MacBook Charging On Hold? Here’s Why and What To Do About It

Are you worried about the MacBook Charging on Hold (Rarely Used on Battery) or the Battery on Hold feature? No need to panic. It’s an option on the macOS Big Sur that saves battery life by reducing the power that goes to your laptop.

This article will show how this new macOS Big Sur feature can help conserve battery life while using your Mac.

What Does Macbook “Charging on Hold” or “Battery on Hold”?

MacBook “charging on hold (Rarely Used on Battery)” or “battery on hold’ is a feature that is embedded in the operating system. You can see the notification in the menu bar, which will display a lightning bolt icon with an exclamation point. You’ll also see it if you open the Apple menu and click “About This Mac,” which says “Charging on Hold.”

It optimizes the battery charging cycles as a new feature in macOS Big Sur. And it does not mean that your laptop will stop receiving power or that your battery is dead.

But it means your computer will use power more efficiently. And you can extend your battery life by using optimized battery charging. 

What Is Optimized Battery Charging?

The MacBook charging on hold or battery on hold feature ensures that your laptop’s battery lasts as long as possible by stopping it from overcharging. If you enable this option, your computer will only charge up to 80% and stop until the power goes down to 20%.

Your device is reducing the power it consumes while on hold but still charging the battery at a slower rate. It’s a new addition to the macOS, which is not only about preventing excessive charging. But it’s also about stopping your battery from draining too much power.

Your device will automatically stop charging when it detects that the battery has reached a specific rate.

Apple’s battery health management feature ensures your laptop doesn’t overheat and shut down because of excess heat due to continuous charging. It makes your device’s battery more efficient when it comes to charging.

Battery health management includes the following features:

  • Battery Status: This shows you the current battery life and usage time.
  • Battery Life Cycle: This shows you the total number of charge cycles.
  • Battery Health: This shows you the condition of your battery.
  • Battery Usage Time: The estimated time for your MacBook to work before it runs out of power.
  • Estimated Charge Time: The estimated time for your MacBook to charge is from 0% to 100%.
Example for one battery charge cycle

Image source

Here is a summary of the benefits of the battery health management features on the macOS Catalina 10.15.5 update.

  • The first one is that it optimizes the battery charging process and prolongs the life of your MacBook Pro or MacBook Air.
  • The second benefit is that it ensures you don’t overcharge your device; it will stop charging when it reaches 80%.
  • And last, this update prevents your laptop from waking up during sleep mode when you’re not using it – which saves power and extends laptop usage time.

How To Disable The MacBook Charging On Hold Feature or Optimized Battery Charging

The best option is to leave your computer in the “charging on hold” or “battery on hold” mode to prolong the life of your device’s battery. But you may want to charge your device to 100%, so it’ll be necessary to disable this option.

Use the following simple steps to deactivate the battery health management function.

  • Open up your Mac and click on “System Preferences.”
  • Go to the Battery preference.
  • Choose the Battery tab.
  • Disable/Uncheck the ‘Optimised battery charging’ feature.
macbook charging on hold

FAQs About MacBook Charging On Hold

Why does my Mac say charging on hold?

Apple introduced a new feature with the macOS Big Sur update. It means your device is on optimized battery charging. Your laptop will only charge up to 80% and then stop until the power goes down to 20%, prolonging the life of the laptop’s battery.

But you can disable the option if you want your computer to reach 100%.

How long does a Mac hold a charge?

There’s no straightforward answer because it depends on your model. But you could get between 10 and 17 hours after charging your MacBook.

Why is my MacBook plugged in but not charging?

Your MacBook is plugged in but not charging because the power adapter is not providing enough power to charge your laptop. A faulty adapter, a loose or damaged connection between the adapter and the wall outlet, or a faulty battery can cause this.

Apple recommends you use only Apple-approved power adapters with your MacBook. If you’re using an adapter from another manufacturer, it may not provide enough power to charge your computer.

You can try resetting your SMC by following these steps:

  • Shut down your computer and unplug all cables from it.
  • Press and hold the power button for five seconds.
  • Plug in all the wires again.
  • Turn on your computer.

Should I leave my MacBook Pro plugged in all the time?

There is no correct answer to this question. It depends on how often you use your laptop, how usually you charge it, and what kind of battery your MacBook Pro uses.

How can I tell my MacBook is charging?

If your MacBook Pro has a lightning bolt symbol on the battery status indicator, it’s charging. Alternatively, if you have a magnetic charging cable, the LED will turn orange while charging.

How long does it take a MacBook to charge from dead?

If the battery is at around 50% capacity, it should take about 1 hour to reach 80 percent full power, with an additional 2 hours on a trickle charge to get full power. It will take 2 hours to charge the battery to 80 percent capacity.

How many years do MacBook batteries last?

Three years.

How do I know if my MacBook battery needs replacing?

Many signs show that your MacBook battery needs a replacement.

  • The first sign is a decrease in battery life.
  • The second sign is when you notice the battery is not charging when plugged in.
  • The third sign is when your MacBook shuts down without warning during use.

If your MacBook is not charging when plugged in and you have an Apple Authorized Service Provider nearby, bring your laptop for a diagnostic test. If they find the problem is with the battery, they will replace it for free.

How do I preserve my Mac battery?

Ensure that your Mac’s brightness isn’t too high because this can use up more energy than necessary and drain the battery quicker than expected.

  • Turn on Auto-Brightness.
  • Go to the Control Center and look for the Brightness slider.
  • Drag it to the bottom to change your screen brightness.
  • Use Wi-Fi.

How do I reset my MacBook battery?

  • Turn off your MacBook Pro.
  • Reconnect it.
  • While it’s booting up, hold down the Command, Option, P, and R keys.
  • Keep your fingers on the keys for at least 20 seconds.
  • Let go of the keys.
Brett Jones
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