The life of your MacBook Air’s battery is measured in cycles, which is the amount of time it takes for the battery to go from 100% to 0%. Depending on how you use your MacBook Air, going through one cycle can take a few days.
It’s important that you don’t confuse battery cycle with charge cycle, as they are two different things. One full charge does not mean one cycle. If you charge your MacBook Air’s battery 10 times, that doesn’t automatically mean it also went through 10 cycles.
Battery life and cycle count limit
Just like all other MacBook models, your MacBook Air’s battery has a maximum cycle count that decreases as the device is used. When that number reaches 0, your battery is considered fully spent, and a MacBook Air battery replacement is your only option if you still plan on using the device.
MacBook Air models from 2010 up to the present have a cycle count of 1000, while 2009 models and models prior to that have cycle counts of 500 and 300, respectively.
Determine your battery’s overall health by checking the number of cycles the battery has. Here’s what you need to do.
- Hold down the Option key, then click on the Apple menu.
- Select System Information.
- Select Hardware from the menu on the left side, then select Power.
- You can see your battery’s cycle count displayed under Health Information.
Once you know the number of cycle counts left, you can get a good indication of your battery’s remaining life. To illustrate: The MacBook Air has a maximum cycle count of 1,000, and your battery’s current count is 500. This means the battery on your MacBook Air is half consumed.
MacBook Air battery replacement
There will come a time in the life of your MacBook Air when the battery will be totally exhausted and you will have no choice but to have it replaced. There’s no escaping that fact. To let you know that your battery needs replacement, your MacBook Air will start giving you warnings that include:
- Battery status
You can examine the condition of your MacBook Air’s battery to see whether it’s working fine or it should be replaced. Just hold down the Option key and click the battery icon on the menu bar on top of your screen.
Your battery may reflect one of the following statuses:
- Normal - Your MacBook Air’s battery is functioning as it should, so there’s nothing to worry about.
- Service Battery - Your MacBook Air’s battery is malfunctioning and you need to take your laptop to an authorized Apple center for servicing.
- Replace Soon - Your MacBook Air’s battery is functioning as it should, but it takes a shorter time to discharge.
- Replace Now - Your MacBook Air’s battery is functioning as it should, but it takes significantly less time to discharge. It is still usable in the meantime.
If it’s the last status that’s displayed, then get a replacement right away.
- Battery icon issues.
Does your MacBook Air’s battery never say 100% even when you’ve been charging laptop for hours? Does it have an X mark in the middle? Both instances signify that your battery is no longer properly working. Having the battery serviced will likely not improve your situation, so a replacement is the way to go.
To be on the safe side and avoid any serious issues with your laptop, don’t wait too long before replacing your battery.
- Shorter discharge time.
As your MacBook Air gets older, its battery life gets progressively shorter. That’s normal for your laptop, or for any battery-based device, for that matter. The shorter time it takes for your battery’s charge to get depleted, the more it becomes obvious that your MacBook Air needs a brand new battery.
Depending on its model year, the MacBook Air has around 12 hours of power. So, if you find yourself getting Low Battery notifications after just a very short time of using your MacBook Air, make haste and buy a replacement.
If you see any of the aforementioned signs, get a battery replacement as soon as you can. It’s going to be more expensive than simple servicing, but at least it’s significantly cheaper than buying a new laptop altogether.
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