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Out of Juice: Battery Replacement for Your Macbook Pro

written by: Austin•edited by: Michael Dougherty•updated: 6/2/2011

Despite the wide range of functions your Macbook Pro can complete, eventually the battery in the computer will run dry, and you'll either need to buy a new one or just deal with having it plugged in all the time. Here's how to replace your batter if you're under warranty.

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    Part 1: I'm Not Dead Yet! Troubleshooting Your Battery

    Before you go through the hassle of replacing your entire battery, it's generally a good idea to make sure it's dead first. To do this, there are two things you should check first.

    - To start, leave your laptop off and plugged in for at least six hours, then unplug it and attempt to turn it on. If it still turns on, then there's no need to go and replace your battery just yet.

    - The second thing you want to check is to see if perhaps your plug is simply broken. Try a friend's charging cable, or use your charging cable on a friend's laptop. If it doesn't work on theirs, then you know that the problem may be with your cable, and not your battery.

    - Remove your battery for a few hours, plug it back in, charge it for a few hours, then try turning it on again.

    If none of these end up helping, it's time to call Apple.

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    Part 2: Okay, I Am Dead. Now What? How to Get Help From Apple

    applecare If you're one hundred percent sure that your battery is the issue, and you're prepared to call Apple and see what they have to say, you'll want to check a few more things first. Step one is to make sure you're under warranty, and that you have Apple Care. Apple Care is the optional coverage you can pay for when you first purchase your laptop, and while technically it's not necessary to getting your replacement parts, if you don't have both of these things, Apple will go to no end to try and save itself from giving you a battery. Here are a few things you can do to make this process go more smoothly:

    1. Make it clear that you've tried all their troubleshooting solutions.

    2. Let them know exactly how long ago you purchased the laptop and how long your warranty is for.

    3. If they ask you to "wait" or "call back another time", make sure you do it. Just because they say they need time to work on something for you doesn't mean they're working on it, so it's your job to stay persistent.

    Note that if you are not under warranty, Apple will not replace your battery for free. They will charge you for the battery, charge you to ship your laptop to them, and then add a service charge of putting it in. Still, don't let this discourage you from trying another time to get another representative; some representatives can be more sociable and understanding than others. You can find your respective customer service phone number here.

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    Part 3: Apple Was No Help. Now What? Macbook Pro Battery Options

    unnamed If you called Apple and pleaded with them for a battery replacement to no avail, it may be time to start looking to buy your own. You can begin by looking into your own local computer shops and chain stores, but your best bet it to shop online, and don't give up until you find the absolute best deal. The NG Apple A1175 and the A1189 Generic are a couple of batteries to get you started.

    Don't let the confusing numbers and names above throw you off too much; this really isn't as complex as it looks. The first battery on this list is for the 15" Macbook Pro and is an Apple-made replacement battery that's easy to get, easy to install, and relatively cheap. For around $40 at most retailers, the A1175 is a comprehensive 60 watt-hour battery that has fully integrated charge LEDs so you can know how much time you have left to work without even needing to turn on your laptop.

    Second is the A1189 Generic battery for Macbook Pro, which is sort of the knockoff version of the one listed above, only it's made for the 17" Macbook as opposed to the 15". I know, it's weird that different inch sizes have different batteries, but bear with me. This one goes for about the same price as the A1175 listed above, and has relatively the same power ratings (10.8V, 6600mAh), but is more common as a replacement for the 17" Macbook Pro.

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    All images are from respective purchase links, or from this link.


    All information comes from prior author knowledge, or from products' respective purchase links.

    Purchase Links

    NG Apple A1175

    A1189 Generic