How to Check Mac Battery Cycle Count

You may not know it yet, but your Mac battery is one of the most important parts of your computer. Admired for its long lasting durability in the beginning, its importance is quickly overlooked as the months drift on. That is until you are finishing the last paragraph of your final thesis and the battery cuts off without warning, deleting all your hard work. True story!

Luckily there is a way to prevent this agonising, blood boiling situation from ever prevailing – “Check your Mac battery cycle count…!”

If you would like to find out tips on how to keep your Mac Battery in top condition for as long as possible, check out our article ‘Mac Battery Tips: From Obvious to Extreme’.

 

What is a Mac Battery Cycle?

You have no doubt noticed that when your battery is full, it is shown as 100%. If your charger is not plugged in, you will soon see the number depreciate as the battery slowly drains all the way down to 0%. This is one full Mac battery cycle. You may think you can out smart the battery by never letting your charge drain to 0%, in the hope it won’t count as being a full cycle, but unfortunately that is not the case. The drained percentages all add up over time, mounting up as cycles used.

 

Why Do Mac Battery Cycles Matter?

Unfortunately it is inevitable that your Mac battery will go downhill. It starts off full of life and stamina, with loads of cycles ahead, allowing you to use your laptop in a field for several hours. The more you use your beloved computer, the more weathered your Mac battery becomes as the constant use gnaws away at the remaining cycles. You will notice the battery percentage draining quicker then it used to, resulting in you having to charge it a lot more often. Eventually, (hopefully a few years on) your Mac battery won’t have any stamina left as the cycles have been eaten up. Resulting in your computer having to be constantly plugged into the mains. Heaven forbid the charger should fall out, as you your Mac screen would instantly cut out plunge into darkness, losing any unsaved work. Yes, that has happened to me….

So you can see that Mac battery cycles are important. The more you have left, the longer your Mac battery will last.

 

Why Should I check My Mac Battery Cycles?

It pays to stay one step ahead of the game, and checking how many cycles your Mac battery has left certainly gives you the edge. It always pays to check on the health of your battery. If you notice the cycles are running low, you aware you will need to purchase a new one, ready to take over. Hopefully before your Mac starts cutting out and requiring constant mains support.

Sneaky tip: If your battery is coming towards the end of its life and is starting to drain faster, if you still have your warranty or Apple Care package, you can request a FREE new Mac battery!

 

How to Check How Much Mac Battery Cycles are Left?

If you are the proud owner of either a MacBook, MacBook Air or a MacBook Pro, you can find out the condition of your Mac battery and exactly how many cycles it has left.
1.) Click on you Apple menu (the little Apple icon perch up in the left corner of your toolbar).
2.) From the drop down dialog menu, selected the first option ‘About This Mac’.

Mac Battery
3.) A little window will pop up displaying our Macs personal information such as: the Version, Processor speed and total amount of Memory. We need you to select the button marked ‘More Info’.
4.) A new window will pop up displaying a little more info, such as your unique Mac serial number. Bellow are two buttons, click the one called ‘System Report’.

About This Mac system report

5.) Your Mac performs a is split second scan and provides you with a detailed System Report. The report window is broken up into two columns.
6.) Browse through the first column. Under the first ‘Hardware’ category click on the word ‘Power’.
7.) Now your ‘Battery Information’ pops up. As you can see there is quite a lot of detailed info you can check over, but in the first section under ‘Health Information’ you will see ‘Cycle Count’ and ‘Condition’.

mac battery cycle

 

These are the main two bits of helpful information, and the answer to whether your cherished Mac needs a new battery! (Hopefully not).

Mac Battery Tips: From Obvious to Extreme

Mac Battery Tips: From Obvious to Extreme

 

While the International Earth Day is over, saving energy for whatever reasons is on everybody’s mind, though the agenda may vary from greater environmental good to saving money on your utility bills. If you are a laptop user who is constantly on the go, you probably want to make sure your device’s battery lasts and lasts and lasts for as long as possible, preferably forever.

 

There’s a variety of methods to extend your battery run-time from relatively common to pretty extreme ones, so lets check them out.

 

1

 

Calibration

 

2

 

To begin with, your battery needs to be in good shape and calibrated. The calibration process will allow your Mac to correctly estimate how much charge is remaining and when the charge will be used up completely. The calibration process should be done during the first days of Mac use and Apple recommends that you recalibrate the battery every month. Though from our experience recalibration once every 3-4 months is also acceptable.

 

Selecting Your Energy Preference

3Your Mac System Preference has the Energy preference pane which gives you options for managing your device’s energy use. It is probably the most obvious place to start if you need to extend your battery life. Some of the things you can do, include:

*Putting your hard drive to sleep when not in use.

