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I have a MacBook Pro (2008). It is a secondary computer I rarely use, so it was easy to last that long with it.

Such a long lasting service turned me into an adept of Apple quality. I am looking forward to buy a new one except... nowadays the battery is harder to remove.

My concern is not "a replaceable battery", it is more of "a removable battery". As soon as the battery dies, I would like to keep using the laptop with a power cord. However I've seen all my batteries swelling and/or getting extremely hot. I might be paranoid, but in those cases I just wanted to remove the battery and keep using a good enough laptop.

Is this possible with new MacBooks? Can they work without a battery attached? Or can their batteries be ignored once they expire?

6 Answers 6

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MacBook Pro Mid 2015 cannot be run without battery at all.

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  • 3
    Interesting, I've just confirmed that the Early 2015 model can boot without the battery.
    – Andy Waite
    Dec 28, 2021 at 3:47
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    @AndyWaite This is Mid, not early.
    – Marek H
    Dec 29, 2021 at 10:31
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    I know, I was just adding a data point.
    – Andy Waite
    Dec 29, 2021 at 14:49
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It is well-known that any MacBook with battery removed will run at significantly lower clock speed, typically around 1 GHz. The reason is that the power supply is good enough to supply plenty of power for the average usage, but not for bursts. If your hard drive spins up while the CD drive spins up while all cores and the GPU work full blast and you are charging two iPhones then the power supply won't have enough power for that, but it can take extra power from the battery.

With no battery, the MacBook will turn its power consumption down so that it can guarantee to always have enough power, because otherwise you would have instant crashes at the wrong times.

Another reason to not remove the battery is that dust will have a chance to get deeper inside your MacBook that would otherwise be blocked by the battery. So unless your battery is swollen, leave it in, even if it only has ten minutes charge left.

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  • This might be true for 2011 and older Macbooks but anything newer will not boot correctly.
    – Geordie
    Oct 31, 2021 at 1:18
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    @Geordie Not sure what you mean by "correctly", but I'm to able to boot an early 2015 MacBook Pro with the battery disconnected. It's definitely slow because of the throttling, but there were no errors or failures.
    – Andy Waite
    Dec 28, 2021 at 3:45
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I can confirm that a Macbook Pro Retina 2015 (15") WILL NOT boot correctly without a battery installed. I was rebuilding a system that had damaged batteries. Once I pulled the old battery pack you could show boot disk screen, perform hardware check etc, but cannot boot to OS. You just see the Apple boot screen but will be stuck in a reset loop. Also fans were on 100%.

Started working fine once new battery pack was installed.

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Well, even tho the battery of the new MacBook pro's are glued with adhesive, they are removable, just harder. Plenty of youtube tutorials explain how to do it. So yeah buy yourself a new battery and replace it and do not run the laptop without a battery.

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I had an issue with a swollen battery on my 2011 MBP (13"). While I waited for the replacement battery, I ran it at home with the old battery removed (it was swollen enough that the trackpad didn't work anymore). The machine ran without a problem with no battery plugged in.

The only thing you have to watch for is that the MagSafe plug comes unplugged easily… certainly by design! With no battery, this results in a hard shutdown for the computer, so make sure you're careful with the computer (or, better yet, use it like a desktop so there's less chance of jostling the power cable).

TL;DR: Yes, at least as recently as the 2011 MBP. Likely true for rMBP, not sure on the new ones with TB3.

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    Note that you might run into this issue while you're running battery-less. Extra motivation to get a new battery, I suppose. Jun 8, 2017 at 20:31
  • As far as I've read, latest models do have the batteries glued and in some models it is imposible to remove the battery without destroying the keyboard (you get a new one too during a service replacement). Also all of them have the problem where the swollen battery pushes the trackpad and it stops working... so even more reasons for me going battery free. Magsafe is no longer a concern nowadays Jun 9, 2017 at 7:41
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Macbooks without battery work slower than with battery and with new ones you can't replace them because they're glued in so you will need new laptop.

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    Any sources or references to back that claim?
    – Jawa
    Nov 13, 2017 at 8:54
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    For me there was some bug where it would have kernel_task using 100% of one core if I removed the battery...weird stuff...
    – rogerdpack
    Jun 17, 2019 at 1:18
  • One can remove and replace glued batteries. As if the glue is such a strong substance. ifixit.com/Store/Mac/…
    – queezz
    Aug 16, 2019 at 0:31

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