How to check battery health and optimize your Mac in easy steps

If you’re starting to notice your MacBook’s battery draining, maybe you can save yourself a visit to the Genius bar and fix this problem. In this article, we’ll look at how to check battery health and optimize your Mac for best performance. Let’s get started.

How to check battery discharge rate

Standard Li-ion batteries degrade over time and lose capacity resulting in poorer performance over the years. This happens gradually each time you charge and drain the battery, also known as a Charge Cycle. In other words, ‘Charge Cycle’ is a good indicator of battery health. That is, more is the charge cycle, the older is the battery.

To find your Mac’s Charging Cycle, click the Apple icon in the upper left corner, open About This Macclick System Report

The page is here to check the max limit for your MacBook and find out if your battery is close to its normal cycle limit.

For example, I use an Early 2015 MacBook Pro and its battery is rated for 1000 cycles and my machine’s battery is about 76 cycles. This means I have over 900 charge cycles left before I have to worry about backing up my battery.

Check the current charge capacity of the battery

Okay, we already have the Charge Cycle numbers but for further investigation we can use an app that tells you the current battery health of your MacBook.

After installing the application, you can easily access the application from the menu bar. It shows the current capacity of your battery, the value currently charging, it also tells you the current battery temperature and power usage.

If your battery fails, it will quickly discharge and have a higher temperature than usual. Remember though, if you’re editing a video or opening a browser with loads of tabs, even a healthy battery will discharge much faster.

Optimize your Mac for more juice

We’ve determined that your MacBook has a working battery, but if the battery life drops more than the battery has degraded, we can optimize some things and get more out of it. Here are some things that you can try;

Click the Battery icon above menu bar to reveal options. Then you will find all the culprit apps that may be partly responsible for the short battery life on your Mac. I use Google Chrome and it is a common battery drainer and if you use it with your MacBook then you should try switching to Safari or Firefox.

When using your MacBook on Battery, you can try reducing the brightness on both the keyboard and the display to get more battery life. It won’t make a huge difference but it will definitely be something.

Apple’s native apps are well optimized for MacBook hardware, and using those apps can really help you increase battery life on your MacBook. This includes replacing any third-party apps like VLC with the original QuickTime Player.

Something else?

His is a quick guide on how to check your battery health and improve performance based on it. Sure there are ways to improve battery life like turning Wi-Fi and Bluetooth OFF, but that really doesn’t help when you’re connecting to the Internet using Wi-Fi and using a Wireless keyboard. However, you can still tweak some settings in the Energy Saver section to get the most out of your old MacBook. What do you do to make your MacBook last longer? Let me know in the comments below.

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