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Extending Runtime, Lifespan, and When the Time Comes, Replacing...

written by: Farmhouse41•edited by: Lamar Stonecypher•updated: 6/20/2010

The Macbook Pro 15-inch is Apple's most popular laptop. You may not, however, be getting the most from your Macbook Pro's battery.

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    Laptop battery life is one of the most important features for many computer users. Imagine losing your work because your battery suddenly died. Although there is not one cure all for improving the performance of your Macbook Pro 15-inch laptop, you can follow several tips in order to extend the runtime and lifespan of your battery. If, perhaps, your Macbook battery completely dies, you'll need to replace the battery with an authorized Apple laptop battery.

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    Extending Runtime Battery Life

    The Macbook Pro 15-inch laptop battery is supposed to last from eight to nine hours on a single charge. However, several variables can cause this number to be significantly shorter. One of the most prevalent variables affecting battery life is the brightness of your Macbook's LED display. Logically, the brighter the screen, the faster the battery will drain. For example, the difference between viewing your Macbook at full brightness and lowest brightness can be a few hours.

    In addition to the screen brightness, the backlit keyboard on your Macbook Pro 15-inch can also drain your battery. If you're not in a dark room that requires the backlit keyboard, turn the keyboard lights completely off.

    Another major drain on your battery life is wireless communication. If your airport and bluetooth are on, your battery tends to drain at a faster rate. If you must have the airport on to access the Internet, turn off the bluetooth by clicking the bluetooth icon on the upper-left corner of your Mac and selecting "Turn Bluetooth Off."

    Running multiple applications at one time can decrease your battery life for several reasons. First, running too many applications can cause your Macbook's CPU to overheat. Overheating causes the battery to drain at a faster rate. Second, running multiple applications can drain your battery due to your Macbook's paging scheme. That is, applications that aren't currently in use will place a burden on your Macbook's hard drive. Hard drive usage can cause the battery to drain faster.

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    Extending the Lifespan of your Macbook Pro Battery

    One of the most important ways to care for your battery is to calibrate it every so often. Apple recommends that you calibrate your battery about once a month. To calibrate the battery, charge the battery completely. Once it's charged completely, leave the power cord plugged into your Macbook Pro for two more hours. Remove the power source and let the battery completely drain. You should change the Energy Saver preferences to ensure the Macbook doesn't go to sleep after a certain period of time. Once the battery drains, leave the Macbook for five more hours. Plug the Macbook in and then allow the battery to fully charge.

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    Replacing Macbook Pro 15-inch Battery

    The newer Macbook Pro 15-inch has a full unibody construction that doesn't allow you to remove and replace the battery when your battery can no longer hold a charge. Instead, you'll need to send the computer to Apple to have the battery replaced. Older Macbook Pro 15-inch models do have a removable battery and can be replaced without the aid of a professional. You can purchase a Macbook Pro 15-inch battery directly from Apple or another authorized reseller.