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What Is Optimized Battery Charging On Macbooks?

Here’s why you can leave your Macbook plugged in all night!

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Last updated: July 2, 2024

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TL;DR

Optimized Battery Charging is a smart charging feature in MacBooks that:

  • Preserves Battery Health: Extends the lifespan of your MacBook’s battery by managing the charging process based on usage patterns.
  • Charges Your Mac Intelligently: Delays charging past 80% until you need it, minimizing time at full charge.
  • Adapts To The User: Adjusts to daily routines, providing a full charge when needed while protecting battery health.

We’ve all been there– it’s late at night, and you plug in your MacBook to charge overnight, expecting a full battery the next morning. But have you ever wondered if keeping your MacBook plugged in all night is good for the battery? That’s where Apple’s clever Optimized Battery Charging feature comes into play– reducing battery wear and ensure the longevity of your MacBook. Here’s all you need to know!

What is Optimized Battery Charging for Macbooks?

Optimized Battery Charging for MacBooks is designed to extend battery lifespan by adapting the charging pattern based on usage, delaying full charging until needed, and maintaining the battery’s health over time.

battery charging menu macos

This smart feature is built into macOS and aims to extend your battery’s lifespan by learning your charging habits. Here’s a breakdown of how it works:

  • 🧠 Learning Phase: The system starts by analyzing your typical battery usage and charging patterns.
  • ⚡ Adaptive Charging: Based on this analysis, if it detects a regular pattern (like charging overnight), it will hold the battery charge at 80% for most of the night.
  • 🔋 Completion Phase: The system then completes charging to 100% shortly before you usually disconnect your MacBook, ensuring it’s fully charged when needed without overstressing the battery by staying at full charge for too long.

Basically, the battery in your MacBook, which is a lithium-ion battery, shouldn’t be charged to the fullest. Optimized Battery Charging does just that which helps extend their life.

Is Optimized Battery Charging Good?

Yes, Optimized Battery Charging is good for your MacBook because it intelligently adjusts how your battery charges based on your usage patterns. This helps prevent the battery from aging quickly by avoiding overcharging, thus extending its overall lifespan.

It’s good—not just good, but great for anyone looking to maintain their MacBook’s battery health over time. Here’s why:

  • 🔋 Reduced Battery Wear: By limiting the time your MacBook spends at 100% charge, the battery undergoes fewer high-voltage stress cycles, which are known to degrade battery health.
  • 🕒 Personalized Charging: It adapts to your schedule, so if your routine changes, the charging strategy adjusts accordingly.

How to Turn Off Optimized Battery Charging on a MacBook

To turn off Optimized Battery Charging on a MacBook, go to System Settings, click Battery, then Battery Health, and disable “Optimized Battery Charging.” For macOS Monterey or earlier, go to System Preferences, select Battery, and uncheck the same option. Choose to turn off immediately or until tomorrow.

Sometimes, you might need your MacBook to charge to 100% faster than usual—maybe you’ve got an unexpected meeting or a day trip where you can’t charge midway. In such cases, turning off Optimized Battery Charging can be helpful. Let me walk you through how to do this, step by step, based on my own experiences:

  1. Click the Apple icon.
click on apple menu macos
  1. Go to System Settings and click Battery in the sidebar.
click on system setting from teh apple menu macos
  1. Find Battery Health and click the icon next to it.
click on apple menu macos
  1. Now turn off Optimised battery charging.
turn off optimised battery charging macos
  1. Depending on your needs, click Turn Off or Turn Off Until Tomorrow.
  2. Lastly, select Done.

If you’re using macOS Monterey or earlier:

  1. Click Apple menu > System Preferences > Battery.
  2. Again, select Battery in the sidebar.
  3. Uncheck Optimised battery charging.
  4. Select Turn Off or Turn Off Until Tomorrow depending on your need.

By turning off Optimized Battery Charging, you can ensure your MacBook charges to full capacity more quickly. However, keep in mind that keeping this feature enabled can help maintain your battery’s health over the long term, so it’s best to disable it only when necessary.

