How to Check MacBook’s Battery Health and Cycle Count?

By Jenny | Posted to Home > News, on November 4th, 2021

An average MacBook can last five years and more with proper maintenance, but sometimes the battery poses problems. Like other hardware, the laptop battery will eventually wear out, and you will need to find a replacement at a time.

Whether your battery is working well or not as well as it was before, you need to check your MacBook’s battery health every once or two. We will elaborate on the details.

What is a Good Battery Cycle Count?

Your MacBook’s battery is designed to last for a maximum cycle count, which is 1000 for MacBooks, MacBook Pros, and MacBook Airs came out after 2009. That's to say, your laptop battery has a limited lifespan, and when you exhaust the charge cycle, you will see a significant drop in battery performance.

But what is a charge cycle, and how to count it?

You go through charge cycles every time you use your MacBook. When you use up all the battery's power, it counts as one cycle, not necessarily in a single charge. For example, you used 50% of your MacBook's battery, charged it to full, and stopped using it. The next day you did the same. Then it takes two days to complete a cycle for that case.

what is a charge cycle on MacBook Pro

How to Check Battery Health on MacBook?

Some third-party apps can examine the health of your MacBook's battery, but the data they reported may be inaccurate. Therefore, you should rely on the information on Mac's System Information.

Steps to check the battery health on MacBook Air and MacBook Pro:

  • 1. Click the Apple logo in the top-left corner of your Mac and choose About This Mac.
  • 2. Tap on System Report from the pop-up window.
  • 3. Choose Power from the left panel.
  • 4. Under Battery Information, you will find Health Information that displays Cycle Count and Condition.
the battery health and cycle count information in System Information

The picture above represents a well-functioning MacBook Pro that has used 44 charge cycles.

How Do You Know if Your MacBook Battery Needs Replacing?

Based on the number of cycle counts, you can estimate how long it can last until your MacBook exhausts the maximum of 1000 cycle counts. If the number is close to the maximum or your battery isn't performing well, you need to replace it.

For battery condition, you may see the following:

Normal: Your battery is working normally.

Service Recommended: This means that your battery can't hold a charge as long as it was new or is functioning abnormally. You can still use your Mac safely but are recommended to get it evaluated at Apple Store or other Apple-authorized service providers. The staff will tell you if you need battery replacement.

In earlier macOS, you may see the battery status displayed as Replace Soon, Replace Now, or Service Battery. Here is the explanation:

Service Battery: Something is wrong with the battery, and it needs to be diagnosed at a service location.

Replace Soon: The battery has gone through the maximum cycle counts and is not holding the charge as it once did, which means that a replacement is needed.

Replace Now: The battery is still working but likely needs to be plugged in all the time. You need to go to Apple Support for MacBook Air or MacBook Pro battery replacement.