How To Determine Battery Health

One of the problems on the Mac laptop front is battery life. People always want more overall battery life and hourly life as well out of their batteries. Apple’s laptop batteries are better with each new machine they release. Since the battery is an integral part of a laptop, it behooves us to be able to determine the health of the battery.

Battery Health

Here are the steps to determine the health of your laptop battery. First, navigate to the Apple menu in the upper-left corner of your Desktop and select “About This Mac”:

About This Mac

Pay particular attention to the name and vintage of your Mac. Here I am using my wife’s 2011 MacBook Air. Navigate to this Apple Support Page and scroll down to the Cycle Count Limits section. You may have to look around a bit to find your machine. For my MacBook Air, the Cycle Count is 1000. Once the battery reaches the limit listed for your Mac it is considered “consumed” by Apple. It may still work, but you should be looking to getting a new battery.

Next, look back at the About This Mac window and click on System Report:

System Report

Click on the “Power” setting and you will get this window:

Battery Condition

As you can see, the Cycle Count for my MacBook Air is 20. How can that be since this Air is seven hears old? The answer to that is simple. About two months ago, I installed a new third party battery. I was not monitoring the battery count on the old machine as I should. However, it was obvious the battery was dying since it went to 50% in about 30 minutes of use.


It is important to monitor the health of your laptop battery, especially if it has a few years on it. You don’t want to be using your Mac on battery and have it just die on you. That would be counter productive and just plain embarrassing.