Avee's Place

Simple thoughts in a complex life

Fixing Snow Leopard Unibody MacBook Pro Battery Life Problems

mac-batteryEver since I upgraded the OS of my Early 2009 13″ MBP to Snow Leopard, I have a problem with the notebook’s battery life. When I was using Leopard, the battery could last very long, so long that I was used to working without connecting the notebook with a power source. I also remember that the Time indicator for the battery used to estimate about 7 hours or so of battery life at 100%, although it occasionally fell to 3 or 4 hours on heavy usage. But now, at 100% it would only show about 5 hours max.

For some time I used to think that this was probably due to 64-bit architecture change that caused the notebook to use more power. But the longer I used the notebook in this condition, the more I worry about the battery. According to Apple, the new battery technology in unibody Macs are supposed to last for 1000 charge cycles, about 3 years of normal usage. The battery problem means that I am using more cycles than it is supposed to be for a given time, which increases the possibility of the battery having degraded performance before the 3-years mark.

So I googled around a bit, and found out that other people are also experiencing the same problem. The solution to this problem is to do the following :

  1. Reset the PRAM.
  2. Reset the SMC.
  3. Recalibrate the battery.

I did all three and the problem is now fixed, I can now see the 6+ hours battery life indicator on 99% again :).

~7 hrs on 99%


EDIT : I am conducting a battery test to see the actual performance of the MBP’s battery here.


7 responses to “Fixing Snow Leopard Unibody MacBook Pro Battery Life Problems

  1. Jorge November 6, 2009 at 12:09 am

    Thanks for the post … I am having the exact same problem with my 17″ MacBook Pro (mid-2009).

    I took those three steps, and briefly saw improved battery life, at least as indicated by the charge status icon. But after about 10 minutes of *no use*, the charge indicator again showed 4:05 of battery.

    I have called AppleCare and been bounce around to no avail. They said they haven’t heard of this issue before (clearly they haven’t ready the 100+ messages on the Apple Support Discussion Boards!).

  2. avee November 8, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    Thanks for the feedback, as far as my observation goes, the occasional drop in battery time indicator was also noticed when I used Leopard, especially when I try to do something CPU heavy. But as you mentioned, I do still feel the battery performance is not as good as it was.

    I am planning to do a battery life test in the near future. I will post the results in this blog if anyone’s interested.

  3. Pingback: Fixing Snow Leopard Unibody MacBook Pro Battery Life Problems « Chicago Mac/PC Support

  4. Pingback: Snow Leopard Unibody MacBook Pro Battery Life Test « Avee's Place

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  6. Bum Bag December 3, 2010 at 1:02 pm

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  7. Angelita Spreitzer February 9, 2011 at 3:36 pm

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