Maximize your battery life (Mac)

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Your Apple battery is a "Consumable" product that decreases in performance over time. However, there are several things you can do to improve the performance and the life of your battery.

1. Your laptop works best between 50°F and 95°F. If you use your notebook in temperatures higher than its specified operating range, you may permanently damage your battery's capacity. You may damage it even more if you charge the device in these temperatures. Even storing a battery in a hot environment can damage it irreversibly. Using your laptop in a very cold environment may also decrease battery life. Unlike a hot environment however, this is a temporary condition. Once molecules in the battery warm up, the battery will return to its previous capacity.

2. For proper maintenance of a lithium-based battery, it's important to keep the electrons in it moving occasionally. Apple does not recommend leaving your portable plugged in all the time. An ideal use would be a commuter who uses her iBook on the train, then plugs it in at the office to charge.

3. Recondition your battery by letting your battery run to less than 3% at least once a month. Reconditioning the battery can restore some of your battery capacity

4. If you don't plan on using your notebook for more than six months, Apple recommends that you remove and store the battery with a 50% charge. If you store a battery when it's fully discharged, it could fall into a deep discharge state, which renders it incapable of holding any charge. Conversely, if you store it fully charged for an extended period of time, the battery may experience some loss of battery capacity. Be sure to store the ejected battery at the proper temperature.

5. Brightness: Dim the screen to the lowest comfortable level to achieve maximum battery life. For instance, when watching a DVD on an airplane, you may not need full brightness if all the cabin lights are off. AirPort Wireless: AirPort consumes power, even if you are not using its features to connect to a network. You can turn Airport off in the control panel to save power. Bluetooth Wireless: Likewise, you can turn off Bluetooth to maximize your battery life, as it also consumes power when not in use. CD's: Having a CD in your CD drive, even if it is not in use also consumes battery power because the computer will constantly verify the presence of a CD. Remove CD's when not in use for extended battery life.

Your Apple laptop comes with a Lithium-ion battery which uses a "fast charge” to charge your device to 80% battery capacity, then switches to trickle charging. You can charge all Lithium-ion batteries a large but finite number of times, as defined by charge cycle.

A charge cycle means using all of the battery's power, but that does not necessarily mean a single charge. For instance, you could use your laptop for an hour one day, using half its power, and then recharge it fully. If you did the same thing the next day, it would count as one charge cycle, not two, so you may take several days to complete a cycle. Each time you complete a charge cycle, it diminishes battery capacity slightly, but you can put laptop batteries through about 300 full charge cycles before they will only hold 80% of original battery capacity (if battery is properly maintained). As with other rechargeable batteries, you may eventually need to replace your battery. (Information from Average laptop battery life experienced by student at Catlin is approximately 1.5 to 2 years.

MacBook Pro: MacBook Pro computers become very warm when under high performance conditions or when charging. It is important that you do not let your computer overheat during these times.
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