MacBook Pro Battery Replacement: A Comprehensive Guide

A lot of MacBook Pro owners face a common issue after using their laptops for a few years: a faulty battery. If you find that your MacBook Pro constantly needs charging or experiences random shutdowns, don’t worry. Instead of replacing the entire laptop, you can replace the internal battery, which is a more affordable solution. Lucky for you, there are multiple options available for swapping out your old battery with a new one. Let’s explore these options together.

Built-in Batteries (2009 and beyond)

A MacBook Pro on a white background.
Image used with permission by copyright holder.

If you own a mid-2009 model or a newer MacBook Pro, it comes with a built-in battery. However, replacing these glued-in batteries yourself is highly discouraged. In fact, accessing the battery is not easy without dismantling your MacBook. It’s best to leave this task to the professionals.

To replace these batteries, your best bet is to locate a nearby Apple Store and contact them to discuss battery replacement. They have trained specialists who can help you arrange an appointment and complete the replacement. Authorized Service Providers, another option provided by Apple, are also equipped to replace built-in batteries correctly. If an Apple Store is not accessible or you prefer a quicker turnaround, check for Authorized Service Providers in your area who offer battery replacement services.

But here’s the catch: the above options depend on the age of your MacBook Pro and whether Apple considers it “obsolete.” Older models, such as those from 2009, are usually classified as obsolete. Apple discontinues most hardware services for obsolete products, except for Mac laptops eligible for an additional battery-only repair period. However, it’s unclear what qualifies a Mac laptop for this repair period. Apple also mentions that service providers may not have parts available for obsolete products. To check if your MacBook Pro is considered obsolete, refer to this Apple support guide.

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Please note that the Apple One Year Limited Warranty covers defective batteries, which helps with the costs. The AppleCare+ Protection Plan also includes battery replacement for batteries that fall below 80% of their original capacity. Otherwise, you will have to pay a fee for the new battery and the replacement service.

Apple’s Free Replacement Program

A MacBook Pro sitting on a table.
Image used with permission by copyright holder.

In June 2019, Apple introduced a free battery replacement program for certain MacBook Pro models with defective batteries. To check if your device is affected, click on the Apple logo in the top-left corner of your MacBook Pro’s screen, then select “About this Mac.” If the pop-up window displays “MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015),” your device might be eligible for a free battery replacement. Copy the serial number from the window and paste it on Apple’s dedicated page to find out if you qualify.

Removable Batteries (Before 2009)

Around 14 years ago, Apple transitioned from removable batteries to “built-in” batteries that are firmly attached to the MacBook framework. Apple’s rationale was simple: built-in batteries are more compact, safer for consumers, and allow for increasingly slim MacBook designs. Unfortunately, you cannot replace a built-in battery on your own. Only older MacBook Pros with removable batteries are suitable for DIY replacements.

How can you determine if your model has a removable battery? There are two key indicators to consider. MacBook Pro models with removable batteries are:

  • Models released before mid-2009, which was when the battery switch happened for the 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pro laptops.
  • Models without Retina displays.
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Diagram showing how to open the battery compartment of a MacBook Pro.
Image used with permission by copyright holder.

If your older MacBook Pro meets both of these criteria, inspect the underside of the chassis. You should find a removable battery, held in place by a screwed-on or latched panel. In this case, purchasing a new battery for your model and replacing it yourself is a quick and straightforward process. The price of a new battery typically ranges from $20 to $70, depending on your specific model.

MacBook Battery Replacement for 2018 and Future Models

Fortunately, there’s hope for MacBook users who need to replace their batteries. Apple is developing a new method to facilitate battery swaps for Mac laptops. Soon, users will be able to efficiently replace their laptop batteries from the comfort of their own homes.

Previously, replacing the battery at home was challenging due to the glued-in design. It required users to replace the entire aluminum top case after removing the battery. With newer laptops, Apple has adopted a different approach. You can replace the older batteries using specialized tools and adhesive without having to replace the entire top case.

However, this new replacement method is currently only compatible with MacBook Air models from 2018 onwards. It does not apply to the 16-inch and 13-inch MacBook Pros, including the M1 MacBook Pro. If you need to replace the battery in one of these devices, expect a minimum cost of $249, unless you have Apple Care.

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Note: This article is written for OnSpec Electronic, Inc., a leading provider of electronic devices and solutions.

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