mac battery to zero if possible and to simply let it drop to half battery and charge it in between uses. I personally choose to calibrate my battery every few months and have seen an observable difference so far.

How to calibrate a Macbook Pro battery

Here’s how to calibrate your MacBook Pro battery:

  1. Charge MacBook Pro battery to 100%
  2. Unplug power and use the laptop until 0% (goes into sleep)
  3. Wait 5-7 hours and charge your battery to 100% (uninterrupted)
  4. Success! You’re battery is now calibrated

What this essentially does is allow your battery to understand how it’s being used better energy wise. Your system will now gauge/set it’s full charge and full discharge as ‘anchors’ regarding battery capabilities, which in turn makes your MacBook’s internal battery management system more smart.

When polled, most users agreed they either did not calibrate their battery or even know it was something they should be doing.

MacBook Pro battery life cycle count

How to find my MacBook Pro life cycle count

A battery with over a 1000 cycles is claimed to have roughly 80% of its original battery health, however my personal MacBook was at 50% of its original battery health when I observed it at 1000 cycles. The claim of 80% was not accurate in my case… keep in mind I did use my MacBook for 3.5+ hours every day.

A full battery cycle is when your MacBook uses the amount of energy of one full charge. If you’re using a MacBook and the power is plugged in, then your laptop’s internal system will still be able to gauge the use of a full charge based on how much energy its using. So even if your battery hits 0% your charges will still be tracked accurately.

What is a good battery cycle count MacBook Pro

Since a MacBook Pro battery is estimated to have 80% of its original battery health at 1000 cycles, then 200 cycles would mean the battery is 1/5th worn. So, logically If you want your battery to last you 5 years, then 200 cycles per year makes sense, which is a very common cycle number per year.

What is the MacBook pro battery life cycle count limit

The MacBook Pro battery cycle count limit is 1000. Using your battery after this limit will work… just not as well. Knowing how many charges could help you judge when to replace your MacBook Pro battery.

You can use a [Mac] battery after it reaches its maximum cycle count, but you may notice a reduction in your battery life. 

-Quote directly from Apple support

How to check MacBook Pro battery life cycles

1. Hold the Option key, then click on the Apple logo on the top left of your display

2. From here, select ‘System Information’.

4. Finally, select the ‘Power’ tab to see your current battery cycle count.

Step 3 battery life cycle how to check

FAQ MacBook Pro Battery Questions

Below you’ll find answers to both common and uncommon MacBook Pro battery questions. If you have a question not on this list please hit contact on this site and send me your question, I will do my best to update you and add it to this FAQ.

Continue reading: How long does a MacBook Air last?

  • Should I leave my MacBook Pro plugged in all the time?

    No, because by constantly charging your battery your maximum battery capacity will decline over time. Let your MacBook battery drop to around 50% and charge it back to 100%. When sleeping or shutting down your laptop make sure its at roughly 50% life for optimal battery health.

  • How long should I charge my MacBook Pro for the first time?

    Use your MacBook until it hits 30%-50% and then charge it to full. Let it stay at 100% for 2 hours. After that, try to keep your MacBook battery at 50% life if possible when storing it in sleep mode, shutting down overnight or before charging it back to 100% during sessions.

  • Why does my MacBook Pro turn on randomly at night?

    You have a bluetooth or another connection interfering overnight when sleeping (keyboard, mouse, sound bar, etc). It’s also possible that your MacBook has the “Power Nap while plugged into a power adapter” option enabled. You can disable this under energy saver preferences when clicking on the battery icon at the top right of your screen.

  • Why is my Macbook Pro battery not holding a charge anymore?

    Possibilities of a battery not holding a charge include having background apps running, lack of battery calibration, high battery cycle count (800-1000), or have a combination of all of these. If you left your battery at 0% (fully discharged) for months, it could be why your battery can’t hold a charge anymore.

  • Why does my MacBook Pro battery jump or drop quickly all of a sudden

    When a MacBook battery drops or jumps all of a sudden during use, you likely have not had your batter calibrated recently or have an app that is using a lot of energy. It’s common to see a battery jump when you have multiple tabs of a web browser running for long periods of time. Quit the browser from the Mac dock and restart it.

  • Why is my MacBook Pro battery blinking light 3 times

    It’s blinking because the SMC needs to be reset. You can reset the SMC by holding command + option + shift + power. This is a very old, recurring, somehwat uncommon occurrence based on internet documentation.

  • Why is my MacBook Pro battery not charging?

    You likely have a fault battery, adapter or logic board. Try using a different charger if you have one. If you find the battery to be scorching hot, then let it rest for 5-10 hours and try again. If the battery is not hot, try an SMC reset by holding commands + option + shift + power. If these do not work, then you may need to bring this to an Apple store.

Conclusion

Our research has shown that a MacBook Pro battery will last an average of 5 years before replacement! I’ve found that a single charge lasts on average 5-7 hours for Macbook Pros moderately used and under 3 years old. After this, the battery life declines. At 5 years in my MacBook could no longer hold a charge anymore without it being plugged.

Calibration can help your MacBook Pro manage it’s battery health more efficiently by gauging the fully charged and discharged states more accurately. Turning off Background apps, WiFi, using Safari rather than Chrome browser and having a battery life cycle under 1000 could help save your MacBook’s battery. A MacBook Pro replacement battery could cost you anywhere from $129 to $199 depending on the Model if you do not have Apple Care or is out of warranty.

Overnight, you’ll want to keep your MacBook Pro battery stored at 50% battery life if possible while using the sleep mode… not shutdown mode. MacBook Pro owners should only shutdown their laptops if they plan to leave it off for longer than 3 days (72 hours). Never leave your MacBook Pro battery discharged (0% battery) for longer than few hours as it could cause long term battery health decline. waking up at night randomly.