MacBook Battery

The life expectancy of a notebook battery is mostly based on the battery cycle count. Once that battery cycle count has reached the limit set by the manufacturer, it is considered consumed, and although the laptop might still perform the same, battery life might deplete rapidly, a clear sign it is time to replace that battery. In this post, we will show you how to find out what your MacBook’s battery cycle count is.

How do you calculate a battery cycle?

A battery cycle count is calculated based on the use of all the battery’s power, but not necessarily on a single charge. For example, if your MacBook is charged at 100% and you use 50% of your battery, then charge it back to 100%, then use another 50% of battery, it will equal to one battery cycle (50+50=100).

Likewise, if you use 20% of your battery then charge it back to 100% five times, it will equal to one battery cycle (20+20+20+20+20=100).

How to determine a MacBook’s battery cycle count

To find out what your MacBook’s battery cycle is, go to  > About This Mac > System Report, and select the Power tab, under Hardware. In the right panel, you will find the Cycle Count, as showed below.

Battery cycle count

What is your MacBook battery cycle count limit?

Knowing your battery cycle count is great, but it doesn’t help much if you don’t know what your machine’s limit is. The limit is set by Apple and gives a good indication of the overall life expectancy of your battery. Compare the calculated cycle count to Apple’s limits set to specific machines to find out how your battery is fairing.

I have a 13-inch MacBook Air from mid 2011, and the maximum cycle count set by Apple is 1,000. As you can see above, I have reached 351 battery cycles, or about one third of the limit, so it seems that theoretically, my battery should still last a while longer.

Keep in mind that battery cycle count is meant to give you an approximate idea of your battery life expectancy. Obviously, if your battery is performing poorly, you can always get it replaced even though you haven’t hit the limit set by Apple.