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How to Calibrate Your MacBook Battery

written by: Mike Piero•edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 1/13/2011

With revolutionary battery technology, Apple notebooks, including the Macbook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro, possess the longest lasting charge in the industry. This article explains how to calibrate your MacBook battery to achieve optimal performance.

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    Why Should You Calibrate Your Battery?

    20070 Although battery calibration in not mandatory, it is recommended by Apple for all of its portable computer. By successfully calibrating the battery, the battery time and percentage display will stay very accurate. It also helps to get the maximum life out of the battery. Since Apple's portable computers no longer have user-replacable batteries, it's even more important to take care of your battery; a battery replacement is going to cost a few hundred dollars and require you to either take the notebook to an Apple Store or send it away for a while.

    Apple recommends calibrating the battery when one first buys a new MacBook and then every two months after that. They suggest that for those who use their notebooks mostly on AC power it is a good idea to calibrate the battery once a month.

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    How to Calibrate Your Battery

    Calibrating an Apple notebook battery is extremely easy, but it is somewhat time consuming. If it results in a longer battery life and a more accurate time remaining feature, isn’t it worth it?

    These instructions work for the PowerBook G4, MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro. Older Apple portables have slightly different instructions since they use a different battery technology. Follow these five easy steps to get the most out of your battery:

    1. Plug in the AC charger and charge the battery until the little green dot appears on the adapter.
    2. Let the battery remain in this fully charged state for 2 hours. Note that you can use the computer on AC power during this time period.
    3. Unplug the power adapter and begin using the computer, draining the battery all the way until it shuts itself either off or enters sleep mode. Be sure to have any work saved or backed up before this occurs.
    4. Turn the notebook off or allow it to sleep for 5 hours (it will eventually shut off).
    5. Plug in the AC charger and charge the battery all the way until it is fully charged and you see the green dot again.

    Altogether, this procedure should take between 7-10 hours depending on how long it take a user to fully drain his or her battery. Remember to do this once every two months to keep your battery in pristine condition.