*Turning off back lighting for Mac keyboard. This may come in handy in low light conditions, however if your conditions are generally fine, turning it off is a good way to conserve some battery power.

 

Switching off unused devices and services.

4There’s an assumption that you save more energy once you’ve switched off all your peripherals and charges that are not in use. However, simply disconnecting them is sufficient as it will bring the power draw to zero.

In addition, try turning off some of Mac built-in service, like AirPort or Bluetooth. You can also save power by turning the Wi-Fi off. Both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi can be disabled in System Preferences.

 

These may work too!

If you are up for a bit of experimenting, you may want to try these less conventional tips.

*Mute the sound

When you switch off your Mac’s built-in speakers, the battery stops being used to generate all of the default sounds associated with various events. You can do so by hitting the Mute button or via the Sound Preference pane.

*Check your email less.

Easier said than done, but turning off you mail auto-checking for new emails may make the difference, since your network connection (which uses a lot of battery power, especially if it’s Wi-Fi) won’t be used and your hard drive won’t be spun.

*Get rid of background notifications

Some apps have a background utility that is on all the time to check for updates. These mini-apps use your Mac’s memory, CPU and network. To turn them off you will need to check individual apps to see if such option exists, since there’s no central way to do it.

*White on black display.

If you want to try something quite extreme, but effectiveб set your desktop wallpaper to solid white via Desktop and Screen Saver preferences pane in System Preferences. This will invert the display colours making all text white and the white background black. If this sounds a bit too drastic to you, just turn down the display brightness.

 

I am sure, there are many other ways to preserve the battery power. Do share which ones work for you!

Sneaky Tip to Save Energy & Mac Battery Power

 If you are like me and spend most of your days cruising around your beloved Mac then you no are doubt being forever greeted with the annoying ‘Battery running low’ alert. Rapidly detangling your Apple charger lead like its an Olympic sport whilst your battery flashes 1% can be a bit hair raising. As I rarely turn off my Mac computer, this little sneaky trick saves energy and increases the life of your Mac battery….

 

How to Save Mac Battery Power

While most people set a funky screensaver to pop up when they are not using their computers, but unless you are proudly looking at it or using it to distract your dog whilst to dash to the kitchen to grab a cookie, your screensaver is not energy efficient. Your Mac utilizes its CPU, graphics chip and the display to present a screen saver. If you have a fun animated one, that will use up oodles more energy.

 

Sneaky Tip – To save energy and ensure your Mac battery lasts longer I recommend you set your OS X system to skip activating your screen saver whenever your mac is left idle and to just put the display straight to sleep instead.

Mac battery power

 

It is very easy to put your Mac straight to sleep and save energy, just follow these steps…

 

1.) From your toolbar click on the mini Apple logo on the left hand side with your cursor.

2.) A drop down menu will appear. Scroll down a little and select the option ’System Preferences’.

3.) Your System Preference window will now pop up. Browse through and select the ‘Energy Saver icon’ (Its looks like a light bulb).

4.) Next your Energy Saver window will be presented to you displaying two sliders. One titled ‘Computer Sleep’ and the other ’Display Sleep.’

save Mac battery power

‘Computer Sleep’ will ultimately save the most amount of energy as this option puts your entire computer, live programs and all, into a temporary snooze. To wake up your Mac just tap any key or move your cursor.

‘Display sleep’ is just a more efficient screensaver. It saves power but not as much as computer sleep, however it allows your Mac to come back to life absolutely instantly, whereas Computer sleep takes a second or two to wake up.

5.) Click and drag the sliders to set the time you wish your computer to sleep after it has gone idle. I usually have my ‘Display Sleep’ set for 5 mins (as I don’t want my screen to black out during a long news article). Then I have my ‘Computer Sleep’ set at 10 mins.

 

Hope you have found this sneaky energy saving tip helpful!

How to Start Up Your Mac!

How to turn mac onA shiny Macbook Pro may make for a rather fetching bookend but that isn’t really letting it live up to its full potential…

Before you can crack on and use your fantastic Apple Mac you need to …. turn it on! Also known as ‘starting it up.’

The easiest way to turn on your Mac, and the way you will do it 99% of the time is to press the power button.

Depending on what type of Apple Machine you have this all important button can be found in various locations. For example if you are the proud owner of a Mac Mini and some glorious iMacs the button will be located at the back. But for most Macbooks, Macbook pro laptops and some iMacs, the button will be nestled on the front of the machine to the side on the keyboard.

A second or so after you press down on the iconic button a musical chime will sound, letting your know it is starting up. Next it will display that sexy Apple logo. This shows your computer is working and on its way to fully booting up.

What happens the first time ever you turn on you Mac?

