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MacBook not holding a charge? Apple might replace your battery for free

People love Apple products for a reason. They’re reliable, easy to use and while they may not be as customizable as devices on Android or other open platforms, the quality is a good trade-off.

That doesn’t mean Apple and Mac devices are impervious to issues, though. While these tech devices are generally reliable, Apple products have had their fair share of problems. Tap or click here to see how recent updates have been especially problematic for some devices.

Right now, some MacBook users are complaining about their laptop batteries not holding a charge. If you’re having issues with your MacBook’s battery, the good news is that Apple may help you out. Here’s how.

Here’s the backstory

Having trouble keeping your MacBook battery charged? You could be in luck. Some Mac customers have been reporting that their laptops haven’t been able to hold a charge beyond 1%, and it looks like Apple is going to address the issue.

According to Apple, only “a very small number of customers” are affected by this issue — but those who are could get their laptop batteries replaced for free. In a recent support update, Apple stated that it would replace batteries in MacBook Pro models from 2016 and 2017 if the batteries don’t hold a charge. 

This isn’t the first time Apple has had a battery issue with its devices. You may remember “battery gate,” which happened back in 2017 when Apple customers started noticing their iPhones’ performances slowed down after updates. Some were under the impression that replacing their battery could help temper the issue, but Apple eventually admitted to slowing down older model iPhones.

RELATED: Struggling with iPhone battery issues? Apple suggests this fix

According to Apple, this was done to prevent devices from turning off. However, many believe it was done to force the purchase of newer iPhones by those using older models. A class-action lawsuit was filed by customers and Apple agreed to pay a $500 million settlement, which amounted to about $25 for each iPhone affected. Apple denied that this was the case, but the controversy remains.

That doesn’t appear to be what’s happening with these MacBook batteries, however. Unlike the iPhone battery issue, these MacBooks won’t hold a charge past 1%, which has prompted Apple to step in with a fix.

MacBook battery replacement program

If your 2016 or 2017 MacBook Pro exhibits these behaviors, you can contact Apple and potentially have your battery replaced free of charge. Your computer will be examined before the battery replacement to verify it is eligible.

You should also note that Apple is only replacing batteries on certain MacBooks, so you’ll need to make sure that yours is covered before making an appointment for a battery replacement.

The MacBook models eligible for the battery replacement are limited to:

  • MacBook Pro (13­-inch, 2016, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports) 
  • MacBook Pro (13-­inch, 2017, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
  • MacBook Pro (13-­inch, 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
  • MacBook Pro (13-­inch, 2017, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
  • MacBook Pro (15-­inch, 2016)
  • MacBook Pro (15-­inch, 2017)

Apple also notes that you’ll need to check your laptop’s battery health status to qualify for the battery replacement. “The battery health status on these devices will also indicate Service Recommended,” Apple stated. “If the status indicates that your battery is Normal, your battery is not affected by this issue.” 

How to check and maintain your MacBook’s battery health

If you aren’t sure how to check your MacBook’s battery health status, here’s how you do it:

  • To view your battery’s condition, choose Apple menu > System Preferences.
  • Click on Battery, then click Battery again.
  • In the lower right corner, click on Battery Health. You may see any of the following conditions:
    • Normal: The battery is functioning normally.
    • Service recommended: The battery is performing normally, but its ability to hold a charge is less than when it was new. You may want to consider replacing the battery.
    • NoteThe battery may also not be functioning normally, and you may or may not notice a change in its behavior or the amount of charge it holds. Take your computer in for service. You can continue to use your battery before it’s checked without harming your computer.

Apple has released a macOS update that prevents this issue from happening to other 2016 and 2017 MacBook Pro computers. It’s important to update your operating system to macOS Big Sur 11.2.1 or later or install the macOS Catalina 10.15.7 supplemental update to avoid having these types of issues.

RELATED: How to check and improve your iPhone’s battery health

To update macOS:

  • Choose System Preferences from the Apple menu.
  • Click Software Update to check for updates.
  • If any updates are available, click the Update Now button to install them.
    • Not ready to update? Click More info to see details about each update and select specific updates to install. You might be asked to enter your administrator password.
  • When Software Update says that your Mac is up to date, the installed version of macOS and all of its apps are also up to date.
    • That includes Safari, Music, Photos, Books, Messages, Mail, Calendar, and FaceTime.
  • Note: To automatically install future updates, select “Automatically keep my Mac up to date.” Your Mac will notify you when updates require it to restart.

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