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.

  • WaterTrooper

    Kewl. Post.

  • Eikast

    25 cycles since early July 2014.

    • Peter Hansen

      Goodness, do you only use the computer once a month?

      • Eikast

        I use it on average probably 50+ hours a week. I just always keep my charging cable with me 🙂

      • taran

        Keeping battery always on charge actually reduces battery life..Lower cycle count doesnt mean healthier battery always. Google it!

      • Andrew

        It just doesn’t work like that. When battery’s on full, OS X doesn’t use it and just uses the AC adapter as its power source.

      • Gary le

        So true man, my bro use to always leave the charger connected and his battery cycle was low but it wont hold the charge. So unplugging it and using it at least once a week exercising it is the best.

    • pzp1997

      I’m doing around 1.2 cycles per day now… Up to 923 on my mid-2012 MBP 13″.

  • What happens if you go over the maximum?

    • Chris

      Nothing will happen aside from your battery draining faster than before, it’s recommended to get a new battery before that happen though.

    • M2

      You die.

  • o_O

    I’ve had my Macbook Pro for 5 months and have 242 cycles…. 🙁

    • Andrew

      322, late ’13, 15”

      • Alexander Goldfarb

        749, late ’13, 13″

    • Danthony TheGreat

      owned since ’13, 13″ rmbp 309 cycles

  • RayRayBeav

    Thanks for this information, very useful. I have a MacBook Pro Retina Display Late 2012 (Refurbished), had it since last April and at 233 Cycles.

  • Rupinder

    10 cycles and I’ve had mine for about a month….

  • JHenry

    I have a Macbook 13-Inch Late Aluminum 2008 with a 500 Maximum Cycle Count, which i have currently cycled 2448 times. Battery lasts for about an hour and a half while unplugged.

    Do you think it could blow up or something?

    • eXoguti097

      Well.. How long did it last you when you first got it? If the answer is significantly more than what is it now then yes get a new battery xD

      Though it’s easy to tell by the number of cycles.. Dude.. You need a new battery

  • eXoguti097

    516 Cycles and at 90% of my original battery capacity (5696Ah vs 6330Ah Original =/ )

    • This Guy

      That seems pretty good. I’m at 560 and 77.1%

  • JulianZH

    my air 2014 is at 27 😀

  • taran

    It’s funny, how people are happy with lower cycle count!
    Keeping a battery always on charge to have a low cycle count will degrade your battery significantly. Always use your mac without charger between 30-70% and recharge it again to 75ish and unplug. It will increase your battery life. Just google it, if you dont believe me.

    • jp2002

      Wrong. MacBooks have a battery circuitry that draws power directly from the AC lines once when connected to power outlets. Its a general advise though to cycle your battery once a month, so that the calibrating circuit can accurately predict the battery level.

  • Kr00

    2009 17″ MBP, 1222 cycle count. Still runs great. 4 hours of battery life atm.

  • Jeff Critchley

    1065 charges / condition normal – great battery!

  • This Guy

    I use Coconut Battery. Puts a neat little widget on the top bar, which I have set to display charge level, rate of charge/discharge and battery temperature.

  • Alfred Stephen

    I didn’t know it was so simple to check the cycle count. I usually used Coconut Battery app to check the actual battery capacity against the designed capacity.

  • pzp1997

    A great app to keep track of your load cycles and the general health of your battery is coconutBattery. It gives you more detailed stats than System Report and allows you to “log your load cycles” so you can keep track of how much you are using your computer over a certain period of time.

  • butterfield

    Mid ’11 Macbook Air. 472 cycles. Condition normal…..although, when I upgraded to Yosemite only recently, I noticed battery life worsened considerably.

  • TBJ

    late 2015 15″ pro had it 7 months with 438 cycles

  • Jillyjiggs

    Is it possible for the charge cycle count to be wrong? I recently had a battery replaced on my Mid-2012 Retina Display Macbook Pro and the charge cycle was 164 when I got it back from the shop!

  • surfyogi

    Great article, very informative, as are the comments section as well. For me, this is my experience:
    a) Purchased Apple Refurb Late 2013 model in mid-2014.
    b) by early 2017, I show 210 cycles of my battery. So that is something like 2.5 years usage? But maybe as much as 3 years, it’s a refurb from 2013.
    c) Battery holds a great charge still. I don’t use the battery that much, as this is my home machine. 1 time per week, I use the battery and let it discharge, before putting it back on the charger. Most of the time, it is on the charger though.

    This machine might have many more cycles on it, if I was taking it from home to work every day, but this machine is home-only usage, for personal use. As such, it’s 3-4 years old and barely has a scratch on it. However, I do need to learn how to take it apart, and clean it, clean the keyboard and touchpad… as a part of regular maint.
    This aspect of owning this machine seems to be the LEAST WELL DOCUMENTED aspect of this machine. Just keeping it CLEAN AND WORKING!

  • ADPowers

    Macbook air 1360 cycles. I have worked this thing like a dog.