Optimized Battery Charging Vs 80% Limit

Optimized Battery Charging adapts to your usage, charging fully only when needed to extend battery life. On the other hand, the 80% limit approach stops charging at 80% to reduce wear but may limit usage time. For best battery health, Optimized Battery Charging is generally more adaptive and effective.

To give you a clearer picture, let’s compare these two approaches with a detailed table:

FeatureOptimized Battery Charging80% Charge Limit
AdaptabilityHigh (adjusts to your routine)None (fixed limit)
ConvenienceCharges to 100% when neededAlways stops at 80%
Battery Health PreservationReduces exposure to high charge levelsLimits maximum charge level
SuitabilityIdeal for varied schedulesBest for predictable usage

Overall, I’ve found that Optimized Battery Charging is incredibly effective for managing the health of my device’s battery without needing my constant attention. It intelligently handles the battery’s charging cycle, ensuring I get the most out of it throughout the day, without the downside of potential long-term battery degradation.

So, when you compare the two, Optimized Battery Charging is a better approach to ensuring battery health and longevity.

Make The Best Of Your MacBook’s Battery

Now you know that Optimized Battery Charging can ensure the longevity of your MacBook battery. If you ever have to turn it off, select the “Turn Off Until Tomorrow” option so that it will turn on itself if you forget. To make the best of your MacBook battery:

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is Optimized Battery Charging better on or off?

    Optimized Battery Charging is better kept on to extend your MacBook’s battery life. It controls how and when the battery charges based on your usage, preventing unnecessary wear and extending the battery’s longevity.

  2. Why does Mac only charge to 80%?

    MacBooks sometimes only charge up to 80% as part of the Optimized Battery Charging feature. This strategy is used to decrease battery wear by reducing the time the battery spends at a full charge, which can degrade its health faster.

  3. Does a MacBook stop charging when full?

    Yes, MacBooks are designed to stop charging when the battery reaches 100%. This prevents overcharging, which can lead to battery swelling and other forms of damage, thereby preserving the battery’s health over time.

  4. Why do MacBooks take forever to charge?

    MacBooks might charge slowly if they are being used during charging or if a lower wattage charger is used. Additionally, features like Optimized Battery Charging can slow down the charging process to enhance battery longevity.

  5. Can I leave my MacBook plugged in 24/7?

    Yes, while it is safe to leave your MacBook plugged in 24/7, you shouldn’t make it a habit. Apple’s battery management system, including Optimized Battery Charging, helps maintain battery health, preventing issues related to constant charging. Still, it’s best to be vigilant and make sure you don’t leave your MacBook plugged in for too long.

  6. Is it bad to leave MacBook charger in overnight?

    It’s not harmful to leave your MacBook plugged in overnight. The built-in Optimized Battery Charging feature manages the charging cycle and maintains the battery’s health effectively, even if plugged in continuously. Still, it’s not a good practice and should be avoided.

  7. How often should you unplug your MacBook?

    Regular unplugging is not necessary for modern MacBooks, which are equipped with advanced battery management systems. Occasionally unplugging can help with battery calibration, but frequent unplugging is not required to maintain battery health.

Ojash

Author

Hi there! I'm Ojash, a tech journalist with over a decade of experience in the industry. I've had the privilege of contributing to some of the world's largest tech publications, making my mark as a respected Mac expert. My passion lies in exploring, using, and writing about MacBooks, and I enjoy sharing my expertise to help others make informed decisions and get the most out of their MacBook experience. Join me as we delve into the fascinating world of MacBooks together!

Hashir Ibrahim

Reviewer

I'm Hashir, a tech journalist with a decade of experience. My work has been featured in some of the top tech publications like MakeUseOf and MakeTechEasier. I have a bachelor's degree in IT, a master's in cybersecurity, and extensive knowledge of Apple hardware, specifically MacBooks. As the senior writer at MacBook Journal, I write in depth guides that help you solve any issues you have with your mac and unbiased reviews that help you make the right buying decisions.

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