fixed : “Service Battery” warning

Question :

When I started up my Mac today, and looked at the battery indicator in the top menu bar, I noticed that there was something unusual… so when I clicked on it, the pull down menu did not show the usual battery info. It showed a warning saying “Service Battery”.

As I do not believe my battery is dead, this looks like a bug to me… is it ? And what can I do about it ?

Answer :

The “Service Battery” message (a.k.a. warning) just indicated that your battery has not been calibrated for a long time… this might occur when you have not once fully used your battery ; you have not used your fully charged battery until it was completely empty once in the last three months… this is noting serious, you just need to do so again.

More on this can be found on Apple’s website :

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1490

In short, for any MacBook or MacBook Pro that has a removable battery, the battery calibration routine is :

1- plug in the power cord and charge until the battery is fully loaded (so until the LED-light in the connector stays green) [ during this you can still use your Mac ]

2- leave the power cord connected for at least 2 more hours [ during this you can still use your Mac also ]

3- unplug the power cord and leave your MacBook (MacBook Pro) running until the battery is empty [ during this you can also keep using your Mac, but remember to save all your open work when you get a warning that your battery is nearly empty ]

4- when your MacBook (MacBook Pro) goes to sleep when the battery is completely empty, just let it.

5- then let your MacBook (MacBook Pro) ‘rest’ for at least 5 hours

6- when the 5 hours are over, reconnect the power cord and fully charge your battery again [ during this you can use your Mac, in a normal, modest way, just don’t exaggerate : use as little applications at the same time as possible and shut down any non-vital applications that are running in the background ]

That should be it, but if it doesn’t work for you, you might want to try this :

Resetting the System Management Controller (SMC)

More info on doing so, can be found on Apple’s website :

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3964

And if that doesn’t help either, you will probably have a non-original Apple battery, or if you do have an original Apple-battery, it is probably broken due to falling or shock.

Either way, you’ll probably need to buy a new battery… [ note : from experience, I can tell that an original Apple-battery is better value-for-money even though the price is high ; imitation batteries usually start out right, but then suddenly die within about one year… ]

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2 thoughts on “fixed : “Service Battery” warning

    • @Alex :

      during step 6 you can use your Mac, in a normal, modest way, just don’t exaggerate : use as little applications at the same time as possible and shut down any non-vital applications that are running in the background
      so… you can read your eMail, or do some internet browsing or work on a MS Office file… just don’t do (heavy) downloads, don’t stream music, don’t work on huge files in Photoshop, etc.

      enjoy !

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