Can A Bad Battery Slow Down A Macbook?

Can A Bad Battery Slow Down A Macbook

One of the perks MacBook users enjoy is the powerful batteries that power these machines. But as is now common knowledge, Lithium-ion batteries (the battery inside your MacBook) deteriorate over time depending on usage. As your battery deteriorates, you’ll notice it lasts fewer hours, maybe minutes; also, your machine becomes noticeably slow.

So, can a bad battery slow down a MacBook? Yes! If you have a faulty battery on your MacBook, high chances are the CPU will throttle down to low speed, causing your MacBook to slow down. Before troubleshooting anything else, you should probably try a new battery and observe the difference.

Many Mac users have to deal with the frustrations of a slow MacBook on battery. Of course, there are some measures you can take that will boost your MacBook’s battery life and performance, but eventually, you may have to replace them. Here, we answer some of your controversial questions concerning MacBook batteries and if they affect your computer performance. Stay with us.

Key Facts:

  • In case your battery fails, the speed and performance of your MacBook will continuously reduce until you replace it.
  • Replacing your MacBook battery will definitely boost its performance significantly.
  • A bad battery often causes overheating, unexpected MacBook shutdown, low battery run-time, and slow charging.
  • Don’t keep your MacBook charged to 100%, and also, don’t drain it to 0%. By doing this, you extend your MacBook’s battery life. It is best if you keep your battery level between 40 and 90%

Can A Bad Battery Slow Down A Macbook?

Yes! If your MacBook battery is faulty or critically low (let’s say below 10%), CPU processing slows down and takes a few minutes longer. However, you might not notice much slowdown when doing light tasks, and the battery indicator has not turned red (which isn’t always the case, even at 5%). It depends on how you are using your MacBook at that particular time.

Can A Bad Battery Slow Down A Macbook

Does The Macbook Battery Affect Speed?

When your MacBook battery indicates [Service Recommended], it basically means it has deteriorated; it has consumed all its allocated full-charge cycles (usually 1000 cycles). A service-recommended battery does not mean the battery has physical damage, but it cannot reach its maximum performance.

Such batteries produce an unusual amount of heat when charging, thus, causing your MacBook fans to spin up faster. As a result, your machines will try to accelerate the CPU to regulate the core temperature, consequently affecting its speed. At the same time, it would be best if you reset the System Management Controller (SMC) after replacing your battery; doing so before battery replacement may not help much for a deteriorated battery.

What Are The Signs Of A Bad Battery?

A bad battery can be such a significant damper on your MacBook experience. There are some tell-tale signs to watch out for when a faulty battery is affecting the performance of your MacBook. Here are a few common signs of a bad battery:

1. Overheating

Generally, all laptops are built to regulate their temperature. They have internal fans that expel excess heat while the computer is running. If your MacBook sometimes overheats, it is because the battery is getting overworked, and it can’t keep up. Your MacBook will be noisy since the fans are spinning faster than usual to cool the machine.

2. Slow Charging

A healthy MacBook battery should take about 1 hour, 30 minutes, to 2hrs to be fully charged. Keeping your MacBook plugged in when the battery is fully charged (100%) or discharging to 0% battery level negatively affects your battery’s lifespan. A bad battery takes longer to charge or does not charge at all. It may charge at a slower rate to 100% in some cases but provide about 10 – 15 minutes of usage time.

3. Reduced Use Time

One of the noticeable signs of a bad battery is it runs out of charge much faster than it used to. A healthy battery lasts anywhere between 6 – 10 hours of active run time. If your MacBook battery struggles to hold charge past an hour or two, it has a problem and needs replacement.

4. Frequent Shutdown

While most modern laptops have a safety mechanism that automatically shuts down the system to prevent damage, sometimes your bad battery could be causing your computer to shut down frequently. When this happens, your laptop won’t shut down through the proper procedure; instead, it will be abrupt, as if someone cut power on a desktop computer.

