Service Battery Warning on Mac: Need to replace the battery?

by Kelvin
Service Battery Warning on Mac: Need to replace the battery?

One of the scariest caveats MacBook users can see is that it says Service Battery.

Like all laptops, a battery is one of the most critical and expensive components, and also a component that basically cannot be repaired, which is ironic due to the warning words themselves.


When the lithium ion battery is dead, it is dead and you need to replace the battery or if you have to leave your MacBook connected at all times, what kind of defeat is the purpose of having a laptop in the first place.

What exactly were your options when your MacBook returned a Battery Service warning? In this article, I will explain how the lithium ion battery works on your MacBook, how to get the best performance and longest life from your battery, and give you some suggestions on how to complete the Battery Service warnings that do not require you to pay much. money for a new battery pack.

How lithium ion batteries work

The basic chemistry of lithium-ion batteries was discovered by an American chemist named Gilbert Lewis in 1812.

All chemical batteries operate on the same basic principle: the positive electrode (cathode) is separated from the negative electrode (anode) by a solution called an electrolyte. When a battery is connected to an electrical circuit that consumes energy, electrons flow from the anode to the cathode, creating current.

There will be a test on this later. The results will be your permanent record.

If the battery can be recharged, this flow can be reversed. When a current is sent to the battery, the electrons flow from positive to negative electrodes, recharging the battery and adding energy.

In lithium ion batteries, positive electrodes are generally made of lithium cobalt oxide (LiCoO2). Newer batteries use lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) instead.

You must have heard the news about lithium batteries exploding or catching on fire. The stories are true; This type of battery can overheat and explode if not carefully controlled. As battery technology has evolved, this problem has been more or less eliminated by adding added electronic monitoring circuits to the batteries.

This circuit monitors the (electronic) discharge rate of the battery. If something goes wrong (it usually leaks), the circuit shuts down the connection between the anode and the cathode and stops the reaction on its way. There was no reaction, no fire, no explosion.

There are many variations on this basic battery design, with different designs producing different power outputs, levels of reliability, etc. The main factor we see today is the life cycle of the battery; that is, how many times can the battery be discharged and then recharged before it no longer functions at full capacity.

The cathode slowly decreases over time as the molecules continue to be inserted through the extortionist, and eventually the battery reaches the point where it stops holding the charge as long as possible and ultimately won't hold the charge.

For lithium-ion batteries, the number of cycles before this occurs varies depending on the quality of the battery and the discharge rate supported by the battery.

What to Expect From a MacBook Battery

Your MacBook's battery follows the same physical laws as all other lithium-ion battery applications. Laptops do not use a lot of energy and are generally designed to optimize their power consumption.

Even with these two facts, MacBook Pro or MacBook Pro can recently run for 10 hours using the Internet and performing normal computing tasks such as word processing or music playback.

The battery life will be shorter if you do intensive work like calculating pi or doing chemical equations. Older MacBook models generally run on 8-hour batteries

How long can you expect performance levels from your battery? Namely, what is the battery life of your MacBook?

Apple states that the new battery is designed to support 1,000 full charge cycles, after which the battery must still be 80% or more of its original capacity.

Note that even after this long life cycle (full discharge and recharge every day for three years), your battery will continue to function: the battery will not have the same capacity to hold a charge as it does at its peak. It will continue to slowly decline over time and eventually stop working completely, but it may be years after reaching the nominal end of life.

Note that macOS is quite smart at calculating loops. Partial costs do not count as a complete cycle; If you remove the battery a little and then recharge it, it will only count as a small portion of the internal monitoring cycle.

Battery Warning Service on Mac

Your MacBook monitors the health of your battery, using its original capabilities as a base. If you mouse over the battery icon in the status bar at the top of the screen, a pop-up window will appear showing the battery status, the amount of power remaining, and a list of applications that use a lot of energy. There are four battery status messages.

  • Normal – This battery status means that your battery is working within normal parameters and is basically "like new"
  • Change immediately – The batteries have less energy than the batteries when they are new, but they still work correctly.
  • Change now – The battery still works normally, but it has the capacity to retain a much lower charge than when it was new. Time to start looking for a new battery.
  • Service batteries – Something is wrong with the battery function. It could still work, and it won't harm your computer if you keep using it, but the battery might not last long.

The first thing to do when you receive a "Service Battery" notification is to check the System Report. This will indicate the number of cycles and the general state of the battery of your MacBook. To view the System Report:

  1. Select menu Apple The photo (what Apple icon on the top left of your computer)
  2. Then choose Aabout this mac
  3. Click on System Report
  4. Then click Power in the menu on the left
  5. Under Health Information, look for Cycle count Battery.

