There's a simple way to see if your MacBook needs a battery replacement — here's how to check in less than 30 seconds
- You can see if it's time to replace your MacBook's battery by clicking the battery icon and holding the option key.
- You can also see other metrics about your MacBook's battery, such as its full charge capacity and charge cycles, by looking at the system report.
If it seems like your MacBook is running out of power more quickly than it should be, it might be time to get its battery replaced.
The quickest way to see whether your MacBook's battery is in good health is by clicking the battery icon in the upper-right corner of your computer's screen while holding the option key. But if you want a deeper dive on your battery's status, the System Report will provide an overview with information like the number of cycles your battery has left and its full capacity.
If you do wish to replace your battery, Apple charges $129 for battery servicing on 11- and 13-inch MacBook Airs and 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pros not covered by warranty or AppleCare Plus. Those with a 17-inch MacBook Pro will have to pay $179, while 12-inch MacBook owners and those with a 13- or 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display will be charged $199.
Follow the steps below to learn about your Mac's battery.
Hold the option key and click the battery icon near the top of the screen.
You should see a "condition" field that indicates whether your battery is performing as it should. If it says "normal," your battery is operating normally. If it says "replace soon," the battery is holding less charge than when it was new and should be monitored.
If this field says "replace now," the battery is holding significantly less charge but is still safe to continue using. "Service battery" indicates your battery isn't operating normally and should be taken to an Apple Store, though you can still use it safely when it's connected to the right power adapter.
Click the Apple icon and choose "about this Mac."
Or hold the option key and click "system information" to get to the final step quicker.
Choose "system report."
Click on "power" to see details about your MacBook's battery.
Here you can see information like your battery-cycle count, full charge, and charge remaining.
If your MacBook has consumed all its charge cycles — from depleted to fully charged — it's fine to continue using it, but you're likely to notice a dip in battery life.
The 4 Safest MacBook Battery Replacement Options
Your MacBook's battery is likely the first component you'll need to replace in your computer. While Apple makes reliable machines, current battery technology means that most cells only last a few years before their capacity seriously diminishes.
A battery replacement is a great way to breathe some new life into an older MacBook. Here are your options for a MacBook battery replacement, how much it costs to replace your MacBook's battery, and how to know when it's time to do so.
Do You Need to Replace Your MacBook Battery?
First, you should check your MacBook's battery status to see if it's time for a replacement. To do this on macOS Big Sur and later, click the Apple menu at the top-left of your computer and choose System Preferences, then select Battery from the resulting menu.
On the left sidebar, click Battery, then click the Battery Health button at the bottom.
The resulting window will show either Normal or Service recommended for the Battery Condition field. If you see the former, everything is working properly with your battery. Service recommended doesn't necessarily mean something is wrong, but you are probably seeing your battery hold less of a charge than it once did.
You'll also see the Maximum Capacity of your battery. 100% means it's performing as well as it did when it was brand-new. A lower percentage, like 80%, reflects how much of the original charge your battery can hold. For example, you might only get eight hours on a full charge, instead of 10.
On older versions of macOS, you'll need to instead hold the Option key and click the battery percentage icon in the menu bar at the top-right of your screen to view the battery health. This will show one of four possible statuses for your Mac battery's condition:
- Normal: Your battery doesn't need replacement.
- Replace Soon: The battery holds less charge than it did when it was new.
- Replace Now: Your battery hold significantly less charge than its original capacity.
- Service Battery: The system has detected a fault with your battery.
This should give you some indication of whether a MacBook battery replacement is necessary.
How to Check the Battery Cycles on Your MacBook
For more info, you can also view the exact number of charge and discharge cycles your Mac's battery has gone through. To do this:
- Click on the Apple logo in the top-left corner of the screen.
- Select About This Mac, then System Report.
- Click Power on the left sidebar (under Hardware), then scroll down to the Health Information heading and locate Cycle Count.
This number shows how many times your battery has gone from 100 percent to fully drained. It only represents full cycles, though. For example, if your battery dropped to 50 percent, then you charged it back to 100 percent and let it drain to 50 percent again, that would count as one cycle.
The cycle count should give you a good idea of how long your battery has left before requiring replacement. Different MacBooks have varying ratings for cycle counts, so you'll need to cross-reference your result with the ratings on Apple's battery cycle support page. Almost every modern MacBook is rated for 1,000 battery cycles.
