Short battery life

EZ Battery Reconditioning Method

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There are three categories to consider:

1. There is a system issue (not the battery).

  • If you have the customer's power adapter, plug it into a known-good outlet and verify that it can charge the system. Also make sure it is the correct 45W adapter.
  • If you don't have the customer's power adapter, plug a known-good 45W adapter into a known-good outlet. Verify that the MagSafe adapter can charge the system.
  • Check whether the customer's system is set up for heavy battery power use (AirPort on, optical media always in drive, Energy Savings set to Highest Performance, etc).
  • Use Activity Monitor to check for any runaway applications. Stop any runaway processes.
  • Test the computer with all third-party devices (printers, hubs, third-party keyboard or mouse) removed.
  • Reset the SMC (power manager) as described in "Resetting the System Management Controller (SMC)" under "Troubleshooting Tips and Tricks" in the previous section.

2. The battery needs calibration, or it is nearing the end of its useful life.

  • Calibration should be done when you first use the battery, and every few months after. It allows the battery to properly calculate how much power is left in the battery.
  • The battery is a consumable part. It can be charged and discharged only so many cycles before it becomes depleted and can no longer hold a charge.
  • Check the status of the battery with the Battery Health Monitor, located in Apple System Profiler: Battery Information: Health Information: Battery Health. If the battery health status reads "Good' or "Fair" then re-calibration may improve performance.

Note: The battery calibration procedure is as follows:

  1. Plug in the power adapter and fully charge your battery until the light on the power adapter plug changes to green and the on-screen meter in the menu bar indicates that the battery is fully charged.
  2. Allow the battery to rest in the fully charged state for two hours or longer. You may use your computer during this time as long as the adapter is plugged in.
  3. Disconnect the power adapter with the computer on and start running it from the battery. You may use your computer during this time. When your battery gets low, the low battery warning dialog appears on the screen.
  4. Keep your computer turned on until it goes to sleep. Note: Save work and close all applications when the battery gets low, before the system goes to sleep.
  5. Turn off the computer or allow it to sleep for five hours or longer.
  6. Connect the power adapter until the battery is fully recharged again.
  7. The battery has a defect.

Symptoms include, but are not limited to, a relatively new battery that will not charge at all, reports an "X" in the menu bar icon, or reports a 'Poor' performance level in the Battery Health Monitor. In the first two cases, the battery may need calibration—try this first. In addition, after troubleshooting at the system level, if the battery is causing abrupt shutdowns or goes to sleep without warning, the battery can be considered severely degraded. If this is the case, replace the battery.

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