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I own a 13" mid-2012 MacBook Pro, and have been using it for over 7 years. I have replaced the HDD with a larger SSD, and upped the RAM to 8GB last year to improve its declining performance. However, I have done nothing to its original battery.

My battery over the years has underwent 2000+ cycles, and can only last at most 2-3 hrs from 100% to 0% currently (with no apps using significant energy). My 60W MagSafe 1 charger (L-shape) has had some parts of the outer cable torn (half of it covered in electrical tape). The cable has become more and more yellow, and the plugs are slightly bent out of shape, although it still works.

My questions are as follows:

  • How many years do you think the battery/charger of a MacBook Pro can last (mines is 7 years as of now)?

  • Should I look for replacements? If so, what should I replace in order to increase my MacBook Pro’s battery life?

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    2-3 hours of battery life after 2000+ cycles seem excellent
    – lhf
    Jul 10, 2020 at 12:37

3 Answers 3

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If so, what should I replace in order to increase my MacBook Pro’s battery life?

Emphasis mine

The battery. Period.

I would replace the battery only if having 2-3 hours of usable charge is no longer convenient. The question you have to ask yourself is whether or not the battery, in it's current state is still usable to you. If it's not, change it. If it is, try to get every charge cycle you can out of it (I'm a big proponent prolonging the life of products to minimize e-waste.)

You might find this post quite relevant: Quality factors relevant for getting a replacement battery (MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2012))


Battery Life

My battery over the years has underwent 2000+ cycles, and can only last at most 2-3 hrs from 100% to 0% currently

You are definitely several standard deviations from the norm on the right side bell curve that represents charge cycles and battery life. Batteries generally have a useful life of 3 to 5 years. The "1000 cycles" is just a marketing estimate of how many types you can charge cycle the battery so you can estimate (budget) for battery replacement. It's not a hard and fast rule (unfortunately, too many people believe it is).

MagSafe Adapter

My 60W MagSafe 1 charger (L-shape) has had some parts of the outer cable torn (half of it covered in electrical tape). The cable has become more and more yellow, and the plugs are slightly bent out of shape, although it still works.

If your charger still works and is safe you have no reason to change it. Yellowing of the plastic has nothing to do with performance - it has to do with UV exposure to the plastic. If you're still making the connection with the adapter, there's no reason to change.

NOTE: If it's brown, that means it's overheating and burning the plastic - destroy that charger immediately and get a new one.

I emphasize safe because the ground wire in the MagSafe cables is also EM shielding. If this wire is broken you should replace the adapter. Here you have a couple of options.

  • If replacing the adapter, I would get the 87W adapter. It will give you more options if you choose to add another vintage Mac to your stable. You can always use a "larger" charger than what your device is rated for; not smaller. And with the MagSafe 2 Converter, you can use that MagSafe 1 with newer devices! See Apple's Support Document Find the Right Power Adapter for Your Mac for full details.

  • If you have the technical skills, you can "break" open the MagSafe adapter and simply solder on a new cable. Yes, you have to break it open because it's glued together (stupid design), but once open, you can solder on a new cable and (what I did) duct tape the adapter back together. I have one still working to this day. iFixit.com has excellent guides on how to do this.

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  • If you break it open carefully, you can easily glue it back together so it looks almost untouched.
    – Solar Mike
    Jul 10, 2020 at 5:34
  • Thank you very much for your answer. I’ve actually had this issue with my battery for quite a while throughout 2019, but since I am home a lot as of the last few months, and kept my charger plugged in most of the time, I forgot about it until recently. I am thinking of buying a replacement battery (model number A1322). My original battery has a manufacturer part number (020-6765-A). I’d like to ask you a follow-up, is it alright if I buy a A1322 with a different manufacturer part number of 020-6764-A (due to a lower prices online)? Thank you in advance, and I appreciate your response.
    – user74261
    Jul 10, 2020 at 20:15
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    @user74261: You might want to contact Apple to verify this, but when I inquired with them recently about a replacement battery for my late 2011 MBP, I was told that they (Apple) no longer supported my MBP, nor did they stock replacement parts for it. Nonsensically, they added that if I chose to replace my battery with a "non-Apple" battery, they would no longer service the MBP.
    – Seamus
    Jul 10, 2020 at 20:56
  • @Seamus is correct. The mid-2012 is technically obsolete meaning you can't get any hardware from Apple. Even Vintage products don't necessarily have hardware support.
    – Allan
    Jul 10, 2020 at 21:01
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How long should the battery last?

A Mac battery should be able to do fine with general usage for 2.5 years (for my experience).

Should you replace your battery?

Yes, 7 years is a very long time for a battery to work for.

What should I replace?

I would simply get a battery replacement done by Apple.

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    Thank you very much for your response. Is it alright if I buy a replacement online instead? I live very far away from my nearest Apple store in the city, and so I feel it’s much more efficient if I’d do it myself at home.
    – user74261
    Jul 10, 2020 at 20:19
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    @user74261 Replacing your battery at home may be risky in case you mess up the installation. Apple store people are trained to handle batteries. It just depends on how confident and safe you feel too. Jul 10, 2020 at 20:29
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    I actually use a YouTube video as my reference to what I should do youtu.be/QI1SBWT5bJs I’ve upgraded both my hard drive and my RAM last year using the instructions mentioned in the video. I’m thinking of carrying out the battery replacement as well.
    – user74261
    Jul 10, 2020 at 20:44
  • @user74261 Up to you! Jul 10, 2020 at 20:55
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    The battery in the 2012 MBP is a module type that’s held in with 2 philips screws. There’s no training necessary other than being gentle when removing the connector from the logic board. It’s not glued in like newer Macs. And as far as “training for handling batteries;” Apple techs don’t - they replace the entire top case assembly which includes the battery keyboard, and trackpad. So, there’s not “handling” of anything by these “Geniuses”
    – Allan
    Jul 10, 2020 at 21:55
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I think your questions have been answered well, but I'll add this as what I feel is a good option to consider wrt your MagSafe power supply.

You can buy a MagSafe adapter cable that works with Apple's newer (USB C) chargers.

I've been using this cable with an 87 W (and a 96 W) charger to power my late-2011 17" MBP for several months now, and have no complaints - it has worked perfectly so far.

Like others, I don't like to see eWaste wind up in the landfill. I considered repairing the original supply/charger, but my cable was also suffering a gross decomposition of the outer insulator. I much favor a modular configuration that allows separation of the charger from the charger cable, and so I took my old charger to the Apple store & left it with them.

Finally, you may be interested to know that the deterioration of Apple's MagSafe charging cable is (was?) the subject of a class-action lawsuit. Despite this, Apple apparently continued to sell this defective product - at least through 2017.

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