Even if these numbers look healthy, you may have noticed your battery life has become significantly worse of late and decide that it's time for a replacement anyway. Use your own judgement to weigh if the cost is worth it to you. Be sure you've followed the tips to improve battery life on your MacBook first.
Option 1: Replace Your MacBook Battery via Apple Warranty
Benefit: The service comes at no cost under applicable warranties, meaning it should be your first choice.
If your MacBook is still under warranty, Apple will replace a faulty or excessively degraded battery free of charge. In the US, Apple provides a limited one-year warranty. For those in the EU, consumer law extends this coverage to two years. If you purchased AppleCare for your MacBook, this coverage extends to three years.
Those who are still covered should contact Apple right away about any battery issues. You can check your warranty status on Apple's Check Coverage page using your machine's serial number. Find your serial number by clicking the Apple menu at the top-left of the screen and selecting About This Mac.
If you don't have warranty coverage for a battery replacement, we'll look at the next-best MacBook battery replacement options. However, you should know about a few specific cases first.
Apple Battery Replacement Programs for Specific MacBook Pro Models
Even if your MacBook is outside its normal warranty, you may be eligible for a special MacBook Pro battery replacement from Apple.
Some units of the 13-inch MacBook Pro (non-Touch Bar) manufactured between October 2016 and October 2017 are eligible for a free battery replacement from Apple. This is due to a different component failing, which causes the battery to swell up. This is not dangerous, according to Apple.
Visit Apple's MacBook Pro battery replacement page to enter your computer's serial number and see if you're eligible for a repair.
In addition, Apple has recalled some of its 15-inch MacBook Pro computers sold between September 2015 and February 2017. The company states that batteries in these units may overheat and catch on fire.
Head to the Apple 15-inch MacBook Pro Battery Recall page to enter your computer's serial number and see if you need a replacement. Keep in mind that you can check for recalls on your Apple products anytime.
Option 2: Pay for an Apple MacBook Battery Replacement
Benefit: Your MacBook is guaranteed against defects resulting from the procedure. In addition, your replacement will be a genuine first-party product, and the work shouldn't take more than a day or so.
Apple recommends you use first-party or third-party authorized service centers to replace your MacBook battery. This is generally the most expensive option, but it's also the safest. The procedure is less likely to go wrong, and Apple provides a 90-day guarantee for any work performed.
Assuming the service isn't covered by warranty or consumer law, how much does a MacBook battery replacement cost? A typical MacBook battery replacement job is $129 for a MacBook Air, or $199 for a Retina MacBook Pro.
If your MacBook is especially old, you may be better off putting that money toward a replacement instead. Look out for common signs that it's time to replace your Mac and don't put money into an ancient machine.
To start your MacBook battery replacement with Apple, head to Apple's Mac Service and Repair website and click Start a service request. If there are no Apple stores nearby, the website will suggest authorized third parties who can perform the work instead. These technicians undergo the same training as Apple's, and provide the same guarantees.
Option 3: Replace Your MacBook Battery at a Computer Repair Shop
Benefits: You'll probably save some money, at the cost of not having an Apple-certified technician perform the repairs. Third parties may also use cheaper parts to reduce cost, meaning they're more likely to break early.
If you want to save some money, you could always pay a third-party computer repair company to replace your MacBook Air or MacBook Pro battery for you. Many repair shops will source and replace your battery, though the exact cost of replacing your MacBook's battery in this way will vary based on who you approach.
Going this route forgoes Apple's guarantees, and you may find that the company uses third-party parts in an attempt to save money. These parts aren't necessarily inferior, but it's a risk you take. Check out computer repair repair shops in your area for quotes, then compare them to what Apple offers.
Depending on your MacBook model, your local repair shop may refuse service if the battery is glued in place. This is the case with MacBook Pro models from mid-2009 and newer, and all MacBook models with Retina displays. Apple's official repair might be your only worthwhile option if you have one of these computers.
Option 4: Replace Your MacBook Battery Yourself
Benefits: By taking matters into your own hands, you'll save a lot of money—at the cost of your own time and the risk of something going wrong.
The cheapest option by far is ordering your own MacBook replacement battery and swapping it yourself. This means you'll only pay the cost of the parts. In addition to the new battery, you'll need a set of tools to open up your Mac, an anti-static wrist band, and a method of safely disposing your old battery.
