Has your MacBook Pro battery been going out of juice quicker than before? According to Apple, MacBook Pro batteries are designed to retain 80% of their capacity after completing 1000 charge cycles. So, what do you do when you’re faced with the inevitable?
Speaking of MacBook Pro, this is not a DIY battery replacement guide – Main reason being the “built-in” batteries introduced by Apple.
If you own a pre 2009 MacBook Pro, replacing the battery is as simple as removing the old one and fixing a new battery in its place. However, post 2009, Apple started releasing MacBooks with built-in batteries that came glued to the inner casing. This step from Apple came with the intention of improving the design, cost and capacity and also to reduce unnecessary demands for replacement by end-users.
Although difficult, such batteries can be self-replaced by people who have a knack for it. However, changing the batteries on MacBook 13″ and 15″ models with Touch Bar and MacBook Retina models are not so easy and demand professional handling.
How To Choose The Right Batteries For Your MacBook Pro?
While purchasing a battery yourself, be sure of buying one that is compatible with your MacBook Pro model. If you’re unsure of the model, the ‘About This Mac’ option from Apple menu on the upper left corner of the screen should help you.
Another way is to identify the serial number printed on the underside of your MacBook Pro or the part number (which looks like this MR9Q2xx/A where ‘x’ is variable depending on the country or region.) You can then use the serial number or part number to identify your Macbook Pro model on Apple’s official website.
MacBook Pro Built-In Battery Replacement
The replacement techniques vary with different MacBook models because of how Apple has installed the batteries in them. For example, in the late 2012 and 2013 MacBook Pro models, Apple had glued-in and buried the battery under other parts of the circuit. Removing the battery was messy, and sometimes resulted in a damaged top cover or a punctured battery.
In older models, before removing the battery, one has to go through the SSD cable and carrier, slide the speakers aside and carefully apply adhesive solvents before being able to remove those battery cells. If not careful, one could easily end up damaging the logic board, trackpad or other vital components. Another reason to leave the process to the experts.
15″ Retina MacBook Pro Battery Replacement (Late 2012 to 2015)
The battery replacement process is even more tedious on 15″ retina models because of the “not so easily accessible” batteries. Getting to the battery involves unscrewing and disconnection of delicate components like the SSD, wireless card, camera cables, fan, IO board, speakers, headphone jack connectors, and many more parts that guard the battery. In other words, the battery cells are buried underneath the entire logic board, which has to be removed before we can access them.
Although the process of disconnecting and removing different parts may seem simple, it involves playing with a series of intricately connected cables. Replacing the batteries on these models is similar to opening Pandora’s box and professional installation is strongly recommended.
Apple’s Free Replacement Program
Apart from the usual warranty and AppleCare Protection Plan, Apple has a free battery replacement policy for a certain batch of 13″ MacBook Pro units (without Touch Bar) manufactured between October 2016 and October 2017.
In these models there was a possibility of a component failing, causing the built-in batteries to expand. This is a not a serious safety issue and Apple will replace the batteries free of charge for the particular batch. If you have experienced a similar issue, note down the serial number and visit Apple’s support page to check if your MacBook model qualifies for the free replacement program.
Video: How to Remove the Battery from a MacBook Pro Retina Laptop
Bottom Line? Apple batteries are not designed to be replaced by end-users. Because if not handled correctly, laptop can be damaged extensively beyond repair with one little slip or when unnecessary force is applied when removing the laptop cover.
As evident from what we’ve discussed above, the complexity involved in replacing your MacBook Pro battery depends on the type of model you own and your experience in handling notebook internals.
Although it’s possible to refer a battery replacement guide and do the replacement yourself, it’s in your best interest to get it repaired by the professionals. By doing so, you also stay away from safety hazards and battery disposal problems, which are part of the territory.
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