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I recently got my MacBook Air, and the battery cycles is already at 12. Is this good/average? I don't know if I am not charging it properly or something, because I don't want to ruin my battery in the first year of having it.

Earlier today, I didn't even run the battery all the way down to 0% (it went down to 6%) and then I charged it up to 94%, and the battery cycle count has increased to 12, but that is not a full cycle, or is it? I'm confused about this whole battery cycle thing, because I'm used to a desktop and not worrying about batteries.

So, how can I preserve the battery cycles and not use as much cycles in a week? Maybe I am charging it too much or something?

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My MacBook Pro is 15 months old, and has 175 cycles on the clock. My battery health is down to 93%, so it's really nothing to worry about. The only real no no is to leave it plugged in all the time. Just use it as a laptop, and charge it when it needs charging. – AlanJC Jul 30 '12 at 21:16
@AlanJC, where can I find facts/reasons to back up the claim not to leave it plugged in all the time? I've read this all over, but have never been convinced by some official recommendation/facts about batteries. – Alec Jacobson Jul 27 at 14:42

1 Answer 1

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Don't stress about it so much.

A Battery cycle refers to, more or less, one mostly full discharge and recharge. Typically, your battery should be rated for somewhere in the neighborhood of 1000 cycles. Eventually, the battery just won't hold a charge for as long as it did when it was new, but that's why batteries are easily and affordably replaceable. It's a consumable part. If it dies prematurely (which is the only thing you should really need to pay attention to cycles for), then it's covered under your warranty. The 'Battery Cycles' indicator is mainly there so that you can diagnose this. If, in a years time, your laptop's battery only lasts half as long as it did when it was new, but you've only used say, 400 cycles, well, that's not performing up to spec, and it should be covered under your warranty. If you've used 1500 cycles (doing that in a year would be some pretty heavy and impressive use though, I've gotta say), well, that's to be expected. You used your battery a lot, and it wore out.

Use your laptop as normal. Battery cycles are not a scarce and precious resource to be hoarded. 12 cycles in about a week and a half sounds pretty normal for a new laptop being used heavily to me. That's about, what? 6 hours/day unconnected to a power source? If you're using it on the go, that's a perfectly reasonable amount of consumption.

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I agree with less pop. I've had numerous MacBook Pros and use my computers daily off battery, charging them at night which means I cycle the battery daily. I generally get 3 years out of my computers and I've only had to replace batteries twice in the entire time I've had PowerBooks and MacBook Pros. Both times they were covered under AppleCare (a good thing to have if you own a portable computer). I used to think it was important to keep track of this stuff but experience has shown me it's generally a waste of effort. – Richard May 3 '12 at 3:07
"Don't stress" - excellent advice. – Adam Eberbach May 3 '12 at 6:41
Thank you for your detailed answer. I understand it all now :) – Nathan May 4 '12 at 4:01
If I have the possibility to use from AC or Battery what would you suggest? – Anonymous Jul 30 '12 at 21:05

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