The battery life in a MacBook or iPhone is very important and Apple wants to preserve it for long term use. They decided to approach this problem by implementing a Battery Health feature as seen on iPhones. This feature has been introduced with the macOS 10.15.5. By using it your MacBook will learn when and how you charge your Battery and therefore it will decide if you should charge it to 100% or keep it at 80%. By using this feature on a day-to-day basis you will end up with better battery life in the long term and your future you will benefit from it instead of having to replace it.

macos 10.15.5 update window

Battery Health

This feature has been initially introduced to iPhones to control how the phone is charged overnight and now the same features have been ported to MacBooks. Battery Help will help you manage your battery and maintain its charge capacity when it gets older. As you probably know batteries after some time will not hold as much current as before or they will even die. This is caused by bad charge habits or bad usage.

In order to protect your battery, you would have to stop charging it at 80% and start charging it at 20% but don’t go over or under. Why you would ask? Batteries work on cycles, and a normal lithium battery which is found in all smartphones and laptops can support around 500 cycles before it would require a replacement. That doesn’t meat the battery dies at 500, it means it will lose capacity, won’t hold a charge as much as before and might not deliver enough current. 

A cycle is when you charge your phone from 0 to 100%. If you only charge it from 20 to 80, then you save 40% of a cycle and the battery life will hold for a long period. Usually, the 0-20 and 80-100 are dangerous percentage to keep your battery at. Even if you don’t use your phone for a period of time, the battery should be kept at around 50%, otherwise, it will still age, if the battery is kept in storage while under 20% or over 80%, that aging will happen much faster.

macos energy saving window

Battery Condition

If you navigate to your MacBook’s System Preferences also known as the Settings, after select Energy Saver, you will see a new button at the bottom of the window called Battery Health. Click on it to open the newly introduced menu. The first thing which you should look for is the Battery Condition if it says “Normal” which means your battery is still over 80% capacity and a replacement is not needed. Based on Apple’s guidelines, if the battery condition is under 80% capacity, your device performance might drop because the battery won’t be able to push enough electricity as the device (iPhone or MacBook) needs in order to fully operate at the maximum. If the device would try to operate at that capacity, the device will just lose power and turn off unexpectedly.

macos battery health window

MacBook Battery Health Management

Apple recommends users to replace their batteries if these go under 80% and when the condition will change from Normal to Replacement Needed. However, at the same time, Apple introduces Battery health management which is the 2nd option on this new window. This feature if enables will allow your laptop to learn how you are using it and when is the best time to fully charge or stop at 80 to prevent non-important charging. 

The system will work by stopping your laptop from charging at 80% and use the power from the cord if needed. This way you would have enough battery to go on your way and changer again later. Again this system is automatic, so it won’t work all the time. The laptop will have to learn your pattern and see when you need the full battery charged and when you don’t. An example of how this would work will be charging overnight but you are working from home. Based on location and charging schedule, the laptop will learn that you have a power cord next to you all the time and therefore it can stop charging at 80% overnight and save your battery life in the long term.

Based on experience from iOS this system is not working all the time, very rarely I would get a notification on iOS about this function being activated. Usually, the notification will contain that the battery has stopped charging and that it will continue again an hour before I’m supposed to wake up based on how the system learned my schedule. In macOS, the system should keep the battery permanent at 80% because it knows if you really want you can changer all the time.


Learn More about Battery Life

If you want to learn more about all of this, you can press the button “Learn More…” from the Battery Health window or click this link which will take you to the same page. Most of the information you read here will be there as well but from Apple’s point of view.

macbook pro open back


Your Apple MacBook battery life could be easily improved or saved in the future by updating to the latest version of macOS. This update will bring a battery health feature for the MacBook which helps to safely charge the laptop. By using this feature, the MacBook will charge the battery up to 80% because it will know when you are around a charger. Read more about other details from the macOS update 10.15.5.



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