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I bought my M1 MacBook Air a few months after they came out, so it's almost 3 years old. It gets lots of use. I don't leave it plugged into AC all the time

Just yesterday I noticed the ⚠️ graphic overlay on the battery icon on the lockscreen. As soon as a log in, the battery icon goes back to normal. But every time the screen is locked the ⚠️ returns:
lockscreen battery icon with

If I go into Battery Settings it tells me battery health is normal:
Battery Health: Normal

If I click on the info icon I see that the maximum capacity is now down to 82%. Maximum Capacity

So that seems normal I guess. Nothing telling me the battery is dying yet. So why the scary warning icon?

One thing I see that might be it but I'm not sure, is if I do a hardware report, I see that the battery cycle count has just gone over 1,000. It's now at 1,002:
Battery Cycle Count

So is it standard to get this warning icon when you hit 1,000 cycles with no other clarifying info easily found in the system? I read on the internet about a "Service Battery Warning". Is that what this is? Why is that text not anywhere? Or am I somewhere in a grey zone in-between?

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According to this page:

Your battery is designed to retain up to 80% of its original capacity at 1000 complete charge cycles.

Apple will replace the battery when it holds less than 80% of original capacity.

Your battery is just 'on the cusp' of meeting the criteria for a service. You can always request a remote diagnostic from online support or book a service appointment at an Apple Store (or other service provider) and see what they say. They'll either agree to replace it already, or tell you to wait until it's got a bit worse.

The cost for a battery is A$265. If you have AppleCare, it'll likely be a covered repair at no cost.

As to why it's vacillating between "Normal" and "Service Required", I can't say.

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  • Thanks. It doesn't vacillate between "Normal" and "Service Required"... or are you saying that ⚠️ 100% does mean "Service Required"? Feb 23 at 18:14
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    @hippietrail The warning triangle means "Service required".
    – benwiggy
    Feb 23 at 18:31
  • Thanks for making it clear! It's a bit disappointing that none of the intuitive ways to investigate it within the OS actually contain any such clarifying text message. Feb 24 at 7:58
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    @hippietrail Normally, you should see the warning in the menubar at all times, and clicking on the menulet will show "Service Required" or similar text. You should also see it in System Information. So it's anomalous that you are currently only seeing the alert on the lock screen.
    – benwiggy
    Feb 24 at 10:48
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    @hippietrail I'd give it a couple of months and see how things are. But you'll need to replace the battery at some point, if you want to keep using the Mac. You've been working it hard to get 1000 cycles in under 3 years. That's at least one full discharge/charge per day, on a machine that claims 15 hours web use. I've had my 16" M1 MBP for 850 days, and I'm on 150 cycles, 97%.
    – benwiggy
    Feb 26 at 12:36

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