If the battery status bar of your Mac/MacBook says, “Replace Now” or “Service Battery,” that means the battery needs to be serviced on an urgent basis. While the battery service warning can turn up suddenly and unexpectedly, there could be several factors contributing to this issue. Most of the reasons for battery service warning to show up are related to software updates, poor battery management, strange battery performance, a bug, or simply the requirement of a new battery. Keep reading this article to learn a few possible fixes.
Check Your Cycle Count
The battery life of a MacBook is decided by its cycle count, which stands for the amount of 100% – 0%. Evidently, the battery life of a newly purchased MacBook is much better than an old one. Actually, it is the bigger cycle count that plays its role in deciding the battery life. So, the bigger the cycle count, the better will be the battery of a MacBook.
As far as the “Service Battery” warning is concerned, it’s normal to experience it; once you have hit the official cycle count of your MacBook’s battery. Fortunately, there is a way to keep a track of your MacBook’s cycle count. Here is how:
Step 1: Start by clicking on the Apple menu logo followed by “System Information.”
Step 2: Scroll down to find the “Hardware” section and click “Power.” Here you will find the relevant battery information displayed, including your cycle count.
Step 3: Check your cycle count limit on Apple’s support page. If the number listed in your MacBook exceeds the value of the cycle count suggested on Apple’s page, then you know the reason for the Service Battery warning. If your Mac’s cycle count is way higher than it should be, then keep reading to fix it.
Reset the SMC (System Management Controller)
Note: Your MacBook must have a non-removable battery (Mac computers 2009 and later) to try resetting the SMC. If you do, then here is what to do:
Step 1. Start by shutting down your MacBook.
Step 2. Now, plug in the power adapter to your computer and power source.
Step 3. Simultaneously press Shift + Ctrl + Option keys plus the power button for about 30 seconds, and then release all of them.
Step 4. Now, press the power button to turn on the computer, as would usually do. And check if the “Service Battery” warning has disappeared.
If the warning still exists, scroll down to try the next suggestion.
Recalibrate the Battery
While this method can take hours, you will get rid of the “Service Battery” warning. Plus, Apple suggests its users calibrate their MacBook’s battery every few months to maintain good battery health. Follow the below instructions:
Step 1. Make sure that your MacBook’s battery is fully charged to 100%.
Step 2. After the battery is charged to 100%, keep the MagSafe plugged into the power source and the computer for another two hours.
Step 3: Now, disconnect the power source and use the computer until it runs out of battery power. Don’t connect the power cord even when you see the low battery warning; later, the MacBook will sleep automatically. Now, turn it off.
Step 4. Keep the computer off for five hours or more without charging it. Then later, charge your MacBook with the power adapter or MagSafe.
This is how to calibrate your battery. In short, charge it to full, drain it to zero, and then charge it again.
If either or both of the above methods didn’t help you get rid of the “Service Battery” warning, then as a last resort, go to an authorized Apple service provider. Perhaps it’s time to replace your MacBook’s battery.
Mathew Anderson is a Microsoft Office expert and has been working in the technical industry since 2002. As a technical expert, Mathew has written technical blogs, manuals, white papers, and reviews for many websites such as office.com/setup.