If your Apple Mac is brand spanking new to you or you are reinstalling your operating system, the the first time you turn on your mac there will be a few commands to follow. Don’t worry you will only be asked to carry out the setting process once and it is very straight forward. You will just be asked to type in your name and preferred password to create a Mac account. To guide you through the rest of this process is a handy program called the Setup Assistant.  As it runs it will ask you for information such as your current time zone, todays date, and importantly whether you would like to transfer existing files and programs from another Mac to your new one.

All elements of this procedure is somewhat important but if you find latter on that you wish to change the date or time of your computer or even the language settings etc there is always a way. The most crucial part of this exercise is to remember your Mac password. You will need it to log in to your account and whenever you download and install a software.

Once this procedure has come to an end you will be free to explore the many fun Apple apps, play a game, write a letter, compose a musical number in Garage Band and browse the internet to your hearts content.

How to Restart Mac – Easy TUTORIAL

how to restart macIf you your Mac computer is misbehaving, running slow, freezing or ignoring your commands, then restarting your machine can fix this.

Restarting your machine clears its memory and starts it up afresh, which can usually put its naughty behavior back on the straight and narrow. Restarting your Mac will close all running programs but thankfully still provides the opportunity to save any files you are currently working on. Once you have chosen to cancel or save any files you many have open, your computer will automatically reboot.

Important note: Restarting your Mac is not the same as turning on and off your machine, (which completely resets your computer). Restarting your Mac is a much faster way of rebooting, but if you find it did not successfully cure any problems you are experiencing, then your next port of call would be to fully tun off your machine, wait at least 60 seconds and then turn it on.

How to restart Mac – Step-by-step!

For those of you who like choice you are in luck, there are three methods you can pick from to restart your Mac….

Method 1
Lightly press down on your power button (or press Control+Eject). A dialog box will pop up displaying buttons reading, Restart, Sleep, Cancel and Shutdown. Obviously go ahead and click on the Restart button.

Method 2
Click on the little Apple icon situated on the far left of your tool bar. From the drop down menu click on the Restart option. Another popup box will appear providing you with the opportunity to cancel this request or to swiftly go ahead. If you do not pick either of the two options, you computer will still restart automatically in a few seconds.

Method 3
Using your keyboard press the keys Control+Command+Eject (or Control+Command+Power button). If your Mac has frozen and you have lost the ability to use your mouse pad and cursor, this is the most reliable method to use, as it does not reply on the Mac OS X operating system.

How to Shut Down Mac – Easy Tutorial

You may wish to shut down your Mac if you know you will not need to use you computer for quite some time or perhaps your king has been put into check via your Macs geeky chess wizard and you need time for a breather. Either way Shutting down your Mac, also referred to as ‘Turning Off’ your Mac, could not be more simple…

There are Four main ways to turn off your Mac, all of which are supa dupa easy.

shut down Mac

Shut Down Mac Option One
1.) Scroll your cursor up to the mini Apple icon located on the top left of your tool bar.
2.) From the drop down menu select ‘Shut down.’
3.) A pop up window will appear confirming you want to shut down your computer. You have a ‘Cancel’ option and a go ahead ‘Shut Down’ button. There is a time limit on this, so if your finger is feeling too fatigued to select an option, your machine will automatically close down in two minutes.

Shut Down Mac Option Two
1.) With this option it is time to impress your parents and get fancy with your finger work…. At the same time press down the Control and Eject keys.
2.) This time a new popup window displaying the buttons ‘Restart’, ‘Sleep’, ‘Cancel’ and ‘Shut Down’ will appear.
3.) Select the Shut Down option and hey presto, your Mac will turn off.

Shut Down Mac Option Three
1.) This method is the easiest out the lot. This time all you need to do is gently press the power button. (For MacBooks, Mac Pros and most iMacs this will be located at the top by the side of your keyboard.)
2.) The same popup window as in option two will show. Again go ahead and click on the Shut Down button.

Shut Down Mac Option Four – Force Shut Down

With the ‘Force Shut Down’ option everything that is open and running – programs, movies, music etc will all shut down automatically along side your computer. I do not recommend you use this fast turn off route as your normal way to close your machine down, but it is great if your Mac has frozen and refuses to respond to any of your commands. However before this drastic instruction, if you suspect that your Mac is acting up due to a program you are running then it is best to ‘Force Quit’ (Please refer to our article on ‘How to Force Quit on Mac’ for the step-by-step tutorial) that particular program first to see if that fixes the issue. If that fails then by all mean try a Force Shut Down.

How to Force Shut Down your Mac

How to Force Quit on Mac

The fastest way to do a force shut down on Mac is to press and hold down the power button. After a few seconds you will hear and little noise that sounds like the power has been cutoff and the screen will go black. Don’t panic your machine will be perfectly fine the next time you reboot it, which you can do straight after it turns off it you wish.