Service Battery Warning on Mac: Need to replace the battery? two

Modern Macs get at least 1,000 cycles before there's a problem, even if you have a pre-2010 Macbook, you may only have 500 cycles available before the battery runs out.

Reset the battery warning service on a Mac

If you receive a Battery Service warning, the previous cycle is approx. 1,000 for newer (later than 2010) Macs or about 500 for pre-2010 Macs, so your battery will probably run out.

But if your cycle is relatively low, there may be other problems and you should use the method I will explain to you to try to solve the problem yourself before you consider to replace the battery directly.

Battery recalibration

The first thing you should try is to recalibrate the battery. Recalibrating the battery basically means removing it completely (something most of us rarely do) and then fully recharging the battery so that the battery management circuit on your MacBook has a chance to see the full range of charge possible on the battery.

Recalibrating the battery takes a day or more, so if possible, do it over the weekend when you don't need to have a MacBook to work. Here's how to do it:

  1. Charge your MacBook's battery to 100%, until the MagSafe light ring turns green or the battery icon drop-down menu indicates that your MacBook is fully charged.
  2. Keep the laptop running while it is connected to the power source for several hours.
  3. Unplug your MacBook from the power source, but keep it running. You can use it normally or leave it alone. Run a processor intensive program to speed up the process if desired.
  4. When you see a low battery warning, save whatever work you are doing.
  5. Let the MacBook go to death for lack of power.
  6. Leave the MacBook overnight without power.
  7. Charge your MacBook again the next morning until it's full.

Your MacBook should now be able to measure the battery status more accurately. If this resolves any of the problems, your Battery Service warning will disappear. Plus, you'll see that your Mac OS's battery gauge now provides a more accurate reading of battery status, without any more surprising power losses.

Reset SMC to stop Battery Warning Service on Mac

The next thing you should try is to reset your System Management Controller (SMC). This is a hardware chip that controls various hardware configurations, including the power system. Although it is very reliable, it can sometimes have problems that require a restart. The process is very easy, but any adjustments to your power plan or hardware configuration can also be reset. Here's how to reset SMC:

  1. Turn off your MacBook.
  2. Press Shift + Ctrl + Option + Left Power Button simultaneously and hold.
  3. Release all keys simultaneously.
  4. Turn on the laptop.

The SMC controls the computer fan, backlight, and indicator lights, as well as various aspects of the screen, port, and battery, so restarting will force your MacBook to return to the default settings for all of this. . I

If a temporary problem in SMC causes a Battery Service warning, this should be resolved.

Another way to get past the battery warning service on Mac

If your battery is still at its theoretical cycle count and you have tried both the SMC calibration and reset and the service battery warning still appears, you are only left with one option: take it to Apple The store.

If it's been less than a year since you bought a MacBook, you still need to get a warranty. However, after that point (unless you're under AppleCare and within an extended three-year warranty period), a replacement battery will cost $ 129 or more.

How to Extend Your Mac's Battery Life

If you plan to keep your MacBook in service for a long time, keeping the battery in tip-top condition should be a priority.

This is the most likely component to come out and needs to be replaced. Here are some suggestions for keeping your battery healthy.

Keep your Mac installed

Obviously, it is very nice to be able to sit with a MacBook in your lap on the terrace and surf the web or write a novel while enjoying the sunset; The goal of a laptop is that it is a portable machine.

However, there are many times that you have it sitting at a table like other computers. When you have access to an AC outlet, use it. That reduces the number of times your MacBook has to charge and extends its life.

Avoid exposing the extreme temperature of your Mac

MacBooks operate in a variety of outside temperatures, but the ideal temperature range is 62 ° to 72 ° F. Your engine will perform well in cold temperatures; Although your battery won't last long, it won't be damaged by the cold. However, INSTALLING the battery in freezing temperatures is very dangerous: never charge the lithium battery in a cold place. Heat is another story; Temperatures above 95 ° F can permanently damage the battery and reduce its capacity. Charging at high temperatures will cause additional damage. Your MacBook software should avoid charging in these extreme environmental conditions, but it doesn't hurt to be aware of it.

Store your Mac in half charge

In storage, your MacBook's battery will drain, but it's very slow. If you plan to store your MacBook for a long period of time (over a month), charge the battery to about 50% of its capacity before doing so.

Leaving it stored at full load can cause it to lose capacity, while storing it without load can cause it to lose the ability to charge. If you keep the device for more than six months, you must turn it on and recharge it up to 50% every six months. You must store your MacBook in a dry environment that does not exceed 90 ° F.

If you find this how-to article helpful, you can find other helpful TechJunkie articles, including:

Do you know of other ways to keep your MacBook's battery in good condition or how to get rid of Battery Warning Service? Have you ever experienced certain problems with your MacBook or MacBook Pro battery? Tell us in the comments below.

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