3 Ways to Fix the Service Battery Warning on Mac

A mechanic working on a car.

Your MacBook has many moving parts, and none more dynamic than your battery. Of course, its condition relies on a lot of factors, and it takes a lot of stress. As such, a Service Battery warning on your MacBook is a cause for concern.

In this post, we show you how to fix the Service Battery warning on your Mac. First, though, let’s discuss the different conditions that will be reported for your battery.

Your Mac’s Battery Conditions Explained

Before we get onto the fixes, let’s outline three battery conditions that indicate the need for a fix. The quickest way to find out how your battery fares is by selecting it on the Toolbar:

A Service Recommended warning for a Mac battery.

Look for the following warnings:

  • Normal – This means your battery has no indicative issues and functions as standard.
  • Replace Soon or Service Recommended – This indicates that the battery is working but is showing signs of age and wear.
  • Replace Now or Service Battery – At this point, your battery is on its last legs and needs to be serviced or replaced.

There are a few possible ways to fix the Service Battery warning on Mac. Though, before opening your toolbox, it’s worth carrying out another vital check.

How to Check the Battery Cycle Count On Your MacBook

The batteries found in almost all laptops have a “cycle count.” In other words, this is a finite number of times the battery can drop from 100 percent to zero. Every time you plug the charger in and connect it to the Mac, the cycle count increases.

As you’d expect, you can start to expect a Service Battery warning the closer your are to your maximum cycle count. The good news is you can keep track of your cycle count within macOS.

There are two ways to do this:

  • Click the Apple menu logo in your Toolbar, hold the Option key, then select the “System Information” menu item.
  • Open Spotlight and search for “System Information.”

Once it’s open, scroll to the Hardware section in the menu tree on then left, then open the Power screen.

The System Information screen.

This will show you all the relevant information for your battery. If you take a look at the Health Information section, you’ll notice your cycle count.

The Health Information screen.

If your cycle count here exceeds the number listed on Apple’s support page, this will explain the Service Battery warning. In some cases, though, you’ll see a warning, although your cycle count will be low. Next, we take a look at a few methods to resolve it.

3 Ways to Fix the Service Battery Warning on Mac

There are many causes for a failing battery but only a few concrete fixes. Let’s take a look at three of them.

1. Reset the System Management Controller (SMC)

You can try resetting the SMC if your MacBook comes with a non-removable battery. Macs from around 2009 onward will fall under this category, and if your battery is failing on a machine this old, you’ll likely want to buy a new MacBook anyway.

Here are the steps to reset the SMC.

1. Shut down your MacBook.

2. Connect the power adapter from your computer to a power outlet.

3. Hold the Shift + Control + Option + Power buttons, then release them.

4. Power up the MacBook, then check the battery status menu to see if the “Service Battery” warning has disappeared.

5. Resetting the SMC often does the trick. Even so, you may need to take other steps to fix the Service Battery warning on your Mac.

2. Recalibrate the Battery

This method could take you a while, but it’s worth it to fix the Service Battery warning on your Mac.

In fact, Apple also suggests this to help take care of your battery, though the frequency does depend on how often the computer is used.

Here are the step you’ll need to follow:

1. Charge your battery to 100 percent.

2. Once it’s charged, use the MacBook for about two hours while the charger is still plugged in and turned on.

3. At this point, unplug the charger and use the MacBook until it runs out of battery power. You’ll see a low battery warning on the “Battery Status” menu. The Mac will sleep without warning, and when this happens, turn it off.

4. Wait for at least five hours, then charge the Mac up to full.

This should calibrate your battery. Even so, you may not have much luck here either. There’s one more solution to try, but it may not be the one you wanted.

3. Go to an Authorized Apple Service Provider

If you haven’t been able to fix the Service Battery warning on your Mac, and the solutions we’ve provided haven’t helped, the fix is to take it for repair.

There can be many reasons for the warning to appear, such as a faulty battery, issues with the devices you charge through the Mac, and many more.

If simple fixes aren’t working, a Genius Bar technician can often diagnose the cause. Though, be mindful that in many cases, the warning is there for a reason. It could be that you do need a new battery. These can run to a sizable three-figure sum, so factor this into your future plans if you take your Mac in to be fixed.

In Summary

It’s always good to be prepared should a catastrophe strike. Your battery is the beating heart of your MacBook, so keeping it in tip-top condition is vital. On the whole, you need to check the cycle count of your battery once you begin to see warning signs. From there, you can carry out some of the work yourself or take the MacBook to a qualified technician.

Your battery isn’t the only thing that can go wrong. You also need to check the health of your Mac’s SSD. We’ve also covered what to do if you spill water on your MacBook – another common issue for many. Have you noticed the Service Battery warning on your Mac, and if so, how have you fixed it? Let us know in the comments section below!

Tom Rankin Tom Rankin

Tom Rankin is a quality content writer for WordPress, tech, and small businesses. When he's not putting fingers to keyboard, he can be found taking photographs, writing music, playing computer games, and talking in the third-person.


    1. …that also includes links to a bunch of Apple-related battery articles, including Apple’s own advice. Plus, the steps for doing so on your Mac are included too.

      Glad to see you’ve read the article, Jeff!

  1. Thank-you Tom!
    The first step worked for me and returned my battery status to NORMAL..
    Saved me alot of time!

  2. Thanks for this article. Had a new battery installed in a 2015 MacBook Pro yesterday, and the same battery-drain issue is going on. Earlier solutions provided in this article didn’t work, so I’m down now to the Recalibrate Battery stage. 1) When doing the Recalibrate the Battery step, is it imperative to keep the Mac awake, or can it sleep during the time it’s charging and re-draining the battery?
    2) a local iFix rep, who yesterday installed my new battery, said the problem may lie in the circuitry of the hardware, not in the battery itself. True or false?
    I’d appreciate your feedback.

    1. Hello Tracey,

      It doesn’t matter about whether your Mac is awake or not in my experience. The main goal is to get the battery between full and empty.

      As for the hardware, this isn’t something I can confirm. Every issue with a battery has been the battery itself, although a faulty one can cause damage to components over the long term. In my experience, a battery change is the fix, although a reputable Apple service repair team should be able to diagnose the issue.

  3. My MacBook Pro battery shows a little over 600 cycles but the Service battery message appears.

    I tried all three methods but none worked.

    Are there any apps or other options that would eliminate that service message?

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