Alternatively if a nosey colleague is looking over your shoulder and you want to show off your nifty finger work again, you can also Force shut down your Mac with this keyword sort cut – Press the Control+Option+Command+Eject.

How to Force Quit on Mac

When a program on your Mac freezes or worse, the whole machine refuses to ignore your commands, we begin to panic and fret what to do next. Despite computers being an amazing invention they are still prone to freeze on us (even the posh expensive ones). Luckily there is a solution to get us out of this sticky spot – Force Quit!

Force quit is a great way to shut down individual programs that have either froze or are effecting the speed and the performance of the rest of your Mac.

Here is a simple step-by-step tutorial on how to kick start your computer into behaving again…

How to Force Quit on Mac

How to Force Quit on Mac

1.) Like many functions it all starts with that little Apple icon. Scroll your cursor up to the top left hand corner of your tool bar and click the iconic symbol.
2.) A drop down dialog menu will appear. Go down and select  the option ‘Force Quit’.
3.) A small popup window will appear displaying all of the programs and apps you have open.
4.) Click on the one or ones that are not responding or you suspect are causing the problems and then ‘Force Quit.’ Your Mac will instantly shut down that program.

After this your computer should unfreeze and start listening to your instructions. Brilliant!

How To Put Mac in Sleep Mode Manually?

To keep your beloved Apple Mac in tip top condition for as long as possible, learning to put it in sleep mode is a good start.

Continuously turning your computer on and off through out the day is actually more harmful and more likely to drain the life of your battery quicker then sending your machine to sleep.

Putting your Mac on a resting sleep mode effectively shuts down every inch of your mac, softwares and all, so it is running on a bare minimum of power.

But done worry, Apple Macs are not heavy sleepers. You wont need an ice cold bucket of water or a giant pair of brass cymbals to wake it up. A simple tap of a key and it will instantly wake up, refreshed and ready and rearing to listen to our comands. Alternatively this that does not work then one light press on the power button will soon jolt it back.

In short, putting your computer in sleep mode not only prevents wear and tear of your Mac but it also allows you to have it ready to run at your beck and calls – no more twiddling your thumbs waiting for it to start up.

There are three handy ways to send you Mac to the land of nod – Manually x2 and instantly.

Mac sleep Mode

How to put your Mac in Sleep Mode Manually

Manual Mac Sleep Mode Version 1
1.) Start by clicking on the mini apple symbol nestled on the top left of your tool bar.
2.) From the drop down menu select ‘Sleep’.

Manual Mac Sleep Mode Version 2
1.) Gently press your power button once.
2.) A box will pop up with these options – ‘Restart’, ‘Sleep’, ‘Cancel’ and ‘Shut Down’.
3.) Click ‘Sleep’. (I know it’s not rocket science).

How to put your Mac in Sleep Mode Instantly

1.) Shut the lid – east peasy.

A handy point to know is if you are going to be moving your Mac around, it is safest to do it with the lid closed. For example you are moving from one class to the next. Close the lid and before you set off.

How to Change Mac Sleep Settings

Like us Mac computers like to conserve energy by taking a nap every now and again.

Unable to dose up on coffee shots and red bull your Mac will seek out moments when it has not been in use for a while and enter a low-power mode. This low power mode puts far less strain on its energy and will help make the battery charge last longer.

You will know when your computer is having a snooze when either the screen saver is activated or the screen has dimmed. For a brisk wake up call just tap the mouse pad or a key and the screen will instantly light up.

Your computer is even catching some shut eye after you clip the laptop lid down whilst it is still switched on. Think of the fading on and off light as your beloved Mac snoring 🙂

Baring this in mind, it is important to completely switch off your computer over night or when you know you will not use it for an hour or so, as it is still running an using up electricity.

It is particularly helpful to conserve your Macs energy and battery power on portable computers. A handy tip is to send it into a snooze if it is running a task such as burning a DVD and you are not actively using it during this time.

how to change mac sleep settings

Here is how to control your Mac Sleep Settings…

1.) You’ve guessed it, the first step is to click on the mini Apple icon perched in your toolbar to open up a drop down menu.

2.) From this menu scroll down and select ‘System Preferences’

3.) From the new pop out window housing many important Mac icons, press ‘Energy Saver’.

4.) This is where the magic happens. A new window will display several sliders that will allow you to immediately adjust the times your Mac goes into hibernation.

5.) Check mark the options you want to control and customize from the options given.

 

Save power by customizing your portable Macs – MacBook, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro sleep settings

1.) Follow all instructions up until step 3. One inside Energy Saver preferences, go one step further and choose the Battery or Power Adapter tab.

2.) To personally customize your Mac laptop sleep settings select and drag the arrows in the sliders to pick your perfect time frame.

Simple!