Permanantly Plugged in MacBook Implications.

in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Are there any implications to having my MacBook plugged in all the time?

Should I take it off the charger "just cause"? My MacBook is 2 days old and I am struggling to figure out what's best to do... I rarely ever take it away from my desk (never) and it's a Brand New battery therefore I am at a loss as to whether I should unplug the thing for the sake of the battery... ideas?


  • Reply 1 of 6
    mrblack08mrblack08 Posts: 42member
    Most of the time its better to leave it plugged in, if you are going to unplug it, its always a better idea to let the battery drain all the way down just a precaution.

    What happens when you plug it in, it charges the battery to full power and then the power bypasses the battery and goes straight to the laptop.
  • Reply 2 of 6
    ebbyebby Posts: 3,110member
    No no no! Do not discharge the battery completely for extended periods of time. Sorry, but that is flat-out wrong.

    If you plan not to use the battery, charge it, remove it, and store it someplace safe and cool. This causes the least wear. Of course, you will have a gaping hole in your laptop so I would cover the battery area with plastic so dust doesn't enter your computer. You would also have to be careful about the magnetic power plug. You don't want that popping out with your battery removed.

    All in all, just leave the battery in and forget about it. You computer manages the battery pretty well. After a few years, whether you use it or not, batteries die just because they do get old.
  • Reply 3 of 6
    vandewaalsvandewaals Posts: 450member

    I do this once a month. It's good to do it periodically just to keep the battery conditioned.
  • Reply 4 of 6

    Originally posted by VanDeWaals

    I do this once a month. It's good to do it periodically just to keep the battery conditioned.

    See, you should drain the battery all the way... but I guess I see your point in just leaving it out.
  • Reply 5 of 6
    vineavinea Posts: 5,585member

    Guidelines for prolonging Li-ion battery life

    Unlike NiCad batteries or NiMH batteries, lithium-ion batteries should be charged early and often. However, if they are not used for a longer time, they should be brought to a charge level of around 40%. Never use the battery care functions some cellular phones provide for nickel based batteries. (This will deep cycle the batteries.)

    Li-ion batteries should be kept cool. Ideally they are stored in a refrigerator. Aging will take its toll much faster at high temperatures. Keeping them in very hot cars can kill lithium-ion batteries.

    Avoid running the battery through "deep discharge" cycles ? that is using it until it's fully depleted to 0 %.

    Many authors suggest that freezing Li-ion batteries may be detrimental. However, most Li-ion battery electrolytes freeze at approximately -40°C. Household freezers rarely reach below -20°C. Published experiments demonstrate that freezing (even below -40°C) is unharmful if the battery is fully warmed to room temperature before use. More details are given in the book "Characteristics and Behavior of 1M LiPF6 1EC:1DMC Electrolyte at Low Temperatures" by L.M. Cristo, T. B. Atwater, U.S. Army Research, Fort Monmouth, NJ.

    Buy Li-ion batteries only when needed. Look at the manufacturing date. That is when the ageing process begins.

    When using a notebook computer running from fixed line power over extended periods, it is advisable to remove the battery and store it in a cool place.

    However, many laptop manufacturers recommend against removing the battery from a laptop while it is plugged in, as this can damage a laptop designed to operate with the battery installed. Some manufacturers are also concerned about dust accumulation with the battery removed. Therefore, check the manufacturer's instructions before removing the battery.

    The MacBook/MBP calibration evidently is to help the chip deteremine how much power is really left. I would just leave the battery in and ignore it and not bother going to the effort to make it degrade faster by doing a monthly full discharge. I would consider storing the battery in the fridge (and I probably will with my backup battery) except that I value the laptop and my data more than the $129 battery.

  • Reply 6 of 6
    My iBook G3, 800 MHZ is three years old and I leave it plugged in always. Once in a while I take it for a little ride and the battery last for about 3.5 hours!

    I have never calibrated the thing and get 3.5 hrs burn time! Pretty darn good i'd say.
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