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is it still bad to have your laptop plugged in (almost) all of the time

 
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At the Apple store, he said I shouldn't be leaving my laptop plugged in when I use it at home. Is that still valid advice? I thought batteries improved so that doesn't matter anymore?

I do discharge periodically, but not every day or every week.
 
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Good question. Mine is plugged in almost all the time and I haven't had any problems. Nor with my previous laptop (at least not the battery).
 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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My battery lasted for three years plugged in almost all the time. Making me skeptical of his claim.
 
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I have lenovo and it came with energy management software. This is what it says. My laptop is over 2 years old.
Lenovo-Energy-Management.PNG
[Thumbnail for Lenovo-Energy-Management.PNG]
 
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I think the Apple rep might have been referring to the "swelling" of MacBook Pro batteries kept constantly at full charge.

In the past, batteries were NiCAD or NiMH. Those batteries, when left on a charger that didn't shut off automatically, would "burn out". I remember that being a big deal with old generation laptops from 10+ years ago.

Newer notebooks will use Lithium Ion and not have that issue. The Apple site confirms this: https://www.apple.com/batteries/why-lithium-ion/
Modern devices usually use an hard case Li-Io battery. Those batteries are very durable and don't explode (unless you really abuse it).

MacBook Pros and most smartphones, though, use a different type of Li-Io battery. Often called a Li-Po (Lithium Polymer) battery. This is Lithium-Ion gel inside a plastic bag. This gel is around 20% more efficient than traditional Li-Io batteries, can be squished more easily into tight spaces and is lighter. The problem is Li-Po batteries swell when at high charge levels (ever noticed your laptop heats up around the power connection while charging?). Smartphone batteries are small. The MacBook Pro's battery is big (relatively). That leads to more swell. Assuming your charger is working correctly, the charger cuts power to the battery near 100% and then tries to keep it at that high level. Always being near full can lead to the battery rupturing as they age and can accelerate that aging process.

ZDNet did a bit about this last year: http://www.zdnet.com/apple-macbook-battery-exploded-7000023425/

You don't need to worry about the battery "burning out" in the traditional sense, but you do need to worry about it "swelling up" in the modern sense.

Cheers!
Chris
 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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Chris,
Now i have something new to be worried about. Seriously though, thanks. That is useful information.
 
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According to Apple's recommendations (current webpage changed)

Apple recommends charging and discharging its battery at least once per month.


Keep it plugged in, but empty the battery every now and then, and charge it back
 
Chris Barrett
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Hi Alaa,

If you try the link the archive site you referenced is archiving (http://www.apple.com/batteries/notebooks.html), that page doesn't exist on Apple's site any longer.
You will see it redirects to http://www.apple.com/batteries/maximizing-performance/ On that current page, there is no mention of the information you outlined.

Personally, I would be concerned how up to date retrieved information from an archive site is.
However if you apply the link they archived (http://www.apple.com/batteries/notebooks.html).

Cheers!
Chris
 
Alaa Nassef
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Hello Chris,

The info I pur was there until late July (just two months ago), and this is why I got it from the archive. It's not outdated.
 
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