5. Battery Age

All Lithium-ion batteries have a life span; they don’t last forever. Usually, most manufacturers give two years warranty. After this period, you are advised to change your battery. You’ll notice a reduction in the battery’s maximum charging capacity. Regardless of how well you handle your MacBook, you need to replace its battery after this period.

6. Unexpected Power Issues

Although the occasional power failure may not necessarily indicate a problem with your MacBook battery, you can keep track of how frequently your machine shuts down. If it unexpectedly shuts down, especially after charging, you have a bad battery. Try charging your MacBook again; if this problem persists, your battery is permanently depleted and should be replaced.

What Happens When a Macbook Battery Goes Slow?

If your MacBook goes slow on battery, the first thing you want to do is check the battery health. Follow these steps to check your battery condition:

  • Step1: Click the Apple logo on the menu bar.
  • Step 2: Go to [System Preference], then select [Battery].
  • Step 3: Click the battery icon on the left side pane of the window.
  • Step 4: Click [Battery Health] at the bottom right corner.

Keep in mind that a bad battery affects MacBook performance; therefore, you should consider replacing it if it’s in a “service recommended” state. When your MacBook battery goes slow, your CPU speed reduces, computer performance drops, and the battery overheats.

How To Fix Macbook Battery Life Problems?

Reset The Smc

The System Management Controller (SMC) is essential for your MacBook’s power management settings. Resetting this memory can help fix its battery life problems:

Reset The Smc

  • Step 1: Shut down your MacBook.
  • Step 2: Press and hold down the [Option] + [Shift] + [Control] keys and the power button. Use the keys on the left side of your MacBook keyboard. Do not use an external keyboard.
  • Step 3: Release all the keys and the power button after at least 10 seconds.
  • Step 4: Power on your MacBook.

Disable Google Chrome’s Hardware Acceleration

It’s no doubt that Google chrome is a power-hungry browser; therefore, disabling its hardware acceleration significantly reduces power demands on your MacBook. Here’s how:

Disable Google Chrome’s Hardware Acceleration


  • Step 1: Open Google Chrome on your MacBook.
  • Step 2: Click on [Chrome] on the menu bar.
  • Step 3: Select [Preferences] and navigate to [Advanced] settings.
  • Step 4: Scroll down to [System].
  • Step 5: Turn off the [Use hardware acceleration when available] option.

Adjust Your Macbook Settings

Your MacBook has a number of settings you can adjust to help fix battery life problems (battery optimization). Sometimes, default MacBook settings can unnecessarily consume more battery resources while you work. Below are some settings you can change to help reduce your MacBook battery consumption, thus improving its life:

  • Turn off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi when not in use. These two adaptors consume energy even when in standby or searching mode. You can access them on the right side of the menu bar.
  • Reduce screen brightness. The screen has LED backlighting that consumes a significant amount of power. Dimming the screen can help reduce power consumption. Use the [F1] key to lower screen brightness or tap the sun icon on the touch bar.
  • Reduce/turn off keyboard backlighting. MacBooks have a beautifully lit keyboard. By default, your keyboard backlighting stays on. But why would you need a glowing backlight in broad daylight? You may want to turn it off to save your battery. Use the [F5] key or the dotted half-moon icon on the touch bar to turn it off.
  • Turn on energy saver preferences. Click the Apple logo on the menu bar. Go to [System Preference] and then choose [Battery]. Here, you can make a few settings to optimize your battery performance. Such settings include low power mode, enabling power nap, optimized battery charging, and turning the display off when idle.

Final Thought

A bad MacBook battery can be annoying; it hinders productivity, creates endless uncertainty, and appears to have indefinable solutions. While the earlier mentioned procedures may temporarily fix your Battery life problems, replacing your MacBook battery would be a permanent fix.

Remember, several other reasons, such as software or hardware problems, old MacBooks, or viruses, can cause your MacBook to slow down. Be sure your battery is the culprit by checking its condition before considering replacing it.

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