Tricks For Calibrating Your MacBook's Battery

Tricks For Calibrating Your MacBook's Battery

Range Govindan
Feb 14, 2011

Just like a few new MacBook owners, I regularly take the time to calibrate my new laptop's batteries. Since Apple recommends doing it every one or two months, it's something that will help make your battery life last a lot longer. However, there is a tedious side to calibrating your battery, which is why many people don't bother doing it; it just takes so long. These are a few tricks that we've found to help make this go faster.

One of the main reasons why we enjoy using our MacBook Pro is because of the good battery life that we get out of it. While the length of the battery life depends on exactly what you do with your laptop, it can get quite long for MacBook Pros that focus on office tasks.

Calibrating your MacBook's battery can get tedious because it can take a long time to get through the whole process of draining your battery completely. You need to charge up your MacBook, leave it plugged in for at least 2 hours, then drain the battery until the laptop shuts down from lack of power. In this state, the MacBook should rest for at least 5 hours. After that, it can be used regularly.

If this process takes too long, we suggest trying to tax the battery as much as you can so that it goes by quicker. We run the Cathode app to do this, coupled with the following battery settings so that the battery gets drained quicker.

1. On the battery icon in your Magic Menu, click on Energy Saver Preferences
2. Select the 'Battery' tab
3. Put the slider for 'Computer Sleep' to 'Never
4. Put the slider for 'Display Sleep' to 'Never'
5. Check the 'Automatically reduce brightness' option

Select the maximum brightness of your display. If you've got a Mac with two graphic cards, install the GfxCardStatus app. Once it's installed, select the 'NVidia Only' option from the Magic Menu drop down. Alternatively, you could play some games on your MacBook or edit some really large photo files. Anything that usually takes a lot of processing power, via the CPU or the graphic card, will drain your battery quickly. With the above settings, calibrating a MacBook's battery can take only a few hours instead of a whole day.

(Images: Flickr member Ger-Hardt licensed for use under Creative Commons, Flickr member Krasskii licensed for use under Creative Commons, and Range)

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