The laptop is the MVP of technology, capable of doing many things while on the move. But our superhero laptop can only work as hard and as long as its battery allows it to.
Batteries require loving care and maintenance to support your laptop. Good charging habits will ensure that your laptop and battery last a long time.
But no matter how well you treat them, there comes a time when your battery can do no more. These signs usually appear as poor performance – slowing down, losing its charge fast, heating up often, or simply refusing to turn on.
But there’s also a particular piece of information you can find about your battery that will instantly inform you of the need to replace it or not – the battery cycle count.
This article will explain the battery cycle and some of the most common counts in the laptop industry. We’ll examine how to check the cycle count yourself and highlight simple ways you can help extend the lifespan of your battery.
Table of Contents
What is a battery cycle count?
A battery charge cycle is when you use up all of the battery’s power, from 100% straight down to zero. It can happen in one sitting or across several days of use. Every battery has its own limited number of charge cycles. When it goes beyond this number, it’s thought that it can diminish severely.
For this reason, you must learn more about your battery, its capabilities, and, most importantly, its battery cycle count number. In that case, you can anticipate when its performance will change and replace It ahead of time.
How many cycles is a battery good for?
The magic number can depend on various factors, not limited to the make, make, model, and year of production of your laptop.
Below is a list of popular Mac models, including the year of production and battery information, to give you an idea of the battery cycle count. As you can see, older models before 2010 had limited battery capacity, whereas modern machines have twice the maximum cycle count capability.
|Model||Battery Cycle Count|
|MacBook Air (M2, 2022)||1000|
|MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2021)||1000|
|MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2019, Four Thunderbolt 3 ports)||1000|
|MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2020, Two Thunderbolt 3 ports)||1000|
|MacBook Air (11-inch, Early 2015)||1000|
|MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Early 2015)||1000|
|MacBook Pro (15-inch Late 2008)||500|
|MacBook Pro (15-inch Glossy)||500|
|MacBook Air (Mid 2009)||500|
|MacBook (13-inch Aluminum, Late 2008)||500|
|MacBook Pro (15-inch, Early 2008)||300|
|MacBook Pro (17-inch Core 2 Duo)||300|
It is common for modern laptops to have a cycle count of at least 1000. As technology improves, this number could potentially rise even more.
Signs your battery is beginning to fail you
Sometimes, getting an exact figure on how many charge cycles you have left can be complicated. But there are ways of estimating the most likely amount simply by examining certain behaviors of your battery. Pay close attention to the following, in particular:
- Time: As time passes, does your laptop fail to keep power similar to its original charge capacity? It might charge slower, too, taking considerably longer to reach 100%. This can all point to a degrading battery.
- Power drop: If your battery drops from 100 to zero much quicker than expected, this can imply your battery has lost its capacity to store power and has reached its cycle count limit.
- Diagnostics: Conduct a diagnostic test on the battery on your laptop. Compare the number of cycles listed to the manufacturer’s original estimate on your make or model of battery.
- Unstable: If your battery behaves unpredictably, it is a sure sign that it has reached the end. This can be in terms of charging, where some days it’s quicker or slower, to battery information fluctuating, such as misreporting how much charge it has.
How to check the current cycle count?
- On Apple machines:
On Apple machines, simply hold down the Option key. Click the Apple menu bar and highlight System Information. You will find the current cycle count of your battery under the Hardware Section.
- On Windows Laptops:
You can find your current battery’s cycle count for Windows PC by simply inputting a script into the Command Prompt option.
Type powercfg /battery report and a report will be created detailing everything from battery charging history to the cycle count number.
Need a new battery? What are your options?
If, after checking the cycle count, you know that a new battery is required, you need to plan your next move. There are some options for you.
- Recent purchases: If you bought your PC or MacBook within the last year, it might still be under warranty. This should protect you from costly repairs and may even entitle you to a complete replacement laptop.
- Insurance or protective plans: Certain gadget insurance and equipment protection can also cover the costs of a brand-new laptop battery. Sourcing the brand new battery usually falls on the insurance’s repair team.
- Sourcing a compatible battery: Online marketplaces like Amazon makes buying a brand-new replacement battery on your own very easy and often the cheapest option. But do remember that although many models have similar-sounding names, many laptops have varying battery requirements. Always check with your system about the make and model of the battery you need.
Can’t I use a 2nd hand battery replacement?
If you’re on the hunt for a good deal, sometimes you might consider 2nd hand parts, including batteries. We strongly advise against this, as these batteries could have considerable use, making them ineffective replacements.
When installing a new battery, check its cycle count – brand-new batteries always have a value of 0. Anything higher than this indicates the battery has been used already.
Can you reset battery cycle counts?
Many still believe that a battery’s ability to hold a charge results from internal memory. And if we reset that in our laptop’s system settings, the battery can perform like brand-new.
But sadly, this is not true. Battery cycle counts are recorded in a specialized chip located inside the battery. You cannot change this information.
What factors influence battery power?
Several influencing factors can hurt your battery’s potential charging count. By addressing any of these issues, you are helping to prolong battery life considerably. The 3 most common include:
Rising temperatures can be one of the most detrimental things impacting a battery. Too much heat ultimately leads to premature failure. This is because heat speeds up the chemical reactions found inside the battery. Heat is often very difficult to combat because batteries heat up when charged. Avoid charging during hot weather and direct sunlight to limit its potential potency.
It should not come as a surprise to know that water and electricity do not mix well. But you must also consider the various forms of water and how this might interfere with battery health. Moisture, for example, can lead to increased chemical activity, leading to corrosion.
This is an unavoidable factor in a battery’s well-being. An old battery is more likely to have reached its end, especially if you’ve used it regularly during this time. Additionally, older batteries may not be appropriately equipped to handle modern chargers, apps, and power demands. Replace these at your earliest opportunity.
The battery is one of if not the most important parts of your laptop or Mac notebook. It is the power that keeps everything running smoothly. When your battery fails, everything else soon follows.
Therefore, keeping your battery in excellent health should be your priority. Good charging habits will ensure that your battery does not lose its potential and lasts with you for as long as possible.
A strong battery allows you to work harder for longer and prevents your laptop from suffering systemic damage from power loss.
In this article, we’ve examined what a good battery cycle count is. Modern batteries often now come with a count of at least 1,000 – and as technology advances, no doubt this number will continue to rise.
We’ve also highlighted how you can help support your battery to extend its lifespan. Keep it in good condition, and you can expect more performances per every charge.
If you have any questions about batteries and their cycle count, please post a comment below, including your make, model, and current cycle count.
If in doubt, remember:
- A battery cycle count measures how many times a battery can go from fully charged to zero.
- Batteries which have surpassed their cycle count may still be adequate. But you must recognize that their performance will only get worse from there on out.
- Developing positive charging habits can, in turn, increase the longevity and quality of your battery’s charge.