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Ask Max: How to get the most battery life from a Laptop

Asked on 09/10/2007:

Love the MacBook Pro, however I'm surprised it's a bit slower than my iMac.But, that's not why I'm emailing.

My question regards leaving the MacBook plugged into AC power. I use theMacBook all day for work - does it hurt the battery life if it's pluggedinto the AC power all the time? Should I remove it overnight? I just wantto get the best life possible from the battery and computer.


These days battery charging has become something of a black art. The best data today suggest that heat is the biggest killer of rechargeable batteries. Fully charging a battery creates the most heat and that is why batteries gradually lose charge with each cycle. The best thing you can do to preserve the life of a battery is to remove it from a computer and keep it in a cool place. You don't need to put your battery in the refrigerator, but keeping it out of direct sunlight is a good idea. Also, watch the overall heat of your system because you could be cooking the life out of your battery. In the end we have to remember that batteries are designed to be used and Apple has done a great job at making a laptop battery that lasts. If it is convenient to pop out the battery when you are at a desk then do that, but if that causes problems don't worry about leaving the battery in the computer.

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