Short battery life

Three categories to consider:

  • There is a system issue (not the battery).
  • f 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 85W adapter.
  • Plug a known good 85W adapter into a known good outlet. Verify that the DC connector is fully seated into the computer.
  • Check whether the customer's system is setup for heavy battery power use (AirPort on, optical media always in drive, Energy Savings set to Highest Performance, etc.)
  • Test the computer with all third-party devices (printers, hubs, third-party keyboard or mouse) removed.
  • Reset the power manager. See new procedures under the "Resetting the Power Manager Unit (SMC)" heading in the Hardware Troubleshooting Tools and Tips section.
  • 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.
  • Note: The battery calibration procedure 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 onscreen 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, you will see the low battery warning dialog on the screen.
  4. Continue to keep your computer turned on until it goes to sleep. Save all your work and close all applications when the battery gets low and 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 and leave it connected until the battery is fully charged again.
  • The battery has a defect.
  • Symptoms include, but are not limited to, a relative new battery that will not charge at all, reports an "X" in the menu bar icon, status light on its case that will not go out. In the first two cases, the battery may need calibration—try this first. In addition, after troubleshooting at the system level, if it is demonstrated that the battery is causing abrupt shut-downs or goes to sleep without warning, the battery can be considered severely degraded and follow the criteria below.
  • Warranty Note: If the battery was purchased (either with the computer or as a standalone part) in the last 90 days and exhibits severely degraded performance (as defined above) provide an in-warranty replacement. If the battery was purchased between the last 90 to 365 days, have the customer calibrate their battery. If after recalibration, the battery still exhibits severely degraded performance, then provide an in-warranty replacement. If the battery was purchased more than 365 days ago, the customer will need to purchase a new battery.

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