If your Mac shows a “service recommended” warning for your battery, it indicates that you need a replacement. But how do you know for sure if you need a new battery, and what can you do to make your battery last longer?
In this article, I’ll share the best fixes for when you see Service Recommended for battery on Mac, so you can tackle it effectively and ensure the longevity of your Mac battery.
Before We Begin
When your Mac experiences battery-related problems, it indicates strain due to memory-draining applications and unnecessary processes. MacKeeper can help you limit these processes, reducing the strain on your battery with its Memory Cleaner. You can run regular cleaning scans to close unwanted programs to free up RAM on your Mac and improve its performance.
What Does “Service Recommended” for Mac Battery Mean?
When you see the “Service Recommended” message for your Mac battery, it means the battery’s health has deteriorated and may require servicing or replacement. Using the battery in this state may result in your battery draining fast or your Mac shutting down randomly.
In most cases, the “Service Recommended” message appears when your Mac is older, and the battery has naturally aged. This is a normal occurrence.
To access the warning, you can click the battery icon on your Mac or follow a longer path through the Battery icon > Battery Settings > Battery > Battery Health.
Here’s an explanation of each battery notification you may get on your Mac and its significance:
- ✅ Normal: This message indicates that your battery is functioning properly without any known issues.
- ❗️ Replace Soon or Service Recommended: This warning means while you can continue using your battery for now, its health is beginning to decline. It serves as an alert that you may need to service or replace your battery in the future.
- ⚠️ Replace Now or Service Battery: When you receive this warning, your battery is at a critical stage and may stop functioning anytime. You should service the battery or replace it to prevent unexpected issues.
MacBooks are designed for durability but are not intended to last indefinitely. Find out how long MacBooks last here.
How to Check the Battery Cycle Count on Your Mac
A cycle count is counted every time a battery is used up 100%. This doesn’t necessarily happen in one charge, it can be the total of many smaller percentages added up. For instance, if you used 50% of your battery one day, charged it back to 100%, and used 50% the next day, this would count as one cycle.
Checking the battery cycle count on your Mac can provide insight into the overall health of your battery. Your Mac’s battery is designed to retain up to 80% of its original capacity at a high number of charge cycles.
Here’s how to check your battery’s cycle count:
- Click the Apple icon in the top-left corner of your screen and select About This Mac from the dropdown menu.
- Click More Info.
- In the new window, select the System Report… button.
- Choose Hardware in the sidebar of the System Information window and select Power in the Hardware section.
- Look for Cycle Count under the Battery Information section.
The maximum battery cycle count varies for each MacBook Pro or MacBook Air model. You can find your battery’s maximum cycle count on Apple’s Support page.
Once you have this information, proceed with the following steps.
4 Best Fixes for Service Recommended for Battery on Mac
Let’s dive into the solutions for addressing the “Service Recommended” message on your Mac.
Fix 1: Clear Your Mac’s RAM
Clearing system memory, or RAM, typically doesn’t directly address the “Service Recommended” message related to the battery. However, it may indirectly contribute to overall system efficiency by killing power-hungry apps and processes straining the system.
You can use MacKeeper to end unnecessary processes running on your Mac quickly. Here’s how:
- Download and install MacKeeper.
- Launch MacKeeper and click Memory Cleaner.
- Click Open in the memory cleaner.
- Tap Clean Memory.
- This will perform a memory cleanup and free up occupied memory.
- Alternatively, you can click the cross next to an app consuming excessive system resources to close it.
- Confirm by clicking Quit in the prompt window.
Fix 2: Resetting the System Management Controller (SMC)
The System Management Controller (SMC) on your Mac handles power-related functions, including battery management. Resetting the SMC can resolve various battery-related issues, like when the battery percentage doesn’t accurately reflect the remaining charge.
SMC reset can address problems related to your Mac shutting down unexpectedly, even with the remaining battery charge. It can also fix the “Service Recommended” warning in some cases.
Follow the instructions below based on your Mac model:
MacBooks with Non-Removable Batteries
- Shut down your Mac.
- Remove your MacBook’s battery.
- Press and hold the Power button for 5 seconds while the battery is removed.
- Release the Power button and reinstall the battery.
- Turn on your Mac by pressing the Power button.
MacBooks with Removable Batteries
- Tap the Apple icon and select Shut Down from the drop-down menu.
- Press and hold the Shift ⇧ + Control ^ + Option ⌥ keys with the power button for 10 seconds.
- Release all the keys and press the power button to turn on your MacBook.
Fix 3: Calibrating the Battery
Calibrating the battery on a Mac refers to recalibrating the battery’s power management system to ensure accurate reporting of battery levels and optimize its performance.
This process is typically recommended when you notice inconsistencies in the battery’s behavior, such as inaccurate charge readings, unexpected shutdowns, or battery warning messages.
Follow these steps to calibrate your Mac’s battery:
- Connect your Mac to a power source and allow it to charge until the battery reaches 100% capacity.
- Leave your Mac plugged in for an additional two hours after reaching 100% to ensure maximum charge.
