New feature coming to macOS will extend the life of your MacBook battery

Close up of USB-C port on MacBook
Close up of USB-C port on MacBook (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple is changing how the MacBook charges its battery.
  • Safeguards are being put into place to ensure the battery is not charged to its max.
  • This will extend the life of the battery before it ultimately needs replacement.

Making sure the battery is charged in your MacBook is something all of us do every day. Unfortunately, constantly charging that battery to 100% puts a strain on it, and over time the life of that battery takes a toll. In a new software update, Apple is looking to introduce a feature that will let us charge at will but protect our batteries so that they last even longer.

Reported by The Verge, Apple is introducing a new feature in macOS Catalina called "Battery health management". The feature is rolling out to developers today and will be available to consumers when macOS 10.15.5 is released to the public.

The feature will extend the life of the physical battery in your MacBook by not truly charging your battery to 100% of what it is capable of, but instead charge it to a level that still gives you great battery life while ensuring your battery lasts longer before needing to be replaced.

In order to ensure the feature benefits users, macOS will look at your charging history and battery temperature in order to make the best changes possible. It will take into account a number of different aspects when making adjustments such as "ambient temperature, processor loads, and charging patterns." Apple assures that all of this analysis is happening on device and, for those who do decide to share analytics with the company, all data will be kept anonymous.

According to the company, the feature will work for any MacBook Pro since 2016 and MacBook Air since 2018. Users will be able to turn the feature off in Settings, but it will be on by default.

The life of a battery is more than the amount of hours it keeps your MacBook running before needing a charge, and if Apple can extend the lifespan of the laptop battery without having to sacrifice on time, it will be a great win for everyone.

Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.

  • So in other words, Apple will prevaricate once again like with throttling, making 100 percent not really 100 percent. I smell another class action lawsuit.
  • Or… not? This is an toggleable option in iOS, and will be toggleable in macOS as this is how this function was found in the first place, in the betas
  • Ah this is the thing that's in iOS, I thought it'd already be in macOS. The biggest culprit today of battery life issues on Macs is Electron applications (the same problem is on Linux and Windows). Some culprits are:
    Facebook Messenger
    Microsoft Teams
    WhatsApp A good alternative client for Slack & Discord is Ripcord For the rest, just try not to keep the applications running in the background if you're not using them and you're on a laptop and not plugged in