My Mac (2017 12' MacBook) keeps me warning about the battery problem when I tap on the battery icon on the top bar. It showed battery repair (the exact English phrase might be different) with a warning icon.

However, I'm not sure what is the problem of the battery in my MacBook. Currently, the battery cycle is 829 and the manufacture date is 2017-06-19. Is it just that the battery is consumed too much and Apple encourages me to change to a new one or is there a serious problem with the battery?

If there is a real problem, how can I detect it and what should I do? The battery swap is quite costly (over $100) so I would rather like to avoid it (well, I'm fine with buying a new laptop but the problem is Apple ditched 12' MacBook).

  • See if this is a dupe: apple.stackexchange.com/q/328979/119271 - I have "one vote close privilege" on this tag and wanted to give you a bit to see if that addresses your question.
    – Allan
    Apr 2, 2020 at 23:52
  • @Allan Thanks for the info but if I understand it correctly my question is about whether my battery has actually a problem while the question on the link is about what to do once there happens a battery problem.
    – Blaszard
    Apr 2, 2020 at 23:59
  • You ate prepared to spend for a new macbook but 100 bucks is too costly for a battery replacement? From your other comments the battery is not your only issue.
    – Solar Mike
    Apr 3, 2020 at 5:07

1 Answer 1


When you see the "Replace Battery" warning icon, it's because your Mac has detected an issue with the battery and it needs to be replaced. You can continue to use your Mac with no problem, but understand as the battery degrades, you'll get less and less charge meaning you'll be tethered to a wall outlet more and more. The only time you really need to worry is if the battery starts to swell.

This is based on information it's getting back from the battery's on board chip that stores information like cycle count, current maximum charge, the initial maximum charge, etc. as well as measurements and calculations the MacBook is doing.

Currently, the battery cycle is 829 and the manufacture date is 2017-06-19.

This is normal. Batteries have a lifespan of about 1000 cycles and a life of 3 to 5 years. This one is a bit on the early side of the curve, but not unexpected. These numbers are derived from testing and modeling - there's no way to say that a battery is guaranteed 1000 cycles and exactly 4 years of life.

Is it just that the battery has consumed too much and Apple encourages me to change to a new one or is there a serious problem on the battery?

No. Apple doesn't "encourage" you to change your battery after a specified amount of time/cycles. You're getting this because the battery is no longer capable of supplying the amount of charge as spec'd out by Apple.

What could cause it?

  • failing/defective battery cell
  • buildup of the SEI layer (normal wear)
  • exposure to temperature extremes
  • physical damage

What is it exactly? It's impossible to know. We don't have the ability to "peer into" the battery pack and look at all the conditions in there (well, we do in the lab, but not in the computer). The best we can do is take some measurements and make an educated guess - that's what the computer is doing when you get the battery health info.

Replacing the Battery

Typically Apple (and ASRs) will replace the entire top case of the MacBook. However, if you have some technical skill (or know someone who does) and some patience, you can replace the battery itself; iFixit.com has excellent instructions

  • Thanks but can I know what is a potential problem of the battery? Is it going to suddenly make my Mac unable to boot or things like that? I'm not sure what problem it has and how serious it is. FYI I just did SMC reset and the battery warning icon disappeared. Actually, the icon showed up sometimes, and whenever I reset SMC it disappears, and it has been like this for months.
    – Blaszard
    Apr 3, 2020 at 0:28
  • If you do an SMC reset and it comes back..it's definitely failing. It's like resetting the check engine light in your car every few miles and it keeps coming back. I'll edit my answer to address the other question about usability.
    – Allan
    Apr 3, 2020 at 0:30
  • Thanks for the edit. So is it also possible to see my Mac suddenly unable to reboot even in a plugged state? I'm not sure yet how serious it is... If it is just decrease of full battery capacity I don't care that much but the inability of reboot is the worst possible case for me.
    – Blaszard
    Apr 3, 2020 at 0:45
  • I've never seen the inability to reboot tied to a battery issue. That's something else entirely. There's lots of questions/answers on that one already. If you can't find anything, ask a new question!
    – Allan
    Apr 3, 2020 at 0:46
  • @Blaszard A defective battery takes more power to charge and is never "full" so the charging system keeps charging and charging and charging forever. The power put into the charging needs to go somewhere: It becomes heat. This will eventually cause overheating issues for the laptop and even worse: the battery itself may swell, even burst. If it swells or burst it may break the laptop beyond repair. Normally you would simply remove the battery and use the laptop on the mains power all the time, but in case of a MacBook you can't do that (it won;t run without battery). You need to replace it.
    – Tonny
    Apr 3, 2020 at 8:41

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