- Disconnect the power source and use your Mac until the battery drains completely and your Mac shuts down.
- Let your Mac sit in the powered-off state for at least five hours to ensure complete discharge.
- Connect your Mac to the power source and charge uninterrupted until it reaches 100%. This process helps recalibrate the battery gauge.
Fix 4: Replacing the Battery
If your Mac’s battery is significantly degraded and the previous fixes didn’t yield satisfactory results, replacing the battery might be necessary.
Although you can replace the battery yourself, taking your Mac to an Apple Store to address this issue and avoid mishaps is better.
Here are the steps to address the issue:
- Find an Apple Store or an authorized service provider near you. You can visit the Apple website and use the Find Locations tool to locate the nearest service center.
- Contact the service center to schedule an appointment or inquire about their walk-in policy. Apple Stores often offer Genius Bar appointments for technical assistance.
- When you visit the store, explain the issue to the Apple technician and mention that your battery is receiving a “Service Recommended” warning. Provide any additional details or symptoms you may have noticed.
- The technician will likely run diagnostics on your Mac to assess the battery’s condition and determine if it needs a repair or replacement.
- Follow the recommendations the technician provides.
If your Mac is still under warranty or covered by AppleCare, you may be eligible for free or discounted battery repairs or replacements. However, if your Mac is out of warranty, there may be associated costs for the service.
Remember to back up your important data before taking your Mac in for service, just in case any repairs or replacements are required.
Tips to Extend Your Mac’s Battery Life
To ensure your Mac’s battery remains in good health and avoid issues like MacBook battery not charging, consider implementing the following practices:
1. Lower Screen Brightness
To lower the screen brightness on a Mac, you can use one of the following methods:
a. Keyboard Shortcuts:
- Press the F1 key to decrease the brightness.
- Press the F2 key to increase the brightness.
On some Mac models, these function keys may have other functions assigned by default. To use them as brightness controls, you may need to press the Fn key along with the corresponding function key like Fn + F1, to decrease brightness.
b. System Settings
- Click the Apple menu in the top-left corner of the screen and select System Settings.
- In the System Settings window, click Displays.
- Adjust the brightness slider to lower the screen brightness to your desired level.
c. Control Center (macOS Big Sur and later)
- Click the Control Center icon in the menu bar.
- In the Control Center window, locate the brightness slider.
- Drag the slider to the left to lower the screen brightness.
d. Siri Voice Command (macOS Sierra and later)
- Activate Siri by clicking the Siri icon in the menu bar.
- Say, Lower the screen brightness, and Siri will automatically adjust the brightness for you.
2. Reduce Keyboard Backlight
On Mac laptops that feature a backlit keyboard, you can adjust the keyboard backlight brightness using the following steps:
a. Using the Keyboard Brightness Keys (if available)
- Look for the F5 and F6 keys on the keyboard. They usually have symbols that represent keyboard backlight brightness.
- Press the F5 key to decrease the keyboard backlight brightness.
- Press the F6 key to increase the keyboard backlight brightness.
On some Mac models, these function keys may have other functions assigned by default. To use them as keyboard backlight controls, you may need to press the Fn key along with the corresponding function key, e.g., Fn + F5, to decrease backlight brightness.
b. Adjust Keyboard Brightness in System Preferences:
- Click the Apple menu in the top-left corner of the screen and select System Settings.
- In the System Settings window, click Keyboard.
- Adjust the Keyboard Backlight slider to reduce the brightness of the keyboard backlight.
3. Avoiding Extreme Temperatures
Avoid exposing your Mac to extremely high or low temperatures. Extreme heat can degrade the battery faster, while cold temperatures can reduce battery performance temporarily.
To avoid overheating your Mac, store and use it in a cool, well-ventilated environment. You shouldn’t leave your Mac in a car or under direct sunlight.
Taking proactive steps to address the “Service Recommended” message for your Mac’s battery is crucial for maintaining optimal performance. But besides following the methods mentioned above, you must implement practices that promote battery health and longevity.
Here are a few tips to extend your Mac’s battery life and prevent battery-related issues in the future:
- If a program is causing your Mac to malfunction due to high CPU usage, identify it using Activity Monitor and end it.
- Run minimal resource-intensive apps and programs simultaneously to prevent MacBook’s battery from draining fast.
- Monitor your Mac’s CPU, GPU, and RAM usage to keep problematic processes in check.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does a typical battery replacement process take?
A typical battery replacement process can take from 30 minutes to a few hours. However, the exact duration varies depending on your Mac model and whether you choose professional service or perform it yourself.
Can I replace the battery on my Mac myself?
You can replace the battery on your Mac yourself if it has a removable battery. However, it is best to get an expert to do it if your Mac has an unremovable battery. Contact Apple Support or visit an authorized service provider for battery replacements to ensure proper installation and compatibility.
How often should I calibrate the battery to fix the “Service Recommended” warning?
You should calibrate the battery to fix the “Service Recommended” warning once every few months. However, if you frequently encounter battery-related issues or notice a significant decrease in performance, you may consider calibrating it more frequently.