I got the "service battery" message when clicking on the power indicator of my MBP the other day, only my battery appears to be fine. Then today, it's gone away by itself, I haven't taken it in for a service but now it shows battery condition normal...?

Anybody else experience this or have any idea why this would happen.


I believe this is fairly common behaviour. You may want to calibrate your MacBook Pro's battery to help Mac OS X better gauge its health.

I have a MacBook with an older battery. The battery is suffering and frequently shows the "Service Battery" message in the battery status menu. It too will alternate between asking for a service to being in good health.

Apple Portables: Calibrating your computer's battery for best performance

  1. Plug in the power adapter and fully charge your PowerBook's battery until the light ring or LED on the power adapter plug changes to green and the onscreen meter in the menu bar indicates that the battery is fully charged.
  2. Allow the battery to rest in the fully charged state for at least two hours. You may use your computer during this time as long as the adapter is plugged in.
  3. Disconnect the power adapter while the computer still on and start running the computer off battery power. You may use your computer during this time. When your battery gets low, the low battery warning dialog appears on the screen.
  4. At this point, save your work. Continue to use your computer; when the battery gets very low, the computer will automatically go to sleep.
  5. Turn off the computer or allow it to sleep for five hours or more.
  6. Connect the power adapter and leave it connected until the battery is fully charged again.
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We have had this once before. First the battery was good, then the "Battery needs service" message started to appear. After a while the message was gone again. But within 2 - 4 months the "battery needs service" message was re-appearing. After half a year of having the second period of "battery needs service" message we gave up and brought the MBP to an Apple Store (this was in the month November). At the Apple Store the MBP battery was replaced for EUR 80.

It looks like the battery is near some kind of border value. At the one moment just above and at the other moment just below. Triggering or not triggering the "battery needs service" message.

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