Much of the time, you can buy kits that provide everything you need to replace a Mac's battery. These come at roughly half the price Apple will charge you for the service. One such retailer is iFixit, which also provides guides to everything from simple fixes to complex teardowns.
Buying the battery alone should cost even less than this, with cheap third-party options available for a fraction of the price. We'd recommend only buying from a company you trust. Pick one that has a strong reputation for providing quality parts, as you don't want to spend the time replacing your battery only to have it fail.
If you're not sure what you're doing, the risks of something going wrong are much higher. However, if you're happy to take the risk and follow how-to guides to the letter, you'll learn a lot about the inner workings of your computer. You might even enjoy the process!
Unfortunately, most newer MacBook models have glued-in batteries, making them incredibly difficult to repair yourself. iFixit has a MacBook Pro with Retina Display battery kit, but warns that it's for experienced users and comes with some serious work. Attempt this at your own risk.
Don't Forget to Recycle Batteries Responsibly
If you opt for a DIY MacBook battery replacement, make sure you recycle the spent battery responsibly.
Lithium batteries need to be recycled properly to prevent harm to yourself, others, and the environment. Check with your local waste management authorities how best to recycle your old laptop battery—don't just throw it in the trash or in with your regular recycling.
Most local governments will have dropoff points or collection schemes that emphasize safety and sustainability. If you choose to let Apple service your laptop, it will take care of the battery and recycle it for you (but unfortunately doesn't offer a drop-off service).
Is It Worth Replacing Your MacBook Battery?
Now that you know how to replace a MacBook's battery, you might wonder whether you actually should replace it. If your Mac is running well aside from the battery, paying $200 for a replacement to get several more years of life from it is a lot cheaper than buying a new machine.
However, if your MacBook is old, it's probably not worth replacing the internal battery. In this case, you could consider external power solutions. Battery packs that can power a MacBook are available, and you can still put them to use in the future for other devices, even after you've replaced your current Mac.
Once you get a battery replacement or a new MacBook, make sure you know how to monitor your Mac battery to keep it healthy for as long as possible.
Want to get more out of your MacBook's battery? These apps let you keep an eye on battery health and improve battery life.
Read NextAbout The Author
Ben is a Deputy Editor and the Onboarding Manager at MakeUseOf. He left his IT job to write full-time in 2016 and has never looked back. He's been covering tech tutorials, video game recommendations, and more as a professional writer for over seven years.
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Battery Service and Recycling
All rechargeable batteries have a limited lifespan and may eventually need to be serviced or recycled. Your own battery’s lifespan will vary depending on how you use your device as well as the settings you choose for it.
Use Apple or an authorized service provider for service.
If you need to charge your battery more and more frequently, it might be time to service it. For products with built-in lithium-ion polymer batteries, the batteries should be serviced by Apple or an authorized service provider.
Your battery is designed to retain up to 80% of its original capacity at 500 complete charge cycles. The one-year warranty includes service coverage for a defective battery. If it is out of warranty, Apple offers a battery service. Prices and terms may vary.
Apple Watch Owners
Your battery is designed to retain up to 80% of its original capacity at 1000 complete charge cycles. The one-year warranty (for Apple Watch and Apple Watch Sport) and two-year warranty (for Apple Watch Edition) include service coverage for a defective battery. If it is out of warranty, Apple offers a battery service. Prices and terms may vary.
Your battery is designed to retain up to 80% of its original capacity at 1000 complete charge cycles. The one-year warranty includes service coverage for a defective battery. If it is out of warranty, Apple offers a battery service. Prices and terms may vary.
Your battery is designed to retain up to 80% of its original capacity at 400 complete charge cycles. The one-year warranty includes service coverage for a defective battery. If it is out of warranty, Apple offers a battery service. Prices and terms may vary.
Your battery is designed to retain up to 80% of its original capacity at 1000 complete charge cycles. The one-year warranty includes replacement coverage for a defective battery. Apple offers a battery replacement service for all MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro notebooks with built-in batteries.
We’ll handle your battery responsibly.
Putting batteries directly in the trash is dangerous for the environment. Apple and all our authorized service providers are committed to recycling and disposing of batteries with the utmost respect for the earth. So recycle your device with us. Or drop off a battery from your AirTag. We’ll take it from there. On top of doing the right thing, your device may even qualify for a credit towards a new Apple product.
Learn more about Apple’s recycling program
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