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Hello I'm using a mid 2015 MBP.

My battery lasts 1-2 hours now, I got this text Condition: Replace Soon on the battery icon.

Other stuff are my computer sometimes heats up, gets really slow and fans start working extra hard while working on basic stuff, like running Chrome. I have to close the lid, let it rest a bit then continue where I left off.

Could this have anything to do with battery or could it be something else?

I'm a developer and I need a lot of software open at all times without my computer lagging on me. But I also do not prefer to get one of the new macbooks if a simple battery change will fix this problem.

So is battery condition the reason for poor MBP performance?

  • 5
    Get a battery quote from Apple directly (internet or phone or in person - doesn’t matter), as sometimes they will cover a swap after running diagnostics even if you’re technically outside warranty. Worse case, you know how much the repair will be so you can sell it with good details for the next owner if you’re not the next owner after a repair. – bmike Sep 17 at 1:55
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    Check to see if your Mac Book is affected by the battery recall and you might get a new battery for free: apple.com/newsroom/2019/06/… – JPhi1618 Sep 17 at 14:34
  • It is not affect by recall – Esqarrouth Sep 17 at 17:37
  • This may not be an answer because my experience was with a much older MacBook, but my experience was that if you don't have a beefy enough power adapter and the battery health was poor, the CPU would get throttled to keep power usage under the adapter limit. From the symptoms you describe, it seems like a long shot that this is the case though, as the heat and fans seem to suggest the opposite. – Michael Sep 17 at 17:44
  • There is a battery replacement program for your era device, you don’t mention size but may be applicable; support.apple.com/15-inch-macbook-pro-battery-recall. As an FYI, there were some 13 inch models affected, but from a year later model; support.apple.com/13inch-macbookpro-battery-replacement – Niall Sep 17 at 19:46
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Yes, it could have something to do with the battery - and yes, it could be something else. In short, it's not possible to know without examining your actual hardware.

The "Replace Soon" warning combined with the fact that the battery lasts only for 1 hour really means that you should get the battery replaced. It is not going to get better by itself. Nor is unusual - getting 4.5 years of life out of a battery is actually quite good.

If the battery problem causes extra heat - either from the battery itself, charging circuits or elsewhere - it might be the source of your computer heating up.

The source of the heating up might also be something else entirely. For example it could be as simple as a broken or very dirty fan. Replacing the fan could fix the problem.

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    An additional thing to consider: lithium ion batteries can (often?) swell as they age and begin to fail. The MacBook is already a tight fit, and any swelling of the battery can cause things to get physically moved, possibly causing restrictions in the airflow. My work Dell swelled to the point that it cracked the case, yet it was barely noticeable other than the crack. – Colin Young Sep 17 at 12:31
  • If it swells up to the point of impeding airflow, I think you would have noticed it. But yes, I have also experienced the same several times - but you seem to notice it right away because the bottom bulges out, or because the keyboard is noticably bent. – jksoegaard Sep 17 at 12:33
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In addition to what jksoegaard has stated in their answer, there are a couple of things you should do that may help in the short-term until you can replace your battery.

1. Reset the SMC

For starters, I would reset the System Management Controller (SMC) as that is key to your MBP's power management. To reset the SMC on your model MBP, follow these steps:

  1. Fully shut down your MBP
  2. Press and hold the Shift-Control-Option keys on the left side of your built-in keyboard while also pressing the power button and keep them all down for at least 10 seconds
  3. Let go of all keys and the power button
  4. Switch on your MBP

2. Disable hardware acceleration on Google Chrome

Disabling hardware acceleration on Google Chrome will reduce the power demands on your MBP. To do this:

  1. Go to Chrome > Preferences
  2. Scroll down to the bottom
  3. Click on Advanced
  4. Scroll down to the System heading
  5. Disable the Use hardware acceleration when available option

A final word

The above steps will not change the fact that you need to replace your battery. While jksoegaard is correct that The source of the heating up might also be something else entirely, it is highly likely the battery situation is at least contributing to this, if not the only cause.

As your MBP heats up the SMC will kick in to ensure that your MBP is protected from damage, so the SMC will do things like slow down your CPU, increasing your fan speeds, etc. Resetting the SMC may help in this, but replacing your battery will have a big impact.

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    The battery in all Mac laptops is the power source 100% of the time, even when connected to mains charging. For best performance, the battery needs to be in good health, or the machine will self-throttle. As has been mentioned, you should look into having the topcase (which includes the battery) replaced ASAP. – BentonQuest Sep 17 at 5:35
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    Additionally: Slowdown due to excessive heat buildup is a built-in safety precaution, and is a sure sign that the machine needs both a good clean (with a brush, not compressed air!), and a fresh application of thermal compound. The stuff Apple use - Shinetsu MicroSi - is only rated for three years, then it begins to degrade. Do these two things and the machine should return to its usual cool-running, efficient self. – BentonQuest Sep 17 at 5:39
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    @BentonQuest any source? – Thomas Ayoub Sep 17 at 11:57
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    'The battery in all Mac laptops is the power source 100% of the time, even when connected to mains charging' - no, that's physically impossible. Current in a wire can't flow in both directions simultaneously. – nekomatic Sep 17 at 12:50
  • @BentonQuest That's not something that I would believe without some serious source. – gnasher729 Sep 17 at 22:30
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Definitely yes

I got the battery replaced (and the dust cleaned up) on a mid-2014 MBP a week ago. From that moment, the fans are way slower and the performance has improved significantly.

The laptop had the same symptoms as you are reporting.

What is really execrable is that you will have to pay for the whole bottom chassis, given that Apple glues the battery on that thing and Apple-sanctioned support centers will refuse to simply unglue it and replace the battery separately (like all other repair shops would do).

  • Thanks for sharing your experience. – Esqarrouth Sep 17 at 21:18
  • @Esqarrouth you're welcome. I should add that, in my case, the battery volume significantly increased (I think the English word is swollen) and it even started to perform ghost clicks as it was pushing against the trackpad. I guess that the increased volume also impacted the air flow inside the machine. – Andrea Lazzarotto Sep 18 at 13:18
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When the condition of a battery is labeled as Replace Soon, it means that the battery is consumed. This means that it's used up it's allotted full-charge cycles (1,000). A battery that is consumed doesn't mean that something is physically wrong with the battery, it's just depleted, but this can cause abnormal amounts of heat. Abnormal amounts of heat will cause the fans to spin up, and your performance to falter as your machine is trying to throttle the cpu to keep the core cooler.

Although it would be wise to reset the SMC once you have a battery replacement, doing so without a battery replacement won't do anything for a consumed battery.

The longer you run your battery like this, you might start experiencing unexpected shutdowns, short battery life, abnormal/excessive heat, etc. I would highly recommend getting the battery replaced. This will avoid the potential of battery cells swelling, which can cause damage to internal components, trackpad, keyboard, and other things.

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The bad battery may be the effect and not the cause

Lithium battery life is reduced by heat. In a tightly-packed chassis like a Macbook, there isn't much spare space, so when the CPU heats up so does the battery. If the machine is running hot a lot of the time, the battery will be under stress a lot of the time and potentially degrading faster. It may be that there's some other reason why your machine is running hot, and the bad battery is a symptom and not the root cause.

To this end, I'd start by going to the taskbar battery icon and looking in the menu for apps 'Using Significant Energy'. Also Activity Monitor has an Energy tab. I'd try and use Activity Monitor to work out what's causing your machine to work hard and why it's getting hot. Unless you're charging or discharging heavily, or there's a serious fault, the battery itself shouldn't be getting hot of its own accord.

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